During my 2-day business program at CreativeLive, (which kicks off on Monday!!), I’ll be covering a whole section on websites, portfolios, and the impact of layout, navigation, and positioning of your work on your site. I’ll also be giving away some Imagely awesomeness while doing website and portfolio critiques.
One of the simplest tips I can offer upfront, though, is to ask yourself if you wish to be a web designer and coder. If you do not want to be those things, use a template site that is already clean and well-designed and THEN use customization options to make it very much your own. Next level is to tap into WordPress SEO benefits right out of the gate, which isn’t available on many template sites. ALL* of our sites are hosted by Imagely but we have been using their gallery plug-in since we launched our first “real” website. They have a specific download number on their website, but they’ve had something like 17 MILLION downloads of their NextGen Gallery plug-in since its inception, and over 1.3 million active users. So we’re not alone in thinking it’s the best solution for great gallery presentation.
Outside of the fact that they offer beautiful designs and templates – and consistent hosting – the other reason we work with them is because we just like the people who run it, Scott Wyden Kivowitz and Erick Danzer. During the first conversation we ever had, they’d asked what I thought would be most helpful to photographers when selecting a site, and I said that it would be awesome to start with beautiful, well-laid-out themes, easy customization with great plug-in options AND search engine optimization benefits. And that’s pretty much what they created, which is why we switched to them in early 2016. I also love that they offer an annual grant for photographers doing good things in the world.
You can check them out for yourself – and you can use this code “TL30CL” for 30% off on any products at imagely.com. I don’t get any perks for you using it, but they kindly made a promo code when I asked for one to share. NOTE that it’s valid only until 11/20.