There are many excellent website builders for photographers that you can use to create a professional-looking gallery for your images, but if you want full control over how your website looks you’ll need to make it yourself, and then find a reliable web hosting site for it.
When creating your own site, there are two main options to consider, depending on your level of experience and how much time you can dedicate to the project. The quickest and easiest option is to create a site using WordPress. You can do this without knowing any HTML, and many of the best web hosting services provide WordPress pre-installed for exactly this purpose. Alternatively, you can make your site completely from scratch using a tool like Adobe Dreamweaver.
Whichever you choose, you’ll need to look for a hosting service that provides enough space for all your photos and video, and ideally one with unlimited bandwidth as well.
Be careful though – just about all web hosting services offer special low introductory rates, then raise prices significantly after the first year or so. Always read the fine print before you sign up, and bear in mind that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here is our pick of the best web hosting sites for photographers around right now…
If you’d like to create a site for your photography using WordPress, Bluehost is our hosting provider of choice. Its prices are very reasonable for the service provided, which includes automatic WordPress setup so you can start building your site with a minimum of hassle using one of hundreds of templates
If WordPress doesn’t appeal, or you want to get a simple portfolio online quickly while you work on your site, Bluehost also offers a browser-based website builder that’s fast and easy to use.
A basic Bluehost account gives you 50GB storage for your site and photos, but if that’s not enough you can upgrade to the Plus plan and remove the limit entirely. A Plus plan also lets you set up email addresses using your domain name (ideal for professionals speaking to clients) and manage them through Microsoft Office 365.
Bluehost is well established, and offers good customer support too, so you can be confident that your corner of the web is in safe hands.
HostGator’s plans are super affordable, and even the most basic ‘Hatchling’ plan is very generous. You get one-click WordPress installation, a free domain for the first year, unmetered bandwidth and, most impressively, unlimited storage. You also get ecommerce tools (ideal if you want to sell prints) with a choice of two different shopping cart services.
As with all hosting services, HostGator’s prices rise after the introductory period has expired, but if you don’t mind committing for the long haul, you can sign up for three years at just $2.64 (£1.95) per month.
HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee if you’re not completely happy with its service, but with 24/7 help available we doubt you’re likely to need it.
InMotion has been hosting websites since 2001, and you can trust it to take good care of your portfolio site. Not only are its servers reliable, it also offers advanced security tools, including malware protection and backups, to ensure your valuable online presence is safe.
You don’t get unlimited bandwidth unless you upgrade to a business plan, but InMotion gives you a rough estimate of how many visitors your site will be able to handle with each personal plan so you can decide which suits you best.
WordPress is preinstalled and ready to go with any plan, and InMotion also includes BoldGrid – a WYSIWYG editor that makes it easy to customize and create your own themes.
It’s not the cheapest web hosting service around, but you get a great deal for your money and there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee.
GoDaddy is one of the biggest names in domains and web hosting, and its hosting plans have a lot to offer photographers – particularly if you’re making your first site. There’s one-click WordPress installation so you can start getting creative straight away, plus GoDaddy’s own browser-based website building tools if you’re in a hurry.
The Economy plan only gives you 100GB storage, which might not be enough for a large portfolio, but upgrading to Deluxe only costs a little extra. Alternatively, you can buy extra drive space through the control panel if you need more. Office 365 email is included free for the first year, so you can have a professional-looking email address to share with clients and access your messages anywhere.
You’ll get a free domain for the first year too, and GoDaddy offers a huge range of options so you can pick something that really suits you and your work rather than having to think of an original .com address that becomes very expensive after the introductory period ends.
Most of the web hosting services here are based in the US, but if you’re in the UK then you might prefer a provider closer to home. tsoHost is a well-established provider that’ll host your site from its data center in Greater London.
There’s one-click WordPress installation, and if you already have a website hosted elsewhere, you can transfer it to tsoHost free of charge. The Economy plan only provides 100GB storage, which you might outgrow, but there’s unlimited bandwidth so you won’t need to worry about becoming too popular for your hosting plan. Changed your mind? You can upgrade and downgrade your plan within your control panel.
There’s no 24/7 support chat, which is unusual, but there’s live chat and phone support between 7am and midnight GMT, which should be fine for most photographers. You’ll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee when you sign up, just in case.
Wix is best known for its browser-based website builder, but it also offers hosting plans, including a free option that might appeal to creatives on a budget. Although it provides a generous 500GB storage, you only get the same amount of bandwidth and Wix will places ads on your site. To remove these limitations you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan.
These are reasonably priced, and include some welcome extras like Google Ad vouchers so you can buy advertisements to help more people find your site. There are ecommerce tools too, so you can sell prints of your work, and Wix won’t take a cut in the form of transaction fees.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to host a WordPress site on Wix. It used to be possible to set up WordPress on a subdomain, but Wix has now decided to switch over entirely to its own blogging platform, which limits your creativity somewhat.
The best website builders for photographers