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The new ForegroundWeb monthly Q&A – answering your questions about photography websites, business, SEO & more…

Having received a lot of great questions from photographers over the years, I thought it would be useful to share some of the best ones with you as well.

I started the ForegroundWeb Newsletter for the sole purpose of helping photographers build a thriving online presence, and I know that this process is riddled with questions along the way.

Besides getting questions via email, writing articles on my blog has also brought in some great questions like this one:


I’d love to do this on a regular basis: the new ForegroundWeb Monthly Q&AI’ll try to do it monthly at first (to also leave room for more detailed articles in between). 


Here’s how it works:

1. Ask any questions. Post them on the blog, send them to me via email ( or on Twitter (@foreground).

They can be about anything related the photo websites:

  • layout/design decisions
  • not sure how to size/compress images
  • improving an existing site or starting from scratch?
  • what to write about on your blog?
  • concerns about plugins or site security
  • SEO questions
  • anything really

2. I’ll give you my answer (usually within 24 hours). Every few weeks I’ll gather the best ones in this Q&A series so other photographers can benefit from them. I might even do full-length articles on them, depending on the topic.

3. Answer questions yourself. If you have anything to add to any of my answers (or can answer from a different perspective), jump right in! I’ll share relevant notes with other photographers so everyone can benefit.



To start things off, here are some examples of frequent questions I’ve received on the blog and via email (including the one in the screenshot above), along with my take on them:



“Is it OK to have a song play automatically on the site, if the design is fairly artistic?”

No. I highly recommend against auto-playing music on websites. No wonder Google Chrome allows you to quickly identify noisy tabs.

“Not even if […]”




“How do I know if my site’s homepage is good or bad?”

Besides trying to get feedback from friends/clients and looking at other sites for inspiration, I wrote about this topic at length in my 60+ mistakes guide:
Mistake #36: Weak homepage



“What’s best for a photography site: white or black backgrounds?”

I personally recommend going with white.

People do say that black makes images “pop out” more. And that might be technically right. If the surrounding area is black, your iris will open up slightly to accommodate the lack of light. You will perceive the image as brighter than it actually is because your iris is a little more open.

But white text on a black background is usually less readable, hurting the eyes, so it might not be worth it.

There’s also the issue of familiarity, people are used to seeing white backgrounds, that’s what they’re most comfortable with. Try to impress them with the quality of your images, not with the color around the images.



Your turn: ask me anything. 

I’d love for this to become a regular segment on the ForegroundWeb Newsletter, and to provide a valuable “repository” of answers from the entire community of photographers. 

– Alex

Off-topic or inflammatory comments may be moderated.
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