The way you showcase your photography can make or break your career. If you chose an unflattering layout and design for your website, you’ll likely see few customers, regardless of the quality of your work. With that in mind, you’ll need to find a quality theme – and there’s one in particular we recommend.
The Genesis Framework is one of the most solid choices available for building WordPress websites, including those in the photography niche. It has a stellar pedigree, and is the go-to solution for site owners of all stripes. Coupled with a strong domain name and a quality host, you’ll have almost everything you’ll need to showcase and sell your work.
In this article, we’ll walk you through three steps for creating a quality photography website with the Genesis Framework. We’ll also discuss choosing a suitable child theme, to help get you up and running quickly. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Select a Domain Name, Choose a Suitable Web Host, and Install WordPress
First up, you’ll need to choose and purchase a suitable domain name. Doing this right takes a little more thought than simply snatching up the first name you think of. Once you’ve settled on a contender, you’ll need to purchase it from a suitable registrar, such as Namecheap:
Once your domain is sorted out, your next task is to find a quality web host. Ultimately, you’re looking for a provider that can scale with your business, offers flexible features and functionality, and has a proven track record.
For example, Imagely provides superb cloud hosting via Amazon Web Services. Unlike other hosts, Imagely offers a WordPress installation dedicated to photographers – including functionality for showcasing galleries, offering proofing options to clients, and much more. Best of all, you can run multiple websites depending on your plan, and you’ll get expert support 24/7.
After you’ve settled on a host, the final part of this step is to install WordPress. Imagely hosting comes with WordPress pre-installed, although many other hosts offer one-click installation thanks to WordPress’ dominance in the industry. Of course, you can also install WordPress manually if you have some technical knowledge.
Step 2: Install the Genesis Framework and Select a Suitable Child Theme
There are plenty of themes available that enable you to set up a photography website, but there’s one solution we recommend most highly – the Genesis Framework.
Introducing The Genesis Framework
The Genesis Framework (usually called just ‘Genesis’) is one of the most long-standing and highly-regarded themes available for WordPress. It’s become popular largely due to its solid codebase, fantastic support and documentation, and ease of use.
On the surface, Genesis doesn’t offer as much scope for customization as many other WordPress themes. However, if you’re a coder, you can use a wide variety of hooks and filters to tweak your site. If you want, you can also use a page builder plugin, such as Elementor or Beaver Builder. Thanks to these options, Genesis is actually vastly customizable.
The Genesis Framework itself costs around $60. However, you’ll likely need a suitable child theme too, which will increase the initial price. Let’s discuss that aspect now.
Finding the Ideal Genesis Child Themes For Your Site
If you’ve been using WordPress long enough, you’ll already know what child themes are. Genesis makes use of this functionality, but in a slightly unusual way. In a nutshell, you’ll need to install both the Genesis Framework and a suitable child theme, but only activate the latter. Your customizations can then be made directly to the child theme, as the core code is kept within Genesis itself.
You’ll find a wide selection of Genesis child themes on the official StudioPress website, including some photography-specific solutions. Plus, there are third-party Genesis child themes available that offer dedicated functionality – such as image proofing and superb gallery options – along with practically everything you’ll need to showcase and sell your photography online.
Installing Genesis and a Child Theme
Fortunately, installing Genesis and a child theme is a snap. There are just a few steps to take:
- Download Genesis and your chosen child theme from the StudioPress website.
- Upload the Genesis Framework to WordPress, either directly via the admin screen, or through File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
- Upload your child theme to WordPress in the same way.
- Activate your child theme, and start customizing it!
If you opted for Imagely’s hosting, you’ll find that Genesis is installed out of the box. What’s more, you also get access to all of their photography-focused child themes upon signing up. This will make getting your website up and running significantly easier.
Step 3: Select Plugins to Enhance Your Site’s Functionality
Once your site is all set up, you’ll want to consider installing some plugins. This is a smart way to enhance WordPress’ core functionality, and some plugins are essential if you want your site to be secure and run smoothly. Most of them can be found for free on the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, although premium options also exist.
When it comes to choosing plugins, you’ll likely want yours to accomplish three crucial tasks: securing your website from malicious attacks, helping it rank highly in search engines, and showcasing your work. With that in mind, here are three plugins we recommend:
- Wordfence Security. This plugin helps you stop malicious access to your site, providing a solid firewall, real-time scanning, IP blacklisting, and much more.
- Yoast SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a tough nut to crack. This plugin gives you a leg up by analyzing your content and showing you where it can be improved to appeal to search engine crawlers.
- NextGEN Gallery. Without a way to showcase your work, a photography site is all but useless. This plugin is one of the best solutions available, and provides powerful organization and customization options to help display your images.
Finally, you’ll need to install the plugins you’ve chosen. Fortunately, doing so is just as easy as installing a theme. Once you’ve mastered this step, you’ll be well on your way to conquering WordPress as a whole!
The Genesis Framework offers excellent design, solid coding under the hood, and world-class support whenever you need it. What’s more, it’s perfect for creating a stellar photography site. Pairing it with a quality host and some well-chosen plugins will start you off displaying your work on the right foot.
In this post, we’ve offered three steps you’ll need to follow to create a photography website using Genesis:
- Choose a domain name and web host, and install WordPress if necessary (depending on your host).
- Install Genesis, and pick from one of the many dedicated photography Genesis child themes.
- Select some suitable plugins to help enhance your site’s functionality.
Do you have any questions about how to set up a photography website with Genesis? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: congerdesign.