Now that you have your portfolio together, you’ll need an online presence to showcase them. It’s always nice to have actual prints to show, but these days a website gallery is more important. There are lots of companies that put together websites for photographers for a very reasonable price. The focus is now on websites that you can control yourself, so as your portfolio changes, you can easily adapt your website to showcase your most recent work. One thing to be careful of is flash sites. Despite the promises that these sites are SEO friendly, they are NOT. You will not get search traffic through a flash site, period. So if you have the choice, avoid flash sites at all costs. Here are some companies to check out:
Photocrati is designed to be a photographer’s website, and it is actually built on top of WordPress, which is a blogging platform. This is ideal, because a blog allows you to post new work as frequently as you like, and it’s very easy for non-techies to handle. So it’s basically a blog but with added features such as a landing page, galleries and a shopping cart. For under $100, I think this is one of the best deals out there. You can have your website up in less than a day, even if you know very little about blogging & websites. This would be my top choice.
Blu Domain is a template website company, meaning that you can choose from different styles and then drag and drop your images into the framework. Again, very simple to use and a lot of professional photographers use this company due to the ease of use. However, due to their extreme popularity, sometimes the customer service is not very strong.
This company designs gorgeous, simple sites using both templates and custom design. However, I cannot recommend them due to the fact that they are entirely built on flash. Flash sites have little to no SEO and for a website, that is very important if you want anyone to ever be able to find your site in a google search. The other disadvantage of a Livebooks site is the expense. Why pay thousands when you can get something that is easier to use, faster to load, and findable by search engines for under $100? Doesn’t make sense to me…the other thing to consider is that LiveBooks has a history of struggling to provide customer service. They do not offer a phone number and can take days and weeks to respond to emails. So if you need a service you can get in touch with, you’ll want to consider this.