Why Squarespace is a great website platform for photographers
When I started my photography business back in 2016, or at least tired too, I knew that I had to have a website, but I had no idea where to go. I knew that I wanted something easy to use, easy to update, and since I didn’t understand the impact that blogging can have on your SEO and your business, I didn’t think much about blogging.
I essentially wanted something that I could set and forget, and only really up back to update with new projects. I didn’t think of my website as a hub for everything that is my business.
I didn’t see it as something that could make or break whether or not someone inquired with me. I thought that my work would speak for itself.
Whew, I’m happy I got out of that.
How you present your business and the way that you present it can for sure be the determining factor on whether or not that couple goes with you or someone else. ARe there other factors involved, sure! But a lackluster user experience on your site and an amazingly informative and easy experience on someone else's can be the deal breaker.
You have to present your website in a way that attracts your ideal client and keeps clients like them coming back for more. And telling their friends.
Diving into user experience will be for another post, but in the meantime, you can get a basic overview of what user experience on your website is and how it is ESSENTIAL to have one that flows and works in this post.
In this post, we’re going to get into the first step on getting your brand and your work online: choosing the right website platform.
Why I’m a Squarespace cheerleader
I’m a Squarespace cheerleader, especially for photographers, because of it’s ease of use, user-friendliness, modern and beautifully designed templates that are easy to customize, and great SEO.
I feel like when it comes to gaining a solid foundation for beginners, something that doesn't’ take long to set up or doesn’t put you on the wrong foot just because you didn’t know any better will always be your best bet.
Are there other platforms out there for photographers that are just as good? Yes! Showit is my next suggest behind Squarespace.
The problems that one can run into with Showit is this: the cost and the freedom of customization. Here’s what I mean:
Some of the Pros and Cons of Showit
You get a Wordpress blog.
This means that unlike Squarespace, Showit does not host your blog, Wordpress does. This can be great for those that have some experience with blogging in Wordpress, but want more design control without coding and plugins that comes with Wordpress.
It’s a blank canvas when it comes to designing.
That means that you can create a 100% custom website with no coding knowledge needed. The interface is almost completely drag-and-drop so your imagination can go wild!
It’s a blank canvas AKA 100% customizable.
Yo Ash that sounds great though! I don’t want to be constrained to a template!
Heyy slow down for a bit. Templates are made for a reason. Since your website is completely custom and doesn’t have much of a foundational structure, that means that if you want to change something functionally or make some quick changes, you may run into the problem of having to move a bunch of other pieces around to keep the design intact.
You can also run into problems with your website not looking right on mobile when working with a system like this.
Adding a WordPress blog to Showit costs more.
It’s not a feature that every plan gets. So when you’re first starting out, and that wallet is a little tight, this may be a financial burden you’re not ready to take just yet. However, that’s up to you.
No E-commerce feature
This can be a legit drawback for those that want to dip into selling related products to their audience. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer that's also fantastical at calligraphy, and you want to sell some placeholders or invitation suites on your website, Showit isn’t for you.
The Pros and Cons for Squarespace Photographers
Easy to use and update
One of the major reasons that people gravitate towards Squarespace is because it’s easy and user-friendly. It’s even easier to update when new projects have been completed and when you want to advertise any mini sessions or any other sales that you’re running. Having a platform that’s easy to update hopefully will encourage you to not be afraid to drop in your new photos. I’ve found many a photographer who’s Instagram is up to date with new work, while their website is outdated as all hell.
I know that Instagram is a platform that most photographers put a lot of their time and effort into, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect your website. Why? Two reasons: if Instagram ever goes down, and that’ most of where your marketing or work can be found, then you’re out of luck. The second reason is not everyone has or is active on Instagram. That doesn't mean that they should be neglected.
Same goes for any other social media platform. Keep your website up to date and make sure to put effort and time into your SEO so if this social media bubble bursts, you have something in addition to work to mouth to keep you going.
Using of index pages to place most important info and contact on one page
When it comes to design, Squarespace makes it easy for photographers to create long scrolling homepages that contain all of the most important information all in one place. This type of website is very popular and it works for a few reasons:
All of the information is in one place
Easy to update
Other than the homepage, you have a few pages to update and you’re done (adding new photos to the gallery, changing any pricing on the investment page, etc.)
Gives the entire experience of your brand and all it has to offer in a way that doesn’t require moving from one page to another.
Having word of mouth referrals and marketing is always great, but having great SEO is also a great fall back way to make sure that potential clients can find you. Other than filling out some key fields with keywords related to your business, blogging will help out tremendously with ranking as high as possible on Google, and showing up in search results when clients google “Seattle wedding photographer”.
No updates or hacking to worry about
Don’t worry about plugin updates, hacking, spam bots, etc. Squarespace is an all in one secure platform that you don’t have to worry about updates and bugs like would with Wordpress.
Curious as to which Squarespace template is the best for your new photography website? Take this quiz!
Overall, Squarespace is a great platform for beginners that will give you a solid foundation that you need to get your business off of the ground. As your business grows and expands, you may be pulled in different directions, but the Squarespace platform is a great place to start and eventually stay for a lot of photographers.
I love designing websites, and especially designing websites for photographers. If you’re ready to take your website to the next level and truly create a experience and name for yourself in your industry, a website that truly captures your brand is crucial.
Schedule a free consult with me and let’s get you to the front of the pack.