Why Use WordPress for Websites?
WordPress is simply the most powerful way for any business owner to take control of their own website, update and maintain it. WordPress users can take advantage of countless useful plugins that extend the functionality of WordPress. The most useful plugins I’ve found are those which help you in these areas:
Improving your Social Media Reach and Traffic
A very useful social media plugin for WordPress is Shareaholic. Not only does it allow your visitors to share your website on most of the popular social media platforms, it also comes with a Recommendations module which suggests other pages that the visitor may like. There’s also an analytics tool that shows you how your content is being shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Search Engine Optimization
Wordpress is built for SEO right from the start. As for search engine optimization plugins, I have tried both WordPress SEO and All in One SEO Pack. For me, WordPress SEO works better because it guides you in improving your SEO score, and you can see how your SEO efforts contribute to the final result.
The URL redirection plugin is extremely handy when you have many old links that still bring you visitor traffic, and you don’t want to lose that traffic.
Auto Website Backups
Then there are the other plugins that you don’t usually pay attention to, but are a Godsend when disaster happens. WordPress plugins for auto-backups fall into this category. My old web hosting company happened to lose most of my data when their server crashed a few months ago (when I used to be ignorant of this handy plugin) and I had to rebuild all my websites from scratch. Thanks to my current hosting company, I discovered this useful plugin.
Professionally Designed Themes
Do you like the current design of this website? If you have been following this website right from its inception in 2010, you may have seen the old design. Which one do you prefer?
I personally prefer the current design, as it’s much more user friendly and allows me to display a lot more information on a page, without it getting lost in the clutter. When I first started this website, I took a shortcut by grabbing a free WordPress theme and customizing it to suit my needs.
This was how this website looked like when I initially started off with the free theme:
Eventually I got tired of how clunky it looked, as the theme (website design) was an afterthought instead of being a purpose-built design.
I could have tried learning to build a WordPress theme from scratch but it would have taken too much time (though I can use my newfound skills to sell my themes!).
So I searched online for a good looking WordPress theme that already suited my requirements for displaying lots of articles without getting too cluttered. The current WordPress theme that this website is using is called Frailespatique by Theme Forest. Click on the link to see a live demo. I was drawn by how easily I could customize the columns of information for my needs. After all, this is a WordPress theme designed for online magazines.
My day job is wedding and portrait photography. I run a photography studio called Emotion in Pictures, my website uses the Hypershot Responsive Theme from Theme Forest. It’s called responsive because the theme adapts according to the device used to view it. If you view it using a smartphone, the website will automatically resize its columns and images so that only one column is displayed, greatly enhancing the legibility of the text on small screens. Desktop or laptop computers will show the website theme in full. Here’s a screenshot of my studio’s website, as viewed from a desktop computer:
If you personally know other wedding photographers (or are one yourself) you can imagine that I don’t have a lot of time, so I decided to use pre-designed WordPress themes for ALL my websites. How many websites do I have actually? Five in total.
The third website that I run is my SimpleSLR Photography Guides website, an e-commerce website where I sell my portrait lighting e-books. This website uses a WordPress theme which I bought on Theme Forest but unfortunately the theme appears to be no longer sold there.
I didn’t want to use just any theme, because my website design is my clients’ first impression of my company. So I needed a professionally designed WordPress theme, as I run all my websites on WordPress. Here are a few places where you can get really slick themes that are designed by professional designers, and many of them are suitable for photographers who need to showcase their work on a well designed website.
This is a really huge collection of themes, it can be quite daunting to find one that you like, simply because there’s just so many to choose from.
The great thing about this collection is that you only need to buy one theme, and you get the entire collection.
Theme Trust has a great deal that lets you buy a theme and get another one free.
StudioPress themes have great security features, and are search engine optimized right out of the box.
These themes are more basic, but easier for the beginner or someone who doesn’t want too much customization.
Found This Tip Useful?
Get back-stage access to valuable photography tips and techniques, right in your email inbox.
Many of these techniques will be shared only with my email subscribers, so don't miss out!