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Most photographers often avoid creating a website to showcase their portfolio believing it comes with heavy costs. That used to be the case 10 years ago. But, not anymore. Today, you can build a website for less than $100.
How? With the help of WordPress, of course.
But, what is WordPress, exactly? And why should you use it? Let’s find out.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com) is an open-source software that you can use to build websites on your own. Which means, the software is available to you for free. You can download and use it however you like without any obligations.
28% of all websites on the internet currently gets powered by WordPress. Needless to say, the user base and the community for this software is growing rapidly every day. WordPress also receive constant updates and support from its developers, which will ensure your website will always be secure and follow the latest technologies available.
Before WordPress, building a website used to be an expensive process. Now, you can use this software to build a beautiful website and extend its features as you grow your website without even having to hire a web developer.
WordPress vs Squarespace
One might argue why someone would choose WordPress to build a website when there are easier alternatives to creating websites, such as Squarespace and Weebly.
Even though creating a website with a platform like Squarespace is slightly easier than building a self-hosted website with WordPress, such platforms often limit the features of your website.
For example, Squarespace’s $12 per month personal plan only allows you to create a 20-page website. And you won’t even have many choices to choose a beautiful design for your website either.
Platforms like Squarespace are also controlled by corporations. Which means these organizations have the power to disable or ban your website if they see fit.
WordPress, on the other hand, puts you in full control. You’ll have all the right to create and publish as many pages as you like on your website. And you’ll have access to thousands of themes to find a great design for your website as well.
If that’s not enough, here are a few more reasons to choose WordPress to build your website.
1. WordPress is Affordable
WordPress software itself is free to use. However, it will cost you some money to build and maintain the website. But, don’t worry, you won’t have to break the bank to build a WordPress site. It will cost you less than $100. That’s the cost of 10 cups of coffee.
There are 3 things you need to buy to build your WordPress website:
- Domain Name ($10): You’ll need to buy a domain name to set up your website. This could be a .Com, .Net, or any other domain name you prefer. You can buy a domain name for around $10 from a registrar like Name.com.
- Web Hosting ($3.95 per month): You’ll need web hosting to bring your website online. If you choose a hosting platform like BlueHost, it will only cost around $48 to buy hosting for a full year.
- WordPress Theme (from $50): You’ll need a premium WordPress theme to give your website a professional look. You can find great WordPress themes on aggregator websites like ILoveWP.com.
2. Build And Customize It Yourself
You’ll be able to install WordPress on your web hosting account with just one-click. And then, you’ll be able to easily upload your theme and customize your website all by yourself.
The beauty of using WordPress to build a website is it doesn’t require any experience. After a little bit of playing around, you’ll be able to learn how to set up your website and customize it from the WordPress dashboard. There’s no coding involved.
3. WordPress Websites are Easy to Manage and Update
Posting new photos, adding photo albums, creating new pages, can be done with just a few clicks from the WordPress dashboard. It’s like taking a walk in the park.
You can also manage your content like photo albums and galleries from the WordPress media library. WordPress will also let you know when a new update is available for WordPress database or any of your plugins, then you can update them with a click of a button.
4. Add More Features With Plugins
One of the best features of WordPress is its massive collection of plugins. These plugins allow you to add more features and extend the functionality of your website.
For example, if you wanted to add a beautiful portfolio page to your photography website, you can use a plugin like Photo Gallery by WD to add a stylish responsive image gallery into your portfolio page. Or you can use a slider plugin to add a beautiful image slider to your portfolio page or your homepage.
There are over 50,000 plugins available in the WordPress plugins database.
5. Set Up A Shop To Sell Your Photos
What if you wanted to sell your photos online? You can do it easily with WordPress.
You can sell the photos you take as stock images or as art through your own website. Using an eCommerce plugin, such as WooCommerce, you’ll be able to set up a shop right inside your WordPress website to sell your photos or any other product.
Once you’re done creating the product pages, you can connect your PayPal with WooCommerce to start processing payments. And you’ll have your own online shop up and running in no time.
Just make sure you buy a WordPress theme that supports WooCommerce.
As a photographer, you can leverage the convenience of having a website and use it to your advantage. Having a website to showcase your best work, offer your services, and even sell your products will help you build your identity online. Your website will then become your business card.
A WordPress website with the right photography theme will not only help build your online presence as a photographer but it will also help promote your skills and services as a true professional.