I’m answering your questions about photography websites, business, marketing, SEO and more.
You can ask me anything. I’ll try to answer within 24 hours, and the most useful questions get featured here on the newsletter too. Need any help with your website? Don’t hesitate to write, I’m all ears.
Thanks to Vincenzo, Tomas, Philip & Marian for these topics.
Check out my answers below, and jump in with your own thoughts by sending me a message or leaving a comment below.
“How does The7 theme compare to say Genesis Theme (for SEO and etc)?”
I do have some experience with Genesis (a client of mine had it installed on his site, so I had the change to test it out).
Genesis seams a bit bulky to me, and definitely not as powerful as The7.
Basically, absolutely anything in Genesis can be built with The7, and more. Let me break it down:
- Theme Options: this is not even a “fair fight”, The7 is the most customizable theme out there
- Theme Customizer (aka Appearance > Customize): both themes have that, The7 has more options
- Customizable Header: Genesis has only a few header options, The7 has a ton of possible header combinations (including custom logos for transparent header, to sticky headers, mobile headers, etc. Genesis only uses the main logo image for some of those)
- Page Builders: The7 has WPBakery Page Builder already baked-in, it’s the industry standard.
- Mobile friendliness: both work flawlessly on mobile
Whenever I try out other themes, I end up wishing they had a certain feature from The7 :-)
It’s just very customizable and photographer-friendly (with photo albums, slideshows and lightbox features included).
With this power/flexibility, also comes a bit of complexity. Beginner photographers (who are not very tech savvy) might have a harder time wrapping their heads around all of The7’s theme options. It’s a powerful “beast”, it needs to be tamed :-)
But I don’t find it that complex/difficult to use, and if you read its documentation and maybe also import some of their demos, the initial site set-up goes smoothly.
“What are the key benefits that a customized photography website delivers to your clients?
What I strive to offer with my ForegroundWeb services is:
#1 Business growth: the ultimate goal for my work, and what my clients are ultimately seeking, is a growth of their photography business through building a stellar web presence with my help. That means building a website that converts well (by following all the recent UX best-practices) and guiding them on how to use the website to increase their sales (whether that’s prints, image licenses, image-based products, etc.)
#2 Clarity & comfort: I’m spending more and more time strategizing with photographers, not just implementation. Plus I’m used to hand-holding them, because all the technical stuff can get really confusing to photographers at times, and I want to become their trusted advisor along the way (well beyond the duration of the project). Many photographers have had bad experiences with web-designers in the past, and I want them to feel comfortable knowing I’m always there to help. Peace of mind is hard to quantify, but it’s priceless for many.
“How do you see the pro photography market changing over the next few years?”
I feel that change is inevitable in the photography industry (as with other crowded markets), brought in by:
- the sheer number of online users (-> supra-saturated market)
- the shift towards mobile
- high-speed and accessible internet becoming the norm
- people generally consuming a lot more content that before (but with shorter and shorter attention spans)
So what photographers will need to do (and what I noticed they already started to do, many of them) is to niche down, usually in one of these ways:
- the type of photography they specialize in (instead of being a jack-of-all-trades).
- the physical area they cover (like only accepting clients from a certain city).
- the ways in which they promote themselves on the web (blogging, publications, events etc.)
- other differentiation methods (humor, trust signals, better copywriting, storytelling).
Specializing is obviously your bread and butter, so no need to add anything there :-)
Overall, I feel that the change that encompasses everything I wrote is that more and more photographers are starting to treat it as a business. Even pro photographers (the “pro” part is relative, of course) are starting to realize that they can’t just thrive though their photographic skills/vision alone, just by doing a “hobby”, but treating it as a business instead (with all the hats that they need to wear for that: marketing, communication, invoicing, budgeting, etc.)
“Why don’t my WP site changes show up on the live site?
The only problem I can think of is that when saving the page, your browser is still serving you the old version. This is probably due to caching, which is of two types:
1. Site caching (created by the performance plugin). Whenever you make changes to the site, be sure to also clear the site cache from the top bar in the admin area:
Normally this does the trick. If not:
2. Browser cache, just clear your browser’s cache (or try to load the page from an incognito tab).
Your turn: ask me anything. I’d love for this to become a valuable “repository” of answers from the entire community of photographers.
You can help with that by getting involved:
1. Ask questions. Send them to me via email or on Twitter (@foreground).
2. 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.