The best website builder for photographers allows you to present a professional face to the world online. Quite simply, having your very own website separates you from the pack and marks you out as a true professional.
It’s not just about the surface impression, but also about the useful functionality you can offer potential customers, collaborators and employers. For example, a website, as opposed to an Instagram account, makes it easy for all these people to access your portfolio, search your site, and find the kind of images they’re interested in.
With the best website builders for photographers, you won’t need to know anything about code or design to build your own site. Just choose a template, add your images, videos and text, and you’re done.
Beyond that, some platforms allow you to add extra features that are specifically helpful for pro photographers. For instance, you might want to make it easy for people to book and rebook your photography services, add watermarks to images, and prevent people from downloading them and infringing your copyright.
You may also wish to upload password-protected galleries, so that only certain people can view your work. Plus, if you want to sell prints, photobooks and other items directly via your site, you’ll be able to add your own online store.
Below, we’ve selected the best website builders for photographers in 2022 and we explain the differences between them. That said, if you don’t need a website builder specifically for photography, check out our general guide to the best website builders overall, or our selection of the best website builder for artists.
Top 3 website builders for photographers
Best website builders for photographers 2022
In reality, people hunting for a photographer are likely to decide in the blink of an eye whether they like the look of your work, and move on if they don’t. Part of that lies in how it’s presented, and you’ll want that to be as alluring as possible. For this reason, Squarespace is our pick as the best website builder for photographers.
Squarespace is not actually aimed at photographers, but it is targeted at creatives. As such, it has the finest of elegant and minimal templates of all the web builders. And that makes it a superb choice for photographers wishing to showcase their work online.
These beautiful templates really do make your work look good. Forty-one of them are designed especially for photographers. But even those that aren’t are geared towards displaying large, high-quality images. So they’re essentially all very good choices for photographers.
Don’t know much about web design? Don’t worry, you don’t need to. Squarespace’s drag-and-drop interface makes it pretty easy to build a site. Admittedly, it’s not quite as easy to use as Wix’s (number two on our list). But it’s simple enough for most people to follow. There are pop-ups to help out every time you hover over an area, and you don’t need any prior experience or coding knowledge.
Want to add a blog or an online store to sell your prints and photobooks? You can do that too. And if you get stuck, there’s 24/7 email support with good response times, plus live chat Monday to Friday (4am-8pm EDT).
Squarespace may be more expensive than many of its rivals, but the extra cost is worth it because you really will get a good looking site, with excellent features. For more details, see our Squarespace review and our Squarespace vs Wix comparison article.
If you’re a photographer on a tight budget, Squarespace’s $12/£10 a month may be too expensive for you right now. In which case, Wix is much more affordable, starting at $8.50/£6.50 a month. And while it’s, in all honesty, not as good, it certainly will let you create a basic site, quickly and easy. And for that reason, it’s our choice as the best cheap website builder for photographers.
Like Squarespace, Wix is not specifically aimed at photographers. Instead, it’s a mass market platform catering for all kinds of small businesses. But it does have a good selection of easy-to-use photography templates, for everyone from wedding photographers to photojournalists. And while they aren’t as beautiful as Squarespace’s or Format’s (third on our list), there are many options to customise them using third-party apps.
Its template-based interface is also easier to use than Squarespace’s. And if you really are technically challenged, Wix offers an easy way to create a website without using templates at all.
Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) asks you questions about what you want your website to do, then uses your social media info to generate a fully working website for you. It’s a bit of a clunky approach, and you won’t have much control over what your website looks like or does… but it does make things very simple.
Payment plans are all pretty cheap, and there’s even a ‘free forever’ plan. If you opt for a free site, it will be covered with ads and limited in terms of storage, so you won’t want to go that route for a full portfolio. But it could be an option for a simple calling card site with your contact details, or simply for trying out the service.
For only a bit more money, you can build a more fully featured photography site. Wix also offers telephone support via callback or an online ticket-based system. For more details, see our full Wix review.
Format is the first website builder on our list aimed purely at photographers. And that means it’s packed full of features specific to that profession.
Perhaps most useful is the client-proofing system. This allows you to put together private, password-protected albums for clients – with watermarked images if you choose. If you often share dozens, or even hundreds, of images from each shoot, this is a great time saver. Obviously, it’s more user-friendly for clients too.
Format also lets you upload images to your site directly from Lightroom or Capture One. Plus, if you’re worried about copyright theft, you can disable right-click on the images in your portfolio to stop visitors downloading them without permission. You can also manage your site using the iOS app. And you can sell photobooks, prints, Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets and more to the public, by adding an online store to your website.
Format’s sleek, modern templates are beautifully minimal and show your work off to great effect, although we feel that Squarespace still has nicer templates. That said, it’s a close-run thing. And if specific features like client proofing and disabling right-click appeal, Format is a great choice. For more details, see our Format review.
Format, number 3 on our list, has a fabulous iOS app. But if you’re on Android, then you may prefer Smugmug, which has apps for both phone platforms.
Like Format, SmugMug is specifically aimed at photographers. And like Format, it offers password-protected galleries, watermarking, the ability to disable right-click on images, and a Lightroom plugin. Its fully responsive templates look smart and professional, and there are good ecommerce options too.
On the downside, SmugMug’s interface is a little trickier to use than Format’s, and you can only access the full range of templates on the expensive plans. That said, if you’re an Android user, the ability to manage your site and upload new images while out on a shoot will still make SmugMug a tempting option. For more details, read our Smugmug review.
Pixpa isn’t just one of the best website builders for photographers, it has a killer feature that helps it stand out from the competition. In short, it create personalised gallery apps for clients to access on their mobile phone: you can see an example gallery here.
In a world in which many people are spending more and more time on their phones, this could help you win a lot more work. You might even consider charging for it as an extra, in the case of wedding customers, for example.
More generally, Pixpa interface isn’t the easiest to use on this list, but it’s fairly straightforward once you get used to it. It also offers good integrations with other apps, including Google Analytics, MailChimp and Spotify, and some nice ecommerce features, including the ability to generate discount codes. Best of all, if you set up an online store, you’ll pay no payment processing fees to Pixpa, which you won’t find with Squarespace or Wix.
Pixpa doesn’t just offer a 15-day free trial, with no credit card required, but a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also get 50 per cent off if you’re a student or educators currently enrolled in any creative course, such as photography, art, design, fashion, architecture.
It costs money to have a photography site, but that site can also directly make you money if you sell prints, photobooks, workshops and so on, directly to the public? If you want to go down that route, we recommend Shopify, which specialises in ecommerce. While it’s not specifically aimed at photographers, it does make it quick and easy to set up an online store, and offers lots of sophisticated e-tailer features.
With a vast range of third-party integrations, you can integrate your Shopify site with Instagram, Facebook and other social media. This means that if one of your followers sees something they like, it’s quick and easy for them to buy it. Shopify also offers a variety of payment options, and some good marketing tools to help promote yourself.
It does costs more than other website builders, both in terms of individual fees and the overall subscription. But you are getting the gold standard in e-tail, so hopefully you’ll make a lot more money as a result. To learn more, see our Shopify review and our comparison article, Wix vs Shopify: what’s the best ecommerce option? You might also want to see our guide to the best places to sell design online.
If you want to share large volumes of photos on your site, you’ll want a website builder that offers unlimited storage. With Zenfolio, that’s available on even the cheapest plan. That means you can batch-upload albums and galleries without worrying about space.
Zenfolio is specifically aimed at photographers, and well known in the profession. Its interface is easy to use, and you can have a good-looking portfolio site up and running within hours of starting a plan or 14-day free trial (which you can get without putting in any credit card information). The templates don’t have the most exciting designs, and there aren’t a huge number of them, but they’re perfectly fine.
Zenfolio’s more expensive plans provide special support for school and event photographers, including password-protected folders and the ability to add packaging and pre-orders for prints.
Don’t, however, choose Zenfolio if you want a lot of customer support. There’s no phone line or live chat, so if you need help, you have to fill in a form and wait for an email; average resolution times are listed as four hours.
Do photographers need a website?
A website is almost a must for any photographer these days. No matter whether you want to attract professional clients, or just have a nice-looking space to show off your images to peers, a dedicated website is the way to do it. It allows you to showcase your portfolio in a way that your work is ordered, clearly categorised and searchable. All of this makes it easier for people to find what they’re looking for, quickly, before they get bored and look elsewhere.
How do I choose a website builder for my photography site?
The best website builder for you will depend on which features you need, and which you don’t. Firstly, ask yourself whether you want to sell things through your website, like prints of your photos, or workshop spaces. If so, you’ll need dedicated ecommerce features: Shopify is probably going to be your best choice for this.
Secondly, consider how important the look and design of your website is to you. If you want a sleek, minimalist look, a website builder with a good range of attractive templates will help you realise your vision. For our money Squarespacehas the most beautifully crafted templates that are perfect for showcasing large-format photography.
Thirdly, think about how many photos you plan to upload. If it’s just a few, pretty much any web builder will work. But it’s a lot, you’ll probably want to upload multiple galleries with sub-folders and password protection. Smugmug, Format or Zenfolio will probably be your best choices in this case.
What’s the best website builder for photographers overall?
Although it’s not specifically aimed at photographers, we believe Squarespace‘s beautiful looking templates make it the best website builder for photographers today. After all, your potential customers and clients are probably going to make a choice in seconds, so you need to make sure your site looks as good as it possibly can be. The interface isn’t the easiest to use, but if you take a little time to learn its ways, you’ll get a stunning website in return. You can add a blog and an online store if you wish, and while it’s not the cheapest option, we feel it does represent excellent value overall.
How do I create a free photography website?
If you want your own website to showcase your photography portfolio, but don’t want to spend any money at all, we recommend Wix’s free plan. This allows you to create your own site, but there are limitations.
You only get 500MB storage space, so you won’t be able to upload many photos. You only get 1GB bandwidth, which limits the number of people who can access your site at any one time. Your site will also feature Wix ads, and its URL will be Wix-branded, making it a bit clunky. That said, it’s a great way to get started with a photography portfolio site, and if you need to remove these restrictions later on, the paid plans are very affordable.
What should a photography website include?
A photography website should always include a gallery of images to showcase your work: without one, it’s kind of pointless. It’s also good to include an ‘About me’ page, that gives a little of your personal story and explains what makes your services different from other photographers. Thirdly, you need a ‘Contact’ page that provides a telephone number and/or email address for people to make enquiries.
You’ll probably also want to add other content, depending on your specialism and the way you structure your business. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer then it’s useful to have an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section, to save you time explaining how you work, again and again, to each potential customer.
What’s the best cheap website for photographers?
If you’re a photographer who needs their own website but is on a tight budget, we recommend Wix. This is not only one of the best website builders overall, but it’s also very cheap. It even has a free plan that will give you a basic website to get started with, albeit one covered with ads. The interface is very easy to use, too: just search for photography templates, pick the one you like, and upload your own content. Learn more by reading our Wix review.
How can photographers build an online store?
Are you a photographer wishing to build an online store, to sell products such as prints, photobooks, workshops and tutorials direct to the public? Then we recommend Shopify, which makes it easy to set up an ecommerce website without knowing anything about code. You can take payments from a variety of payment providers, you get marketing tools to help promote yourself, and you can integrate your store with social media accounts such as Instagram. It’s a little more expensive than other website builders, but the extra money you earn should more than make up for the added cost.