New HTML Photography Websites Worth Checking Out

If you have followed Fstoppers for any amount of time, you know we are big advocates of photographers having great looking websites. Most photographers love the look of a flash site but more and more companies are starting to offer both flash and HTML versions of their sites. Creative Motion Design has been hard at work creating flashy looking websites that are coded in HTML so your potential clients can check out your work while browsing on their mobile devices and tablet computers. This week CMD released their first fully customizable HTML websites Rosie and Ethan with more designs coming out throughout the rest of 2011. I love the look of Ethan, and the prices on these sites are reasonable especially since CMD's customer service is leagues above many other website design companies. As soon as Lee and I have some free time, we are planning on converting our sites so they load up easier for potential clients.

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Nine Volt's picture

Here's another cool HTML web site built with "off-the-shelf" HTML templates and modules:

Patrick Hall's picture

That's funny, I was just on this website a few weeks ago looking at the Chevy ad. 

Quentin Decaillet's picture

As much as I find the interface of Ethan website great, that one is simply stunning and really easy to use (which I find somewhat important if you want your clients to take a loot at your pictures).

any idea what they used?  Im getting a little tired of my website...

Andrew Dobbie's picture

That top link to Creative motion design is wrong... you have it taking you to:

Haha, I was looking at the CMD Ethan design the other day too! I was very impressed with it if im honest.

But as a web designer, I feel I shouldnt ever buy a template! However im very tempted with this one...

I love designing for other people and clients, but when it comes to designing for myself, and self branding, I absolutly hate it. So I might just buy the Ethan theme :)

Patrick Hall's picture

My thought has always been if I can't design it better or it's going to take me more time to design it then I should buy it.  I'm not a web designer at all and I feel like it's worth my time and money just to buy one that's great already.  The beauty with HTML is I believe you can tweak it easier than a Flash file.  

I might be able to design better, but I probably couldnt justify the time spent on coding it up and designing it really.

Seen a few on ThemeForest too. Tempted to buy one :)

You should check out theme forest their latest designs for wordpress are offering some great full screen image options now and the backend is really easy to use through wordpress. much cheaper too

Hands down Themeforest is the way to go!

For only $30 you can get one sick website theme like this:

These themes are installed on top of the high performance WordPress platform - which is FREE! And updating your site is WYSIWYG - similar to a word processor.

Another BIG BONUS - the WordPress developer community donates literally thousands of FREE plugins to further enhance your site.


Patrick Hall's picture

as comfortable I've become with wordpress running this Fstoppers site, I still like the stand alone feel of a website and then linking to a stand alone blog like wordpress.  

that's what I ended up with, wordpress for written content and a stand alone page for showing images. administration of images is done in a gallery plugin in wordpress, easy!

Nine Volt's picture

Also, the blog on ( is run on Wordpress while the rest of the site is regular HTML. Because both are so easily customizable, the transition into and out of the blog are seamless.

Patrick... I'm talking about a stand alone, self hosted WordPress platform with a ThemeForest skin on top.

Not the sluggish, oversubscribed "hosted" blog offering at

Why on earth would anyone want to maintain 2 websites ???

A shooter has got to be in the studio or on location making the Big Bucks - not authoring web sites... just saying.

then why not have two wordpress sites one for site one for blog. Just turn the blog post function off on the one you want to use for the main site. So easy to use and install and theres a plugin/widget for every thing you could ever what! no brainer. all for $30

J.D.M.'s picture

Looks nice, I'm in the market for a revamp on my website as it looks outdated compared to alot of others out there.  I'm trying to get the next site in either WordPress or Joomla because editing code is not something I have time to do which is why my existing site and it's image gallery content doesnt get updated "often"...

Jason Peters's picture

I do appreciate all the cool stories, BTS and just general help that F Stoppers is giving the public. And as much as I think a good website is crucial to a photographers business, this post just felt like extra push for a site sponsor to me. I hope articles like this don't become a habit.

It's obviously a push for a site sponsor, but at the same time, I feel there's a lot of value to it.  I think Patrick and Lee do a great job of filtering their sponsor promo's to those that really are pertinent to us as photographers and videographers.  Unlike on other sites, we're not bombarded with useless plugs for products/services that have little or no added value for the readership.  It was Fstoppers that first steered me towards CMD and it has honestly been a great asset for me. =)

Ummmm are you guys serious? I'm sorry but HTML is no where close enough to what flash produces. If you want something simple then I suppose this is fine, but both of those examples are very basic and kinda boring. The photography on Ethan is AWESOME but its NOTHING enjoyable or wow.

Thats a site

THAT'S a photography site.

Until html can do this, you are only making your sites look average and low budget. 

Patrick Hall's picture

I tried opening Testino's site on my iphone and ipad but it said I had to install a flash player....maybe I'll just hire someone who's site opens during this short lunch break I have :)

Funny Pat, they loaded just fine on my Google Nexus S, and Xoom Tablet. I would switch to a device that can handle rich content.  Those sites are not top notch either. I've built sites with more features. I posted them to show that the top tier companies simply are not buying into not using flash and you really shouldn't either if its compromising the look of your company. Sure you can pull it up on an iphone but it will look like crap and it will look pretty cheap.  The only company really pushing non flash is Apple. Yes people have mobile sites, but if you go to them you can see that they are a total after thought and don't really have any detailed work put into them, yet they continue to build on their flash based site.

I suppose if your goal is to get your site to pull up on a PHONE, wait, ONE TYPE of phone, well then yeah this will get it done. The truth is the other 52% of all smartphones (androids) can load Mario Testion's site and Tag.

Some would say well this can pull up on both. True, but just look at how BLAH that is. Go approach Lexus with a site build like that and see if they want you to build theirs. 

By the way I don't think this site SUCKS as bad as I'm making it sound. I'm just playing the role of a guy on blog voicing his unimportant opinion.

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm just scared that Apple is running the market with the know HP just dropped their entire tablet and I'm sure Google's version isn't doing too good either.  I'm mainly a wedding photographer and I can tell you most young women have an iphone or an ipad....not anything android.  

I think your argument is fair except that you are looking at it backwards.  Instead of saying 52% of smart phones can load them, you should be saying 48% of phones CANT load them.  I think having your site accessible on all platforms trumps any flashy site design.  

Funny thing is that I tried to pull Mario's site on my Samsung galaxy S running android and it said I needed flash to run it. So even that 52% is off since not all android phones have flash installed. Also Windows 7 phones don't have flash installed and can't have it installed. Simple website designs don't mean blah. Look at  the google+ design. It's really simple but nice with no need for flash.

Ummm why don't you have flash player installed on your Droid device? Its free and one of the main points of buying that type of device. They promote that on basically every commercial. Install the software, problem solved.  Windows Phone 7 along with blackberry is getting flash also. Everyone is except the iphone. I just went to that Google site, then I left it faster than I arrived at it. 

My point is most all modern devices support flash now, most major companies STILL use flash even after Apple influenced them not to because html5 produces boring sites and EVERYONE can see the huge difference between flash and html5.  Code your site what ever way you please but just recognize how low budget it looks next to a flash site that is well constructed.

With the exception of a few here, many are trying to break into bigger parts of the industry. I don't know why you would focus on whether your site can be brought up on an Ipad or not when other major players are not.  In Pats case his client likes to use their phone, so it makes sense. My clients don't do that and if I am telling them I can shoot their commercial projects and build them a dynamic site, its not going to be anything looking like an html5 site. Have you visited the Adidas website? Yo

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I pretty much stay clear of flash sites if I can. They simply take up too much memory. On Vimeo I pretty much always choose the html5 player. I also tend to like HTML sites more since I find them cleaner. While you call them boring, I call flash sites gimmicky. They look nice the first time but after they get frustrating really fast. They simply don't load fast enough for me. I also think that most photographers (not saying you don't) don't know what good web design is. If the website has music when it starts or takes me into a full screen mode then it sucks.

Also as a programmer I understand that to most users fast matters. Try giving up google for msn? Even if they gave the same results people would choose google since it's just a lot faster to work with. Look at the new search that microsoft did with bing. Think it's a coincidence that they made it load so fast and didn't make it a portal like

Most clients that go to a photographers website want to quickly get to the prices page. After they see if your even in their ballpark they'll look at your work. I see flash has it's place and is useful but I don't see the benefits out weigh the drawbacks to make a full website out of it. A portion of the site o.k. but most of the things that flash does you can do with html and javascript.

Robert Barnes's picture

Those sites you posted are definitely the cream of the crop.  They also definitely weren't coded by one person(or small team), bought prepackaged, or cheap.  Those sites are in the 10s of thousands of dollar range and most likely dont have a simple backend for updating.  By your logic about flash vs HTML, every flash site would like these and all HTML is crap and that's simply not true.

You guys need to know about this if you don't already know. I build sites for clients high end and lower tier

I agree with Jason Peters, this post really just looks like a sponsor plug. I stopped reading Kelby because that is all he does now ("Pimpy Thursday's" WTF?). And honestly, if you want to be informative about HTML websites, "Ethan" is not a good example. As other's have stated, it is pretty basic even for HTML. There are many better examples out there - Flosites, Graph Paper Press, etc.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Hunter, the problem with Graph Paper Press and others is their "need" to keep getting paid every month or a year. And it's not cheap either. Themeforest offers the themes for one time payment ($40 at the most). I have my blog and site running with templates from themeforest. After two years of happy using I am just in the process of changing my blog to a new and fresh one (Brick + Mason theme bought at Themeforest) and I am looking for a good stand alone site preferably HTML which I did not find yet.

The one thing that Flash sites do well is the ability to have passoword protected galleries for clients. That is one place where WP does not shine. There aren't any good password protection scripts and WP password protection is a joke. Also,many of the WP themes work with the default WP image uploader that really sucks.

As a wedding photographer I need to upload hundreds of images really quicly and have them in a neat looking gallery for clients to view. Another option that Flash has is the ability for the client to choose images from their gallery and e-mail me their selection. Great when designing an album based on client's suggestion.

Any good HTML sites that can provide those features out there?

Just my two cents.

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