Best Website builders for Photographers: Zenfolio and SmugMug and WordPress

Written by: Roger

Website Template Page

The Best Website Builders for Photographers

Photographers have quite a few website builder platforms to choose from. But the question is what website builder platform is the best?

While the right website platform varies for different types of businesses, professional photographers’ needs are unique from other types of professions. 

Photography and art businesses depend on visual content. It’s essential for photographers to choose a website builder that offers customization options and visually compelling layouts to stand out. Additionally, sufficient storage space for images, and features, such as private galleries, online scheduling and e-commerce platform is a must.

Two popular platforms for photographers are: Zenfolio and SmugMug. Both platforms offer features and services that are geared toward the photographer.

However, another option on the table is WordPress. WordPress has been around since 2003. While it started as mainly a blogging platform is has now exploded to power almost 40% of the internet! If you have read any of my other posts you will know I really enjoy using WordPress, especially paired with Divi!

Let’s briefly look at these popular photo website builders to find out what website builder is best for professional photographers.  While some options differ when it comes to maximum image size, storage space and online features, overall, they offer top-notch options for artists and photographers. 

Here is an overview of what to expect when you make use of SmugMug, Zenfolio and WordPress.

SmugMug home page
SmugMug Home Page

SmugMug

SmugMug is known as the home for photographers, and was developed to accommodate photographer’s needs. 

This website builder offers an easy and quick way to display and sell your photos online. What make this website builder distinct is its photography-focused features. This includes unlimited photos upload with cloud storage, e-commerce optimization, the ability to add custom watermarks to protect your photos and in-built printing services so that website visitors can order images directly from the website. 

SmugMug also supports connection with users’ own domain names. Unlike other website builders, there is no free version offered. However, there is a free trial which allows you 14 days to give it a try. If you decide around that period that SmugMug is the right website builder for you, there are different price plans, which meet different types of skill level needs.

Woman holding child and walking through field of flowers
Zenfolio homepage

Zenfolio

Zenfolio states it’s the number one website builder voted by experienced and professional photographers. One of the major attractions for Zenfolio is its well-considered toolset, which helps photography businesses grow. Its features focus not only on the user, but their clients too.

One thing that helps Zenfolio stand out is that it offers different templates to enhance your brand and lets you stand out. Photo galleries are easy and quick to upload, with password protection which is available based on how and who you want to share them with. 

Zenfolio offers a payment system, image protection guarantee and you get unlimited storage for all RAW files.  

Additionally, Zenfolio automatically adjusts image sizes to suit devices and image optimization to make browsing photo collections the best experience it can be. The pricing plan is as low as $5 per month which makes this website builder a unique one.

wordpress logo
WordPress Logo

WordPress: Another Option for Photographers 

WordPress provides the most customizations features, tools and features of any website builder. Therefore, it’s a solid choice for photographers who want a website that works as a complete business. (Do remember, though, that there is .com and .org WordPress, I am talking about the .org version of WP)

Since WordPress is an open-source platform, developers can create custom plugins that can meet their photography needs. These offer you the ability to choose the right tools for your photography business. It’s sort of like those old iPhone ads, instead of Apps though, there’s a ‘plugin for that’. Whether you want client proofing, an online booking system or an e-commerce platform, WordPress has it all.

WordPress offers several plugins and integrations, which gives you the tools you need. Therefore, if you want to share your photos across social media platforms, or set up an appointment calendar, or shop for ordering prints, you can do that.

Conclusion

A photographer needs more than just a website that has their pictures on the web, but a website that showcases their work, allows them to edit their content easily and also generates leads for further business. As a photographer, it’s important to make your work look professional, and minimize the effort of running your business, so you can focus on what matters.

Over the next few posts we are going to look at Zenfolio and SmugMug in a little more detail as we compare them to WordPress. Hopefully, this will help you in choosing the best website builder for your photography business.

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