3 More Things Your Photography Website Better Get Right

3 More Things Your Photography Website Better Get Right

In May we published an article covering three of the most critical things your website should do well. The original post included several critical suggestions that could help improve your website but was, by no means, a definitive list. In this article we will expand on the first by adding three more items to the list.

4. Make Sure Your Mobile Experience Rocks

The days of cobbled together mobile sites are over. Mobile first design is a trend that has taken over. You never get the chance to recreate a first impression and the reality is that for the majority of users that first impression is being made on a mobile screen. Responsive layouts are great but just “shrinking” a page down fit nicely on a phone doesn’t mean it leads to an optimal experience for the user

Here are a few tips to improve your mobile experience:

Horizontal oriented images don't work as well on mobile. Horizontal loses its impact when on a small, vertical, screen. Be prepared to re-crop or use different images that better fit into the mobile viewing experience.

Gestures have become ubiquitous. Don’t make mobile users tap a tiny arrow to move through your gallery, instead, let them swipe. Don’t disable pinch to zoom but do make sure that the user shouldn’t feel a need to zoom. Don’t break scrolling because your desktop site has some fancy parallax system. Focus on an elegant layout that feels like the user is interacting with a user friendly app.

Typography needs to be optimized for a small screen. Readability needs to be clean and comfortable. Make sure you are optimizing font sizes so that paragraphs are 45-75 characters long on any mobile device. Make sure headers stand out nicely but don’t dominate the entire screen. Most of all, tailor the content of the text itself to be short and pithy. Mobile users aren’t looking to read big paragraph so put your creative “Twitter” hat on.

5. Leverage “Why” Marketing

The great marketers of our time all know that sales are made on “why” rather than “what.” What you do is obvious by the existence of your portfolio but why you do it is going to build the connection which converts window shoppers to customers.

Check out this great TED talk which covers the basics of “why” based marketing extremely well. After, ask yourself how you can use what you’ve learned build upon your digital identity.

A few years ago Fstoppers published a fantastic article featuring a myriad of amazing marketing videos that excelled at showcasing “why” marketing, which are awesome for inspiration.

6. Speed Is King

Most usability studies show that you start losing out on traffic after half a second. Your site has less than a single second to get content in front of users before it risks losing some traffic to slowness. This is especially true on mobile. Take whatever steps you can to maximize the speed of your website without compromising the image quality.

If you are looking for ways to improve the speed of your site or want something to give to your web developer to show them how they can improve your site's speed Woorank is an excellent service that scans a website then provides a list of recommendations on how to improve. This includes page speed recommendations. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day your website is the only place online that is truly a reflection of you. By making sure that users have a smooth but exciting experience, not only do you create a great first impression, but also build an aura of quality that will extend to that viewer's opinion of your work.

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8 Comments

Samten Norbù's picture

Would you mind try mine and get me feedbacks ?
http://samten.fr/ :)

Ryan Cooper's picture

- The work is good but because it is displayed as tiny thumbs on the homepage there is no wow factor.
- The layout, unfortunately, feels very dated
- Can't comment on the text content since I don't speak French but lose the contact form and replace it with a real email and phone number

Joshua Davis's picture

You have a beautiful portfolio and obviously have refined your style. I was immediately taken by your portrait work. With that said, there was a stark contrast of your website feeling unrefined. a slew of thumbnails upon entering. text in random places (the footer text appeared in the middle of my screen). The layout (and forgive me for being harsh) was uninspired. I had to click on a page to see that you are actually very talented, but my first impression was not being overwhelmed with unbalanced and cluttered layout. I think something like a rotating banner of your best images displayed largely across the screen as the first thing I see when visiting your site would be a great compliment to your work. have a great day! hope this helped.

Eric Reichbaum's picture

Just a heads up, I clicked on your website http://ryancooperphoto.com/ and got nothing but a grey screen...

Ryan Cooper's picture

Weird, it works fine for me, it is possible the server was temporarily down. Are you still experiencing the problem? If so what browser are you using?

Eric Reichbaum's picture

Yep, still just a grey screen. I tried Crome and IE

Ryan Cooper's picture

Hmm, that is very strange. Do you have javascript disabled? I just ripped through all my virtual testing machines and it works fine in every major version of IE.

In chrome if you right click anywhere on the empty page and select "inspect element" then select the "console" tab then reload the page while the console is open does anything print out into the console?

thanks!

Bill Peppas's picture

Your site is malfunctioning like Eric said.
Just a black screen with the loading icon running endlessly.
There's something wrong with your hosting server.
It's browser independent ( tried all 4 browsers here and two different internet connections ).