Top 5 photography website builders 2022

Create an online destination where you can showcase your work, find clients, and sell prints in an instant using one of the 5 best photography website builders

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0 out of 0
BEST FOR
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Visit

Squarespace

SmugMug

Format

Weebly

Adobe Portfolio

Design flexibility & businesses looking to scale

Building a photography portfolio

Opening an online store

Value for money

Adobe Creative Cloud users

4.8
3.9
3.8
4.0
3.3

We think the Squarespace photography website builder is the best for small business photographers looking to grow their business through a website. It has aesthetic sensibility at its heart, not to mention the best looking templates around.

It's followed closely by the SmugMug, the best choice for security-conscious photography SMEs, and e-commerce expert Format in a respectable third.

As a professional photographer, you need to give your photographs the website they deserve – one that shows your work in its best light, and exemplifies your keen eye for form, framing, and composition.

Thanks to drag-and-drop website builders, that’s never been easier.

But which website builder is the right one for you?

While there are some photography specific website builders, many of the best website builders for SMEs also offer templates and features that are tailored to the needs of photographers.

To save you the trouble, we’ve tried, tested, and ranked five of the best website builders for photography businesses, based on photography-specific tools and templates, design flexibility, sales and marketing features, value for money, and ease of use.

Read on for the full picture.

squarespace-logo-square-100
Our top pick: Squarespace

Our research suggests Squarespace is the best website builder you can choose for a photography business site - try it for yourself with a free trial

Free Trial Find out why photographers use Squarespace

Just starting out in the photography game? Check out our guide on how to start a photography business here

Squarespace photography website builder

Best for: Scaling businesses

Squarespace editing interface

Squarespace editing interface

4.5 out of 5
  • Design flexibility
    5
  • Photography features
    4
  • Sales features
    4
  • Marketing features
    4.5
  • Value for money
    4.5
  • Ease of use
    3.5

Squarespace has quite a reputation for its stunning templates, and rightly so. Every single one of its photography-focused designs is sleek, stylish, and optimised to show your work in its best light.

What’s more, it offers multiple presentation formats, and every template is mobile responsive, meaning your photography website will automatically be reconfigured for mobile users. Time for a refresh? Squarespace also allows you to change your template at any time.

How does it work?

Once you’ve uploaded a photograph, you can use Squarespace’s extensive on-site editing tools to tweak, crop, and filter your image until it’s perfectly formatted. Then you can adjust the display style and settings to decide how prominent each image is on the page. As you can see, there are near infinite design possibilities, which is why we ranked Squarespace as our number one website for design flexibility.

Squarespace integrates with countless social media platforms as well, making it easier to grow your audience and reach new clients. And if you’re planning to sell prints of your work through your website, Squarespace’s ecommerce offering makes it easy to set up product listings and take payments online.

We were also impressed by the platform’s SEO tools, which are easy to find in the editing sidebar. Good SEO is essential for a successful photography website, ensuring it ranks highly for key search terms relating to your imagery.

Where does it not score well?

Where Squarespace falls down slightly is on ease of use, which is somewhat sacrificed in favour of absolute design control. This complexity results in a less intuitive editing experience than, for example, with a builder like Weebly.

However, that’s a minor issue when you consider how great your photography website will look.

SquareSpace pricing

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Price

Personal Plan

Business Plan

Basic Commerce

Advanced Commerce

Read our complete guide to Squarespace pricing for a better idea of the discounts and deals available.

Pros
  • Stunning, photography-specific templates
  • Plenty of design flexibility to suit your specific requirements
Cons
  • Design and editing tools can be tricky for newcomers

There's so much to say about the pros, cons and costs of Squarespace, we couldn't possibly fit it all here! Read our complete review of Squarespace's website builder to learn more.


SmugMug

Best for: Building a portfolio

SmugMug editing interface

SmugMug editing interface

3.9 out of 5
  • Design flexibility
    4
  • Photography features
    5
  • Sales features
    3.5
  • Marketing features
    3.5
  • Value for money
    3.5
  • Ease of use
    4

Unlike Squarespace, SmugMug is a website builder that’s been designed specifically for photography businesses.

Every aspect of the platform has been built with the needs of photographers in mind. This means templates that are optimised to make your work look superb – and that look great on any device – and excellent features to help you get noticed, find work, and sell. All templates can be customised without using code, but if you are a dab hand with HTML, you can access the code to get exactly the results you’re looking for.

SmugMug also offers a decent suite of ecommerce tools, including a fully integrated shopping cart, customised pricing, and the option to sell your work printed on countless products. For all this, the platform takes 15% of the profits, which is pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things.

How does it work?

There are a number of plans available, catering to different needs. The Pro Plan is the only one to offer promotional coupons, the ability to sell custom single and multi-image packages, and event marketing tools.

But what really sets SmugMug apart from the other photography website builders in this ranking is its security features.

On all plans, you can limit the size of displayed images, opt out of search engines, and have your images backed up with Amazon Web Services. You can also make any individual folder, gallery, or page completely private, keep them password protected, and limit access to specific people/clients. On the Pro plan, you can even protect your images by adding a custom watermark.

That makes it a great option for photographers that want to build a portfolio to showcase their work, without risking it being stolen or copied.

Where does it not score well?

As SmugMug is a photography website builder first and foremost, you’re not going to find the depth of features that you’ll find with some of the other platforms. But, if you want a platform that’s absolutely focused on your needs as a professional photographer, SmugMug is the one for you.

SmugMug pricing

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Price
Free trial?

£4.29/month

£6.63/month

£15.61/month

£28.09/month

Pros
  • Excellent security features
  • Sell work across countless product lines
Cons
  • Not as full-featured as other, less specialist website builders

Format

Best for: Opening an online store

Format editing interface

The Format editing interface

3.8 out of 5
  • Design flexibility
    4
  • Photography features
    4
  • Sales features
    3.5
  • Marketing features
    3
  • Value for money
    4
  • Ease of use
    4

Do you want to set up a photography website with minimum fuss and hassle? If so, Format could be the photography website builder for you as the quick and easy way to get your online photography store live.

How does it work?

Users simply choose one of its themed templates (wedding, video, design, art, fashion), adjust the layout to your preference, and you're away. If you fancy trying a new look, you can change your theme at any time, and all templates are optimised to look great on any device.

But this simplicity doesn’t mean it skimps on key features. You can create customised, password-protected proofing galleries to share with clients for approval, and enable or restrict access to the size of images they can download. For added security, you can also use Format’s in-built watermark tool to protect your images from unauthorised distribution.

You can sell your work through Format too, and keep 100% of your revenue. In fact, depending on the plan you choose, you’re allowed to sell a set number of products before you’re charged a penny: 3 products on Pro, 60 products on Pro Plus, and 1,000 on Unlimited (not absolutely unlimited then…).

It also integrates with essential photography software like Lightroom and Capture One Integration, allowing you to share your work directly from its editing source – instead of having to compress and reformat it to within an inch of its life before it’s seen by a client.

Where does it not score well?

Unlike a lot of website builders, Format does not offer a free plan. However, Format’s most advanced plan, Unlimited, is cheaper than the top tier plans offered by any of the other photography website builders we’ve reviewed, and still offers a pretty comprehensive range of tools and services.

Overall, then, a solid, affordable, no-fuss platform you can use to create a portfolio that would make any photographer proud.

Format pricing

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Price
Free trial?

£5.46/month

£9.36/month

£14.05/month

£19.51/month

Pros
  • Great, no-fuss platform built specifically for photographers
  • Sell your work and keep 100% of the revenue
Cons
  • Expensive in comparison to other website builders, like Squarespace

Weebly photography website builder

Best for: Photography startups

Weebly editing interface

The Weebly editing interface

4 out of 5
  • Website Features
    3.5
  • Design Flexibility
    2.5
  • Value for money
    5
  • Help and support
    3.3
  • Customer Score
    3.6
  • Ease of Use
    3.4

As a photographer, your main priority is content creation – getting out into the field and taking pictures of your category focus whether that's corporate headshots, or beautiful landscapes.

We’d say Weebly has a solid, if basic offering for photographers. It’s pretty easy to get set up with one of its many decent photography templates, which you’re free to change at any time. And, once uploaded, your photos can be resized, cropped, rotated, and filtered to ensure they look perfect.

How does it work?

It doesn’t offer as many photography-specific features as some of the other website builders we’ve featured, but it does have a nice range of tools and services you can use to fully optimise your website or portfolio. And while its features aren’t quite up to the standard of a provider like Squarespace, the app store has some fantastic ecommerce extensions and other apps that would be useful for photographers.

The integrated SEO and marketing tools provided by Weebly are pretty decent. You can find the dedicated marketing area in the dashboard, from which you can create custom emails, onsite pop-ups, and more.

Where does it not score well?

If you are planning on selling your prints through your site, be aware that the number of products you can sell is limited unless you choose the Business Pro plan.

That’s about all there is to say about Weebly – it’s relatively easy to use, it’s relatively affordable, and it’s pretty simplistic.

Weebly pricing

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Price
Features

Weebly Connect

Weebly Pro

Weebly Business

Weebly Business Plus

  • Low cost plan
  • Adds custom domain
  • Cheapest plan that removes Weebly ads
  • Lets you sell online
  • Phone support
  • Comprehensive ecommerce features
  • Pop-up notifications
  • Advanced ecommerce statistics
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Real-time shipping calculator
Pros
  • SEO and marketing support is useful
  • Can change your templates at any time
Cons
  • Not many photography-specific features

Adobe Portfolio

Best for: Adobe Creative Cloud users

Adobe Portfolio screenshot

3.3 out of 5
  • Design flexibility
    4
  • Photography features
    4
  • Sales features
    1
  • Marketing features
    3
  • Value for money
    4
  • Ease of use
    4

Photography is an expensive industry. Camera and lighting equipment, travel expenses, advertising fees – they all add up quickly. If you already pay for a Creative Cloud subscription you'll get Adobe Portfolio completely free of charge, which is an excellent offer to take advantage of if you're looking to avoid large website fees.

How does it work?

Every ‘page' you create on your website is called a Collection. You're permitted an unlimited number of collections per website – helpful for organising your various projects or areas of work.

The platform comes with lots of attractive templates to choose from, and clever programming means the images automatically resize no matter what template you change to. There's not a lot of customisation options available with Adobe Portfolio's templates however, so you might struggle to design a solution that's unique to your company.

Plus, Adobe Portfolio also comes with access to Lightroom, an editing suite which allows you to crop, recolour and improve the clarity – and syncs this to your website, so you won't have to re-upload any images once you've made your changes.

Where does it not score well?

The caveat to Adobe Portfolio's positives is that it is only free for Adobe Creative Cloud users, and has been designed to integrate with the latter. That means it doesn't offer great value for money if you're not using Creative Cloud to edit your photos.

Another area that Adobe Portfolio doesn't score well is e-commerce and marketing. For small businesses, it works best as a place to display your service offering, so you can't create a website store with this platform.

Adobe Portfolio pricing

The platform's pricing plans come in two options, depending on which version of Adobe Creative Cloud you own – photography alone, or the suite's entire list of apps.

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Price
Free trial?

£9.98/month

£49.94/month

Pros
  • Free for Adobe Creative Cloud users
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
Cons
  • Does not support e-commerce features
  • Does not allow blogging

How did we choose the best photography website builders?

When focusing in on the best website builders for photography businesses, we made sure to train our lens on the aspects we know are most important to professional photographers.

Those aspects are: photography-specific tools and templates, design flexibility, sales and marketing features, value for money, integrations, and ease of use.

Then, through a combination of in-depth research, user testing, and direct comparison, we assessed each builder on those core considerations and ranked them accordingly.

Having a great-looking website is, of course, important for any business. But for photographers, whose income depends on having a keen eye for what makes a pretty picture, it’s vital.

Beyond that, you need a platform that has the scope and flexibility to actually fulfil your creative needs.


Next steps

For our money, Squarespace is the best website builder for professional photographers, offering stunning templates, unparalleled design flexibility, great marketing and SEO tools, and a suite of essential ecommerce tools to help you sell your work.

Squarespace is the best website builder for scaling photography businessesSquarespace is easily the best website builder for attracting new customers. This is thanks to its huge range of design templates, excellent social media integrations, and affordable, scalable payment plans.
SmugMug is the best option for building a photography portfolioSmugMug's excellent security features make it great for showcasing your creations without risking their theft.
Format is the best web builder for opening an online storeFormat is a great photography e-commerce website builder, allowing you to sell your work immediately, without editing, and keep 100% of the profits.
Weebly is the website builder with the best value for moneySimple, no-fuss features make Weebly the best low-cost option for photography businesses that want a website that won't break the bank.
Adobe Portfolio is the best web builder for Adobe Creative Cloud usersIf you use the number one creative software suite, Adobe Creative Cloud you'll get access to Adobe Portfolio - a great, cost-effective way to show off your photography portfolio.

That said, you’ll be able to create a fantastic looking photography portfolio using any of the five platforms we’ve reviewed above. Which one you choose might come down to budget, aesthetics, or the complexity of tools and services you require.

All offer a free trial period or basic free plan. So, if you’re really struggling to decide, why not test out a couple and see which one works best for you? After all, there’s usually no obligation to provide card details until you upgrade to a paid plan.


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Henry Williams headshot
Henry Williams Content Manager

Henry has been writing for Startups.co.uk since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.

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