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Photography Websites: How to design a website that image buyers will love

We’re releasing something special today. If you’re selling photos online, displaying your portfolio to get more commercial or editorial assignm...


We’re releasing something special today. If you’re selling photos online, displaying your portfolio to get more commercial or editorial assignments, or even designing websites for photographers, you’ll want to have a look at this.       

Do you ever wonder, “Is my website doing its job?  Am I working hard to get people there, only to have the site itself betray me?”  Don’t worry, you’re not alone (being betrayed by your website is a growing problem).  When we launched our photography website templates last fall, we picked up on this very fact – photographers and designers generally build websites based on their artists’ intuition, and leave sound business reasoning aside.  That’s bad, of course, when you want your website to support your primary business goal – selling more of your work.              

If you were selling lemonade, whose taste buds would you want to satisfy, yours or your potential customers’?  The answer is easy.  You’d probably also ask your customers where to put your lemonade stand so it’s convenient to buy from you.  What size cup do they prefer?  How much time will they wait in line before giving up?  What frustrates them about the way other guys are selling lemonade?  OK, you get the point.  You’d gather as much intelligence as possible about customer preferences to help you structure your business, both the product itself and delivery of it.

So why not apply the same rationale to designing photography websites?  That’s exactly what we did.  

Introducing the results of our annual PhotoShelter Image Buyer Survey – Photography Websites: What Buyers Want Now.  We gathered website intelligence from over 550 commercial and editorial photo buyers at the world’s most recognized magazines, ad agencies, corporate design groups, and book publishers.  Today, we’re giving that research report to you at no cost.

We asked what buyers love and hate about as many website components as possible, including:

  • Flash slideshows & website intros
  • Load time sensitivity
  • Page Layout
  • Image Size
  • Watermarks
  • Pagination/ scrolling arrows
  • Background Color
  • Keyword search
  • Contact info/ method
  • Captioning
  • Lightboxes
  • Photographer update features
  • Music
  • Ads
  • Blogs
  • Pricing and purchasing online and offline
  • Image access/ delivery
  • Gallery viewing behavior
  • 2009 photography budgets
  • Where buyers are searching
  • Licensing preferences

The results are eye opening.  Turns out, several simple features and design elements will make a visiting buyer really happy.  And, some commonly used features really tick buyers off!  You know, like that electronica sound track you have while your logo spins in a circle. 

You’ll find great guidance on how to fine tune your website – if desired – to accommodate commercial and editorial image buyers.  In fact, these insights fueled some quick updates to our own website templates as well, like new background color options for our themes, the ability to display more thumbnails per page, and a great mouseover thumbnail feature that displays image details and larger views without having to click through to the image.  With PhotoShelter’s templates, you have the flexibility to easily update your website, add and remove features – and can make the switch in minutes. If you are not yet using PhotoShelter’s website templates or seamless customization – have a look at our updated product tour to browse our template themes and get inspired by dozens of user examples showing how to make PhotoShelter work for you.  

We hope you enjoy this latest tool for improving your photography business and creating more success online.

Special February Promotion: Save $30 off an Annual PhotoShelter Standard Account
Get access to all of PhotoShelter’s rich website customization features when you upgrade to a Standard Account.  With our templates, you can create website with e-commerce in under 5 minutes, or weave PhotoShelter into your own website.
This savings offer expires 2/28.  New members join here. Existing members, upgrade here.


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