A photography website is all about the pictures. If you are creating a website for your photography business, you need a CMS that lets you make huge galleries and amp up your graphics potential. Your CMS should make it incredibly easy to upload photos and prominently display them. We've done a roundup of the best photography websites in 2013, and listed them for you. If you're a hobby photographer or know a photographer who is wanting to break into the business, a killer website is the way to start. Here are the top 8 CMS for Photographers that will help you do just that.
Weebly is a great option if you are looking for a way to showcase your work. Check out our if you want to learn more about it. Not only does it let you design beautiful sites with no code required, it's easy to use and elegant. We think it's a great option and highly recommend you check it out. Here is an example of a beautiful photography website built on Weebly:
Squarespace is an outstanding CMS, and one which we highly recommend here at CMS Critic. One of the reasons we love it is because their site designs are purely outstanding. A photographer demands a well-designed website. Squarespace has a great collection of gallery tools that will add some serious visual candy to your site. Squarespace also has a handy e-commerce integration if you're interested in selling physical or digital goods. Each Squarespace site is mobile-ready, another huge plus.
WordPress, the world's most widely-used CMS, is also a top choice for photographers. It's easy to build an impressive photography site that requires just a bit of web savvy. Right out of the box, it's easy to add galleries into a WordPress site, but it works best when paired with plugins and the right template. As far as photo plugins go, you might have a hard time paring down the list of thousands to one that works for you.
If you choose to go with WordPress or something similar and need a great web host, I recommend Bluehost whom I've personally used for projects such as this. They offer great support at an affordable price. Click here to sign up for a discounted rate of only $4.95 per month.
We suggest that you check out the following plugins and/or themes:
Themeforest sells over 180 beautiful photography themes for WordPress: Check them out.
NextGEN Gallery (plugin)
Wix is a popular CMS that provides a wide selection of slick themes, many of them customized for photography. It has proven to be a popular choice for many photographers, both professional and beginners. With integrated hosting, mobile-ready sites, low cost, and an easy drag-and-drop editor, Wix is a great entry point for photographers to instantly make a splash.
Another photo-specific CMS is PhotoShelter, a wildly popular website creator. It has a cult following of photographers, with good reason. There are ten templates with layout options for each template. Each template delivers a stunning photo-centric appearance. Some of the icing on the PhotoShelter cake is unique features like automatic fulfillment from printers (only two printers available) and their powerful ecommerce tools. If you're looking for a site with strong conversion funnel for photo sales, PhotoShelter is the way to go. (Ducati not included.)
Smugmug doesn't call themselves a CMS. It is primarily a portfolio site, but we think it qualifies as a strong CMS. So does their loyal fan following. The UI is very easy to use. You can import photos from just about anywhere you store them — in the cloud or on a local drive. Plus, if you're in the money-making mood, you can upgrade to SmugMug pro to sell your products.
Every photographer needs a portfolio. 4mat is focused on delivering high-quality photography portfolios. These are portfolios that go way beyond the average, allowing for endless customization and more options than you could possibly exhaust in a lifetime of photography. Many of the themes are dynamic, and all of them feature vivid photo prominence. The editor side of 4ormat is a blissfully easy drag-and-drop experience. For its pro-level service, the prices aren't too bad, either ($6.99 - 24.99/mo).
Koken is cool. We thought so when we scoped it out last year. Part of what makes a photo-CMS helpful is online image management. There's no shortage of online storage platforms, but a storage site + CMS designed for photographers is especially handy. Koken's desktop-like interface makes it easy to upload and manage both images and videos. The CMS also allows you to add content from Flickr, Instagram, Vimeo, SoundCloud, and Twitter. Koken also has a publish services plugin for Lightroom. Koken works best for the serious photographer who isn't afraid of technology. You can even customize your own CSS. As it is by itself, Koken is a strong contender for gaining the loyal clientele of the most demanding photographers, designers, and other creatives.
The ultimate qualification for a top-notch photographer is the photography itself, not the website. Still, in today's world, you've got to have a quality website. These photography CMSs are the way to get you the website you need.
Daniel Threlfall Author
By Daniel Threlfall - Since it's hard to make a living drinking coffee, I instead write about tech. And I drink coffee. I'm concentrated in web design, good CMSs, SEO, bad CMSs, social media. And I drink a lot of coffee. No cream, no sugar. You can find Daniel on Google+, and Twitter.