“Get a website now!!” This phrase plasters the photography Facebook groups we’re in. Every new photographer of business owner always asks the first thing they should do after becoming a legal business. This is everyone’s tip, and it’s ours to you too!
If you’re ready to start creating one and don’t know where to start, we feel you. We feel you on a deep, embarrassingly personal level. Our first website was total garbage, but you know what, taking that leap was one of the best things we’ve ever done. Literally, it was a white page with a logo & a gallery. That was it. It created a space for us to start growing though and that we did! With that little business we booked our first 10+ weddings!!! Just goes to show you you can make anything work if you try.
After a year with that site we decided it was time to “re-brand.” We heard everyone was doing it and it felt right. Our cheap website just wasn’t serving us or our clients anymore. So, we went on the search to find a new host & a starting point for our new site. That’s when we discovered Showit! We bought an expensive ($400’s was a LOT when we first started our business) template and launched a desktop website. No mobile version, barely any photos, and no clue what we were doing. It was’t a huge upgrade, but it was SOMETHING.
Showit is a specialized host specifically for photographers. That means it had beautiful, easy to use galleries and was made for those of us who aren’t web designers. You can of course purchase beautifully designed templates from tons of different designers. So, we hopped on, picked a free template & announced our baby site so easily! Now, they’ve got so many free templates to choose from too you’re bound to find a gorgeous option. Their team will even walk you through every step of the launch process and help you move your blog over if you need it.
We also think its important to think about factors like SEO, page speed, and how functional your host is. Showit is phenomenal for us because it is geared towards our industry. It’s got built in SEO functions we like and is easy to use. On the other hand, it’s not the best for page speed and sometimes we can have a difficult time trying to optimize it beyond their basic SEO settings. For us the benefits outweighed the negatives. Just something to consider when you’re doing your own website research!
Here’s a peak at us transitioning from our first Katie & Alec website on Showit to what our current site started out as! It’s a total throw back to when Fixer Upper was just blowing up hahaha! This is the template called “Ferncroft.”
Now, if you’re watching the video of our site, it definitely doesn’t look anything like it used to. We’ve actually spent the last two years working on our own to hand craft our website. Part of it is just our brand changing, part is us using different pieces from different templates (yeah, you don’t have to settle on just one!!), and the rest is just Katie being picky haha. Like we said, we aren’t web designers but we LOVE how Showit (and other site hosts like squarespace) allows us to easily drag & drop everything without knowing code. We get compliments on it all the time and if only people knew we somehow hodge-podged this thing together ourselves 🙂
As you build your very own site, don’t be afraid to start somewhere. You don’t have to wait to launch until everything is perfect. Even fully designed sites normally undergo tweaks & updates. Start somewhere and make changes as you go. It will allow you to grow and as you do for your website to grow with you! Ask your host tons of questions & even ask friends & family to take a look and let you know what works and what doesn’t! Its a delicate process but it can totally be worked on as you go!
If you have any questions about our design process, inspiration, or anything website related please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Katie & Alec
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