The February meetup looked at Woocommerce, in particular it’s use as a tool to display and sell photographs. Below is a summary of what was discussed. Woothemes kindly provided a copy of their photography plugin and will add this to a demo site shortly and provide logins for those that want to get a feel of how it works. Here’s an intro on the photography addon to woocommerce
Image management and display tools
The built-in media manager and gallery feature is great, but special plugins make it even better. WordPress extensions include NextGEN gallery which has been around for years, but my favorites are Justified Image Grid bundled with the little-known Social Gallery. All for around US$50. (Configuring them correctly is the key though). We can’t add these tools to this wordpress.com site, but you can see how it displays on my wordhost blogsite.
Photographers love sliders. Some are good, some bad. Avoid the popular revolution slider which is slow and buggy. Too many features I believe have made it a bad choice today. SliderPro is better or even Soliloquy. But take care using sliders, since research tells us these ever-popular visual tools actually annoy most visitors, reducing engagement… However two specific market areas that sliders appear to be tolerated is photography and realty sites where people are specifically engaged with the imagery itself. It’s where sliders are used on business websites and often seen as an advertising tool, that they fail.
p.s. SEO for Photographers
This is typically forgotten about in the drive for visual perfection. Most photographers I think hate SEO simply because it has less to do with photography and all to do with text content, good coding and hosting performance.
It’s not helped by the desire to run large, non-compressed images everywhere too. This usually means home-built and design agency-built sites are often incredibly slow, especially when viewed on mobile devices – Not good for visitors or Google ranking.
If part of the reason for your website is to be found online by new customers, then an SEO strategy and/or budget is critical. You must ensure that Google ‘likes’ the site structure, the content, load times and will therefore rank it highly. Yoast recently wrote and special article on SEO for Photographers that covered the special tricks and work needed. If all this seems difficult, since it often means getting into the site coding, we are happy to assist.