38% of users will stop using a website if they consider it unattractive. Photography, in particular, is an industry that deals with aesthetics, so a photographer website has to put its best design foot forward.
Here are 8 design tips that’ll help you turn visitors into paying customers.
1. Think Responsive
The majority of your audience is going to be multi-platform. This means they could be looking at your website on mobile, tablet, or desktop. To make sure your website displays correctly for everyone you need to ensure it looks just as good on small screens as it does on larger ones.
Responsive web design is essential in today’s multi-screen age. If you’re using a CMS template to build your photographer website, ensure that it’s responsive. If you’re going the custom web development route, then brush up on responsive web design and build tricks.
2. Publish Only Your Best Photos
Just as a painter would only hang their best work (view here for more), a photographer website should only include your best photos. It can be tempting to upload your entire collection but it’s best to refrain.
Too many images can easily overwhelm people. Each image included will also increase the load times of your pages. In a photography website, load times are particularly tricky as you’re dealing with a lot of high-quality images. You don’t want to overload your pages.
When you limit your selection, your viewers see only your best images. It also allows you to refine the look-and-feel of your pages and gives your website a more structured appearance.
3. Use High-Resolution Images
If you’re being particularly mindful of page load times then you may be tempted to compress your images. Don’t!
The images you use on your website should be high-resolution digital exports. PNG is best, thought high-res JPEG is also an option.
By using only high-resolution images, you’re making sure your photos speak for themselves. That’s what people have come to your website to see, after all. Even if it takes a little longer to load, people will appreciate the fact they’re getting the best idea of the work you can do.
Keeping your images high-res also ensures they look their best on different screens, including retina displays.
4. Include Contact and Pricing Information
The best portfolio in the world isn’t going to mean much if your potential clients can’t get in touch with you.
Include your contact information in the header and footer of your website. It’s also a good idea to have a contact page with a form that can let people send you questions or messages.
If you’re comfortable including pricing on your website also make that easy to find.
Including pricing gives people more incentive to get in touch with you. They’ll have already worked out if they have the budget to afford your services and therefore any messages you receive are more likely to lead to paying customers.
5. Keep Your Content Relevant
It’s all too easy to set up your website, dust your hands off, and then forget you have one. But this is one of the worst things you can do for your business.
Google and other search engines will prioritize websites that are updated with new content regularly. The best thing you can do for your website is run a blog. If you don’t have the time or inclination to blog then at least make sure you’re regularly updating your portfolio with new photography.
Regularly uploading new photos will also give potential customers the best idea of what you can do. Photography is much like any other skill: you get better at it over time. Your most recent work is often also your best work.
6. Keep Your Navigation Simple
Photography websites are usually pretty simple and that’s a good thing. Don’t think you need to get experimental with your layout or navigation to impress people. Less is more, particularly when it comes to website navigation.
Make sure your site navigation is clear, concise, and easy to find. Keeping it in the header is best.
When in your portfolio proper, make sure flipping through your photos is easy and intuitive. Back and forward buttons are a must, but also include ways to skip through your catalog quickly. A series of thumbnails to the bottom or side of your single photo template page is best.
7. Don’t Neglect Your Alt Tags
The alt tag is information included with your HTML image tag. It gives screen readers the fallback text that describes the image, making it accessible to people with disabilities.
The alt tag text is also parsed by search engines. This means that the information you include in the alt tag can contribute to your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
By including alt text on all your images, you’re not only making your content more accessible to potential customers, you’re also helping your photographer website rank on search engines.
8. Keep Contrast High
The background color and layout of your website will depend heavily on your style of photography. It’s a good idea to use a few of your own photos as placeholders as you design so that you can get an idea of what works.
A white background will typically give you less contrast than a black background. Keeping the contrast high is important as it helps make the colors of your photography stand out. This, in turn, makes the photo look more vivid and stunning.
If you decide to go with a dark website design, be careful not to go too uniform. If your website is dark, try making your logo more colorful or vibrant. Also, consider rollover states–they’re a great way to add a pop of color to an otherwise dark website design.
A Well-Designed Photographer Website Is Key
In today’s digital age, having a well-designed website is one of the best things you can do for your photography business. With these 8 design tips, you’ll ensure your portfolio is making the best possible impression on potential customers.
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