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      How to Create an Eye-Catching Photography Portfolio Website (In 4 Steps)

      Photography is a popular and engaging hobby, especially with the variety and convenience of advanced camera options. Whether you’re into dark rooms and film or high-end digital lenses, turning your photography hobby into an online business might be on your radar.

      That’s where WordPress and the time-saving functionality of website builders come in. When you combine the content management options of WordPress with drag-and-drop site design capability, it’s easy to turn your big ideas into a professional photography site.

      This article will cover four steps for creating a photography website with WordPress. So take that lens cap off your camera, friend, and let’s get started!

      Why You Should Consider Starting a Photography Portfolio Website

      As a photographer, it’s worth sharing your work online on a portfolio website. This site will serve as a collection of your different photos in one place, advertising your skills to a wide range of users.

      Although you may be tempted to use social media to build your photography business, it can help to have a dedicated website for your brand. Along with showcasing your beautiful images, you’ll be able to add a contact form. This is an easy way for prospective clients to get in touch:

      Photography website contact form

      Plus, you can organize your website into different galleries. For example, wedding photographers might want to add photo collections for specific couples:

      Photography portfolio galleries

      A website can also be a great place to showcase your personal style. If your work is colorful and bright, you could display the same qualities in your graphic design. A well-designed landing page can even increase leads and conversions:

      Photography portfolio landing page

      Without a website, you may struggle to connect with new clients. Ultimately, it’ll be more difficult to advertise and distribute your services. Therefore, when you’re ready to grow your business, you’ll want to create an online portfolio.

      3 Tips for Building Your Photography Portfolio Website

      Building a site can be a daunting task. To help you get started, here are a few tips to create the best photography portfolio website!

      1. Stick to Your Brand

      One of the first steps in designing a photography website is determining your style or niche. Whatever your focus might be, knowing it ahead of time will help you create your site and target your specific audience. With this in mind, take a few minutes to set some goals for your site and then write them down.

      Since there are many photographers, you’ll want your website to have some personality. By defining your brand niche, you can tell visitors why you’re the best option for their needs.

      For example, Jenn Emerling is a professional photographer specializing in destination weddings. Instead of being a standard, run-of-the-mill wedding photographer, she defines herself as an “artist who happens to shoot weddings”:

      Jenn Emerling photography portfolio website

      Her vibrant, multi-colored website, powered by WordPress and DreamHost, has proven to be a huge success. By focusing on her unique approach, Jenn was able to attract dream clients while reflecting her authentic artistic voice.

      2. Highlight Your Best Work

      When creating an online portfolio, your photos should be the center of attention. Since you’re a unique photographer, your website will also have a custom layout and web design. However, make sure that this structure properly highlights your work.

      At the very least, you should have a dedicated page for your portfolio. Although you may be tempted to include hundreds of photos for prospective clients to browse, it’s better to showcase 10-20 of your best pieces.

      If you’re having trouble narrowing down your work, consider diversifying your portfolio. You’ll want visitors to immediately understand your main niche without displaying the same type of photo over and over. Alternatively, you can also browse competitors’ portfolios to see their images, as well as any holes that you can fill.

      3. Use the Right Content Management System

      Although options like Adobe Portfolio are designed explicitly for creating portfolio websites, we’d recommend a more versatile platform.

      Since it powers over 30% of all websites, WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS). It is a flexible software that can give anyone full control over their online presence:

      WordPress website

      Outside of those numbers, WordPress’s practical, open-source software is another reason we suggest it for a photography portfolio website. You can find thousands of free themes and plugins in its directories to extend your site. Whether you need to build an image gallery or contact form, WordPress can help you create a truly unique website for your photography business.

      One more plus? WordPress software is free. You can afford to run a self-hosted website even as a brand-new photographer.

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      How to Create an Eye-Catching Photography Portfolio Website (In 4 Steps)

      Once you’ve defined your niche and collected some of your best photographs, it’s time to build your website. Fortunately, we’re here to guide you through setting up and designing a site with WordPress!

      Step 1: Choose Your Domain Name and Web Host

      No matter what website you build, a good first step is finding a hosting provider. Essentially, web hosts give you the server space and resources you need to store and grow your site online.

      Although choosing a web host might seem overwhelming at first, there are a few features you can look for:

      • Storage: If you plan on using the same host for your website and photos, you’ll want to investigate the amount of available storage. There may even be additional storage as an add-on to handle your larger, high-quality images.
      • Software: You’ll also want to consider whether you need a one-click solution to get started with WordPress. This is an excellent option for beginners who don’t want to hire a developer.
      • Support: The last thing you want is for your clients to be unable to access your site while trying to view your photos. Make sure your web host has 24/7 support and provides a downtime guarantee. You’ll also want to read up on its site backup and restoration options in case something happens.
      • Extras: Some hosts come with extra features you might want to consider. These include premium themes, plugins, staging sites, or website builders that can streamline your design process.

      No matter what type of hosting you ultimately decide you need, here at DreamHost, we offer a wide range of WordPress plans. Each package comes with a free SSL certificate, automated backups, and a free domain name. Plus, we’ll automatically install WordPress for you:

      DreamHost WordPress hosting

      Once you’ve signed up for a hosting plan, you’ll be able to register a domain name. This is the web address that potential clients will use to find your portfolio:

      DreamHost domain name registration

      Most photographers choose to include their full names within their domain. Alternatively, you can incorporate target keywords for your niche if your name is already taken. For example, Jenn Emerling is a wedding photographer, so her URL is ‘’.

      Step 2: Install a Dedicated Photography Theme

      Installing a theme enables you to customize the look of your WordPress site. What’s more, it’s as easy as uploading a file or clicking a button. There are a lot of photography themes out there, however, so deciding which one is best for you might be the hardest part.

      If you’re using DreamHost as your WordPress hosting service, you’ll have access to our Website Builder. As a photographer, you can drag and drop elements in a front-end view of your website. In addition, you’ll be able to choose from photography-specific custom templates and view your changes live as you make them.

      Getting started is easy. You simply need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option when purchasing your DreamHost plan:

      Enable DreamHost Website Builder

      Once you’ve completed your purchase with the website builder selected, sign in to WordPress. You’ll see a new Inspirations tab once you visit your dashboard. This will take you to a setup page:

      DreamHost website builder

      Next, you’ll be able to choose from a menu of theme categories. Our website builder contains many photography themes designed to showcase your skills:

      WordPress photography themes

      Once you’ve selected the theme you want, you’ll be guided through choosing some custom content options. You can use preset page layouts and menus. You’ll also be able to test your theme’s responsiveness on mobile devices:

      Edit WordPress theme

      You might notice additional content in your WordPress dashboard now as well. There are some tutorial videos, for example, in case you need extra support along the way. Plus, if you want to spice things up later and change your theme, the Inspirations menu will lead you through that process.

      Step 3: Select Plugins to Enhance Your Site

      Now that you’ve selected a theme, it’s time to install some plugins. WordPress plugins are add-on packages of code that can enhance and extend the platform’s functionality. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the best way to manage them to ensure you keep your site safe and secure.

      Photography blogs and websites often display and watermark high-quality images. To do this, you can install a photography plugin like Envira Gallery. This tool includes options for watermarking your photos, which may be an important part of your security strategy:

      Envira Gallery plugin

      With Envira Gallery, you can also set up an online store, create video galleries, and import content from Instagram. Combining this tool with our website builder makes it easy to display your work dynamically online.

      You may also want to create image galleries with password protection or tie your e-commerce options to a file download manager. With MemberPress, you can protect your content with access rules:

      MemberPress plugin

      This plugin will enable you to turn your photography portfolio into a membership site easily. You can direct visitors to purchase subscriptions before viewing or downloading specific photos. This paywall can be an effective option if you’re looking to monetize your website.

      Step 4: Create Compelling Content

      When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there is more to think about than just keywords. To secure better page rankings, it’s important to encourage other people to talk about you.

      Gaining backlinks and social media shares are both effective ways to improve SEO and acquire new clients. To encourage this sharing, you’ll need to create compelling content. This could include tutorials, downloads, infographics, videos, or podcasts.

      Adding a blog to your page is also a great way to build a following and establish yourself as a trusted name in the industry. A beautiful example of this can be seen on the Mostly Lisa website. Visitors can be inspired by these extensive how-to articles on taking high-quality photos:

      Photography portfolio blog

      Ultimately, adding a photography blog can make your portfolio feel more credible and engaging for potential clients. Plus, this blog content can easily be shared on social media or referenced by other websites.

      How to Promote Your Photography Business

      Now that your photography has a home on the web, you might wonder how to get more eyeballs on your work. Self-promotion can sometimes be challenging, but with WordPress and your professional theme, you have plenty to showcase!

      There are a few ways to approach promoting your new site, including:

      • Social media: Promoting your work on social media can reap significant benefits. We recommend staying on a posting schedule, so viewers know they can regularly expect new content. This can develop a loyal, engaged audience interested in your work.
      • Testimonials: Research shows that more than 80% of consumers seek recommendations from family and friends before making purchases. This makes customer testimonials a powerful tool on your website.
      • Call to action: If your goal is to gain clients or fill up your email subscriber list, you might want to learn how to write a good Call to Action (CTA). It will clearly guide your site’s visitors toward the action you want them to take.

      At the end of the day, there are many ways to build a following online. By creating a well-designed photography website and regularly posting on social media, you’ll be able to gain new clients in no time!

      Feature Your Photos Online

      If you plan on pursuing photography professionally, you’ll need to get your photos online. Whether your focus is nature, weddings, family portraits, or street photography, you can show off your images with a WordPress photography theme and our Website Builder. These tools can help you easily and quickly create a platform where clients can see and purchase your services.

      To review, here’s how you can build a photography portfolio website:

      1. Choose your domain name and web host.
      2. Install a dedicated photography theme.
      3. Select plugins like Envira Gallery and MemberPress to enhance your site.
      4. Create compelling content.

      If you’re just starting your photography business, you’re probably looking for a budget-friendly hosting provider. Here at DreamHost, our shared hosting plans are designed to maximize WordPress performance without breaking the bank!

      Power Your Website with DreamHost

      We make sure your website is fast, secure and always up so your visitors trust you.

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      How to Create the Perfect WordPress Featured Image (Sizing & Design Guide)

      To draw new visitors to your site, you may consider publishing blog posts regularly. However, without featured images, your posts likely won’t look inviting enough to earn clicks.

      Fortunately, you can easily create well-designed featured images for your articles. Once you know how to find the right photos, size them correctly, and optimize them for search engines, you can instantly revitalize your WordPress posts.

      In this post, we’ll explain what a featured image is. Then, we’ll share some tips on how to use them. Let’s get started!

      What is a Featured Image?

      In WordPress, the featured image is the visual representation of a specific post, page, or custom post type. When someone visits your website, these images will usually appear at the top of posts or in your blog feed:

      WordPress featured images

      Essentially, the featured image is the default thumbnail of your post. If someone shares the post on social media, this image will appear with the link:

      Social media featured image

      In WordPress, the featured image settings are determined by your theme. This includes the location and size of your images.

      Typically, featured images are displayed in the following places:

      • The top area of posts or pages
      • Pages on your website that link to blog posts, like your WordPress homepage, recommended posts section, or search results
      • Thumbnails for social media links

      Sometimes, featured images may be included in image galleries or sliders. You may also see them as background images.

      The Advantages of Using Featured Images

      If you’re new to WordPress, you might be wondering why you need a featured image for every post on your website. However, these can be the key to making a good first impression with new visitors.

      After users click on a link to one of your posts, featured images are often the first thing they’ll see and this can engage them enough to continue reading the article:

      Post featured image

      You’ll likely have a list of your published posts on your homepage. You can motivate visitors to read your content by including well-designed featured images.

      Plus, having a featured image for each post can help you establish visual consistency on your website:

      Home page featured images

      When you share your posts on social media, featured images can help advertise your content to users browsing their feeds. A well-designed image can increase engagement and generate more clicks to your site.

      What is the Ideal WordPress Featured Image Size?

      As we mentioned earlier, different WordPress themes can have various sizes for featured images. However, the general size is 1200 x 628 pixels.

      Here’s how this would look with the default Twenty Twenty-Two theme:

      Featured image size

      This size will work effectively with many WordPress themes. However, your featured image sizing may vary based on your personal preference and the layout of your theme.

      It’s important to note that WordPress will resize your images to its default settings. Whenever you upload an image, it creates three different versions:

      • Thumbnail: 150 x 150 px
      • Medium: 300 x 300 px
      • Large: 1024 x 1024 px

      If you want to keep the original size of the featured image, this will be its ‘Full Size.’ To edit any of these sizing options, you can navigate to Settings > Media:

      WordPress media settings

      Here, you can update the width and height with new values. Once you save your changes, uploaded images will resize to these dimensions.

      You can also add a custom featured image size. Before you do so, it’s a good idea to back up your website. After this step, you can add the following code to your functions.php file:

      add_image_size( string $name, int $width, int $height, bool|array $crop = false )

      Make sure to update these values with your new featured image sizes. Here’s an example of how this might look:

      add_image_size( 'post-thumbnail size', 800, 1500 );

      Next, you’ll need to display the new size within your theme. In your theme template file, update the_post_thumbnail() function:

      if ( has_post_thumbnail() ) {
      the_post_thumbnail( 'your-custom-size' );

      Once you save the file, you’ll have a new custom-featured image!

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      How to Set a Featured Image in WordPress

      To set a featured image, open your WordPress dashboard and create a new post. Then, in the right-hand sidebar, look for the Featured Image section:

      Add WordPress featured image

      Here, click on Set Featured Image. This will open a pop-up where you can upload your media file. Alternatively, you can select an image from your Media Library:

      Select featured image

      If you need to adjust the size, find the Edit Image button. Then, use the various editing options to scale, crop, rotate, or flip the image as needed:

      Edit featured image

      When you’re done, hit Set featured image. You’ll now see a preview of the image while you create the post:

      New WordPress featured image

      Before you publish the post, you’ll want to preview it to ensure the featured image is showing. Remember that your theme may require more specific dimensions to work correctly. You can refer to your theme’s documentation if you experience difficulties during this process.

      Additionally, you can install a few plugins to make this process easier. For example, Auto Featured Image will automatically use the first photo in your post as the featured image. You can also use Default featured image to select a picture that will be used as a featured image in case you forget to add one to a post.

      How to Create the Perfect WordPress Featured Image (6 Tips)

      Featured images can turn your website into an engaging, media-rich experience. Let’s discuss some best practices for creating them!

      1. Be Relevant and Consistent

      When used correctly, featured images can enhance your blog posts and make them more attractive to visitors, but there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.

      First, you’ll want to avoid using random images. A featured image should serve as an introduction to a post, so it needs to be relevant to the content.

      For example, if you run a food blog, you probably publish posts with new recipes. In this case, your featured image can be a photo of the finished meal:

      Relevant featured image

      It’s also good practice to keep your featured images consistent throughout your entire website. Since these will be displayed on your homepage, archive, and blog, you’ll want photos that align with your web design:

      Consistent featured images

      To find the right featured image, consider your current WordPress theme and layout. Then, select a high-resolution image that can be easily scaled down. After you finish creating the post, make sure to preview it to evaluate how well the image fits into your website.

      2. Avoid Using Copyrighted Images

      As you’re browsing images on the Internet, you may stumble across a photo that would look great as a featured image. However, before you upload it to your WordPress site, you’ll need to ensure that it isn’t copyrighted to avoid legal issues.

      When sourcing images, you can typically use anything under a Creative Commons license. These will be free to download and use on your website, except if they’re for commercial purposes.

      To find Creative Commons images, open Google Images. Then, click on Tools > Usage Rights > Creative Commons licenses. Once you refine your search, you’ll get a wealth of free images to choose from:

      Creative commons images

      There are also entire websites with these stock images. On a platform like Unsplash, you can download high-resolution photos that are free from copyright claims:

      Unsplash website

      Another alternative is to make your own featured images. By taking photos yourself or creating graphics in Canva, you can ensure that you avoid any copyright violations. Plus, these will be completely original!

      3. Optimize Featured Images to Reduce File Size

      If you publish posts on a regular basis, featured images will start taking up a lot of space in your Media Library. If they aren’t optimized properly, these photos could negatively affect your site performance.

      Essentially, optimizing your images involves reducing their file sizes. By compressing your featured images, you can minimize your loading time.

      If you don’t do this, you could end up with a poor Core Web Vitals score. Images might take too long to render, and you’ll see performance issues in your PageSpeed Insights reports:

      Failed Core Web Vitals report


      Fortunately, there’s an easy solution for this common image issue. A plugin like TinyPNG can automatically compress images as you upload them:

      TinyPNG plugin

      Plus, you’ll even be able to compress all images that you’ve already uploaded to your website. TinyPNG lets you bulk optimize any JPEG, PNG, or WebP images in your Media Library.

      4. Regenerate Old Thumbnails

      When you upload images to WordPress, it will resize them according to the pixel guidelines in your settings. Once you set new default sizes, your previously uploaded images will still have the outdated sizing.

      If you want to resize your featured images, you can manually reupload them. However, this will take some time.

      To solve this problem, you can install a WordPress plugin like reGenerate Thumbnails Advanced. This tool can regenerate the thumbnails for each of the images in your Media Library:

      Regenerate Thumbnails Advanced plugin

      After you install and activate the plugin, go to Tools > Regenerate Thumbnails. Under Regenerate Options, select the box next to Regenerate only Featured Images:

      Regenerate featured images

      Finally, hit Regenerate. This will automatically update all your featured images with the correct sizing.

      5. Optimize Images for Search Engines

      As a website owner, you probably already know how vitally important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is. If you want to avoid paying for expensive advertising methods, you’ll want to rise to the top of search results by optimizing your content. This can help you bring in more organic traffic.

      Having featured images can help you improve your site’s SEO. By simply tweaking a few elements, you can make your images more appealing to search engines and users.

      First, you’ll want to make sure to add alt text. This will describe the featured image to search engines and screen readers. For instance, you could write “Orange and white cat standing in a pumpkin patch”:

      Featured image alt text

      Remember to include the post’s keyword in the alt text. This way, Google can understand what the post is about and rank it higher for related queries. Similarly, you can include these target keywords in the title, caption, and description for the featured image.

      6. Enhance Social Post Thumbnails

      Social media can be the perfect platform for promoting your blog posts. Before you encourage social sharing, it’s crucial to optimize your featured images for these platforms.

      You can easily customize your social media links using a plugin like Yoast SEO. For example, the premium version enables you to see previews of your Twitter and Facebook thumbnails.

      To get started, install and activate Yoast SEO. Next, find Yoast SEO > Social. On this page, fill out the URLs for your various social media pages:

      Add social media accounts

      Then, open a new post and scroll down to the Yoast SEO settings. In the Social tab, you can click on Select image to upload your featured image.

      Featured image for social posts

      You can also add a title and description for each social media platform. This will give visitors a taste of your content. Once you publish the post on social media, it will have a featured image and snippet that conveys precisely what the article is about.

      Use Featured Images Effectively

      Featured images can help make your posts stand out. Whether people are browsing your content on social media or your website, they can look at the featured image to see what the post is about before they start reading it.

      To review, here’s how you can create the perfect WordPress featured image:

      1. Be relevant and consistent.
      2. Find copyright-free images on platforms like Unsplash.
      3. Compress featured images with TinyPNG.
      4. Regenerate old thumbnails with reGenerate Thumbnails Advanced.
      5. Optimize images for search engines using keyword-focused alt text.
      6. Enhance social post thumbnails with Yoast SEO’s social settings.

      When you create your own featured images, you can build an original website without facing copyright issues. At DreamHost, our custom website design services can help you use the right images on your site.

      DreamHost Makes Web Design Easy

      Our designers can create a gorgeous website from SCRATCH to perfectly match your brand and vision — all coded with WordPress so you can manage your content going forward.

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      Create a Stackscript

      Custom deployment scripts used to install software or configure a system on new Compute Instances.

      This guide walks you through creating a StackScript through the Cloud Manager.

      1. Open the Create StackScript Form in the Cloud Manager
      2. Set the Label
      3. Add a Description
      4. Select Compatible Distribution Images
      5. Create the Custom Script
      6. Enter a Revision Note
      7. Save the StackScript

      Open the Create StackScript Form in the Cloud Manager

      Log in to the
      Cloud Manager and select StackScripts from the left navigation menu. Click the Create StackScript button. This opens the StackScript Create form.

      Set the Label

      Within the Label field, enter the label you wish to use identify this StackScript. A good label should provide some indication as to what the StackScript will be used to deploy. The label must be alphanumeric, between 3 and 128 characters, and unique from other StackScript labels on your account.

      Add a Description

      Enter a brief overview of your StackScript in the Description field, outlining what it does and any software it might be installing or configuring. If you intend on sharing this StackScript with other users on your account or making this StackScript public, this description should be sufficient to help others understand the purpose of the StackScript.

      Select Compatible Distribution Images

      Within the Target Images field, select each distribution image that is compatible with your StackScript. When deploying a Compute Image based on this StackScript, the available images are limited to whichever images are selected here. At least one image must be selected, though you can add multiple images if you wish to provide an option during deployment. See
      Choosing a Linux Distribution to learn more about the distributions that Linode supports.

      Create the Custom Script

      Paste (or type) your custom script in the Script field. This is the script that the StackScript calls when deploying a Compute Instance. The interpreter needed to execute your script must exist in the distribution images that were previously selected. The first line of the script must include a shebang followed by the path to the interpreter you wish to use.

      • Bash: #!/bin/bash
      • Python: #!/usr/bin/env python
      • Python 3: #!/usr/bin/python3

      For more details on the components of a StackScript, see
      Write a Custom Script for Use with StackScripts guide.

      Enter a Revision Note

      Each time you make a change to a StackScript (including creating it), you can set a Revision Note to indicate what changes were made.

      Save the StackScript

      Once you are finished filling out all required fields, click the Create StackScript button to create the StackScript. After it has been created, you can edit all of the fields as needed. See
      Edit a StackScript.


      To deploy a new Linode with your StackScript, follow the steps in the
      Deploying a New Compute Instance Using a StackScript guide.

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