It’s time for the second part of our list of the most important features of a perfect photographer website. Last week we covered the first half of it, so we hope you’re familiar with it and that we can move forward (in case you missed it, it’s here). So today it’s time for:
- Consider your visitors
- Enable download
- Responsive design
- Function over fashion
- Get second opinion
Designing a website might seem easy but it’s really a lot of details you really need to focus on so that your website is perfect. Let’s go through the rest of the most important elements of it!
Your website has to load quickly and it can’t have any server hiccups (which means the site doesn’t load for a few minutes or even hours). To prevent this you need to work on the performance of the website, invest in a good hosting provider, check and fix broken links and other errors, as well as regularly try some improvements out to make sure everything works well. According to Tutsplus:
71% of the respondents said they would give up after 15 seconds.
As this is extremely short amount of time, check twice (or more) how fast your website loads and make it as quick as possible. You can try i.e. Pingdom to check your loading speed.
Consider your visitors
Your website is the main tool for your visitors to get to know you – you build it mostly form them. Once you have learned what your target audience is (we’ve already discussed why is it important and how to do it), you can adjust the site’s design for them. It’s extremely important if you want them to become your clients after they see your works. As a wedding photographer think of young couples, although it’s usually women who are in charge more, what they expect and they want to see is a website which resembles a wedding – lots of white, flowers and generally an elegant look. For travel photographers it’s best to use a map and some unique shots of well-known places – you can easily have that with Photler website.
Give your photos to your clients exactly the way they want it. It’s best to enable downloading them, because selling them via email or on CDs are quite outdated methods nowadays. Always make sure that it works well and there are no errors. The process has to please your clients, so they’ll come back to you and buy more. It’s also really important for the selling option to be an integral part of your website, easy to find and to go through. Remember that making money is one of the most important features of your website 😉
In the fastly growing photography industry, you need to stand out from the crowd. The best way for that is to show what’s unique in you – your personality. Even if you prefer a minimalistic design, it doesn’t mean your website has to be boring. Express your style in your logo, your about page, icons and your work obviously. It’s really useful to let your visitors get to know you this way. Always use your natural language and from time to time show some behind the scenes photos or stories from your life to gain more trust from the people visiting your website.
Always be clear and open about your prices. Even these days people tend to be surprised about photographers’ prices so it’s best to let them know what to expect. There are a few ways of doing that. You can post your minimum prices for specific services, which gives a general insight into your demands. You can also send the pricing guide via email for people who provide their email addresses. For selling single photos it’s best to put the price below it. No matter the form, it’s absolutely necessary to inform people about your pricing.
Although it’s a bit harder to grow an email list of subscribers than social media followers, this is a group of people who really want and choose to follow your work, not just those who hit “like” for everyone with nice photos. Sending them your new blog posts, information about new services or asking questions is a great way to turn your readers into clients. Mailchimp is a great, easy and free (up to 2000 subscribers) tool for sending newsletters. Don’t forget an eye-catching sign-up box, like ours 😉
Mobile-friendliness is now a must-have in the world of smartphones and tablets. Your website has to properly adjust to every screen size or else people will stop following you. It’s even more important for photographers’ websites to be responsive so browsing photos is pleasant and smooth. As it comes for our blog, more than a half of readers use mobile devices so we always make sure that browsing it works well for them.
Unless you’re a fan of repeating yourself, it’s best to provide the most frequent questions before they’re asked. This section also makes you look helpful, smart and saves both you and your visitors lots of time. For short questions that appear most of the time provide the answers directly in the section. For those which require some more time and place, write blog posts and add a brief answer with a link saying e.g. For more info on that go to the blog post here.
Function over fashion
Functionality of your website is always more important than its design. Focus on making it work perfectly, both technically and practically – no errors and simplicity of use is a must. No matter how much you love that denim pattern or that trendy pink tone, your website needs to please your visitors in every aspect, not just show your preferences. It’s important because only when your visitor likes what he sees and how he browses your site, he’ll become your customer.
Using analytics software is something every photographer and blogger does on their website nowadays (mostly using Google Analytics). But you can’t just watch the stats without any second thoughts. They are your chance to learn what and how you should improve on your website, so you have to take some time to interpret them. Check when the traffic is the best and what type of content did you post on that day and stick with that – some days are better for posting on different platforms. If your bounce rate is getting higher, check if the navigation of the site is easy and calls-to-action are clearly visible. It’s also a great source of info which social media work best for you.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
Get second opinion
As it takes a lot of time and details to take care of to build a perfect website, you may easily miss something after looking on the same thing dozens of times. The best way to avoid that is simply get a second opinion, but you’d better choose someone who knows a thing or two about website building. It’s also helpful to do some tests before launching it – check it on mobile devices and if links work. Building a website with Photler you don’t have to worry about that – we do it for you 😉
That’s it, we made it! Now you know all the most important features of a perfect photographer website. Here’s the first part in case you need a full view again. Make sure your website has it all (or almost all, that’s your website and in the end it’s YOU who make all decisions). Or, if you are just on your way to having one – save those articles for later 😉