Last Updated on 14/05/2022 by Edy Ragnoli
The best photography website builder to display your photos online, attract the audience, promote your photography services, increase your visibility and revenue, and sell photo prints, gifts, and merch.
As a beginner or professional photographer, the internet can be a great resource to show up your work, find more work opportunities and expand your business. One way to accomplish that is using an online portfolio. It offers many advantages, but you need the right tool and service to do it the right way and benefit from it.
In this article, I analysed and described the top six photography website builders you can use to boost your career as a photographer.
Advantages of having an online photography portfolio
The benefits of an online portfolio for photographers are pretty straightforward. We can summarise them in the following list.
- More potential clients can find you.
- Your current customers are encouraged to rebook your photography services.
- Your business and online presence look more professional.
- You can appear more modern and an expert in your field.
- Your potential customers can browse your portfolio and look at your photos and merch easily, quickly, and from all around the world.
- You can use your photography portfolio in addition to your profile on Instagram or other social media. This will help you increase your audience and have more control over the photos you display.
Benefits of a photography website builder for your portfolio
- You can use some peculiar features to highlight your work, improve the user experience, generate more sales, and boost your photography career.
- You can design a portfolio website quickly without tech knowledge and coding skills.
- A photography portfolio maker, generally, is a visual no-code tool. It can make it easy for you to visualise the changes as you build your website.
- Some website creators for photographers can be free.
- The best photography website builders allow you to sell beautiful merch, prints, and photobooks as easy as pie.
- You can also embed your photography portfolio or the online shop in your own separate website.
- Online photography portfolio websites let you upload your high-resolution photos to their server. This allows you to avoid overloading your web hosting service.
- When you host your big-size photos outside your website, you don't need to implement any security system against hacking attacks: the third-party portfolio service will take care of that.
Photography website builder downsides
- A monthly subscription for premium portfolio services. But how much would it cost you to implement everything alone?
- You are tied with the portfolio platform. Any time you would like to move your photos elsewhere, you need to start everything again. But remember. As said before, some photography website builders allow you to embed the portfolio in your own website.
These are the most important things you should consider when choosing the best photography website builder for your portfolio. You can find many portfolio services online, but finding the right one could be challenging and time-consuming. So, I did it for you.
The best photography website builder (top 6)
Let's make things easy and quick. For each portfolio service, you'll discover the main features, the price range, OS compatibility/Apps available, pros and cons.
$11 - $51 a month
- Easy to use and setup
- Productive photo cataloguing and sharing
- Password-protected galleries
- Reliable and robust service
- Good quality support
- Unlimited storage of full-res photos
- A little slow to upload many photos at once.
- A bit pricey for amateur photographers and users.
SmugMug offers a useful and simple way to catalogue, customise, and share your images and photo galleries. You can have a single location for your files instead of a maze that becomes a nightmare when you need to navigate through millions of photos (think, for instance, of situations when you have terabytes of photos stored in multiple servers and external hard drives).
This comes in handy when your team (employees or collaborators) or other people, such as clients and event attendees, need to access your work from many locations. In this case, the password-protected galleries are a blessing. Even clients say it's easy to use SmugMug and download the photos they receive. The user-friendly iOs app works very well for this.
The SmugMug photo management system is easy to use and makes moving images between galleries a piece of cake. The setup is simple as well. But I heard some people don't find it very intuitive.
What I like the most about SmugMug (and I'm not the only one) is the automatic backup of unlimited full-resolution photos and videos from a PC or smartphone.
What about the support? Well, for any tech issues, SmugMug support is great and offer a prompt resolution.
SmugMug is popular for offering a wide range of services designed for photographers. Let's see them all.
- Customised and branded online viewing galleries with privacy control, download, and purchase options.
- RAW photos upload and storage: a pretty new service SmugMug has been offering since 2021. The additional fee is quite accessible. For a professional photographer, it's more an advantage rather than a cost.
- Automatic media content collection from multiple sources.
- Cloud-secured storage with no compression.
- Multi-user access.
- Photography portfolio website creation with drag-and-drop customisable themes and colours. You can redirect your domain name to your SmugMug online portfolio like the Zack Schenepf's photo portfolio or even embed it into your personal website like on Colby Brown's WordPress blog.
- Selling tools, with a custom pricing list, for photos, digital downloads, and prints. SmugMug can print your pictures on canvas, metal, glass, paper, and keepsakes of all shapes and sizes (wall art, books, albums, boxes, coffee mugs, aprons, playing cards, magnets, and more).
- Mobile apps to share your photos with colleagues and clients without disruptive compression (included social media sharing).
No-code website builder
$11 - $36 a month
- A large variety of website services
- Specialised e-commerce platform
- User-friendly SEO tools
- Cheaper than competitors
- Easy and quick to use and setup
- Lack of advanced photography features
- Not ideal for users who need total customisation
Squarespace is a website, blog, and portfolio builder with many e-commerce features. Although Squarespace is not specifically designed for photographers, it offers a user-friendly no-code drag-and-drop portfolio maker with many ready-made templates to create photography websites.
I suggest Squarespace for building an e-commerce website with marketing functionalities to generate leads and boost sales. You can use the Squarespace website builder to create a basic yet professional and appealing photography portfolio without the need for total customisation.
A portfolio website created with Squarespace is easy to maintain and update with new content despite its lack of robust photography features. But if you want to earn with photography, Squarespace can integrate with several third-party services such as Art of Where for custom printed products, Printful for pint-on-demand, and Printique for high-quality photography prints.
A downside is the lack of uniqueness in template designs that don't allow a website to really stand out from the others.
Squarespace offers many services for e-commerce and marketing that can support your photography business.
- Drag-and-drop portfolio website builder with templates and pre-configured layouts.
- Modules to sell products, services, subscriptions, digital content, and merchandising completed with payment, donation, stock and shipping management functionalities.
- Domain name registration, transfer, and redirect.
- Extensive marketing tools (newsletter modules, email campaigns, videomaker, social media integration, banners, promotions, custom favicon, marketing analysis).
- Company logo maker with a simple UI.
- Built-in SEO tools to optimise texts, images, tags, sitemaps, and URLs.
- Integration with 29 third-party services (finance, marketing and sales, products and inventory, shipping).
- Calendar, booking and event management system with social selling.
- API and custom CSS.
Photography-focused website builder
$3 - $15 a month
- Cheaper than some competitors
- Focused on photography
- Simple to use
- Clients can order prints and downloads easily
- Advanced features for studios and professionals
- Unlimited storage only for advanced custom plan
- Stylish but limited website templates and gallery layouts
Zenfolio is a specialized website builder for photography portfolios. It offers customisable templates and beautiful features to showcase, share and sell your photos and videos.
I recommend Zenfolio for photographers who want to create a photography portfolio and online store. The templates look stylish and professional (even though they are a bit limited).
Despite that, Zenfolio sells attractive services at a reasonable price. The starter plan costs just $3 a month (50% discount until March 17th). But you will need to upgrade to the Plus and Pro plans when you are ready to make your photography activity a business and need e-commerce features.
Everything you find on Zenfolio has been developed for photographers to make their online presence impressive and productive. Here's the full list of its services.
- A no-code website builder with simple, customisable templates designed for creative services.
- Mobile-friendly interactive galleries optimised for privacy, protection, showcasing, sharing, and selling.
- Video hosting (included in all plans) for a seamless user experience on the same website.
- Workflow automation for e-commerce, booking, scheduling, and payment (BookMe).
- Selling of digital downloads, prints, and packages.
- Email and marketing campaigns management system.
- Advanced photography and e-commerce options for studios and professionals (video and HD streaming, green screen, bulk upload, unlimited storage, multi-user account access, school, sports dance, event features, etc.).
You may be interested also in The Best Photography Resources to support your hobby or career.
No-code photography portfolio website builder
$7 - $13 a month (discounted)
- Wide choice of pre-built templates (70+)
- High-res images with minimum load time
- Edited and RAW photo cloud storage
- Good value for the price
- Online shop modules plus Format marketplace
- Product selling and fulfilment across 190 countries
- Some limitations with the basic plan
- Video hosting limited to max 120 minutes
Format is a website builder for photographers with a no-code intuitive interface. Like its competitors, Format also offers productive tools to automate your workflow and run your photography business professionally.
The company offers e-commerce tools for artists and photographers to sell and fulfil products globally through print labs operating across 190 countries.
Do you share your photos with your clients? You will surely like the Proofing section with password-protected galleries. Statistics of photo views would be a great addition to the current image downloads report.
I recommend Format for professional and straightforward online photography portfolios. They are easy to create and help keep your photos well organized.
As of the price, at the time of writing, the “Pro Plus” plan is reduced to $25/month which is half cheaper than SmugMug. Quite a bargain for a professional photography tool.
So, what can you get at this price?
- Portfolio website creator with 70+ responsive templates, a no-code drag-and-drop designer and custom code editor.
- High-resolution images with minimum load time to impress your clients with stunning quality and a comfortable user experience.
- Custom domain registration, transfer, and connection.
- Video hosting (up to 120 minutes).
- Cloud storage (and backup) for your RAW and edited photos to show them on your website.
- Lightroom and Capture One integration to publish and update your portfolio and private client galleries directly from the apps.
- Copyright protection through watermarking.
- Intuitive SEO tools.
- Social integration to publish your images to your portfolio directly from Facebook and Instagram.
- Professional business tools such as a CRM, contracts creation and management, gallery password protection, and file transfer.
- Online store functions to sell prints, products, packages, Lightroom presets, and other products and services on your personalised store without commissions.
- Format marketplace (commission-based) with automated shipping and fulfilment to sell prints and merchandise worldwide.
- Real-time support through 24/7 help, courses, and a website design service provided by Format experts.
Website builder for photographers and artists
$3 - $16 a month
- Affordable pricing plans
- Custom mobile photo gallery apps
- 50% discount for students and teachers
- 50 third-party services integration
- 15-day free trial with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Many limitations for the Light and Personal plans
- I would like a larger selection of templates with more unique styles
Pixpa is a good solution to build a photography portfolio website through a quick setup for beginners. If you want to save time in design and adjustments, Pixpa can be an excellent option for you.
The templates are clean and tidy and have a good choice of fonts, even though I would be happy to find more designs with peculiar styles. Anyway, they help your look more professional in front of your clients.
Overall, Pixpa is a fast, simple, and cheap way to build a feature-rich portfolio website with a professional and polished look. You have a web presence, galleries, photo sharing, blog, and e-commerce functionalities.
And what if you need help with some more complex features? You have tutorials, video guides, a fast and reliable support team.
For a relatively accessible price, you can consider Pixpa an all-in-one platform to build an online presence for your photography business. The services offered vary based on the plan you choose. Here's the full list.
- Website builder with customisable responsive templates that don't need any technical skills.
- Unlimited photo galleries for image display, sharing with clients, and selling.
- In-built SEO tools to improve your online visibility without the need for external plugins.
- Marketing and payment website extensions.
- File storage and download for your clients.
- Integration with 50 third-party services included in all plans.
- Blog module with customisable widgets.
- Online store components to sell your photos and artworks without commissions.
- Storage for original images and files used for order fulfilment and downloads.
- Creation of personalised mobile gallery apps for your clients.
- Client gallery plans (with unlimited images) you can use when you host your website elsewhere and want to use Pixpa only for client galleries and e-commerce.
You may be interested also in learning How To Take Professional Photos with these 21 Tips.
No-code visual website builder
$5 - $40 a month
- 800+ templates
- Easy to use drag-and-drop builder
- It covers all website categories
- Wix AppMarket with 250+ integration tools
- Wix Marketplace to find and hire professionals and agencies
- 14-day free trial with a money-back guarantee
- Not specific for photographers
- Templates are not interchangeable
- Can become pricey
- Not the best in customer support
Wix is a popular drag-and-drop website builder with a huge choice of designer-made templates. It covers all the categories (business, travel, food, health, fashion, e-commerce, music, design, video, events, education, blogs, and more).
Wix is not specific to photography. But the advantage is that you have over 800 templates to choose from and adapt for building your photography portfolio website (which can be bad or good depending on your personal situation).
The UI is modern and intuitive. The experience with customer service, instead, can be poor at times.
I recommend Wix for its extensive choice of templates. It can be an option if you don't need an advanced and specific solution to manage your photos and photography business. In fact, it can become pricey when you need additional external services to manage your photo-related workflow.
- Additional functionalities (online shop, portfolio, blog, booking system, event management, restaurant orders and payment management).
- 800+ ready-made professional templates.
- Wix video maker for instant branded video creation.
- Custom email marketing campaigns with email automation.
- SEO tools and statistics.
- Marketing and social tools integration.
- Wix AppMarket with hundreds of free and paid tools you can integrate with your Wix website (marketing, lead generation, online sales, events, media and content management, design, communication, web traffic analytics, users interaction).
- Wix marketplace with web designers, marketing and IT professionals and agencies selling their services to Wix users.
This is my list of 6 of the best photography website builders that can help you create a portfolio quickly, easily, and without tech knowledge. They may offer basic tools or integrate advanced features to help you work better in the photography industry.
The best website builder for your photography portfolio is the one that offers you the right mix of functionalities and tools that best fits your activity (for example, just a simple online space to showcase your images, productivity tools to manage your photo studio, integration with tons of third-party services, selling of digital downloads, prints, and gifts, booking and event management, and so on).
Read the reviews, lists of services, pros and cons carefully and visit the websites. You will figure out what's the best photography portfolio builder for you. Have you already used them? Let me know your experience by commenting below.