Set to create your own photography website?
I’ll show you how to build a stunning photography website in WordPress using Astra’southward Ready Websites. These are pre-built websites which are 1-click import using the Astra Starter Sites plugin for WordPress. There are plenty of photography themes (I’ll exist using the Lensman theme in this instance). You just need to choose your theme, import information technology, and start customizing.
Nosotros’ll exist using SiteGround’s hosting who was rated #1 in numerous Facebook polls and are worlds meliorate than Bluehost (what most bloggers refer y’all to because of their chapter commissions). I’ll cover everything from calculation SSL, creating multiple portfolio designs, making your site load fast, and even optimizing your site for Google (SEO). How you create your photography website affects SEO and speed; my mission is to help you do it right the first time.
Here’s what to practise:
1. Cull Domain & Hosting
SiteGround is who I recommend for both domain + hosting.
They were rated the #1 host in multiple Facebook polls and are much faster than Bluehost who is owned by EIG and infamous for slow servers. SiteGround makes it super easy to setup WordPress and SSL, and they’re fast, reliable, and have great technical support for WordPress.
Footstep i: Choose A WordPress Hosting Plan
SiteGround has 3 plans: StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek. I generally recommend GrowBig since it comes with more storage, server resources (makes your site faster), and yous can host multiple websites. It besides comes with staging, advanced caching for faster speeds, and a free website transfer. But if y’all’re hosting i single website and don’t need the features, StartUp is good.
Stride 2: Sign Upwards And Cull A Domain Name
When you sign upward for a WordPress hosting plan, SiteGround will prompt y’all to buy a domain name or use an existing 1. Enter your details and sign upward. Y’all probably don’t need domain privacy or Site Scanner which both cost boosted money and aren’t very beneficial.
2. Install WordPress
Later on you lot sign up, you will come across SiteGround’s launch wizard.
Select start a new website, WordPress software, and create your WordPress login details.
Once the setup process is complete, you will be taken to confirmation page.
3. Login To Your WordPress Dashboard
Subsequently y’all install WordPress through the launch wizard, SiteGround will send yous an email with your WordPress login details including your username, password, and Admin URL. You lot will use these to login to your WordPress dashboard and showtime creating your new photography website.
Get ahead and login!
4. Add SSL To Make Your Website HTTPS
Information technology’s easier to add SSL (HTTPS) from the showtime. SiteGround (and many other hosting companies) come with a gratis Allow’s Encrypt SSL which can activated in your hosting account.
Activate Let’s Encrypt SSL
– the first stride to adding Let’s Encrypt SSL is to login to your SiteGround cPanel and head to Security → Let’s Encrypt SSL → then click “Activate Costless.”
– next, notice the SG Optimizer tab on the left of your WordPress dashboard and go to Environment Optimization → Enable HTTPS. SiteGround will automatically configure it.
5. Download A Unique Photography Theme
There are lots of WordPress photography themes out in that location.
I highly recommend the photography themes from Astra since they look great, are mobile responsive, user-friendly, and are very like shooting fish in a barrel to import. As mentioned before, I’ll be using the Photographer theme for this guide, just they have many photography themes to cull from.
Install and activate the Astra Starter Sites plugin nether Plugins → Add New.
Install and activate the Astra theme (you’ll see a prompt after the previous step).
Choose your folio architect. The Photographer theme uses Gutenberg, notwithstanding many people prefer Elementor. Information technology just depends on which theme you want and type of interface you adopt when designing pages. Be sure to cheque out all themes by looking under each builder.
Select a photography theme from Astra.
Import the photography theme past clicking
Import Site. Astra volition begin downloading the entire pre-congenital website onto your domain (including all content, plugins, widgets, and WordPress Customizer settings). This may take a couple minutes to stop the downloading.
Refresh your photography website and yous will see your theme is installed!
6. Give Your Website A Name
In your WordPress dashboard, name your website under Settings → Full general.
This is normally your proper name (eg. Eric Depression) or business name (XYZ Photography). Do non change your WordPress Address or Site Accost; changing these tin break your photography website.
vii. Customize The Global Pattern
Now we’ll customize your website’south global design (logo, fonts, colors, header, footer, etc).
To exercise this, head to Appearance → Astra Options. These link to the WordPress customizer options where you can do everything from upload a logo to change fonts, colors, and layouts.
Things You lot Can Do In Astra Options:
- Upload your logo
- Upload your favicon (16x16px icon shown in browser)
- Customize footer layout + copyright expanse
- Customize fonts (family, size, weight, line height)
- Customize the navigation menu layout
- Change the layout of pages/posts to fullwidth, sidebar
- Change colors (text, theme, link, link hover, header, background)
- Customize weblog info (author, publish dates, category)
- Customize the sidebar and width on your blog
Add your logo and site icon (favicon):
Alter the fonts:
Modify the colors:
Change the footer text, copyright section, social media icons, and more than:
8. Add Your Portfolio
Adding your portfolio is easy; you don’t fifty-fifty need a plugin.
Go to Pages → Add New. Add a page title and background image if yous desire. Next, click the Gutenberg block and search for “Gallery.” Finally, upload the images you want in the portfolio.
You can modify the number of columns:
You can add a gallery (or slider, using a plugin) to any page you desire.
There are too enough of free portfolio plugins. Just be conscientious when choosing one since many portfolio plugins tin can tedious downwardly your website. I recommend using Gutenberg’s gallery if you can (or if yous’re using some other folio builder similar Elementor, they accept options to add a gallery).
nine. Optimize Images For SEO + Speed
Y’all’ll notice my images aren’t ever the the highest quality.
That’s because I compress them using the ShortPixel plugin (and a lot of my blog is dedicated to speed optimization). Near photographers don’t want to practise this, but yous should at to the lowest degree take a few extra steps to make sure images load fast and are optimized with alternative text (for SEO).
Add Alt Text
– by default, WordPress does non automatically add alt text to images (this is used to draw images to search engines and improve SEO). I recommend installing the Auto Image Attributes plugin which automatically adds alt text based on the image file name. This means all you have to do is label your images (on your computer) before uploading them to your WordPress site. The plugin will practice the residuum.
Avoid Uploading Huge Images
– your portfolio images, web log images, and other images on your photography website phone call for specific dimensions. If you upload huge images that don’t fit these dimensions, it will slow down your website and you volition see serve scaled image errors in GTmetrix’s speed testing tool. You demand to learn the proper dimensions of your images and crop/resize them to the specific image dimensions.
– this format ensures the highest quality and fastest load times for images. Y’all volition need to install the SVG Support plugin to use the SVG format on your website.
10. Protect Photos With Hotlink Protection
Hotlinking protection prevents readers from copying/pasting images from your website to theirs. Dissimilar saving images images and uploading them to another website, hotlinking consumes bandwidth since the image is still hosted on your website. You want to prevent this!
Stride 1: Actuate Cloudflare
– go to your SiteGround cPanel → Cloudflare → Activate Free. This will activate Cloudflare’s free CDN (content delivery network) on your photography website. This has a range of benefits including improved speed and security for your website.
Step 2: Enabled Hotlink Protection In Cloudflare
– you volition demand to login to the bodily Cloudflare dashboard for this. Next go to Scrape Shield → Hotlink Protection → Turn On.
11. Create Your Homepage
If you’re using an Astra theme, your homepage is already pre-designed. All you have to exercise is customize it!
Become to Pages → All Pages, edit your homepage. If you are using the free Astra photography theme, yous volition be using Gutenberg to edit pages which is pretty much point, click, and edit.
Here’south a tutorial on editing pages with Gutenberg:
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