How to start a photography blog

How to start a photography blog
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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 the best long term option.

Despite all the website platforms that cater especially for photographers (e.g. Squarespace), I highly recommend you choose WordPress and your own dedicated hosting.

shk-fs-table__imageHosting + Free Domain NameGet a free domain name on this Bluehost plan, highly recommended to anyone starting a blog.View Offer

WordPress is a free website creation tool, which you can use to quickly set up a photography site featuring a blog, a portfolio, a booking form, sales galleries, and any number of other amazing features.

WordPress is also a flexible option if you’re interested in optimising your website for SEO.

I’m going to show you how to start a photography blog in just 3 simple steps.

3 Steps to Start a Photography blog

Making your own photography blog or website may seem an overwhelming task, but it’s not complicated if you follow my steps outlined below.

Let me know if you have any specific questions in the comments, but if you follow my guidelines, you should have your blog online in under 20 minutes.

Step 1: Choose Domain Name & Hosting

(Time required: ~10 mins)

Step 2: Install WordPress

(Time required: ~5 mins)

Step 3: Choose a Theme

(Time required: ~as long as you want!)

Step 1 | Choose Domain Name & Hosting

build a blog

This is the fun part – choosing what name you’d like for your photography site. Most people use their own name plus the word ‘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, like my site Gold Hat Photography, which I chose based on a quote from the Great Gatsby novel.

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 need to change to a more expensive host.

However, for the time being I recommend you take my advice and go with a company called Bluehost.

Why Choose Bluehost?

WordPress + Bluehost is a great combination

Trust me on this one – I’ve researched and tried many different hosting providers over 10 years+ of work online, but time and time again I keep recommending Bluehost, especially for first time users of WordPress.

Here are 10 reasons why so many popular bloggers and photographers use Bluehost for their hosting:

  1. FREE domain name (saves you money!)
  2. FREE WordPress site builder (this is REALLY useful as you’ll soon see)
  3. FREE SSL (this refers to making your site secure)
  4. UNLIMITED domain hosting (you can have multiple sites on one account)
  5. UNLIMITED hosting space (never run out of room for your photos)
  6. UNLIMITED file transfer (upload/download as much as you like)
  7. UNLIMITED email accounts (if you have a second shooter/helper etc)
  8. Money-Back guarantee (cancel within 30 days for a full refund)
  9. Affordable (at time of writing, their basic plan is less than 3 bucks/months!)
  10. First Class Service/Support (ask a question 24/7)

First Class Service/Support is a really useful feature, especially if this is the first time you’re building your own blog.

Most hosting companies only provide support during US work hours, which isn’t ideal if you live outside the US – there’s nothing worse than having an urgent issue with your website, and having to wait until an obscure time to get help from support.

Thankfully, Bluehost’s support is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Their support team are fast to reply, and very helpful.

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

Bluehost for website hosting

Then choose your Plan. I’d recommend going for the Basic 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 or Choice Plus plans if necessary.

Bluehost offer several affordable hosting packages.

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.

With Bluehost you get one free domain name

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:

Bluehost package extras

Un-select the checkboxes that aren’t relevant to you

The ‘Basic 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.

As for the ‘Savings’, this may vary at the time you read this, but usually Bluehost offers good discounts, so you should see an amount similar to what I saved above.

Why choose WordPress?

WordPress + Bluehost is a great combindation

Before I go on to tell you how to install WordPress, I want to 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.

Reason 1: Price

At time of writing, Squarespace costs $12/month for its personal package, and $18/month for its Business package. This can quickly add up.

On the other hand, WordPress is 100% FREE :-)

Reason 2: Customization & Flexibility

All-in-one website platforms for photographers like Squarespace do offer some great features, but the problem is that their features are often limited.

If you want your site to do something particular (and trust me, you will!), you may have to hire a web developer to make the changes, or simply it won’t be possible at all.

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 thousands of ‘plugins’, which allow you to add a feature onto your site quickly and simply.

WordPress plugins for photographers are usually free – you usually only pay for ‘PRO’ features, and in my experience, these aren’t necessary.

Reason 2: Uniqueness

Website builders like Squarespace offer editable templates to make your blog look pretty, but at the end of the day, there’s a high chance your site will look identical to every other photographer!

With WordPress on the other hand, there are over 10,000 themes to choose from!

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.

Step 2 | Install WordPress

How to start a photography blog

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!

So log in to Bluehost, and look for the ‘website’ section. Then click the ‘Install WordPress’ button.

(If you can’t find it, just press CTRL (or Command on a Mac) + ‘F’, and start typing the word ‘Install’ to search for it on the page.)

how to Install wordpress

On the next page, click the ‘Domain’ drop down arrow if your newly chosen website name isn’t already selected, and select your website.

You can ignore the ‘Directory’ field – just go on and click the Next’ button.

You may see that Bluehost tries to recommend a Pro to install WordPress for you, but this isn’t required – I’m going to show you right here how easy it is to do it yourself, so you can save up to $399 :-)

Bluehost pricing page

On the next page, you’ll see some details of your new site. I’d recommend you change the Site Name to whatever you want it to be called, and update your password to something memorable.

You may also want to update your Admin username and email address too.

You can change this information later, but make a note of it just in case you don’t receive the email from Bluehost with your details in it.

Then make sure all the check boxes are ticked, and click ‘Next’ to start the installation of the WordPress software to your new hosting.

installing wordpress

Who would think starting a photography blog would be so easy?!

Next you’ll have to type your Admin URL into the web browser on your computer (i.e. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.)

This is usually your new domain URL with /wp-admin after it, e.g. https://goldhatphotography.com/wp-admin

You should be taken to a login screen like the one below, so enter your Username and Password that you copied down from the previous step.

Wordpress login Screen

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.

Step 3: Choose a Theme

Customise WordPress Blog with themes

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 may have the ‘Twenty Nineteen’ theme installed. It looks nice, but it probably isn’t suitable for your photography site. There’s also the newly released ‘Gutenberg’ theme, which offers some powerful features for bloggers.

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 dashboard.

Just go to ‘Appearance’, then ‘Themes’, in the black menu on the left hand side of the WordPress dashboard. Then click on the ‘Add new theme’ icon.

Add new WordPress theme

WordPress offers lots of free themes which you can preview at the click of a button, to see how the theme looks with your current content.

As long as you haven’t made any custom edits to your site, the new WordPress theme will simply be like a ‘skin’ to your existing content, adjusting how it looks visually, but not touching the actual words/images/videos that you’ve spent time adding.

Just hover over any of the themes you like the look of and click the ‘Live Preview’ button. If you like how it makes your existing site look, click the ‘Activate’ button to overwrite your existing theme with the new one.

preview theme

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.

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.

If you’re ready to invest a little more on the design of your new WordPress blog, take a look at what’s on offer from a company called Flothemes. I wrote a review on Flothemes here and offer a Flothemes coupon code too.

One final option is to use of the many website builders available, to help you create a website without the need to fiddle with any manual code. They can be a good all-in-one solution to getting something online quickly.

So there you have it! Now you have an infinitely customisable WordPress photography blog!

Leave a comment below and let us know how you got on :-)

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post contain affiliate links which help support Shotkit.

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Australia and the founder of Shotkit.

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74 Comments

  1. Amit Mahendru on May 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Great article really appreciative content .Thank You Keep Sharing..

  2. Abbeytoy on May 8, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Very informative. Thanks for share

  3. Ashish Patel on March 20, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for the Tips to start a blog on photography. really good guide.

    • Mark Condon on March 20, 2019 at 7:46 pm

      Glad you found it useful, Ashish!

  4. Mark Henry on January 25, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing.
    I have found one more plugin that can help you to design an attractive portfolio – Portfolio Designer WordPress plugin. It is a helpful plugin for photographers to present their photography portfolio.
    It has different types of layout like grid layout , masonry layout, slider layout, etc. to make a stunning portfolio.

    • Mark Condon on January 26, 2019 at 5:22 am

      Looks like a nice one – thanks Mark.

  5. nagesh lingayat on December 10, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Informative blog!

  6. Sanjeev Tiwari on November 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    The article was Very informative but I have a doubt. Can I use other Platform like Wix? Because i don’t know about WordPress

    • Mark Condon on November 14, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Yep, of course – there are many other good ones. I’m less familiar with Wix though, and have always preferred WordPress. I’d recommend spending an hour or so familiarising yourself with WP – it’s really not that hard. Good luck!

  7. Canon Support on October 30, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    nice information

  8. Gasper Guarrasi on September 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks for this information.

  9. […] Blogger, you have lots of choices on this. One of the styles of blog design you can go for is the photo gallery kind. This can look really good, but is it right for […]

  10. Parryhide Baby Photography on July 20, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    All these themes are stunning.

  11. Atul Chauhan on June 26, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    This is very informative blog. Recently I’ve shifted to another platform called Pixpa which is solely dedicated to the photographer, with features like photo proofing and integrated online store.
    Thanks

  12. Sonika Srivastava on March 27, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Great Post! The way you have explained the steps of getting started is very informative and useful for every beginner, who want to start his/her career in photography as a blogger.

    • Mark on March 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks Sonika! Looking forward to seeing your blog soon ;-)

  13. sahu on March 17, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Hey Very Nice Blog!!! Thanks For Sharing!!!!

  14. […] great way that many wedding photographers have gotten their name out there is through a blog. This blog is great for helping potential clients see your work, hear about your life, and more. […]

  15. paras dhankecha on January 17, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    for photography blog, which is best free theme for wordpress.

  16. Michelle Peirce on December 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    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.

    • Mark on December 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      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! ;-)

      • Michelle Peirce on December 26, 2017 at 6:07 pm

        Thanks Mark. I thought I was already signed up…I get emails from you. I’ll do the sign up now :-)

  17. Sam on November 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Very helpful Mark. Many thanks for sharing :)

  18. Harvey Harris on October 25, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Your article has given us a lot of inspiration and we thank you for your sharing. These are great tips for opening photography blogs!

  19. kata kata bijak motivasi on September 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    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

  20. adsense-Eca.info on September 22, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    This article gives clear idea in support of the new viewers of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.

  21. Yang on August 29, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    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.

    • Mark on August 30, 2017 at 5:08 am

      Thanks Yang, I’ll look into this and update as necessary.

  22. tec gram on April 5, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Nice information you have provided

  23. MUKESH MAJUMDER on January 25, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Really… nicely explained.. thanks for it. now I can install myself the WordPress from my hosting.. finally found a meaningful article…

  24. Mark Dsouza on October 9, 2016 at 4:30 am

    Very interesting post, like to create a seperate blog soon!

  25. Mehul Boricha on August 19, 2016 at 4:49 am

    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.

    • Mark on August 19, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Thanks for the feedback Mehul!

  26. Rudi van den Heever on July 22, 2016 at 7:26 am

    I am using Prophoto on my WordPress website http://www.linrucommercial.com and my blog http://www.linruphotographyblo…. Both are hosted by Bluehost and the combination of the three works a charm!

    • Mark on July 22, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      ah very nice setup, Rudi! Great work you have there too :-)

  27. Hafis on June 20, 2016 at 1:05 am

    awesome detailed article :)

  28. […] ThinkTank Bag […]

  29. Demresa on May 13, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Thank you..

  30. Kako začeti s foto blogom? ‹ Clementino Photography on May 4, 2016 at 6:43 pm
  31. Jay on February 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    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 JayMorgan.co.uk) simply don’t have time!

    • Mark on February 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Fair enough Jay! It’s horses for courses ;-)

  32. Gökhan Bayhan on January 13, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Hey

    Can you send me the 10 ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS PLUGINS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS to :)

    • Mark on January 14, 2016 at 2:29 am

      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 ;-)

  33. Wedding Photographers on November 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial and tips about how to make a photography blog. very useful informative article.

    • Mark on November 28, 2015 at 5:04 am

      Glad you liked it!

  34. Kevin Cary on September 30, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    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?
    Cheers!

    • Mark on October 1, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Hey Kevin, the link to the plugins is in included in your Welcome email. I’ll send it to you again now.

  35. Cheyenne Morrison on September 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

    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.

    • Mark on September 10, 2015 at 10:56 am

      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 ;-)

  36. fashion photographer sydney on September 9, 2015 at 4:12 am

    This is really fascinating, You are a very skilled
    blogger. I have joined your feed and stay up for in search
    of more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared
    your site in my social networks

    • Mark on September 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Glad you like it! Thanks for sharing too.

  37. ANGGI HIDAYATULLOH on September 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

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

    • Mark on September 5, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      That’s great Anggi, I look forward to seeing it!

  38. Sasa Trifunovski on September 3, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    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.

    Sasa

    • Mark on September 5, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Sasa. You could store your RAWs on a Bluehost server using FTP in theory, but it would take a long time to upload.

  39. Tim on August 13, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    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!

    • Mark on August 15, 2015 at 5:47 am

      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 ;-)

  40. Barna on July 28, 2015 at 2:33 am

    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.

    • Mark on July 28, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      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.

  41. Mike Victorick on May 2, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    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!

    • Mark on May 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      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 :-)

  42. Nicholas Travaglini on April 16, 2015 at 1:18 am

    I’m a web developer, photographer, and newsletter subscriber. I’m interested in see your list of plugins. Thanks.

    • Mark on April 16, 2015 at 5:22 am

      You should have received it already Nicholas, but I’ll email you a link just to make sure :-)

  43. Deirdre on March 19, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Hi Mark,
    I’m already a subscriber to your site, and I had the same problem as Jakob.

    • Deirdre on March 19, 2015 at 1:29 am

      Oh wait….it worked! Nevermind :)

  44. Colin Sweeney on March 18, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I’m in the same boat as Jakob. Would definitely enjoy checking out those plugins!

  45. kapongola on March 18, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    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?

  46. kapongola on March 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm

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

    • Mark on March 19, 2015 at 6:04 am

      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 ;-)

  47. Jakob on March 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    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…

    • Mark on March 18, 2015 at 5:37 am

      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 ;-)

      • Rene on June 12, 2017 at 7:38 am

        Hey mark! I cant open it as well. Can you maybe send me an eemail as well with the top 10 plugins?

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