Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

I design unique and cutting-edge websites for wedding photographers.

I was once a wedding photographer myself with over 1,500 weddings under my belt. I have since retired from that very active and creative business. I now design fully custom websites for wedding photographers.

I know how important it is for you to show your best work on this live portfolio store front. I have a number of tricks, strategies and idea’s that will set your website apart from other wedding websites. The website I design is not a template but something I design from the ground up with your input.

Your images are a BIG deal…

… that is what sets you apart from other photographers, but I can show them in the best way possible through the use of cutting-edge web design. I like to integrate your business social media in unique ways that links your work forward and backward, so you can get the most mileage out of all your photography.

I set up a blog inside your website and teach you the best way to use this amazing tool to drive traffic to your website on a regular basis. SEO is a big deal there also as well as tagging all your photographs with the right focus keywords.

I can also set up the best SEO (search engine optimization) strategies and integrate them into each and every page of the website as well as each image that you post to a blog or website page. After all, what is the point of having a beautiful most amazing website if it cannot be found on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

I have a degree in graphic arts…

… and I use these skills in the process of designing the website but also logo and other business-related material to help your photography business grow.

If you have an existing website that needs help or looks old and dated I can redesign it a bring in all these techniques with me. I only design websites on WordPress because I feel it’s the best platform in use today. 

The following sections or segments are from a real wedding photographers website. Everything is functional if you click on the individual parts.

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers
Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers
Website Designer Wedding Photographers

The these three images are not just photographs but also link to different parts to the website. The first two, Weddings and Engagements, will take you to a carrousel of images that this photographer is displaying of their best work.

Custom Web Design for Photographers
Custom Web Design for Photographers
Custom Web Design for Photographers

The third one, Featured Weddings takes you to a page that has photo links that will connect to different photo blog articles of whole complete weddings at different venues that the photographer has taken. This is a great way of killing two birds with one stone. You all ready use your blog to show whole individual weddings, why not advertise it right on a website page.

Like I said before, I am a graphic artist so I have used this knowledge to design these text / photo modules as links.    

The long wide image directly above…

…is called a rotating slider. We use it to not only display some very cool wedding photographs but also of testimonies that the photographer has received from the bride and groom. We also have a a separate website page with many more testimonies but we also like to sprinkle a few here and there through out the site on different pages.    

Find Us on

Instagram and Pinterest  

By clicking each image below connects to its counterpart on Instagram or Pinterest. You can read more on the background of that image there.

Custom Web Design for Photographers
Photographer Website Designer
Phoenix wedding photography
Photographer Website Designer
Wedding Photography Web Designer
Best Phoenix wedding photography
Wedding Photography Web Designer
Best Phoenix wedding photography
Phoenix wedding photography
Photographer Website Designer
Wedding Photography Web Designer
Photographer Website Designer

These square images above are linked to this photographers Instagram and Pinterest account. Each image links to its counterpart on those social media. Each one gives a much more detailed explanation about where that image was taken and the story behind it.

You need to set up these business social media accounts in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube anyway to promote your wedding photography so why not set up a great visual photo link to display your work right on a website page.

These 3 different examples will give you an idea of the creative cutting edge ideas we use to design awesome wedding photographer websites. We have many, many more. 

If you have any questions about our graphic and website design business, please give us a call or email us. We would love to hear about you website ideas. 

.

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Designing Websites for Wedding Photographers

Website Designer Wedding Photographers

Custom Web Design for Photographers

Wedding Photography Web Designer

Photographer Website Designer

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again 

I thought Google just expanded meta descriptions to around 320 characters last December? They did but they changed it again back to their old length of between 150-170 characters.

Crazy!

For a website designer this is more drama than I would like in my business. SEO is something I stay on top of because I want all my websites that I design to be found on Google and I want them to look good when they show up on organic and paid searches.

In December I went back to many of the websites and expanded the meta descriptions to double what it was and was thankful because it would give us a chance to explain more fully what the website was all about.

You had to do this with each and every website page that was in the website itself or you would lose the visual advantage that extra text provided to potential clients. If you had a website that had a lot of pages, it caused lots more work but was worth it in the end.

But now??

Website Meta Descriptions Shorter

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

I use a pro version of Yoast SEO plugin on all my WordPress websites including my own, so it makes it easy to do SEO and meta descriptions.

They have a free version that works well but the pro version gives you much more functionality that really helps in a number other area’s such as website backups and 301 and 401 redirects (which can be a real pain to do manually) as well as adding more focus keywords instead of just one. Here is what Yoast says about this Google change.

If you do not fix the meta description, it’s not a big deal with Google I am told but it will look like you forgot half of what information was. When the description gets to the end of 150 characters it will be followed by three dots

When I see the three dots on the end of the meta descriptions it always makes me think someone lost their train of thought on what they were trying to say plus you lose half of the information.

Think of your meta description as a descriptive ad on who or what your business is. Would you want half your ad that you paid a lot money for missing? You need to go back and condense the meta description to 150-170 characters so potential customers do not think badly about you or your business.    

Here is more information to read up on what is happening. Search Engine

How to write Meta Descriptions: How To Write Meta Descriptions In a Changing World. I hope that information helps.

I just wished Google would stay consistent so they would not cause us website designers and SEO guys so much extra work. O well, what else do I have to do with my time. Ummm, let me see 

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

Meta Descriptions Smaller Now

Focus Keywords Meta Descriptions

Website Meta Descriptions Shorter

SEO Meta Descriptions Smaller

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WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

I feel like I should have the music from the movie Clint Eastwood stared in called “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” playing in the background as you read this blog article.

One of the added features of designing websites on WordPress are something called plugins. Plugins add features to a website without having to write code. I am a photographer and graphic designer at heart, but I also build custom WordPress websites. The last thing I want to do was build a website from scratch with code. I learned to do that in a few classes when I when back to school to study for my graphic arts degree. It was interesting, and I learned to navigate around the back end of a website, but it was not something I wanted to with the rest of my life.

I discovered WordPress about 10 years ago and my digital universe changed. WordPress is an open platform where around 25% of all business websites are designed on today. I load up a premium theme that has a page builder installed and much my work is drop and drag so my world as a graphic designer becomes much more visually creative.

Understanding WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

 

Plugins allow me to bring new added functions that do not come with WordPress right out of the box. These plugins will give a website security, SEO, image and page compression, website data tracking devices and so much more. Some plugins you install and activate, and they do what they were designed to do and other plugins you have to set up for them to function correctly.

Think of Plugins as little blocks of pre built code that will allow you to ad more custom code that is unique to your website. 

Since WordPress is an open source platform there are thousands of code programmers and millions of users involved. There are thousands of themes to choose from that are free but many have a premium price. The same hold true with plugins. Over the years I have learned which plugins are the ones to be trusted and many which are not. This is where The Good The Bad and The Ugly come into play.

Good plugins…

…far out way the bad and the ugly plugins. You just have to be careful of the ones you use. You can also have to many good plugins because the more plugins you have the slower the website runs. Websites can get bloated with to much code which in turn can slow them down from loading on a browser. You will want to make sure that the good plugins that are installed are serving a useful purpose. Deactivate and then delete those that are not being used so this will not happen. When it comes to a website, the less baggage the better. 

Bad plugins…

… can slow down a website, not work as intended or have a conflict with other plugins that will shut down parts of your website. This happens many times when the website does updates to the theme or plugins. I have even had a conflict so bad that I could not log into the back-end of my website to make any changes. I would then have to resort to connecting to the back-end of my hosting provider and work in the cPanel and disconnect all the plugins until my website opened up again and then turn each plugin back on one at a time to find out which plugin is causing the trouble.

What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins

 

Ugly plugins…

… can cause security breaches to your website and allow the site to be hacked which will cause major headaches to fix. In the website maintenance part of our business these are issues we keep an eye on and fix when the need arises.

Plugin conflicts happen many times when the WordPress platform, themes and plugins are updated. They worked great when they are first installed but when the update occurred something broke or some code was missing. Remember, websites are nothing but a mass of code so it does not take much to cause a problem. Sometimes plugins do not play well together and that is where the conflict comes in. You see this all the time in other technologies when we update our computer programs, cell phones or other software.That is what software patches are all about. It can drive you crazy, but it is just part of the technical world we live in.

To learn more…

…about WordPress Plugins, go right to the source right here at WordPress Codex.

If you have any questions on WordPress plugins or anything else related to websites or the internet, please drop me a email with your questions.

If this blog article has been helpful to your understanding of website design, please sign up to the right to receive a email every time we post a new article. 

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Understanding WordPress Plugins. What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Conflicts with WordPress Plugins

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins

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How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed

There are several things you can do to have your website load faster but having your images optimized or resized correctly should be right at the top.

Big images slow a website down. It does not need all that extra size and is a detriment to the health of your website. It would be best to start right at the beginning of any website design to have a good process in place that you or your web designer will use on every single image you will place on a page or blog but you can go back and replace photographs that are not up par.

 

I know it means more new work on an existing website but it is well worth it for two HUGE reasons.

 

1.) People today do not have a lot of patience for slow loading website. You will lose potential visitors and that translates in to losing customers. Go here to learn how loading time affects your bottom line.  According to Kissmetrics 47% of visitors expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% of visitors will abandon a website that takes over 3 seconds to load.

2.) Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing will rank your website much higher if your website loads faster than other websites in the same business market. It could mean the difference on being on page one or much further down on page 2, 3 or even further on an organic search. Do you want your competition to be listed on the top of page one and you somewhere much further down because your website does not load as fast as theirs does? 

    You can test your website speed by going here to Pingdom Website Speed Test. Images for websites is a different beast all together. You never ever want to go higher than 72ppi. You don’t need to because websites are viewed on internet browsers and it only takes 72ppi to look good. Anything else is a waste and will slow your website down from loading fast. Of course, you want your image resized depend on where that image is going to go on a page or blog.

 

How To Optimize Images For Faster Website Speed

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed
Photograph Optimize Faster Website Speed
Compressing Images Websites

First of all, I use Photoshop to resize images.

There are other programs you can use to do this. Some are free and here is a list for you to pick from. Best Free Photo Editing Software. Of those on the list I like Pixlr the best because it works a lot like Photoshop.

I have three size images that I make for websites. First off make sure your photographs are either .jpg or .png. Do not use anything else. I use .jpg’s most of the time but use .png’s when I want a transparent background to the image.

1.) Banner images…

That is usually a image across the top of a page. Long and narrow. Horizontal. I try and figure out what the dimensions should be depending on how narrow you want it to show. Typically, the image is 1008px x 290px (14in x 5in). You will need to do some test with this banner image to see which dimensions work the best for what you are trying to show. Again, do not make it more than 72ppi. 

Photograph Compression Websites

The Wedding photographs on this blog are from a photographers website I designed at Beyond The Shutter Photography from the Phoenix, Arizona area.

2.) Featured Images. These images are the ones that follow your pages and blog around on the internet alongside a snip it of what your page or blog is all about. This images also has a duel role on a blog because it is also the image you can have go across the top of the blog if you wish. I sometimes like to get real creative with this image and put 2 or 3 images together to tell a visual story.

I make this photograph a bit bigger than photographs that will go on the page itself because it will be made much bigger across the top of the blog. Featured images should always be horizontal. Featured images are 648px x 360px (9in x 5in) at 72ppi. There is a featured image at the beginning of this blog at the top of this page.

3.) Website images for pages and blogs. I make these no larger than 432px (6in) on the long side. That could be 432px x 288px (6in x 4in) horizontal or 288px x 432 (4in x 6in) vertical. A square would be 432px x 432px (6in x 6in) as long as the long side is no longer than 432px (6in). Even if I am designing a website for a photographer and their website is image heavy or they have a carousel or grid system to show off their work, I do not go past those dimensions and certainty do not make them higher than 72ppi.

Photograph Optimize Faster Website Speed

Two More BIG Steps

1.) When you have your photographs resized then there is one more step that helps to shrink the digital image further. There is a free service that compress these photographs without losing any quality. It’s called Tinyjpg. You can add 20 images at a time in .jpg or .ping and it will optimize or reduce the file size from 30% to 70% further without quality loss.

This is a BIG savings when you upload your images to your website and the bandwidth that you are saving will help your website pages open much faster. Tinyjpg can explain the process much better than I can but all I know is that it works. 

2.) If you have a website that has been designed on WordPress you will want to have a plugin that will optimize your images even further. Here is a list of the 10 best Image Optimization Plugins. I use WP Smush. They have a free version of this tool that works great.

Optimizing Images Faster Website

Optimizing Images Faster Website

 

One Last Tip

Make sure you title each and every one of your images. They are an identifier for search engines. Each photographs have their own SEO that is independent from the website that they are on. With the correct title tag on a photograph that image will show up on a search by Google, Yahoo or Bing.

I typically name the image with my website name first with a hyphen between each word, then what the image is and where it is located on the website and the number represents if there are more than one image on that page.  It may look like this best-website-solutions-dog-barking-blog-1  

I hope these tips and suggestions help your website load up faster. Google also has a free service that will not only tell you how fast the website is loading but also what you can do to fix a certain problems called PageSpeed Insights.  Use this tool and Pingdom to test your website on a regular bases and stay on top of any problems your website might encounter in the future.

One More Thing

As you know, I spend a ton of time writing articles like this for you. If you could help me out by sharing this on Twitter or Facebook, it would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or you felt you are ready to embark on this new online adventure, please contact me by email or phone with any questions. We are here to help your vision come to life. 

How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed.

Photograph Optimize Faster Website Speed. 

Compressing Images Websites. 

 Photograph Compression Websites. Optimizing Images Faster Website.

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It Takes Two to Tango = Effective Website Design

It Takes Two to Tango = Effective Website Design

It Takes Two to Tango = Effective Website Design

.

Effective Website Design

Designing a good effective website takes a collaborative effort.  It is important to hire a good website developer that will design a site that looks modern, clean and is easy to navigate, but also has powerful SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and shows up well on mobile devices but also remember designing this website is a two-way street.

As a website designer we need help from the new owner of the website to supply much needed documents such as the text for each of the pages and photographs and videos. Without them the designer is stuck from moving forward. We need this information in a timely fashion.

Whatever the timeline is decided upon from the start needs to be followed because a web designer is setting aside a certain amount of time to complete the work by a prescribed date.  We also will turn away work if we do not think we can complete the work on your new site by the deadline.

Efficient Website Design

I also know sometimes that new clients bite off more than we can chew. You may not know all that building this website will in tale. You also my struggle on how to write out information in an appealing coherent way that prospective clients may find informative and want to hire you and your business.

Creative Website Design

It also may take longer to track down photographs or video’s that we have in our minds eye we want used. A learning curve will have to be considered for blogs in your new website.

You need to have a moment of clarity with your website designer on a realistic time frame to have this all accomplished by.

If you are struggling with certain aspects of this timeline, have a line of communication open with them be it email, phone or text messaging. Let us know what is happening and what hurdles you must scale.

As a web developer we are here to help. We know how daunting all this may seem.

Creative Website Design
Creative Website Designer

Creative Website Designer

Start out slow if this your first website mountain or even if you have done this before. Complete certain key pieces of the website first and then move on to the next part or section. Do not have so many pages half done.

Completing one part at a time will give you and the designer a sense of a completion and confident on moving on to the next part. Use a visual mind map so you have a visual sense of what is happening and what is connected and why.

This keeps the spaghetti monster from attacking our minds from the complexity of what we are dealing with.

If you have any questions or you felt you are ready to embark on this new online adventure, please contact me by email or phone with any questions. We are here to help your vision come to life. 

Effective Website Design. Efficient Website Design

Creative Website Design

Creative Website Designer

Phoenix Creative Website Designer

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Website + Mobile Responsive = Looking Good

Website + Mobile Responsive = Looking Good

 

Website + Mobile Responsive = Looking Good

 

Mobile Responsive Website 

What does mobile responsive really mean?

Mobile responsive means your website is mobile friendly. How does the website or blog look on mobile devices such as cell phones?

Over 60% of all online browsing is currently being done on these small devices and the percentage will only get larger with more people using them in the coming years. You want your website to look good small. You want to make sure that your website adjusts itself to cell phones.

Phoenix Responsive Website Design

Websites are usually designed on a desk or laptop. This means that the website will be designed to in a horizontal (left to right) or landscape view. You can rotate your cell phone to view a website horizontally, but this is not what most people naturally do. They almost always view their cell phone vertically (up and down).

Website + Mobile Responsive = Looking Good

Making a website to be viewed correctly is almost like fitting a square peg into a round hole when you think about it. Most photographers understand this quandary. A horizontal image tells a much different story than a vertical one does.                                                                                  

Another BIG reason to make sure your website or bog mobile responsive is Google. Google will rank you much higher if your website is responsive than those websites that are not. It will waste all that hard work on SEO (search engine optimization when you are trying to have your website to rank higher.

Another BIG reason to make sure your website or bog mobile responsive is Google.

Google will rank you much higher if your website is responsive than those websites that are not.

You will waste all that hard work on SEO (search engine optimization) when you are trying to have your website to rank higher and gain more traffic.

Arizona Responsive Website Design

Cell Phone Website Design

Google accounts for over 5.7 billion searches every day. How will you and your website stay ahead of the competition?  

44% of Fortune 500 companies are not mobile ready. 

Google has been publishing details about how changes to its search algorithm will favor mobile friendly sites over non-mobile friendly ones.

Google even offers a mobile responsive test, so you can see how a visitor can use your page on a mobile device. You enter a page URL and receive a score.

We design all our WordPress websites with a premium theme installed to make our website mobile responsive. This is the only theme we use to design websites with because it is constantly being upgraded to keep up with the changing times of websites and internet use.

Cell Phone Website Design

Website + Mobile Responsive = Looking Good

This theme has an amazing page builder that allows us to view and change all three devices they will view it on. Desktop, iPad and cell phone.

The theme that we use does a great job adjusting most of the time but not always so it gives us this option of making changes no matter what is being viewed.

This tool is powerful and something that was not offered until recently. It has been worth every penny that we paid, and our customers reap the benefits.

If you have found this blog article helpful and would like to receive future alerts from us on new blog posts in a email, please sign up on the right. Thank you! 

Website + Mobile Responsive = Looking Good

Arizona Responsive Website Design. 

Cell Phone Website Design. Phoenix Responsive Website Design

Phoenix Cell Phone Website Design

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