Whether you are passionate about photography, a professional photographer, or both, you need a space to showcase your work and get noticed. A photography website is an excellent platform to highlight your talent. It is also a valuable marketing tool that makes it convenient for customers to find and contact you. But before you set up your photography website, one of the main factors to consider is the cost involved. So…
How much does a photography website cost? The actual cost of a photography website depends on two factors – the amount of work involved in creating the website and how you intend to do it. If you hire a professional, a basic website can cost between $3000 and $20000. However, if you plan on doing it yourself, you can obtain similar results using good website builders at the following price points:
- A fully functional, low budget WordPress website will cost less than $100, while one with premium plugins and services can be created for $500 to $1000.
- Wix offers free and paid options for new website designs. You can choose from a range of paid plans that start at $13/month. Ecommerce plans start from $23/month.
- Squarespace website plans range from $12 to $40 per month.
To gain a better perspective of how this works out, let us take a closer look at the important factors that affect the cost of building a photography website.
Two Main Factors Affecting Photography Website Cost: DIY Or Hire A Professional
The going rate for a basic but fully-functional professional website is not less than $3000 when you hire a web design professional. The price will increase further with additional features that you add to the website. Once your website goes live, you will also incur charges every year for domain renewal, website maintenance, hosting, and other aspects.
You can also design your website on your own with a basic knowledge of web technology and the right website builder.
But here are all the major expenses you will have to bear.
Domain Name: You will have to buy your website name from a domain registrar by paying registration charges. Afterward, you will have to continue paying annual charges for as long as you wish to use this name. This will typically cost between $10 and $30 per year unless it is a premium name.
Website Hosting: Website hosting charges depend on the web host you choose and the storage space you consume. Most web hosts will allow you to start with a basic plan and upgrade later when you need more storage. Based on the plan you choose, expect to pay around $100 every year as hosting charges.
Here’s a great guide on how to host your WordPress website properly that will save you some money too.
SSL Certification: If you wish to sell photographs on your website, you will have to secure your website with an SSL certificate. Some web hosts offer a free SSL incentive when you buy their services. If not, an SSL certificate can cost $10 or more.
Website Builder/Content Management System: The easiest way to build your website is to find a good website builder and start the process yourself. The most popular website builders for photography websites are WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.
A good website builder will allow you to add SEO tags, plugins, social media links, and payment gateways without any coding knowledge.
Here is a quick comparison of the three most popular options to help you make an informed choice for your specific needs.
Wix Vs Squarespace Vs WordPress For Photography Websites
Here’s a brief comparison of the costs involved in creating a photography website with Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.
Go through all the points and costs mentioned for each of these website builders to figure out which one is the best for you.
Cost Of Building A Photography Website With Wix
Wix is one of the easiest website builders to use for a photography website when you are an absolute beginner. It has an impressive array of more than 30 templates specifically designed for photographers.
Wix uses simple drag and drop tools to set up a website. You will find it very easy to upload, edit, and manage photographs on Wix. However, Wix doesn’t give you the option to change your template down the line.
Wix offers a free plan that you can use to build your site and see how it turns out. However, it has very limited features and storage. So, you may like to opt for their premium plans that cost $13 per month and upwards. Wix also has e-commerce plans starting at $23 per month, if you wish to use your photography website for online sales as well.
Cost Of Building A Photography Website With Squarespace
Squarespace is slightly more challenging than Wix. Nevertheless, it has a stunning range of themes. The additional benefit is that these themes are responsive. So, your website will look just as good on a mobile device as on a desktop.
Squarespace also allows users the flexibility to change their design template after the website goes live.
Squarespace pricing plans range from $12 to $40 per month. Ecommerce plans start at $18 per month. You can always set up your website using the basic plan and upgrade to an advanced option after your business takes off.
Cost Of Building A Photography Website With WordPress
WordPress is a highly recommended website builder for many reasons. Firstly, the software is free, and you can integrate your chosen theme with any hosting service. It gives you complete control over your website as well as amazing customization options.
WordPress has several themes that are specifically designed for photographers, which makes it very easy to set up a photography website. WordPress plugins also allow you to add an online gallery, store, forum, or other special feature that you desire. It provides easy SEO integration and analytics that will enable you to evaluate the performance of your website.
Finally, self-hosted WordPress is the best choice when it comes to content ownership. You get to keep all your website content and images on your own server, unlike in the case of Wix and Squarespace. So, should you decide to migrate to a new web host later, you will not have to worry about transferring the content and images to the new web host.
Recommended Further Reading: 27 Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress
Other Extras and Ongoing Costs For Your Photography Website
Although a photography website is a one-time investment, there are some recurring charges to factor into your budget. These include annual maintenance charges, licensing fees, and technical maintenance charges for updates, backup, and security patches.
Another ongoing expense is for new content and website upgrades. As the internet grows, website owners must update their website to keep up with changing demands. Search Engine Optimization, for instance, is closely linked to the success and visibility of your website. SEO metrics change frequently, and when they do, you must invest in updates to stay on top of the ranking charts.
You may also have to allocate funds for content on your photography website. Although you may supply the images, you will still need written content to provide necessary details about your photography products or services. You will also need a compelling copy to convince visitors to hire your services.
Interesting Further Reading: 21 Best Photography Website Homepage Ideas (Real-life Examples)
The amount of money you spend on your photography website is a personal decision. You can build a fantastic photography website for just a few hundred dollars using a good website builder or get it done by a professional website designer for several thousands of dollars.
Irrespective of the option you go with, don’t forget that upfront costs are only part of the deal. You will also have to budget for ongoing expenses.
To avoid spending more than you can afford on your photography website, calculate your expenses before you start the task. Start with limited features. You can always upgrade to premium plans and themes later. It is just a matter of waiting until your website picks up traffic. Once it does, it will prove to be a valuable addition to your business.