A website is not only an online space to store your photography, it’s also a way to connect with others who love taking pictures too! The best way to start creating your own site is by building a free web hosting account. This will give you the ability to publish content, access resources, and download files freely.
By having your own domain name, you can easily update, edit, and switch up your site’s look and style any time.
Make a plan for your website
Now that you have picked your domain name and web hosting, it’s time to make your first website!
You can either use one of the free websites offered by an internet service provider (ISP) like Google or Yahoo!, or you can pick a pre-made template from one of the many free website design platforms out there.
We recommend starting off with the second option as it will give you a good base to work from and improve upon later. Template sites usually offer easy editing opportunities so that you can add your own style and content into the site.
Many people start off using these templates as their main source of inspiration before developing their own unique style. And while they may look similar at first glance, each person has his/her own personal touch that makes the photos special.
It is totally okay to take your time to develop and perfect your photography style, especially if this is your passion.
Create your website
Now that you have picked your domain name and web hosting, it’s time to pick your favorite tool for creating your online gallery!
Most people use Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom as their main editing software due to ease of use and availability. Both are very good programs that can be used to create beautiful looking photobooks and galleries, but they do cost around $20-30 per individual user. For someone who is starting out with photography and wants to begin sharing his/her work easily, this may be too expensive.
There are many free photo editor apps available such as GIMP which is completely customizable. Some users even say that it is easier to use than some paid ones! This could be helpful for those who feel more comfortable using computers as tools rather than designing them.
After you have designed your website, it is time to link it to all of your online profiles! This means that you must pick one main platform where your website will live (usually referred to as your domain or web hosting company) and then connect it to each account there.
Most people start by linking their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts to their site, but this is not enough!
You should also link your YouTube channel to your site, and then add an About page for your site so users can learn more about you.
Choose a theme for your website
Choosing a theme is an important first step in creating a photography site. Your choice of theme will determine what features you have, how people view your site, and what style your website uses.
The easiest way to choose a theme is by choosing one that you like! The design and content of a site are two very important factors in gaining followers and establishing a presence on social media sites.
If you are looking to start off simple, then picking a free template or pre-made theme can be great starting points. You can easily edit these themes and add your own touches to make it your own.
There are many free WordPress templates available online and through third party app stores. Many of these contain a customizable header, footer, sidebar, and/or page element layouts which can be replaced with your own.
These plugins also usually include rich user settings such as changing the homepage, allowing users to create an account, and more. These can all help give your site some personality and boost its credibility.
Buy a domain name and set up your website
If you have an idea for a new photography site, you can now create it! Starting from scratch with nothing but your browser is totally possible – so don’t feel like you need to be completely designed everything from zero.
It is easy to start creating your own website by buying a domain name and then designing and developing the rest of the site yourself.
Buying a domain name gives you web address-style access to your site (i.e. www.mycoolphotographywebsite.com). It comes with its own free hosting, which means you get space to upload files and other components of the site.
As long as you are comfortable using HTML, CSS, and some basic software such as Microsoft Word or Photoshop, you do not have to worry about being able to design and develop your site. There are many free resources available online that can help you get started.
Install your website’s software
Now that you have all of the equipment, you can begin setting up your new site! The next step is to install your website’s software onto your computer or device.
Most good web hosting companies will give you access to either WordPress or Squarespace as an easy way to create a free photography website. If you go this route, then their software already installed and running for you.
You’ll want to make sure you pick a platform that feels comfortable to you. For example, if you are more creative type than business-minded, choose a simpler editing program like WP. Or, if you are very detail oriented, choose something with lots of features such as Squarespace.
There are many ways to install the app so whichever one you choose really doesn’t matter too much. What does matter is making sure it works for you and your needs.
Connect to your website’s hosting server
Now that you have designed your site, it is time to connect your web browser to your site! You will need to be able to access your site from somewhere where you can type in or find websites such as Google, Facebook, and YouTube.
Most people use WiFi to connect to the internet.
Create your website’s content
Now that you have done some preliminary work like creating an Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account for your business and picking your niche, it is time to start thinking about what kind of content you want to put onto your site.
You can choose to do this yourself or hire someone else to do it for you! Either way, developing your online presence will take up lots of time so be prepared by having enough materials ready.
The most common type of content used in blogs are reviews or lists. A review could be about a product or service or a list could be related to your field or career as a photographer.
A great way to develop your own personal style is to study the works of other professional photographers. Looking at their pictures and studying how they use light, colors, shadows, etc. is a good starting point.
Reading other people’s books and listening to their lectures is another way to learn more about photography. These books and lessons can help you hone your skills and inspire you to create your own unique images.