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Best website builder for photographers – top picks for shutterbugs


Professional photographers, hobbyists, and shutterbugs: if Instagram has been your only stomping ground for way too long, it’s time to build an online home for your snaps.

The easiest way to do so? With a website builder, of course.

In this article, I’ve rounded up the best websites for photographers in the market. These builders will help you to make a name for yourself online. You can do that by selling your prints, adding streamlined booking sessions, or simply showcasing your work. You could even say that by implementing these features, these builders are... picture-perfect. So, let’s dive in.

The choice is yours – you can navigate through this article by either reading it as a whole, clicking the links in the overview below, or clicking here to go straight to the conclusion.

Best website builder for photographers: overview

  1. Wix – best overall builder for photographers
  2. Squarespace – visual focused site for photographers
  3. Zenfolio – photography centered builder
  4. SITE123 – effortless website builder for photographers
  5. Zyro – affordable website builder for photography
  6. SmugMug – incredible integrations for photographers
  7. Shopify – eCommerce platform suitable for photography
  8. GoDaddy – best website builder for photographers’ business

By the way, your picture perfect website builder might come with an amazing discount for Black Friday 2021 – see more in our list of best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

1. Wix – the best website builder for photographers overall

Upload storage500 MB to 50 GB
FeaturesPhotography website templates, thousands of apps
Templates700+
Best forDesign and editing freedom

One of the most recognizable names in the industry, Wix is the top pick for the best website builder for photographers. The platform sets a high bar with its apps curated for photography (such as galleries and art store integrations) as well as its enormous selection of themes, making it one of the best website builders overall and for specific audiences.

Making a photography website with Wix

There are dozens of photography-focused builders around, but Wix, a builder suited for all types of websites, is still at the top of this curated list. No, it’s not a mistake and, yes, I did my research. So, let me explain how Wix earned its place at the top of the food chain.

Well, for starters, Wix has a boatload of tools and features – many of which can help to simplify and boost photography websites.

Wix offers two options when creating a website, the Artificial Design Intelligence editor (which creates a website based on your answers to given questions) and its regular Editor. I’ve tried both options to create a photography website and they both are as easy as they can be. Not to mention, the results are equally visually appealing.

wix site creation

With the ADI, the system will create a website for you based on your answers to a few questions. From my experience, the questions are mostly just to gauge your taste as well as preferences. For instance, things like the type of site you’re building and your style preference.

wix adi themes

Once you’re done, the system will spit out a website in mere minutes. I’m more than satisfied with the wait time as I got my ADI-generated website in less than half a minute.

Plus, I like that you can have your photography website up with zero fuss. No messing around with complex editor and design tools is necessary. Of course, this also means that the editing that you can do here is somewhat limited.

wix adi editor

Normally, I’d raise hell about this but, in this case, I find the limitations rather comforting. A huge part of this is because there’s simply not much that I’d want to change.

Sure, I did customize certain things like tagline and logo but nothing huge or time-consuming. I’m more than happy with what the ADI handed me – the design and layout look fresh, modern, and attractive.

wix adi design example

Additionally, I’m sure the photographers who are looking for a simple way to showcase their work will find the ADI to be a blessing. Since there aren’t a ton of editing options and everything is streamlined, the setup/building process isn’t all that overwhelming.

Now, with the Wix Editor, you have a much more active role in building your site. Here, you first choose from 800+ templates. And, since my curiosity got the best of me, I trawled through all of them.

I can confirm that the templates are pretty good-looking. Even better, quite a number of them are created especially for photography websites. Clean, minimalistic, and contemporary – they’re great to highlight your shots.

wix templates

Plus, another thing I appreciate here is that Wix allows you to filter by the types of photography. So, if you don’t want to give your finger a workout with endless scrolling, you can just zero in on your specialization.

wix photography templates

Once you’ve settled on a theme, you’re free to customize your site with Wix’s drag-and-drop editor. This is where you can add all of your photography features, contact form solutions, and more.

I’m not going to lie, at first glance, I was taken aback and overwhelmed by the sheer number of elements/components. There were too many things going on.

wix regular editor

But, after a closer look, I ended up finding the editor to be very intuitive. And, while the many customization options are initially a little overpowering, I now find them indispensable. They even became one of my favorite things about Wix.

If you’re still not so sure which editor to pick, you can read our Wix review here and see both of them in action.

In any case, regardless of whether you opt for Wix ADI or Editor, you’ll still get access to what I think is one of Wix’s main appeals: its thousands of apps. See, the builder has scores of built-in applications – many of them can help to boost photography websites.

This includes:

  • 30+ media galleries for your shots and videos.
  • Various eCommerce tools if you’re interested in selling your photos.
  • SEO tools to rank higher on search engines.
  • Marketing tools to attract more clients.
  • Booking services/calendar to streamline your schedule.

I also took a look at Wix App Market, which is meant to complement the built-in apps. Right off the bat, I can tell that I’m a fan. There are tons of options to basically transform a basic photography site into an all-in-one site.

Some examples include:

  • Art Store – to showcase and sell digital/printed shots.
  • Virtual Tours – to add 360° virtual tours to your site.
  • Fulfillment – such as Printful, Printify, and ShipBob.
  • Communication – including live chat, testimonial slider, and forum.
wix apps for photography

Fair warning, though, some of these apps only have paid versions. So, if you’re like me and tempted to try every single one of them, the cost of your photography website is going to balloon up – by a lot.

Visually compelling, user-friendly, and feature-rich – I’d say that Wix has proven its mettle as the best website builder for photographers.

Pricing

Speaking of cost, let’s talk about Wix’s pricing. If you’re only using the website as a portfolio to showcase your work and have no intention of selling online, Wix offers 4 plans:

  • Connect Domain ($4.50 a month) – 500 MB of storage, basic website building
  • Combo ($8.50 a month) – 2 GB of storage, no Wix ads on your site
  • Unlimited ($12.50 a month) – 10 GB of storage, site booster app
  • VIP ($24.50 a month) – 35 GB of storage, professional logo, priority customer care

I would recommend shelling out for at least Unlimited considering the resources-intensive nature of photography websites.

On the other hand, you’ll need one of Wix’s Business & eCommerce plans if you want to accept online payments and dabble in eCommerce. There are 3 options:

  • Business Basic ($17 a month) – 20 GB of storage, 5 video hours, customer accounts
  • Business Unlimited ($25 a month) – 35 GB of storage, 10 video hours, $300 ad voucher
  • Business VIP ($35 a month) – 50 GB of storage, unlimited video hours, customized reports

Overall, I’d have preferred for Wix to be cheaper. But, frankly, considering the resources and extensive features, I’m not inclined to give it much grief.

2. Squarespace – stylish website builder for photographers

squarespace
Upload storageUnlimited
FeaturesPhotography templates, business tools
Templates110+
Best forDesign and editing freedom

If you’re looking for the most fashionable home for your photos, Squarespace is the one. The builder might have enticed many photographers with its attention to visual design but it’s also making waves thanks to its intuitive dashboard and features suited for photographers, such as managing events and bookings.

Making a photography website with Squarespace

Looks are everything when it comes to photography websites. Not only will your site be the home for your shots but it also reflects your style and approach. Think about it this way: will you hire a photographer whose website is bleak and just, well, plain ugly?

I know I wouldn’t because that’s a massive red flag. It tells me that the photographer’s style is not compatible with my own. Plus, it also tells me that the photographer lacks attention to detail.

Now, of course, you might be a superstar photographer but just aren’t familiar enough with web design to cook up a stunning website. Well, in that case, you’d want the visually-striking Squarespace to do the heavy lifting for you.

The builder has, by far, the most attractive collection of templates I’ve ever seen. Modern, clean, and simply beautiful – there’s not a single dud here. These templates are one of the reasons why Squarespace is on the top of our list for best website builders for artists.

squarespace templates 2
squarespace templates 3

There are also quite a number of purpose-built photography templates. And, I like that Squarespace diversifies the category. So, you’ll be able to find a suitable template whether you focus on architecture, events, landscapes, or people.

On top of that, I must also give props to the carefully thought-out templates. Here, your photos are the highlights and at the front and center of everything. The background/design is just to complement and not to distract.

squarespace templates for photographers
squarespace templates for photographers 2

Of course, the elements and components within are editable with Squarespace’s drag-and-drop editor. I gave the editor a try to see if it’s worth it, and I must say, I am very pleased with it.

squarespace portfolio creation

The editor is intuitive, clean, and well-organized. Things like adding as well as customizing texts, buttons, fonts, and elements are as easy as ABC. It’s absolutely foolproof and I have no doubt that even a total newbie will have zero trouble navigating the editor.

squarespace portfolio editing

Now, Squarespace might have gotten its foot in the door courtesy of its striking visuals but a pretty face has its limitations. So, I’m glad to see that the builder isn’t resting on its laurels. Instead, the builder doesn’t rest even when it comes to management and functions.

To begin with, Squarespace’s interface houses multiple features and tools. That’s everything from design and settings to marketing and analytics.

squarespace interface

Among the functionalities worth mentioning are:

  • Customers, orders, and inventory management.
  • Payment, shipping, and taxes management.
  • Email campaigns, SEO tools, and social media integration.

The interface is straightforward and thoughtfully structured. I find that the organization is excellent and everything makes sense. You can easily zoom in on the functionalities that you need and ignore those that you don’t need.

Plus, you should be able to master the interface in just a short while. I took a few minutes to explore but that’s about all I need to feel right at home with the interface.

With all of these features and tools readily available to you, you can easily create a one-stop home for your photography business. You can build a photography blog, or every easily move in a different direction. This builder makes it very simple to shift around – as we explained on the Squarespace review here.

For instance, you may have started out just intending to showcase your work. But, you can just as easily schedule clients, manage bookings, and simplify the hiring process via Squarespace. Plus, you can even incorporate eCommerce by selling your prints and merchandise.

This makes the builder ideal for those looking to streamline their photography business. It’s also great for those of you looking to create the best photographer websites without spending weeks and months tweaking every single detail. Here, Squarespace has taken care of the work for you.

As a whole, Squarespace cements its place as one of the top websites for photographers with its gorgeous design, intuitive control center, and rich features.

Pricing

So, what is it going to cost you to have everything in the palm of your hand? Well, Squarespace isn’t inexpensive but I’m also not going to cry either.

The builder offers 4 plans:

  • Personal ($12 a month) – unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Business ($18 a month) – advanced analytics and eCommerce with a 3% fee
  • Basic Commerce ($26 a month) – customer accounts and professional emails as well as no fee for eCommerce
  • Advanced Commerce ($40 a month) – selling subscriptions and abandoned cart recovery

As is typical, the entry plan is considerably more limited when it comes to features. Having said that, any of the 4 plans will do if you’re just looking to showcase your work.

But, if you intend to venture into selling your work online, I’d recommend shelling out for at least Basic Commerce or even Advanced Commerce. These 2 plans come with a range of integrated eCommerce tools and bonuses that would be helpful to selling online.

3. Zenfolio – photography-centered website builder

Zenfolio
Upload storage15 GB to unlimited
FeaturesRAW image uploading, printing labs
Templates20+
Best forSelling your images

If you think that regular website builders wouldn’t be able to meet all your photography needs, then you might want to turn to Zenfolio. A website builder that focuses primarily on photography, it offers plenty of field-specific tools and features, such as watermarks and a Lightroom plugin for easy picture uploading.

Making a photography website with Zenfolio

If ever there’s a website builder that’s serious about photography, it’s Zenfolio. The builder makes no secret of the fact that it’s built with photographers – and only photographers – in mind. Hence, everything about the builder revolves around one thing: creating an all-in-one platform to showcase, share, and sell photography.

This single-minded focus on the niche is also precisely how Zenfolio squeezed itself into my list of the best website builder for photographers. So, let’s talk a little bit about Zenfolio’s photography-focused offerings.

For starters, I have to, of course, talk about looks because photography is all about visuals. This is a good thing because Zenfolio has some very attractive templates. Uncluttered, minimalistic, and contemporary – they effortlessly display your work.

zenfolio templates

On top of that, I really appreciate that when you’re browsing Zenfolio’s templates and you hover over each of them, there will be a brief description of the template as well as what it’s good for. I find the short elaborations pretty helpful in giving me an idea of what each template’s selling point is.

zenfolio templates description

But, here comes the bad news, so, brace yourself. Zenfolio only has a grand total of – drum roll, please – 11 templates (not to mention, only 7 are available for the regular $5 plan users).

Now, I do recognize that Zenfolio is on a mission to make it easy to create websites for photographers – it’s the main thing our review focuses on. Still, the lack of selection doesn’t exactly give the impression of streamlining and keeping things simple. Instead, it just feels incomplete and l found myself constantly checking if they’ve added more options to the collection.

Having said that, I must admit that my disappointment over the lack of template options was appeased when I saw its editor. The main reason for this is that Zenfolio allows you to customize your layout quite significantly. And, a fair bit of the customization centers on how to highlight your snaps better.

zenfolio customization center

As for the editor itself, it feels somewhat old-school to me and lacks the sleekness and polish of, say, Wix and Squarespace. But, it’s simple enough to use and shouldn’t cause you too much trouble – even if you’re a total rookie.

zenfolio editor example

Moving on, let’s talk about Zenfolio’s features that are tailored for photography websites. From my standpoint, this is where Zenfolio shines the brightest as it knows exactly what the best photographer websites should entail.

To begin with, Zenfolio has made it very easy to upload and manage your photos. For instance, you can upload and store full-quality RAW images. There’s no need to convert and deal with subpar JPEG compression. Plus, there’s a batch uploader, which allows you to drag and drop a bunch of files to upload simultaneously.

On top of that, I also take a shine to the fact that Zenfolio has some measures in place to ensure the security and protection of your work. This includes custom and pre-designed watermarks, password-protected and limited-access galleries and photos, and right-click copy protection.

Plus, there are quite a few features to cater to your photography clients as well. One of my personal favorites that I think is very handy is the client access page for proofing. Here, you can give your potential clients special access to view the photos you have taken for them.

Other noteworthy features include:

  • Support of digital sales and downloads.
  • Integrated shopping carts.
  • Social media integration.
  • SEO tools.
  • Website visitor email capture.

Beyond that, there’s also an option to integrate BookMe – an online scheduling and booking app. With BookMe, you can access various booking, scheduling, and payment features, including:

  • Bookings management.
  • Calendar and availability syncing.
  • Flexible invoicing.
  • Stripe integration.
zenfolio bookme

These functionalities are all very handy ones and I can see getting quite a bit of mileage out of them. But, here’s the catch: BookMe is a paid add-on. You’ll need to fork out an additional $10/mo for it.

I find that a bit steep considering that it’s a recurring cost. But, if you have the funds and are willing to spend them to make life easier for yourself, I’d say go ahead!

Overall, Zenfolio is a solid option for a photography website with its many features that help you to display and monetize your work.

Pricing

Zenfolio offers three pricing plans – two suited better for smaller photographers and one tailored to professional photographers.

  • Portfolio ($5 a month) – 15 GB storage, one-page website, people filter
  • Portfolio Plus ($12 a month) – 100 GB storage, multiple page website, selling digital downloads, and built-in shopping card processing
  • ProSuite ($25 a month) – 1TB storage, automated client marketing campaigns, integrated calendaring, invoicing, and payment solutions

Zenfolio Portfolio is technically not aimed at professionals. However, I can confidently say that if you’re on a budget, it would still work. Evaluate your budget and skills and choose the plan that would fulfill all your needs.

4. SITE123 – user-friendly website for photographers

site123
Upload storage250 MB to 270 GB
FeaturesPre-designed blocks for photographers
Templates160+
Best forSuperior ease of use

If ease of use is a must-have for you before you crown the best website builder for photographers, SITE123 is the one for you. Simplistic and easy to navigate, you can set up your site quickly. Plus, the builder’s features, such as creating custom album categories and galleries prove to be a pull.

Making a photography website with SITE123

When it comes to photography websites, SITE123 promises that it’s “by far the easiest photography website builder.”

For starters, its setup process is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Here, all you need to do is select your website type and the system will generate a website for you.

setting up site123

The website is good to go as soon as you’ve uploaded your content. There’s absolutely no technical know-how necessary. And, I must say, I’m a huge fan of this no-nonsense approach. It’s fast and it’s easy – I got my site up in less than 30 minutes.

I’m sure this is music to your ears if you’re new to website building or even if you’re just short on time.

Beyond the setup, SITE123’s ease of use is also reflected in its site customization process.

First, though, there’s a little bit of confusion here – so let’s clear it up now. See, SITE123 will tell you that it has a bunch of templates. That’s technically true.

site123 templates

But, here’s the thing: if you take a closer look, you’ll soon find out that these templates – while modern and attractive – are very similar to each other. Let me tell you why.

After some exploring, I found out that while SITE123 refers to them as templates, these “templates” are just different arrangements of dozens of content blocks.

At this point, you might say, what does this mean for me?

Well, it means that you can choose a pre-designed arrangement that you like – also known as a template – if you don’t want to spend hours tweaking everything. This is great for those of you who just want an easy way to get your photography site up quickly.

site123 portfolio setup

Alternatively, it also means that you can combine different blocks according to your preference to create your website. Needless to say, you can always rearrange the order of the blocks here.

Personally, I’d go with the latter. It’s easy enough to combine and arrange the blocks to get an attractive and workable layout.

Apart from that, you don’t get all that many editing options with SITE123 – with great ease of use come great limitations, as explained in the SITE123 review. Sure, you can edit things like fonts and colors but not much else. What the block system does is that it affords you more freedom so that you aren’t bound by the unyielding structure of a template.

Plus, on the other end of the spectrum, the block system’s limitations may also be beneficial for some as it works as a sort of guidance. Since you can’t drag and drop different elements onto your site, beginners can get a feel of the basics of web design.

As for the editor itself, it’s intuitive and straightforward. And, I always appreciate a well-organized interface. In this case, all the editing tools are neatly clustered to the left – keeping everything clean and streamlined.

site123 editing interface

Overall, with SITE123’s ease of use and unique website building system, I’d say that it’s one of the best websites for photographers who want a no-fuss solution.

Pricing

At this time, you’re probably wondering what’s SITE123 going to cost you. SITE123 offers one free plan and initially, one premium plan:

  • Free – 250 MB of storage, SITE123 floating tag
  • Premium ($12.80 a month) – 10 GB of storage, eCommerce functionality

The thing is, when you’re an existing user of SITE123, additional premium plans unlock:

  • Advanced ($19.80 a month) – 30 GB of storage, no ads, mailbox
  • Professional ($28.80 a month) – 90 GB of storage, 5 mailboxes
  • Gold ($34.80 a month) – 270 GB of storage, 10 mailboxes

I’d suggest going for at least Advanced. This is because Premium comes with only 10GB of storage – which is far from enough for photography websites. Plus, there will also be a SITE123 tag on the footer of your site if you go for Premium. Frankly, that just screams unprofessional to me.

However, if you’d also like to sell online – be it your photos or merchandise – just Advanced isn’t going to do as it doesn’t support eCommerce. In this case, you’d do well to upgrade to at least Professional.

5. Zyro – affordable websites for photographers

Zyro user interface
Upload storage1 GB to unlimited
FeaturesQuick website setup, smart AI tools
Templates130+
Best forBudget photo portfolio websites

Another entry in the best website builder for photographers list is Zyro. The platform is relatively new but it has made a name for itself by simplifying and accelerating the website creation process. Plus, it includes beautiful picture-centered templates, and excellent AI business tools – at a price, several times lower than its closest competitors.

Making a photography website with Zyro

Zyro is somewhat new to the scene but it has displayed all signs that it has the potential to take on the top dogs soon. Let me break down why.

To begin with, you can create a visually pleasing photography website in just a couple of minutes – making this perhaps the fastest option on this list and a favorite of busy bees.

See, Zyro lets you build a website either via a template or its AI website generator. According to the builder, the AI website generator route is the easier one. Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise: they are both as easy and as speedy as they can be.

zyro website creation

The template option would suit those who have a clearer vision of what their sites should look like. Here, all you have to do is choose a template. They all are extremely visually appealing, modern, and sleek with a huge focus on images.

zyro template 1
zyro template 2
zyro template 3

Meanwhile, if you take the AI generator route, you’ll need to enter your website category and the functions you need before the system spits out 3 options for your choosing.

zyro ai templates

Regardless of whether you opt for templates or the AI generator, you should be done in just a few minutes. Both options took me less than 3 minutes and part of that was only because I was a bit undecided over some minor stylistic decisions. Otherwise, I’m certain I could shave the time down even more.

Both solutions also allow for customizations with Zyro’s drag-and-drop website builder. It’s one of the best ones I have ever tried.

It’s intuitive, easy, and everything you want to see in an editor. The configurations are neatly arranged on your left – leaving you ample space to tweak and edit. You can easily add and edit things like texts, layout, design, and elements – without knowing a single line of code.

zyro editing elements

As you’re editing, you’ll also notice that Zyro uses the grid system. Here, the grid works as a sort of guideline as the elements will snap right into place whenever you move them. This helps to keep the different elements clean and organized – even when they’re different sizes.

zyro section editing

As I see it, you do lose a tad bit of flexibility with the grid system. But, surprisingly I’m not all that bothered by the loss while I’m editing my website. Instead, I was too busy admiring how smoothly the editor runs.

I’m certain many will also appreciate this foolproof method of web design. This will be especially true for those who are less experienced with design but still want a good-looking home for their snaps.

Moving on, I want to touch on Zyro’s tools and features. The builder has all the typical handy features if you intend to use your photography site for more than just a platform to display your work – inventory management, shipping automation, and CRM tools.

Besides that, Zyro also has AI tools to boost your photography site. Among them are the logo maker, content generator, image enhancer, and photo resizer. Now, I’ve tried the majority of them to see if they’re any help or just gimmicks.

zyro content generator

Frankly, the results vary. Some tools such as the content generator and resizer fare better while others, for example, heat map, to some might feel like a gimmick – you can find out more about them on our Zyro review and form your own opinion.

zyro ai heatmap

Overall, Zyro impressed me with its swift setup process, excellent editor, and convenient features.

Pricing

Zyro’s appeal, however, isn’t limited to just its quick setup and handy features. In fact, I’d say that its main appeal is that Zyro is extremely cheap.

The builder has 4 plans:

  • Basic ($2.61 a month) – 1 GB of storage, AI tools
  • Unleashed ($1.71 a month) – unlimited storage, visitor live chat, embed code
  • eCommerce ($8.01 a month) – unlimited storage, 100 products, visitors remarketing
  • eCommerce Plus ($13.41 a month) – unlimited storage, unlimited products

If you just need a photography portfolio, the Unleashed plan is going to be just about enough – it's excellent, at a really low price. But, you’ll need to get eCommerce or eCommerce Plus if you’re looking to sell online.

Either way, the builder is the cheapest option on this list of the best website builder for photographers. It’s practically heaven-sent if you want to build your site without substantial investment.

6. SmugMug – simple and effective tools for photographers

Upload storageUnlimited
FeaturesPrint labs, watermarks, client pages
Templates20+
Best forProfessional photography sites

If you live and breathe photography and want a platform that can match your passion and intensity, it has to be SmugMug. Built specifically for photographers, SmugMug captures attention with its many features that help to store, share, and sell photos.

Making a photography website with SmugMug

Some website builders cast a wide net – catering to anyone and everyone. Meanwhile, others go niche and zero in on just one target audience.

In SmugMug’s case, it’s the latter. The platform is built with professional photographers in mind and it never strayed far from this. So, if you explore around, you’ll see that its features are all photography-focused or designed to make life easier for photographers.

For starters, SmugMug provides drag-and-drop photo organization, bulk image management, zero-compression photo storage, and a few image editing tools. These are, of course, pretty basic features but sadly not all builders provide them.

smugmug photo editing

Then, there are also the more buzzworthy features. Off the top of my head, there are 2. The first one is SmugMug’s Adobe Lightroom integration, which I find incredibly helpful in simplifying a photographer’s workflow.

With the plugin, you can:

  • Manage your SmugMug site through Lightroom. You can create categories, subcategories, and galleries directly through Lightroom’s Publish Services.
  • Edit photos in Lightroom and replace the previously uploaded images on SmugMug with the new photos with just a click.
  • Easily pull your client’s favorite shots and sync their selection to Lightroom.

On top of that, I’m certain you’d find SmugMug’s eCommerce features helpful if you’re looking to monetize and sell your prints via your site. I know I did.

I especially like SmugMug’s many dropshipping options. Here, you can have your printed photos and merchandise shipped directly from SmugMug’s partners to your customers.

There’s no need for you to stock up and hoard merchandise/prints. Plus, you can wash your hands off troublesome shipping management and focus on your photography pursuit instead. Leave it all to SmugMug’s partners who will do the boring work on your behalf.

Additionally, I’m a fan of SmugMug’s many security measures, too. The builder knows a photographer’s pain points and makes sure to address them. Among the most helpful features are:

  • Custom privacy controls for every photo.
  • Watermarks and right-click protection.
  • Password protection for photos, galleries, and pages.
  • Automatic backups.

The only shortfall in terms of features that I see with SmugMug is its serious lack of SEO and marketing tools. Sure, you have things like site maps and meta descriptions but that’s about it. If you’re hoping for more features – even simple ones like email campaigns or integrated social media – you can forget about it.

Hence, SmugMug might not be the best option unless you already have an established audience. Alternatively, you have to have other means to attract traffic.

Speaking of shortfalls, I have to mention SmugMug’s user interface and editor.

To put it simply, they’re unnecessarily complicated. For starters, both are difficult to navigate and not as responsive as I’d like them to be. Plus, appearance-wise, both the builder and the editor come across as rather outdated – and not in a retro way.

There also are certain restrictions for certain elements. The bad news is that you have no idea which elements are restricted and what are the restrictions until you have thoroughly mastered the editor.

smugmug editing interface

That said, it shouldn’t take all that long to familiarize yourself with the interface. It took me a couple of hours before I got it down pat, which isn’t all that bad. SmugMug is considered to be a simple and photography-centered solution – this SmugMug review will tell you exactly why.

In brief, with its ample photography-centered features, it’s really no surprise that many think of SmugMug as the best website builder for photographers.

Pricing

So, what’s the price of this niche-focused builder? Surprisingly, not as bad as I’d feared.

SmugMug offers 4 plans:

  • Basic ($8 a month) – unlimited storage, privacy and control settings
  • Power ($13 a month) – unlimited storage, advanced privacy settings, complete customization
  • Portfolio ($32 a month) – unlimited storage, watermark protection, integrated sales tools
  • Pro ($50 a month) – unlimited storage, custom photo and gallery pricing, marketing promotions

If you’re looking to sell via your photography site and would like integrated sales and order fulfillment tools, you’ll need to upgrade to at least Portfolio. On the other hand, if you’re using the site as a sort of calling card, I’d suggest Power. It’s not exorbitant but you’ll still be able to enjoy some of SmugMug’s best features.

Besides – all SmugMug plans include unlimited storage space. No one's complaining about that, right?

7. Shopify – the eCommerce-centered platform for photographers

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Shopify.jpg
Upload storageUnlimited
FeatureseCommerce tools, print-on-demand
Templates70+
Best forPhotography-based businesses

If you’re a photographer who’s also venturing into entrepreneuring, Shopify is a good fit for you. The platform offers plenty of sales features to help you sell photography online. Plus, Shopify’s ease of use and massive app stores are both certainly attractive as well.

Making a photography website with Shopify

Shopify? An eCommerce platform as the best website builder for photographers?

No, I haven’t gone mad. Not yet, anyway. So, let me explain why wildcard Shopify has made its way into this list.

For starters, Shopify has all the tools you need to run and grow your photography business – whatever your goals may be.

Say, for instance, you’re looking to sell your photos online. Well, you know Shopify is going to deliver because this is its turf. Among its more handy sales features are:

  • Inventory and order management.
  • Multiple payment options and accelerated checkouts.
  • Automatic shipping and tax rates.
  • Customers’ information management.

But, I like that Shopify doesn’t just stop with eCommerce features. Instead, it’s well-rounded – with features covering every vital aspect.

For example, if you want your photography site to attract more traffic, Shopify also has a range of SEO and marketing tools to make this happen. This includes social media integration, email marketing campaigns, and analytics.

shopify analytics

And, if for whatever reason you need even more functionalities, I’d suggest hitting the Shopify App Store. I took a look around and, oh boy, was I tempted to try every single app.

Here, Shopify will test your willpower with over 6000 third-party apps from various categories. There’s everything from marketing and inventory to reporting and productivity. Essentially, there’s everything you need to run your photography site.

shopify apps for photographers

However, despite all these features, I still find Shopify extremely easy to use and navigate. Because everything is so straightforward and intuitive, there isn’t much of a learning curve. So, newbies and those of you who are worried about using an eCommerce-centered platform for photography, you can calm your racing heart now.

All things considered, Shopify is a very fine investment for your photography business with its extensive features covering all aspects.

Pricing

Everything seems perfect, doesn’t it? There’s a catch, though, because… well, there’s always a catch. I’m not even going to sugarcoat it: Shopify is expensive.

The company offers 3 plans:

  • Basic ($29 a month) – unlimited storage, unlimited products
  • Shopify ($79 a month) – unlimited storage, unlimited products, 5 staff accounts
  • Advanced ($299 a month) – unlimited storage, unlimited products, 15 staff accounts

Even if you opt for the cheapest plan – which should be enough for most photography websites – that’s quite a price tag. Plus, if you’re itching to adorn your website with third-party apps and a fancy theme, that will cost extra.

Sure, you can forego the apps since Shopify has an array of great built-in features. But, you likely need a paid theme. See, Shopify has over 70 themes but only 9 of them are free. Others would cost you between $100 and $180 each.

shopify templates

And, in the name of research, I tried to see if I could edit one of the free themes to find out if it’s possible to get around the hefty price tag of a paid one. Well, the result is hit-and-miss.

Here’s the thing, you can edit everything on your site and I even find the editor to be quite a pleasure. But, frankly, you can only get so far without, at least, basic coding knowledge.

So, objectively, you only have a few options here if you aren’t familiar with coding: settle for a free theme, pay for a paid theme, learn to code, or pay someone else to do it for you.

8. GoDaddy – business-focused website builder for photographers

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GoDaddy-1.jpg
Upload storage$17
FeaturesPhotography website templates, thousands of apps
TemplatesYes
Best forDesign and editing freedom

If you’re searching for a no-nonsense builder for your photography website, GoDaddy might be a good match for you. The company rakes in users with its easy-to-use platform that comes with plenty of business features and outstanding built-in marketing tools to sell online.

Making a photography website with GoDaddy

Now, if you’re just like me and cannot boast patience as one of your virtues, you might want to give GoDaddy a try. Here, you can get a GoDaddy photography site up and ready for business in about 30 minutes. That’s including time spent on customizations.

Its setup process consists of just 2 steps, really: choose a category and give your site a name. And just like that, the system will spit out a site for you. It’s not a surprise that one of the main pros for GoDaddy is its ease of use when it comes to setting your site up.

I must say that I’m a fan of how brisk everything is. Plus, as there’s no need to choose anything beyond the category, I get a reprieve from decision fatigue. I’d count that as a huge win.

godaddy builder setup

At this point, those of you who just want a site up quickly can do a little celebratory dance because you’re good to publish your site. Well, after you have tweaked the necessary things like headline and contacts, of course.

godaddy editor

But, if you want to have a little fun and customize/edit your site, you can do so with GoDaddy’s editor. I never say no to fun so I did roam around and try out various tools on the editor.

I’m impressed that GoDaddy allows for quite a bit of customization – especially when it comes to design and style.

You can configure things like color mode on a gradient, layouts, image dimension, and even the entire theme. Considering the visual-focused nature of photography, I do appreciate this flexibility.

godaddy site configuration

Plus, the editor is easy to navigate – you’ll not have to waste time cracking the code yet again.

Besides its ease of use, I’m also a sucker for GoDaddy’s business-centered features. There are quite a few good ones to help to streamline and run a photography business – especially if you want to sell your photography online. Among them are:

  • One-time and recurring appointment booking.
  • Payment for appointments and bookings.
  • Order and inventory syncing across different channels.
  • Google Shopping listings.

However, the one thing that GoDaddy offers that completely won me over is its comprehensive selection of marketing features and tools. There are some gems here to get your photos noticed, including:

  • Built-in SEO optimization.
  • Email marketing.
  • Branded content templates.
  • Analytics.

But, the most unique one that captivated my attention is GoDaddy Insight. This is the builder’s proprietary “smart learning system”. This system provides a custom action plan based on your business industry and goals.

There’s no need for you to have any technical know-how or marketing experience. All you need is to know your goals. I find this to be a clever and handy tool especially if you’re looking to attract more attention but don’t necessarily know how to go about it.

Additionally, the majority of these features and tools are already included in the price of your plan and no further payment is required. That’s always a plus!

All in all, I’d say that GoDaddy is certainly a worthy investment with its wide-ranging features and user-friendly platform.

Pricing

Since we’re on the subject of investments, let me address the elephant in the room. GoDaddy has 4 plans:

  • Basic ($6.99 a month) – unlimited storage, guidance, and analytics
  • Standard ($10.49 a month) – unlimited storage, one-time appointments
  • Premium ($13.99 a month) – unlimited storage, one-time group events, payments for appointments
  • Ecommerce ($17.49 a month) – unlimited storage, product listings, discounts and promotional features

If you want to sell your photos online, you’ll need to scale up to the Ecommerce plan. Truthfully, I find myself much more inclined to buy the most expensive plan considering the extensive features that can help to manage and grow a photography website.

What is the best photography website builder for YOU?

While I’d love to point to just one website builder and go “that’s the best website builder for photographers,” that’s simply not possible. Not only is photography a wide field, but there are also factors like needs, goals, preferences, skill set, and budget to take into account.

Having said that, I’m also well aware of how annoying it can be when there are no resolutions. So, let’s meet halfway, instead, and I’ll narrow down the options for you.

Here’s a brief recap of the strength of each builder:

  • Wix wins over photographers with its ease of use and rich features.
  • Squarespace capitalizes on its good looks and offers all the features you need to create an all-in-one website for your photography business.
  • Zenfolio provides some very useful photography-centered features and tools.
  • SITE123 is definitely an easy website builder for photographers.
  • Zyro delivers plenty of handy features at incredible prices.
  • SmugMug offers ample photography-focused features and has strong security measures.
  • Shopify comes with a wide range of eCommerce features to make selling your photos online a breeze.
  • GoDaddy is a no-fuss website builder for photography that offers extensive business and marketing tools/features.

And, there you have it. Frankly, any of these website builders would do well across the board. But, I’d recommend sitting down and seriously considering your needs, budget, and deal-breakers before taking the plunge.

How to choose the best website builder for photography?

With this expansive list of our hands – it might be difficult to point out which specific features you should value.

When choosing the best website builder for photography, consider these things:

  1. List your goals for the photography website
  2. Make a plan for your website
  3. Establish your budget
  4. Find the right platform to build the site with
  5. Create your website

First up, listing your goals is very important. Even the term "photography website" doesn't mean the same thing for the same people.

You could be using your photography website as an online portfolio, showcasing your art, as using it merely as a link to social media or booking sites. Alternatively, you could require custom watermark options, password-protected client galleries, RAW image uploading, or integrations with your photo editing software like Lightroom.

Others go all-in on business, looking for search engine optimization, social integrations, and more.

Then, make sure to prioritize those things from most to least to most important. While we all love a website that does everything, such plans tend to squeeze your wallet dry. Make a full plan of what's non-negotiable, and what could remain a nice little bonus.

Now, the sad part – the money you'll be parting with. Look at your budget, and see how much will you be willing to spend. If you wish to sell online, look not only at the prices of the plans but also at the transaction fees, connected to your sales.

You might be interested in looking for a free option, but...don't.

Those are usually quite limited, and won't let you use a custom domain, have very little storage, and will be full of builder's own advertising. Instead, opt for something cheaper: or get a free trial. Most of the builders here have at least a 14-day free trial, or more.

Then, it's all a matter of putting the right peg in the right hole: go through the list of builders of photographers, and choose who's closest.

This way, you can be sure to get the right option. It's all in the planning, folks!

Best website builder for photographers – FAQ

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