How to start a photography blog in 3 Steps


Whether you’re a professional or an amateur photographer, it’s important that you learn how to start a photography blog and create your own website. Community sites like 500px, Flickr and Instagram are great, but learning how to make a photography blog for yourself is usually the best long term option.

There are many website platforms that cater especially for photographers. These can be attractive since they offer quick and simple set up of a blog, site and portfolio all in one place.

Photographers aren’t necessarily tech savvy, so it’s easy to understand why they gravitate towards these website platforms such as SquareSpace when wanting to know how to start a photography blog or website. These platforms offer idiot-proof, all in one solutions.

However, I’d recommend you to choose WordPress instead, and invest in your own dedicated hosting.

WordPress is a blogging software, but that doesn’t mean it’s only for a blog – you can easily set up your photography site, blog, portfolio, and have the flexibility to easily add additional functionality, like shopping carts, forums, slideshows and much more.

WordPress is also a flexible option if you’re interested in getting as much traffic to your photography site via SEO – this post on SEO for Photographers should help once you’ve followed the steps below.

You can have your very own custom WordPress photography blog and hosting in under 15 minutes! I’m going to show you how to start a photography blog in just 3 simple steps.

How to start a Photography blog or website

Here are the 3 simple steps on how to make a photography blog. Follow the guidelines below and have your blog online in under 20 minutes!

1. Domain Name and Hosting (10 mins)
2. Installing WordPress (5 mins)
3. Making it look awesome! (as long as you want!)


Bluehost is having a sale on their hosting packages today. This is the perfect time to start a photography blog or website! The discount is automatically applied when you click here, or any of the links in this post

1. How to Start a Photography Blog | Domain Name and Hosting

This is the fun part – choose what name you’d like for your photography site! Most people use their own name plus ‘photography’, or you can be original and come up with something more memorable.

It’s good if you have a story behind the name too, whatever it is, like my site Gold Hat Photography!

Where possible, I recommend using a .com domain for your photography website as it suggests that you’re international rather than country specific.

Don’t bother purchasing it just yet though, as you’ll be able to get it for free when you set up your Hosting.

‘Hosting’ is basically your own private space on the Internet where your website will live. There are hundreds of Hosting options, and one day if you start getting millions of hits (fingers crossed) you may even need to change to a larger host, but for the time being just go with Bluehost.

Trust me, I’ve researched how to make a blog and tried many hosting providers over 10 years+ of work online, but time and time again I keep recommending Bluehost, especially for first time users of WordPress.

(If  you’re willing to pay a premium to have the fastest, most robust WordPress host available, check out my WP Engine Review.)

Here are 7 reasons why Bluehost is awesome:

  1. Unlimited domain hosting (multiple sites on one account)
  2. Unlimited hosting space (never run out of room for photos)
  3. Unlimited file transfer (upload/download as much as you like)
  4. Unlimited email accounts (if you have a second shooter/helper etc)
  5. Free domain name (saves you money!)
  6. Free WordPress site builder (this is REALLY useful as you’ll soon see)
  7. Over $150 in Google, Bing and other Ad offers! (for your first ad campaign!)
  8. Money-Back guarantee (cancel within 30 days for a full refund)

But the main reason I love Bluehost is their service. The support is available 24/7 (important if you live outside the US) and is super fast.

OK, so let’s get started! Click here for the Bluehost homepage, then click the Get Started Now button.

how to make a blog using Bluehost

Then choose your Plan. I’d recommend going for the Starter plan for the time being since it’s great value for money and allows plenty of room to grow.

If you plan on hosting a lot of images, you can always upgrade in the future to the Plus plan if necessary.

Hosting terms are billed up front, and each plan features a 30-day money-back guarantee, which gives you ample time to try out their service and cancel for a full refund if you feel it’s not right for you.

After you’ve selected the plan, you’ll be taken to the next page where you’ll need to enter whatever domain name (site name) you want to use.


On the next page you’ll need to enter your details, and then choose some options – the ‘package information’.

Here’s a screenshot of what I use for package information settings and I recommend you do the same:

Sign_Up_-_Congratulations__-_Bluehost The ‘Starter 36 Month Price‘ option is the cheapest in the long run which is why I always choose it, and it also means you won’t need to remember to renew your site after only 1 year.

The ‘Domain Privacy Protection’ hides your home address and phone number from the public, so I’d recommend adding this option too. Leave the other options for now.


Why choose WordPress to make a photography blog?

Before I go on to tell you how to install WordPress, I feel I should explain why I think you should be using WordPress for your Photography site. Or rather, why I think that you shouldn’t go with an all-in-one service like Squarespace when deciding how to make a photography blog.

Well firstly, the price. At time of writing, Squarespace costs $16/month for its pro package and Profoto costs $199 for a license.

WordPress on the other hand is free :-)

Then there’s customization. All-in-one website platforms for photographers do offer some great features, but the problem is that they are limited.

If you want your site to do something particular (and trust me, you will!), it either involves some hardcore coding or it just simply isn’t possible.

WordPress on the other hand is infinitely customizeable. If you don’t feel confident enough to delve into the code, it’s fine. WordPress offers things called ‘plugins’ which allow you to add a feature onto your site quickly and simply, and 95% of the time for free.

WordPress has around 29,000 plugins, so it’s very unlikely you’ll need something that isn’t already available.

Another reason why I think you should choose WordPress over a photography website platform is uniqueness.

Profoto and the like offer templates to make your blog look pretty, then you can tweak a few things here and there, but at the end of the day, there’s a high chance your site will look identical to every other photographers.

A few years ago, 9/10 wedding photography sites I came across were running the same Profoto minimalist theme. The only way I could tell them apart was their logo…

With WordPress, there are over 10,000 themes to choose from!

I won’t list all the amazing stats about WordPress, but believe me when I say that building a WordPress site is a lot easier than you imagine, and there’s a lot of very good reasons why over 23% of the Internet is powered by WordPress today.

You’ll be surprised at how many big sites use WordPress. Ok, rant over! I think you can tell I’m a huge fan of WordPress, and in 15 minutes time when you have your own custom photography site running WordPress, you’ll be one too!

2. How to Make a Photography Blog | Installing WordPress

Once you’ve registered with Bluehost, you need to install WordPress. This used to be a bit of a hassle, but thanks to Bluehost’s free site builder, it’s super simple!

After you’ve signed up with Bluehost, log in, then look for the ‘website’ section. Click the ‘Install WordPress’ button.


On the next page, click the ‘Install’ button.

how to make a blog using WordPress

On the next page, if your domain name isn’t already highlighted in the dropdown menu, click it and select your domain. Then click the Check Domain button.


Check the terms and conditions box and then click the ‘Install Now’ button.


Who would think how to make a blog would be so easy?!  Now just make a note of your Admin URL, Username and Password. WordPress will also email this to you.

You can change this later, but you’ll need it initially to log in to your site. Next you’ll have to type your Admin URL into your web browser.

You’ll see a login screen like the one below, so enter your Username and Password you copied down from the previous step.


That’s it! You’ve officially learnt how to make a blog and logged in to your first WordPress site! Congratulations!!

Have a click around inside WordPress – you’ll find that it’s pretty simple to pick up.

I recommend that you join the WordPress Support forum where there are loads of helpful guides and users who can help you out in a pickle.

If there’s something you’re really stuck on, you can always hire someone on Fiverr to help you.

3. How to Make a Photography Blog | Make your site look Awesome!

Every WordPress site has a theme. Think of WordPress ‘themes’ as the outer skin which makes your site look pretty and displays the content.

By default, your new WordPress site will have the Twenty Seventeen theme installed. It looks nice, but it probably isn’t suitable for your photography site.

Here’s a great list of WordPress photography themes that’ll make your site look very professional in a few clicks.

You can also choose a free theme by searching within your WordPress blog.


…then clicking the Add New button and browsing the available themes.


…or by looking on ThemeForest which occasionally has some good free themes:


Sometimes you can get lucky with Free themes, but in my experience they’re a bit limited. Also, like the photography website platforms I mentioned earlier, you’re limiting yourself to what many other people already have.

It’s tempting to go for a free WordPress theme, but I’d recommend spending a few bucks on a Premium WordPress Theme. Why? Well apart from the fact you’re less likely to have a similar site to someone else (there are thousands of paid themes), you also open the door to free, unlimited support, and this is extremely useful!

I’m constantly contacting the poor guy who built the theme I use on my site!

With Free themes you’ll usually be left on your own, wasting hours trying to figure out how to make a change, so take my advice – spend a few bucks on a premium one.

I’d also recommend you take a look at Flothemes photography themes for your new WordPress blog. The designs are excellent, their customer service is top notch and they offer a useful Lightroom plugin that allows you to upload photos direct to your blog from inside Lightroom! I wrote a review on Flothemes here and offer a Flothemes coupon code too.

Finally, make sure you have a read of this post I wrote on the best WordPress themes for photographers. It only features 4 themes, so will really save you some time in choosing something that looks and functions great.

So there you have it! Now you have an infinitely customisable WordPress photography blog! Now you need to start branding your site – check out these logos for photographers to start with.

4. How to Make a Blog | Recommended Plugins

So officially, there were only 3 steps to this tutorial. Step 4 is just something extra for when you’ve had a poke around WordPress and you feel comfortable with it.

A ‘plugin’ is a way to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress. Using plugins can make your WordPress site more manageable, faster and just better overall.

Some of them I consider absolutely essential to rank well in Google (ie. to make sure your photography site comes up when someone searches ‘Wedding Photographer‘ etc).

I don’t want to make this post too long, but if you’d like to get a list of my Essential WordPress Plugins for Photography Blogs, sign up to the free Shotkit Newsletter, or click the box below.


So there you have it – a fully functional WordPress site to showcase your photography portfolio and show off your blog. I hope you found this guide on how to make a photography blog useful!

Leave a comment below and let me know how easy it was to start a photography blog of your own.

Disclaimer: A few of the links above are affiliate links. I use all the services  mentioned in this post on a daily basis so have no shame in recommending them here! Any small commission I make if you purchase the product does not affect you in any way and I am grateful for your support to help keep Shotkit running :-)

  • Uhm… I’m already subscribed to the newsletter and I’d like to get the “10 ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS PLUGINS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS” list, however I can’t open it, and when I click subscribe again, I land on a 404 page…

    • I’ve sent you an email Jakob – apologies for the inconvenience. I’m still trying to work out a logical way to share the Exclusive Content for existing subscribers. I’ll find a solution soon, but for anyone else reading this who’s in the same boat, leave a comment and I’ll hook you up ;-)

  • Hello Mark! Great article. I already subscribed. I will appreciate if you send me 10 ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS PLUGINS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS. Thanks

    • Thanks Kapongola! You’ll receive a link to the Exclusive content in your newsletter. If you didn’t receive it for any reason, just get in touch with me and I’ll hook you up ;-)

  • newbie here. I am shopping for a clean and simple premium wordpress theme and I have discovered that most of them have very small font. Is it possible to change the font size of a premium wordpress theme?

  • So you might have led people the wrong way. Prophoto isn’t an all in one… It’s a wordpress theme like the FloThemes or “premium” wordpress templates you suggested everyone look into. I just feel that readers shouldn’t be mislead. I used prophoto for years.(Squarespace user now ironically enough.) ;-) I do, however, agree with you on your points. Im just happy with squarespace. There have been times in the past, though, when I’ve wanted to just ship back into WordPress. Love the site and keep up the good work!

    • Hi Mike! Thanks for picking that up – you’re absolutely right! I’ll make sure I edit the post so it’s correct. Thanks for the kind words of support too :-)

  • WP is one of the best ways to go indeed these days given the simplicity of configuration. I just wrapped up my new site using WP theme. I.m looking forward for those 10 plugins after I sign up.

    • Thanks for the comment Barna and I hope you enjoyed the 10 plugin recommendations. I agree – WP is definitely a great option for getting your site online quickly and easily.

  • Hi Mark!

    Thanks for this very helpful post!
    Building-up my photo-blog, I’ll be very interested in getting your list of plug-in for WP. Thanks Mark!

    • Great Tim! If you sign up for the Shotkit Newsletter you can gain access to the list and a load of other Exclusive Content items. I look forward to seeing your WordPress blog ;-)

  • Mark,

    I still haven’t created my website, and am looking into couple of hosting sites such as Zenfolio and SmugMug – as of now – Bluehost.
    Can you please answer one question – can I store my RAW files on Bluehost as a backup? Zenfolio has that option, thus I am not sure which one to choose.

    Thank you.


  • after read this article I fell so interested to make a A Photography Blog. Nice article Mark

  • Hello Mark, this is really great. I was examining Squarespace and others, and WordPress functions a lot like blogger which I used to run my private islands blog for many years.

    I would love that free guide to essential plug ins, can you send it to me please?

    I leave for London, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo three week shooting trip on Sunday, and when I return early October need to get my dedicated webpage up with all my new imagery.

    I have been procrastinating and researching for ages about what platform to use. I have the pro version of Smugmug, which I really love. I think you can integrate that with WordPress too. I have to check my files.

    • I’m glad you found this useful. Yeah I’m pretty sure you can integrate Smugmug with WP, so you’re all set! As for the essential plugins, you just need to be a Shotkit Newsletter subscriber and then you’ll get access. I see you’re already a subscriber, so I’ll shoot you an email now with the URL ;-)

  • Hello there! Great read, but Ive already subscribed to the newsletter and can’t get the list of 10 plug ins you guys recommend. What can I do to solve this?

  • […] – I’ve built several websites over the years and have always used WordPress. It’s customisable, easy to learn, and can handle a small photographer’s site right up to some of the biggest sites on the Internet. Here’s a simple guide to building your first WordPress site. […]

    • When you receive the first newsletter, the link to the Exclusive Content will be in it. Email me if you can’t find it Gokhan ;-)

  • I’m another advocate for Squarespace, Ease of use and cost makes it a no brainer for someone that wants all the coding done for them. I understand wordpress may offer more customisation, but many people (including myself at simply don’t have time!

  • Nice and compact article. I used BlueHost for more than 2 years. Then I transferred it to DigitalOcean. It is quite cheap and performance is awesome.

    However I would recommend that only transfer to DigitalOcean if you have enough knowledge about linux and ssh.

  • Hi Mark, I just stumbled onto this and it all sounds very good. However, I’d like to inform you that Bluehost has apparently changed their services and as such, no longer offer the same packages as you described. For example, this “Hosting terms are billed up front, and each plan features an anytime money-back guarantee, which gives you the freedom to cancel at any time for a prorated refund” no longer applies. Instead, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee and no refunds for any cancellation after 30 days.

  • Excellent blog right here! Additionally your website a lot up fast!
    What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate link in your host?
    I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • Thanks for all this info Mark!
    I have a Squarespace website but would like to change to a WP one. Wondering if I can set up the new one with Bluehost before I close the Squarespace one?
    Also I’ve been reading about the need for an SSL certificate. Is that something that can be provided though Bluehost? As you can see I’m a website novice lol.
    And I’d also like access to the plugins info if you’d be so kind?
    Thanks so much.

    • Hey Michelle. Yep you can set up the new one with Bluehost while your Squarespace website is still running. Bluehost also provides SSL certificates, so no problem there either. Just sign up to the Shotkit newsletter and you can gain access to those plugins. Good luck! ;-)