7 Reasons Why Most Photography Websites Suck


Having a great online portfolio should one of the most critical tasks for every photographer.  Photography websites have to be well-organized and fast, and they should focus only on the best of your work. It’s not easy to keep ahead of the competition, but an excellent website can surely help you stay on top of your game.

Many photographers make the same mistakes when it comes to their online portfolios, and we would like to point out these mistakes and help you avoid them.  Make sure to check out the following 7 tips and improve your website as much as possible!

1. Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly

This is becoming more important than ever before – you need to have a mobile-friendly photography portfolio. The vast majority of web traffic for almost any website stems from mobile users, and you need to be aware of this when you’re building your online portfolio. If your potential clients can’t navigate the website easily, they will surely move on.

Luckily, many content management systems and design platforms integrate mobile and tablet-friendly sites, so you don’t have to be an expert when it comes to design and programming. In addition to WordPress, you can easily build your portfolio in Squarespace, Prismsites, Smugmug or Wix.

2. You Rarely If Ever Update Your Galleries

You should keep your portfolio updated and maintained – your clients should see your most recent galleries and not something that you shot many years ago.

Never underestimate the fact that clients are more likely to choose a photographer who seems active, busy and sought after. Try to update your portfolio at least once every two weeks or use various social media outlets to post your new work and updates. Instagram is a great social network, especially if you’re into travel or fashion photography.

3. Your Grammar And Spelling Are Bad

There is no excuse for a website full of grammar and spelling errors. No matter how good your photography is, bad grammar will be a huge minus for your business. Before you go live with something, get it proofread.

This is a mandatory step, especially if English is not your mother tongue, but you want to make your content appealing to international audiences. Also, keep in mind that emojis have no place on your website if you want to leave the impression of a mature and reliable professional.

4. Your Design Is Tacky Or Dated

Great photographers aren’t necessarily great graphic or web designers. If you’re unsure of what looks good in terms of design, it’s better to ask a professional to help you pick the right layout for your portfolio.

A great portfolio should be relatively simple and user-friendly – you can even design it as a one-page website so that your clients don’t have to go to the menu and look for various subsections. You should also avoid using any animations, music or anything interactive that takes too much time to load or looks bad on mobile devices.

5. Your Website Is Too Slow

The main reason for slow photography portfolios is large images. Every image you upload to your website should be optimized. Optimizing images is the process of decreasing their file size, using either a plugin or script, which in turn speeds up the load time of the page.

There are two basic types of compression – lossy and lossless. Lossy compression makes more dramatic changes that create lower quality images. The smaller the file, the more noticeable the difference between the original and the compressed file.

Photo by Joao Silas

6. Your Selection Of Photos Isn’t Appropriate

In case you’re a wedding or fashion photographer, your portfolio should focus on portraiture even if you shoot splendid landscapes from time to time. Similarly, if you’re a product photographer, you don’t have to upload various portraits unless you’re confident enough that your portraiture is as good as your product images.

 You might be tempted to upload all sorts of images to show that you can shoot almost any kind of subject, but you will leave a better impression on your clients if you show that you’re a true master of the specific genre.

7. You Have No Contact Form

Many potential clients might become impatient and frustrated if they can’t find an easy way to contact you. They can even give up on contacting you if your email isn’t readily available.  

Your website should have a simple contact form, or you can put your email address and phone number in the header so that everyone can spot them easily. Make sure that your contact information is correct and legible – don’t use any weird fonts.

To sum it all up, keep your photography portfolio simple, clean and modern and make it easy for your clients to see the best of your work and contact you. It is a pity to lose clients because of a dysfunctional website!

If you want to learn more about photography portfolios, check out the following links!

Further Resources:

  1. 6 Websites To Help You Create Your Photography Portfolio
  2. Here’s What You Should Do For Your Photography Portfolio
  3. How Creative Writing Can Improve Your Photography Portfolio
  4. Putting Together A Photography Portfolio
  5. The 8 Biggest Mistakes In Your Portfolio (And How To Fix Them)
  6. 6 Portfolio Design Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

About Author

Jasenka is a photographer with a background in web design. You can find out more about her on her website, see some of her newest images at 500px or get to know her better here.

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