#1 Photography Website Hosting Options
Photo Credit: Kit Junglist
#1 Photography Website Hosting Options
Looking to start a new site for your portfolio or photography business?
Want to see what the best options are for websites and hosting?
We’ve had the opportunity to test out a lot, and I mean a lot, of photography related websites and servers. I’ll qualify this article by saying that I am no expert in IT. I can only speak from my own personal experience of what has worked and not worked well for me.
Before starting our photo business, we used to create websites and host them for clients. That being said, we’ve had our fair share of really bad and incredibly great hosting providers. I will only speak highly of the ones that did well for us.
Website hosts have come a long way over the years. Building your own website nowadays has never been easier. It’s literally a one-click thing on some servers. But that doesn’t mean try them all out. You want to save time and get it right the first time. Switching after your site is built can be a huge waste. Sometimes you don’t even realize the issues that could arise until you really start getting deeper into building your site.
Before we jump in, I want to be completely transparent. Some of the options given are affiliate links, which means if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission from the company. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are really helpful, not because of the tiny commissions. Please do not choose to spend money on these companies unless you believe they will help you and your business.
So I’d like to present some options so you can make the best decision for what will fit your needs. Hopefully we can provide you with a solution that is perfect for whatever stage you’re at. I’ll start at the cheapest and simplest then work out to a more complex setup. All the options will work great whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing photography for 10+ years like us.
Here are our two favorite options to choose from for a custom site:
This hosting provider is probably the most popular among photographers. It’s also the most economical way to begin buying a domain and space to host your site. They provide a lot of services and have tons of room for growth. It’s definitely the best option for beginners. Plus they have lots of great tools to integrate your site into WordPress or another third party platform.
This hosting provider is only for WordPress based websites but it has quickly become our absolute favorite. They make it incredibly easy to do just about everything. Any developer I’ve worked with has amazing things to say about them. Their customer service is top notch. I can quickly access a technician through an instant chat on their site. They make it all so easy. They all have super fast options and security features which has significantly increased our seo ranking. If you’re ready to get serious about investing in your site I would highly consider joining the WP Engine club. Find out more here.
If you’re wanting to build a website through an all-in-one solution, you might want to look elsewhere. We have some further thoughts on websites for photographers that goes into all the options for building a site (not just hosting) in one place vs creating your own custom site. We are definitely big fans of having complete ownership of your site and having full control to make the changes you need to make when you need to make them.
Warnings before jumping into a new host:
Try to buy all your domains at one place. You can always point your domains to different servers. However you want all your domains in one place if possible. Keep it simple.
Some hosting providers offer the first year of domains and hosting space for much less than what it will be for the following year. So make sure to be cognizant of the price increase when budgeting. Here are some other hosting quick tips:
Most places allow you to pay for the entire year up front which can give you a better savings. Just make sure you are committed to staying with them for the entire period.
Some places will charge or add on random fees for things you don’t need. Make sure to always keep an eye out on those sneaky updates that can pop up from time to time.
Connect your debit or bank card the last thing you’ll want is the site to go down because of an unpaid bill.
Some of the bigger hosting providers have their sales team based in the US and their Technical Support teams based in India. You get what you pay for so you can’t be too picky if you’re paying for a really cheap host.
Just because a hosting brand is really large it doesn’t mean they are really good. Don’t be fooled by their social proof.
Slick looking hosting sites don’t always mean they have slick servers. I joined one place that looked really popular among designers years ago only to find out they had a lot of issues, updates and down times.
If the server options are too confusing you probably don’t need them. Remember you are a small brand bringing in small amounts of traffic. You don’t need to overkill it on advanced hardware.
Don’t be fooled by their sales techniques. One company made it appear like you could have unlimited amounts of space but in fine print they limited the amount of files you could upload to their server which meant it really wasn’t unlimited.
Back backups of your site before switching over to a new host. And setup your new host to automatically create backup points so all your data is saved.
Make sure your hosting provider is based in the US. Having a host close to where you live can be helpful for local seo. From what I have heard.
Hope you found this information helpful. Again our top choices are Bluehost and WP Engine and we highly recommend both. If you’re looking for further website options for photographer check out this article.
If you’re interested in starting a photography business and want to know all of the tools and resources that have been tried and tested in our studio for the past 10-years, take a look at our Secret Archive for Photographers. This is an ongoing list of all the best resources you will need to run your brand and be amazing!