Use Only WordPress for Photog’s Website?

On one of the listserves I subscribe to, there was some discussion of whether or not anyone had seen WordPress used as a platform for a photography studio's entire site without it looking too "bloggish".  (Is there such a word?)

By far the most elegant implementation of WordPress for a photographer's website that I've seen is Susan Carr and her partner Gary Cialdella's site.   It does very well in search for the keyword phrases they target.

Another well done WordPress site that does well in search and doesn't look like a blog is Andrew Pogue's tasteful site.

A photographer's blog, implemented in WordPress, that does incredibly well in search is Mary DuPrie's "Photographing Models" blog.  It also helps her studio's main site rank well in search because each is hosted on a different server and her blog copy is written intelligently/correctly so as to to improve her search rankings for both sites.

Flash content is OK with workarounds such as browser client tests and at least some control over the content on your home page.  Few Flash-based sites give you full access to your home page's source code.  There is one Blue Domain (!) template that does so in a clever way, but I'm not sure they even realize it does.  Off-server landing pages can also help, but it's a slow road to page one using that tactic since the domain for such pages will likely be younger in age than the sites on Google's or Yahoo!'s first page.  Age of domain is becoming an increasingly important factor in search.

What do you think?  Have you seen an amazing implementation of WordPress by a photographer for their main site? 

12 Comments

Walt Sorensen

about 2 years ago

Personally I prefer a different content management system (CMS) to wordpress, Joomla 2.5+ is great and has similar features to wordpress.

Blake J. Discher

about 4 years ago

Excellent and very helpful post Andy. Thanks for sharing your techniques.

Andy

about 4 years ago

I am in *love* with using WP for running my photography site, www.foto-andy.com. After experiments in self-coded pages and then Joomla (ugh), Wordpress has been nothing but good to me. I'd add (compared to Joomla) that aside from good community support, a more straightforward admin interface, and much more choice and quality in plugins, there's one thing that won using WP as a photo CMS site: NextGEN Gallery (www.nextgen.com). Alex Rabe's photo plugin is just so flexible, deep, and generally easy to use/manage, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Even gives you easily-activated widgets, a vast choice in easy addons (voting, s'show viewers etc), all the tools for greatness are there. One other WP plugin I find handy for adding easier content management v just blogging is the 'Exclude Pages from Navigation' plugin, to hide pages or other content from your menus. A redirect plugin like 'Page Links To' can also be useful. Lastly, I tweaked the IndoMagz 5.1 template to tilt the blog entries to a more visual-over-text feel , and (somewhat lazily) use the blog function to feature photos (or 'Featured Fotos' as I prefer in spelling), amongst other uses/experiments in blogging. Hope that helps/inspires/doesn't come off as link-bait! ;)

Toronto Photo Studio

about 4 years ago

you're right... wordpress is a great site for a studio site and other photography galleries.. it offers great control over images and is easy to update and maintain!

Michelle Kawka

about 4 years ago

Hi Blake - My site is a Wordpress site. I use a theme called Photocrati that I love and does not look bloggish at all. It is very easy to use and customize.

TJ McDowell

about 4 years ago

I've got a buddy who does some pretty amazing things with Wordpress. Basically, anything you can do with an html site, he can do with Wordpress even better. I think the main issue is that you've really got to know how to work the platform in order to make it look less templatey. Nobody wants a website that looks generic. I had my buddy do my blog so it wouldn't look like everyone else's.

Baby

about 4 years ago

Wordpress is really a vital software in the field of website development. If implemented properly, it can provide a hilarious task and would definitely enable the site owner get a good site or blog. Wordpress themes are also great things that provide a different look to the sites.

Blake J. Discher

about 4 years ago

Hey Niko, very, very nice looking site. Love the huge images, but of course I do, I use them in my site as well: Detroit People Photographer Firefly Studios.

niko

about 4 years ago

I just launched my new site on wordpress, http://www.nikocaignie.be Don't think it looks to "bloggish" :-)

marcy james

about 4 years ago

Hi Blake, My friend Tom Robertson has a wordpress website and loves it. Here's his link: http://www.tomrobertsonphoto.com/ I am a fan of WordPress sites. Our school just started showing our Career Training students the WordPress as a website option this year and though there are a few learning curves, it has been a great design/cost effective option for a number of them. Great post!

Sergio Ballivian

about 4 years ago

Hola Blake, I have been following your post and am learning a lot. Gracias! I recently launched a new website using WordPress (www.sergiophototours.com) and I think it has all the capabilities with few of the drawbacks. It is integrated (linked-to) with a few other sites and they all point to each other. From the responses that I have received after our launch in August, I think it is successful and I have plans to add much more content to it i the next few weeks. Blogging is to start very, very soon and we have a lot of other plans for it. I would love to hear your POV on it or anyone else's for that matter. Gracias, Sergio Ballivian

Will

about 4 years ago

Hi Blake, thanks for the post, I saw your mention on the listserve. I recently converted my site to WordPress and it integrates my portfolio/blog/photoshelter archive in one place. I use the "Modfolio" theme from Graph Paper Press with some customization, a work in progress of course. I love that it is mobile device compatible and easy to maintain and update. Cheers, Will

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