Great art is meant to be seen. It deserves to be put up for display in equally enthralling galleries to capture the imaginations of all that lay eyes on it. Feeling captivated yet?
While physical galleries are not what they used to be, there is no reason why an online gallery can’t recapture some of that lost glory. Whether you’re an established or a budding photographer, your work should be shown off in a way that is as captivating as those opening sentences (hopefully) were.
Today, you can set up a gallery that is available to millions of art lovers all over the world. You can curate a showcase of your best work on a beautifully designed website and deservedly amass a following. The best part is, you do not even need to know how to make one. You do not need to pay someone to do it for you either.
What is a Website Builder?
It is a primarily online platform on which anyone can create a stunning website without having any technical knowledge. They are called ‘no-code’ platforms because most of the heavy lifting has already been done for you. Web builders are very user-friendly, with most of them having drag-and-drop functionality as the primary building method.
As a photographer, your primary concern is the camera work. Building a website from scratch to host your portfolio online is both expensive and time-consuming. These two resources – time and money – are better spent getting more clients and improving your gear. This is where website builders come in.
You can have a stunning website up and running in no time. Your eye for good design and imagery will probably make it easier to pick from the thousands of available templates we builders have, ensuring that the design matches your brand. Since there are many web builders in the wild, it is easy to find one that suits your exact requirements and budget.
What’s even better is that some that are specifically catered to a professional photographer’s needs. These have extra features that go a long way in making your workflow as intuitive as possible. With that said, most web builders have everything you would need as a photographer and more. Moving forward, there is absolutely no reason why how your showcase your work is limited.
While social media platforms are great for outreach, there offer little to no freedom on how to show your great photography skills. Photos are cropped and compressed, essentially stripping away at your intended vision. Building a website using a web builder will help you show your work as you intended the moment you clicked the shutter.
We explore all the best options in this article to help you take your photography brand to the next level. The selections offer a great balance of user-friendliness, features, and pricing.
If you are a little short on time, there is a quick summary of some of the best web builders for photography portfolios. If your interest is piqued and you want all the details, read on to learn it all.
Overview of Great Website Builders for Photographers
A Quick Look into Format.com
Format is a platform made specifically for photographers. It is ‘where photographers get serious.’ It is highly rated, with peer reviews recognizing it as the leading portfolio website in international photography circles.
It has professionally-made templates with lots of variations, catering to different types of photographers. It incorporates e-commerce shops that facilitate selling digital products, Lightroom presets, and prints, which are handled at their print labs and shipped directly to clients.
Format also features video hosting, cloud storage for photos, and branded client galleries that can be shared with clients who can then download the photos they fancy.
On the business side of things, Format also includes contact, contract, and project management features.
A Quick Look into Squarespace
Squarespace is an established name in the web builder space. While it is not catered specifically for photographers, it is still one of the best website builders there is. There are many professional-grade templates to choose from, offering many layout formats for you to showcase your work as you please.
Squarespace has a portfolio creator and editor for all your photography needs. It also caters to the business side of things with order management, tax, payment, inventory, and shipping management.
A Quick Look into Zenfolio
Zenfolio is another website builder made for the photography crowd. It helps you build beautiful yet simple sites in a matter of minutes where you can showcase your photos with gallery layouts. It has image-size display controls that allow you to finetune how the portfolio appears.
Zenfolio features shareable, password-protected client galleries with different customization options. Photos can easily be backed up and custom watermarks can be easily added to the images. There is a tag feature that makes search functionalities more intuitive.
There are built-in cart functionalities to allow sales, as well as automated scheduling and payment.
Has any of these caught your interest yet?
A Deeper Look at the Best Web Builders for Photographers
For what the platform aims to do, it comes as no surprise that Format’s capabilities are geared towards the requirements of professional photographers. The available templates do a great job of making your website look great. Stunning, high-quality photography is well complimented by the stunning templates, making it the perfect showcase of the imagery you have captured – a truly elegant exhibition of works.
Format’s gallery of templates is not as large as the more general-audience website builders, but seeing as the available ones were designed with photography in mind, chances are that every photographer will find something that suits them. Templates are responsive and mobile-friendly.
A photographer must have their gallery, and Format’s photography-first approach gives it a slight edge over other equally-capable website builders in that respect. There are a number of gallery layouts – scrolling, slideshows, etc. – and the customization of your preferred gallery style is intuitive.
With Format, a careful balance is struck between quality and performance, meaning that there are no compromises on either aspect. With the limited attention websites get from internet users, fast-loading, high-quality web pages are mandatory.
- Video is a Plus
One advantage Format has over other website builders is video hosting capabilities. If you wish to showcase alongside your photography, you do not need any 3rd party video hosting services. You can easily add it as part of your portfolio.
- Mobile Application
Format has an accompanying iOS application that lets you:
- Present your portfolio to potential clients
- Upload photos
- Create and edit galleries
- Manage the website
It is a great thing to have while on the go, even though there is no Android counterpart. The app can also not be used to build the website, that still needs to be done on a desktop browser for the best experience.
- Online Store & Marketplace
Format lets you have multiple income streams by facilitating an online store functionality that is easy to integrate with your new or existing website. Unlike other web builders with the same functionality, Format does not take any sales commission. All the revenue is kept by you.
Marketplace is Format’s professionally curated photo collection that is then advertised. This exposes your art to a global audience. Format does all the heavy lifting, handling printing, and global shipping fulfillment
Having a website is great, but having a website that ranks highly on search engines is worlds better. Format has tools to guide you through the SEO maze even seeing as it may not be your area of expertise. If you already have one, you can connect your domain, use Google productivity features like Calendar and Drive.
Format seamlessly integrates with professional image editing software like Lightroom and Capture One for smooth publishing of your photos and making updates to client galleries.
Format’s Client Gallery feature sets it apart from other website builders. It sets out to improve on your workflow as a photographer by helping you:
- Share and proof images with ease using branded client galleries. This makes it easier to upsell.
- Perform branded file delivery or give clients access to shareable galleries. Up to 10GB of media.
- Organize all aspects of your project professionally.
- Easily manage your contacts
- Handle contracts
All this is backed up by 24/7 support.
Format is the photographer’s web builder, and the pricing offers a lot of value.
There are three pricing categories (Annual Pricing):
Basic | $7/m
This plan features:
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Mobile-Optimized Website
- Free Mobile App
- Lightroom & Capture One Integration
- Copyright Protection
- SSL Security
- Powerful SEO Tools
- Social Integration
- Starter Themes
- 15 Website Pages
- 100 High-Resolution Images
- Professional Branded Email for $72/yr
- CRM Light
- Client Contracts
- Gallery Password Protection
- 10 Client Galleries
- Website Build Service as an Add-on
- File Transfers
Pro | $15/m
This plan features everything in the Basic plan, plus:
- 15 Hosted Video Minutes
- 100GB of Photo Storage
- Free Custom Domain
- Custom Code Editor
Pro Plus | $25/m
This plan features everything in the Pro plan, plus:
- Premium Design Features
- Email Subscriber Form
- Photography Business Masterclass
- 1000 Online Store Products
Format.com Price Chart
Squarespace is known to have some of the most exquisite templates available with such a wide variety to choose from. This comes as no surprise seeing as they are now one of the most recognizable names as pertains to website builders.
As a photographer, appearance is everything. That is the entire basis of your craft. Even the most elegant of photography styles will be well represented by more than one of the available stunning templates.
- Stunning Templates
First impressions are everything, and the visually striking nature of Squarespace templates will go a long way toward wooing potential clients, even before they can appreciate your work in detail.
It is no wonder that Squarespace is most people’s best general web builder. It brings with it assurances of creating a clean, modern, elegant, and professional-looking website for your portfolio.
Every single template is built to be responsive to align with the mobile-first world that we live in. This ensures that your work looks its best regardless of whatever device it is being viewed on. Additionally, seeing as photos are the most important thing on a photographer’s website, Squarespace provides templates that are designed specifically for photos.
- Working with Images
Squarespace lets you easily crop, rotate, or resize images with ease, or automatically when viewed on different devices. You can add a focal point to your images such that the most important part of the image is visible at all times.
Portfolio creation and editing are very easy and intuitive. Galleries can be a slideshow, carousel, grid, or stacked layout.
- Squarespace Editor
Squarespace makes use of a section-based drag-and-drop editor for building websites. Navigation around the editor is easy enough, and with it, you can add and edit your preferred elements and components as you see fit for the kind of website you are going for.
In the case of a photographer, elements like image, gallery, video, text, and social links can be key to creating your portfolio.
Some of the functionalities baked-in include:
- Email campaigns
- SEO tools
- Social media integration
- Inventory management
- Shipping management
- Client management
- Payments and tax management
As far as web builders go, Squarespace is certainly not the cheapest. This, however, does not mean that it does not give you value for money.
There are four pricing categories (Annual Pricing):
This plan features:
This plan features everything in the Personal plan, plus:
This plan features everything in the Business plan, plus:
Advanced Commerce | $40/m
This plan includes exclusive perks like:
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Sell Subscriptions
- Advanced Shipping
- Advanced Discounts
- Commerce APIs
The best plan depends on your needs. You can always start with a personal plan and level up according to your requirements.
Squarespace Price Chart
Zenfolio is a photography-centric website builder. With a name like Zenfolio Portfolio web builder, you would be well within your rights to expect a platform that suits all kinds of photographers. Head’s up, it delivers.
Zenfolio is touted to be one of the best website builders for professional photographers. Everything about the platform points towards creating websites where photos can be showcased, shared with clients, and sold. As such, it offers a lot of photography-specific tools and features, as opposed to trying to be a good general website builder.
Zenfolio has a reasonable variety of customizable templates to start with. These can be modified to match your brand or the feel you want to convey with your gallery of images.
- Image Management
Images are easy to upload thanks to the platform’s intuitive photo upload and management capabilities. Photographers will appreciate the ability to upload RAW images and store them without any reduction in quality. The batch uploader means that uploading is a simple drag-and-drop process.
With these images, placing them on your desired website layout is a breeze. The layout itself is highly-customizable, more so than most when it comes to freedom of moving things around. This adds an element of uniqueness to every website because what you come up with may be different from the next shutterbug, even when starting with similar layouts.
- Portfolio Security
To protect the photographer’s toil, Zenfolio offers security and protection features for your portfolio. You can have the existing watermarks on your photos or get a custom one that is on-brand. You can enforce restricted access, password protection, and right-click copy protection on photos and galleries.
You can give special access to clients via the client access page where they can view the work you have done for them.
- Online Store
Selling your images on Zenfolio is easy. You only need to create a simple online store. Zenfolio supports digital sales and downloads and has integrated shopping carts. It has integration to social media platforms as well as advanced marketing tools and SEO. With this, you can easily expand your reach and amass a larger following, either to hire you for your skills or to buy existing products.
- BookMe Integration
Zenfolio integrates seamlessly with BookMe, a scheduling platform. BookMe is an advanced tool aimed at helping pro photographers automate any bookings and project scheduling. It is a tool that goes a long way in streamlining a professional photographer’s workflow. However, BookMe is a paid add-on.
There are three pricing categories (Annual Pricing):
Portfolio | $5/m
This plan features:
- 15GB Photo Storage
- Shareable Client Galleries.
- 1 Custom Watermark.
- Photo Sharing and Client Proofing.
- Advanced Search.
- Adobe Lightroom Plugin.
- People Filter.
- 1-Page Custom Website.
- Custom Domain.
- Custom Logo.
- SEO Optimized.
- Instagram Feed.
PortfolioPlus | $12/m
This plan features everything in the Portfolio plan, plus:
- 100GB Photo Storage.
- Multipage website.
- Sell Directly from Website.
- Sell Digital Downloads, Prints, and Packages.
- Ability to create coupons.
- Email Marketing.
- Lab Access.
- Advanced Order Management.
ProSuite | $25/m
This plan features everything in the PortfolioPlus plan, plus:
- 1TB Photo Storage.
- Multiple Custom Watermarks.
- Automated Client Campaigns.
Zenfolio Price Chart
Wix is one of the most popular website builders. With minimal effort, Wix makes it possible to create stunning websites, allowing you all the creative freedom you need. The question is, is it good for photographers?
Wix has just as many templates, if not more than other popular web builders like Squarespace, with most of them being free. Wix templates have full demos that give you a feel of what a template is like before choosing one to edit. What’s even better is that you can choose a site template from the artistic categories and using Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) Wix will automatically generate a full website for you. Using a web builder was already easy enough, and with Wix, even the little you had to do can be done for you.
Web design elements in Wix are plenty and there is the App Market where you can get 3rd party website elements for even further customization. The site-building interface on Wix makes great use of right-click context menus, which not many web builders do. With Wix, you can edit text and images and alter the general page design with a right-click.
- Image Re-use
Wix lets you use already uploaded photos across multiple sites, removing the need to reupload every time you have a new website up and running. The platform also allows you to import images from platforms like Flickr. Photo editing can also be done on Wix with the integrated Aviary editor.
Customizing the layout is a breeze. You can play with the alignment of certain elements, moving them around as you see fit You can resize the columns or increase their numbers. Adding pages is as easy as dragging one over, with the dragging action determining the hierarchy of navigation.
- Multiple-Site Management
If you have multiple sites, Wix has a clean administrative interface to help you manage them. When you click on one, the dashboard for that particular site is presented with all available options in the side menus.
- Wix Turbo and Ascend
Wix-specific features like Turbo and Ascend offer improvements to new and existing Wix websites. Turbo improves the load times for web pages, which is essential for a photography website full of high-quality imagery. Ascend is a product suite aimed at facilitating the promotion and management of businesses without leaving the Wix platform.
- The Photography Business
For someone running a photography business, being able to have site memberships, invoices, quotes, and automation on the same platform as your site can take a load off your back, allowing you to focus (pun intended) on improving your craft.
Using the Store element, it is easy to integrate a shop into your website with a dedicated product page, shopping cart, and a Thank You page. You can customize stores according to your brand, with the possibility of running a subscription-model business.
Like any proper website builder, Wix boasts impeccable 24/7 customer support.
There are four pricing categories (Annual Pricing):
Connect Domain | $4.50/m
This plan features:
- Custom domain
- Free SSL certificate
- 1GB Bandwidth
- 500MB Storage
Combo | $8.50/m
This plan features everything in the Connect Domain plan, plus:
- Free domain for 1 year
- Removed Wix Ads
- 2GB Bandwidth
- 3GB Storage
- 0.5 Video Hours
Unlimited | $12.50/m
This plan features everything in the Combo plan, plus:
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 10GB Storage
- 1 Video Hour
- Site Booster App (1 Year)
- Visitor Analytics App (1 Year)
VIP | $24.50/m
This plan includes exclusive perks like:
- 35GB Storage
- 5 Video Hours
- Professional Logo
- Social Media Logo Files
- Priority Customer Care
Wix Price Chart
- SmugMug: SmugMug aims to “connect photographers with revenue.” It is a photography-centric website builder with a heavy focus on the business side of photography.
- Carbonmade: Carbonmade is not for photographers – it’s a platform for digital artists. It caters to photographers as well as motion designers, illustrators, and graphic designers, just to name a few.
- Dunked: This web builder is all about simplicity. It is all about providing a stylish way for “creative professionals” to showcase their work.
- Adobe Portfolio: Adobe disciples who already have Creative Cloud get this for free. It includes hosting and unlimited pages to showcase your work.
- Pixpa: Falls in the category of web builders made specifically for photographers. On Pixpa, you can showcase, share, and sell those beautiful images.
Choosing the Right Website Builder as a Photographer
There will never be a perfect web builder that caters to the needs of all photographers in the same way. It is all about choosing the right web builder for you. Granted, choosing one to stick with may be difficult because of the available options. However, understanding your needs and requirements is the best way to narrow down the best platform for you.
Key factors to consider include:
- Budget: How much are you willing to pay? What is the price-to-features ratio? You should always make sure that you are getting value for money.
- Customer Service: Excellent customer support is mandatory. Anything less is not acceptable.
- Photography Support: What specific features do you need to build your portfolio exactly how you want it?
- Template Variety: A limited number of templates limits your uniqueness and creativity. Also, how customizable are the templates?
- Uptime: Above everything else, a website builder has to always be available. If the platform has frequent downtimes, your photography business could suffer as a result.
- User-Friendliness: Website builders should be easy enough to use, even for the least technical of shutterbugs.
- Targeted Income Streams: If you are looking at your photography as a dual-income stream, your website builder of choice must provide features that will help you obtain a passive income.
There is no shortage of great website builders for photographers. As long as the features and pricing align with what you look to achieve with your portfolio, there is no going wrong with any option on this list!
Is Wix any good?
Wix Website Builder Review When you’re starting a business or beginning a new hobby, you’ll often want to have an…
Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.