How to improve your WordPress photoblog – The best things to keep in mind when launching a photoblog

Categories Blogging, Helpful sites, Plugins, Themes, WordPress

I like photography and I work with WordPress. Then I thought, what about making a post that includes these two?

There are lots of people interested in this art, but there are also lots of professional photographers who made a career out of it. For them, an official website where they can publish their portfolio is vital.

Using WordPress you can create everything you need from photography websites to photoblogs. If you like both taking awesome pictures and writing your experiences down, then a photoblog is the right choice for you.

Okay then. What do you need for your photoblog?

Blogs are simple to manage and easy to set up. You just have to take into consideration a few small details that will keep your blog up and running smoothly.

INSTALLING A CACHING PLUGIN IS A MUST

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A caching plugin should never miss from a photography website and it should not miss from a website that has lots of multimedia files, in general. Photography sites are part of the target.

Caching plugins were built to make your site load faster than it usually do. The loading times will be drastically reduced thanks to these tools.

A caching plugin stores the final view of your site for any future visitors. Once your images are entirely loaded, the plugin keeps them archived in their final version, so they won’t have to load again and again, each time a visitor clicks on them. That will speed up your site incredibly much!

There are a few free and popular WordPress caching plugins. The best and most used ones are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Install and try one of them. It’s a must!

WHAT ABOUT CDNS?

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As well as caching, a CDN is also a recommended option for multimedia sites. A CDN’s main feature is to speed up any website, no matter what it is used for. Even if you already installed a caching plugin, having a CDN will provide an even better loading of your photoblog.

Having both a caching plugin and a CDN installed means awesome high speed. 

There are a few popular and great CDNs for WordPress around the internet. CloudFlare offers a free basic plan while MaxCDN charges you with $9 for the basic plan. However, if you use over 15TB a month, it won’t charge you at all.

Sponsored by the two CDNs above, jsDelivr is a completely free tool that will give you a hand related to your photoblog’s speed.

Last but not least, Jetpack’s Photon CDN service is made to work especially for websites that use a big amount of images or other media files. For a photoblog, Photon is the best choice. Consider trying it.

RESIZE THE IMAGES BEFORE UPLOADING THEM

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Never post a high-resolution image on your site. It will take a lot to load and will slow down your blog. That’s why you should resize each image you upload on your photoblog. This will make them load faster and will help for a better speed.

Also, be careful about completing each image’s fields, like title, description and tags. Another important thing is to rename your images with a relevant and concrete name. All these keywords will help you have a better search engine experience and will rank your articles higher.

CHOOSE A PROPER THEME

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WordPress is the empire of themes. It comes with so many great themes for all purposes, that will take you a while to find the one that perfectly fits your needs. Photography themes are specifically designed to support media files and to allow you organize your photo archive better. Their layouts are created to make your images look amazing on the screen.

There are lots of photography and photoblogging WordPress themes, free and premium, and you can choose one depending on the complexity of the feature package you need and the budget you have.

Here are two lists with some of the greatest premium WordPress photography themes and free WordPress photography themes.

There also exists two theme shops specialized in building WordPress themes for photographers. Check out Photocrati and Graph Paper Press.

Of course, every of these themes can be fully or partially customized, so you’re the one to have the last word when it comes to their design and look. Take a theme and personalize it exactly the way you want.

THE ADDITIONAL YET ESSENTIAL THINGS

✔ Add awesome galleries. There are lots of plugins out there that can help you adding some good-looking galleries to your posts. Every photographer uses galleries, there’s not doubt about it. It’s true that WordPress already has an option for photo galleries, but they come with basic look and functionality. A photographer would probably need something more… exquisite. MaxGalleria, NextGEN Gallery, Photo Gallery, or Envira Gallery are just a few of the free plugins that create great galleries.

✔ Also, you shouldn’t forget that your photoblog is a blog, though. Don’t underestimate the basic rules of blogging, which will improve your site’s performance and will bring you visitors. For instance, try to blog and update the site constantly, personalize the design and the content, write about yourself to create a personal connection with the reader, etc. You can find more details about this aspect here.

✔ Add a separate portfolio section. It’s very important to put all your best photos together, so the people interested in your blog can find them easier. Also, filter them by categories, this way, you’ll have everything organized. This aspect is important and useful not only for your visitors’ navigation experience, but for yourself. You need to put the content first, to keep the visitors focused on your works.

✔ Use contact forms and let the visitors get in touch with you. It’s very important to create a solid connection with them. You can easily add a contact form with Contact Form 7 plugin, or look for another one; there are plenty of plugins of this type.

✔ Use visual elements, they are very important nowadays. I’d say crucial. A blog with a great and interactive design will attract more visitors than one that has only plain text and nothing to catch the eye instantly. Users are very selective and you need to work hard to convince them to be “loyal” to your blog. However, even if you use visuals, don’t leave out your content. Try to find an efficient balance between the design and your content. Using very clustered pages may distract your visitors’ attention from your works.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Photoblogs are very popular in the present, as there are a lot of creative people all around the world. Moreover, the internet makes it easy for everyone to promote their works.

It’s simple to build and launch a photoblog. The main difficulty consists in maintaining it and keeping it up to date constantly. The great results come from hard work, a lot of research and hard work again. Use your imagination and try to do something different, original.

Besides, take care of your photoblog’s performance every day! There are plenty of WordPress tools that can improve it in an instant in so many ways.

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