The Best Photography Website Builders 2024 – How to Create Stunning Portfolio Websites

Matt By Matt
25 Min Read

As a professional portrait photographer, I know how hard it is to find the best website builder for our photography businesses.

Not because there aren’t any, but because there are now so many good options to choose from, including some of the best photography website builders that are especially suited to visual creators.

Establishing a strong online presence is essential for showcasing your work and attracting new audiences.

67% of ‘famous’ photographers have the website under their personal name

Foreground Web

Selecting the best website builder for your portfolio can make or break your photography business.

Factors such as ease of use, customisation options, loading speeds and e-commerce features play pivotal roles in this decision.

It’s crucial to find a platform that makes your photos look the best and caters to the commercial side of photography, whether selling prints, selling merch or booking sessions.

So, which is the best photography website builder?

This short review of the ten best options on the market will help you decide.

Key Takeaways

  • Selecting the right website builder for a photographer is now far more important than it used to be.

  • Each platform offers varying features, from visual presentation to e-commerce capabilities.

  • Effective use of a website builder can enhance the functionality and reach of a photography portfolio.

With a variety of good but confusing options available, identifying the right website builder for you requires a thorough understanding of your specific needs and goals.

While some platforms excel in providing a stunning visual showcase for your work, others might offer superior tools for online marketing or provide a more user-friendly interface for e-commerce.

What binds these features together is their ability to enhance the functionality and reach of your online portfolio, ultimately maximising your business potential.

 

Choosing the Best Website Builder for Your Photography Portfolio

When crafting an online photography portfolio, it is crucial to select a website builder that aligns well with your needs.

The right platform can effectively showcase your work and provide you with essential tools to grow your photography business.

For photographers aiming to sell their work online, e-commerce features are indispensable. They offer tools for sales, social media integration, email marketing, and analytics to support monetisation and business growth. Additionally, choosing a website builder with photography templates designed specifically for photographers is vital.

These targeted templates are often suitable for various photography categories like architecture, events, landscapes, and people, ensuring your website is visually appealing and your work is presented in the best light, without distracting from the photographs themselves.

Comparing Top Website Builders for Photographers

My evaluation of website builders prioritises those that focus strongly on visual arts and photography.

Among the top contenders, Squarespace is often praised for its sleek, professional templates and strong feature set.

Wix, known for its intuitive drag-and-drop editor, offers expansive customisability, making it a solid choice for photographers seeking a unique portfolio.

Meanwhile, Format emerges as a niche-specific contender, catering exclusively to creative professionals with tools optimised for showcasing portfolios.

Comparisons will look at:

  • Ease of use: Drag and drop functionalities and straightforward interfaces.

  • Features: SEO tools, unlimited storage, and responsive themes.

  • Pros and Cons: The best and worst of the platform

Website Builder Features to Look out for

Here is a table listing the main features a good photography website should have, along with the benefits and example use cases for each feature:

FeatureBenefitsExample Use Case
PortfolioShowcases your best work to potential clients, demonstrates your style and expertiseA wedding photographer displays a curated selection of their best wedding photos to attract engaged couples
About Me/Us PageIntroduces you or your team to visitors, builds trust and connectionA portrait photographer shares their background, passion, and approach to working with clients
Contact PageMakes it easy for potential clients to get in touch with you, includes contact form, email, phoneA commercial photographer includes a contact form for businesses to request a quote for their services
TestimonialsProvides social proof, builds trust with potential clients by showcasing positive reviewsAn event photographer features glowing testimonials from satisfied clients who hired them for corporate events
Simple, Clear NavigationHelps visitors easily find the information they need, improves user experienceA landscape photographer organizes their site with clear menu items for galleries, prints, and workshops
BlogProvides valuable content for visitors, improves SEO, showcases your expertiseA travel photographer writes blog posts with tips for capturing stunning travel photos in different locations
Responsive DesignEnsures your site looks great and functions well on all devices, including mobileA wildlife photographer’s site adapts seamlessly to display perfectly on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers
Clear Packages and Pricing layoutsEnsures prospective clients can understand your pricing easily and without confusionA corporate manager who has never hired a headshot photographer before needs to hire someone quickly. A confusing pricing page will put them off.
Website Builder Features to look for when choosing a platform

These essential features work together to create a professional, user-friendly photography website that effectively showcases your work, builds trust with potential clients, and makes it easy for them to contact you and learn more about your services.

Importance of a User-Friendly Interface

For photographers, a platform that simplifies and speeds up the the process of building and updating a portfolio is so important. A user-friendly interface significantly reduces the time spent on website management, building new pages, testing new services etc – allowing you to focus on your craft.

Platforms like Squarespace and Wix excel in this domain, providing a seamless experience through drag-and-drop builders that eliminate the need for more in-depth technical expertise, such as WordPress.

 

But it all comes down to user preference. As highly regarded as Wix is, I don’t get on with how it handles site design and changing layouts.

Understanding Template Responsiveness and Customisability

The templates you choose must responsively adapt to different devices, such as desktops, tablets and smartphones while maintaining the high quality of your images.

I consider fully customisable themes as a best practice, ensuring that your website reflects your unique style.

Look for platforms offering a range of responsive templates designed for photographers, such as those provided by Squarespace, which are known for their stunning, visually rich layouts.

What are the Best Website Builder for Photographers?

In my experience, the best website builders for photographers prioritise seamless portfolio management, can be updated quickly, offer robust e-commerce options to sell photography services, and maintain a balance of professional, clean aesthetics and user-friendliness.

These platforms often include a free domain, making it convenient for photographers to set up a professional photography website without additional domain costs.

Let’s examine some of the most popular choices currently leading the market, which are ideal for creating a photo website that showcases creative abilities and photography expertise, and supports photographers in monetizing their talents through online sales.

Squarespace

Squarespace is my preferred choice for photographers looking for an all-in-one solution and it is the platform I personally use for my own photography website. Its elegant and very modern templates cater perfectly to image-focused sites, and I’ve found managing galleries to be particularly intuitive.

It’s both a photography website builder and hosting platform designed to empower users to create professional and aesthetically pleasing websites with ease. Launched in 2003, it caters to a wide audience, including photographers, creators, small business owners, artists, and bloggers, offering a rich selection of customisable templates and intuitive drag-and-drop tools.

The popularity of SquareSpace stems from its blend of simplicity, design excellence, and comprehensive features. It appeals to those seeking a balance between functionality and aesthetic appeal, offering designs that are both modern and responsive. The platform’s ease of use, coupled with robust customer support, makes it an attractive choice for individuals and businesses aiming to establish a strong online presence without the need for coding expertise.

Read our full Squarespace review >

Format

Format.com is a big hit among photographers for its clean designs and easy navigation, both critical for showcasing work effectively.

It’s a versatile website-building platform tailored specifically for highly visual creators, and especially photographers. Its popularity stems from its user-friendly interface, which simplifies the process of showcasing portfolios and selling prints online. With customisable templates and intuitive design tools, photographers can effortlessly create visually stunning websites that reflect their unique style and brand identity. Additionally, Format.com offers integrated e-commerce features, enabling photographers to sell their work directly to clients with ease, making it a preferred choice for those seeking both aesthetic appeal and practical functionality in their online presence.

https://www.format.com/

Wix

Wix stands out due to its flexibility and range of customisable templates, which I appreciate when aiming for a unique website. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it accessible to photographers without prior web design experience.

Wix is a comprehensive website builder that offers users the ability to create personalized, professional web pages through a user-friendly interface. With an extensive selection of photography-specific templates and a simple drag-and-drop editor, Wix caters to photographers who want to showcase their work without the complexity of coding. The platform’s versatility and ease of use have made it a favored choice for building visually attractive and functional photography websites.

The platform’s popularity among photographers is also due to its specialized features that cater to their needs. Wix provides SEO tools tailored for photographers to enhance their online visibility, along with a variety of display options to present images in the best possible light. Its cost-effectiveness, with free base offerings, adds to its appeal, allowing photographers to build and run a professional website with minimal investment.

https://www.wix.com/

Adobe Portfolio

Adobe Portfolio is a platform designed for creatives, particularly photographers, to build personalized websites that showcase their work. It is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, offering seamless integration with other Adobe services like Lightroom and Photoshop, which are staples in a photographer’s workflow. The service provides a variety of sleek, responsive templates that are specifically tailored for visual portfolios, making it easy for photographers to present their images in a professional and visually appealing way.

The popularity of Adobe Portfolio among photographers stems from its ease of use and the ability to create stunning galleries without any web design experience. It’s a cost-effective solution as it comes free with any Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, adding significant value to the package. The platform’s direct linkage to Adobe Lightroom allows for an efficient workflow, where photographers can easily update their online portfolio directly from their photo editing software, keeping their online presence up-to-date with their latest work.

https://portfolio.adobe.com/

Webflow

For photographers with a bit more technical knowledge, Webflow offers unprecedented design control and high-end customisability, enabling a truly bespoke website, which I find particularly impressive.

Webflow’s strength lies in its design capabilities, enabling photographers to implement complex, custom animations and interactions that can enhance the storytelling aspect of their online portfolios.

The platform’s popularity among photographers is largely due to its design-first approach and the ability to create highly personalised websites. For photographers, Webflow presents an opportunity to craft unique galleries and pages that can stand out from the competition. Moreover, Webflow’s advanced CMS features allow photographers to easily manage and update their portfolios with new work, ensuring their website remains current and engaging. With its robust design tools and dynamic content management, Webflow is a compelling choice for photographers who want to push the boundaries of their digital showcase.

https://webflow.com/

Zenfolio

Zenfolio is a website builder and e-commerce platform designed specifically for professional photographers to display, share, and sell their work online. It provides an array of customizable website templates focused on photography, along with tools for organizing and managing photo galleries. The platform’s integrated shopping cart and partner print labs make it easy for photographers to sell prints and products directly to their customers.

Photographers favor Zenfolio for its comprehensive set of features that streamline the process of running a photography business online. The platform offers secure client galleries, marketing tools, and access to a suite of business management features, such as scheduling and invoicing. Zenfolio’s all-in-one approach, combining website creation with business tools, makes it a popular choice for photographers looking to efficiently manage their online presence and sales in one place.

https://zenfolio.com/uk/

WordPress

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that enables users to create and manage websites through a user-friendly interface. It’s known for its flexibility and extensive customization options, offering a vast array of themes and plugins. For photographers, WordPress provides the freedom to create a unique and powerful online portfolio that can be tailored to their specific aesthetic and functional needs.

The platform’s popularity among photographers also stems from its industry leading SEO capabilities, large community support, and scalability. WordPress makes it easy to include SEO information for posts, pages, and images, which is crucial for photographers to increase their online visibility. Additionally, the plethora of plugins available can add a variety of features to a photography site, from e-commerce solutions to social media integration, making WordPress a versatile choice for photographers looking to grow their business and online footprint.

Self hosted – https://en-gb.wordpress.org/

Hosted – https://wordpress.com/

GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy is a giant in the domain hosting space and has developed its own website builder. Their Website Builder is a user-friendly, all-in-one platform that enables individuals to create their own websites without the need for technical expertise. It offers a variety of customisable design templates, including options tailored for photographers, and features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. This simplicity allows photographers to quickly build a professional online presence that showcases their work.

The platform’s popularity with photographers is bolstered by its integrated marketing tools and mobile optimization. GoDaddy Website Builder includes features such as email marketing and SEO tools, which are essential for photographers to attract and engage clients. Additionally, the responsive design ensures that photography portfolios look great on any device, an important aspect for professionals who want to reach a broad audience in today’s mobile-centric world.

https://www.godaddy.com/en-uk/websites/website-builder

Picfair

Picfair is an innovative platform that enables photographers to easily sell their work through personalized online stores called Picfair Stores. These stores provide a seamless way for photographers to showcase and market their images directly to potential buyers. The platform has been gaining popularity, with many photographers finding success in selling their photos for the first time through Picfair, like Bence Szabo who shares his experience.

One standout feature of Picfair Stores is the “Starred” images system, which highlights exceptional photos chosen by the platform’s moderation and editorial team. The ultimate guide to “Starred” images on Picfair Stores explains how this feature helps photographers gain recognition for their best work and attracts potential buyers.

Picfair’s Focus blog is another valuable resource for photographers, offering a wealth of educational content and guides on selling and marketing photography. The blog’s top guides for selling & marketing photography in 2023 provide practical tips and insights to help photographers succeed on the platform. Additionally, the most popular Focus articles of 2023 showcase the growing interest in Picfair and its resources among the photography community.

https://www.picfair.com/

Shopify

Lastly, Shopify excels in e-commerce and is the clear leader in e-commerce capabilities out of all the website builders in this list.

It is well known for its ease of use, customisation options, and robust sales features. For photographers, Shopify provides a professional way to showcase and sell their work, offering beautiful themes that can be tailored to highlight photography portfolios and integrated payment gateways for smooth transactions.

The platform’s popularity among photographers also lies in its comprehensive set of tools that support online business operations, and easy integrations in services such as Google Shopping. Shopify offers inventory management, marketing and SEO capabilities, as well as a vast app ecosystem that can extend functionality, such as apps for print-on-demand services.

These features, combined with the ability to create a visually stunning and customer-friendly online store, make Shopify a compelling choice for photographers looking to monetise their work effectively.

It can however have a steep learning curve, and performance wise can fair very poorly in Google PageSpeed tests if not optimised correctly.

https://www.shopify.com/uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting the best photography website builder involves carefully considering a variety of key features such as level of customisation, ease of use, and e-commerce functionality to ensure the best representation of one’s work.

What is the best website platform for photographers?

Squarespace is frequently commended by photographers for its clean aesthetics and flexible editing options with no knowledge of code needed. Its templates are designed to complement visual arts, making it a top choice for displaying photography portfolios. I’ve tried all but one of the website platforms (GoDaddy) in this review and I personally chose Squarespace.

What features should a good photography website builder have, tailored to sales?

For photography sales, one should look for a website builder with fast loading times, robust e-commerce features, high-quality image/portfolio display, watermarking capabilities (if you’re going to use client galleries), and password-protected galleries. These are the key components of a professional platform to showcase and sell photographs.

Which is better for photographers Wix or Squarespace?

Wix and Squarespace both provide extensive design templates and customisation, but Squarespace usually takes the lead IMO with its superior design quality that appeals to photographers. However, Wix offers more coding control through its drag-and-drop interface and access to source code.

Is GoDaddy Website Builder any good for photographers?

GoDaddy offers a user-friendly interface and quick setup, which photographers can use effectively to create an online portfolio. However, it may not have the same level of advanced design options compared to dedicated photography website builders. It’s good, but I wouldn’t use it for my photography business.

What is the best free website for photographers?

There are several free website builders available, but they may come with limitations in terms of storage and design flexibility. Photographers might need to explore premium options to fully realise their vision for an online presence. If you’re planning to make money from your photography you need to invest in a platform that won’t negatively impact your photos.

Is SmugMug a good website builder?

SmugMug stands out for its photography-focused features like unlimited photo uploads, customisable galleries, and comprehensive privacy controls, which are all crucial for photographers looking to present their work professionally online. However, layout options are limited compared to the other platforms reviewed.

What are the downsides of using Squarespace?

The downsides of using Squarespace include a limited third-party app marketplace and the fact that it may require a bit of a learning curve to master its editor. Additionally, the cost might be a consideration, as its pricing is higher, especially for e-commerce functionalities. As soon as you start adding online booking the prices do become rather high.

I’ve read some Picfair Reviews – is it any good?

Based on various Picfair reviews, the platform offers photographers an easy way to set up an online store and sell their images. While some photographers have found success on Picfair, others believe that the market for stock photography is oversaturated, making it challenging to generate significant income. Overall, Picfair is worth trying if you don’t currently have your own store or want to experiment with a new platform. However, it’s important to maintain realistic expectations about potential earnings and to consider Picfair as just one part of a broader strategy for marketing and selling your photography.

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By Matt
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I'm the Creative Director at Bona Parle. I'm also a freelance portrait and headshot photographer, award-winning filmmaker, film Colourist and a multi-award winning LGBTQ+ human rights campaigner. For part of my week I lead a successful UK-based charity that brings families closer to together.