9 Tips to design a photography website that sells prints UK

Dog Photographer Rebecca Goutorbe

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1. Choose a photo website

The first tip to design your photography website to sell prints is to choose the photo website SmugMug. I recommend that you use SmugMug to sell prints online in the UK 
You can read my review about my experience with SmugMug.
SmugMug is a photo sharing platform based in America.
Here in the UK SmugMug use the best award winning professional print lab for their Turnkey storefront.

In plain English, SmugMug’s Turnkey storefront means an online shop which is already set up for you to sell your prints from. You just need to decide what price you would like to sell your prints for. It is really that easy. 

With the Portfolio & Pro accounts from SmugMug you can start selling images, digital downloads, prints and photo products from your website in as little as 15 minutes. By using the turnkey storefront which SmugMug has made for photographers to easily make money online with their photography.

2. Use a professional print lab in the UK

To successfully sell prints online you need to sell high quality professional prints from a professional print lab. Which are going to arrive in solid packaging. Print packaging is very important too.
SmugMug have this covered for you by using the best print lab in the UK.

Here is tip 2 
When a client or a visitor to your website buys a print, wall art or photo products from your website. They are buying from you or your photography business. They buy the photo you took by buying a print or piece of wall art from your website and pay you on your website. And they also think that you put the print or piece of wall art in the box and shipped it off to them. 

Branding

With the Pro account you can add your branding to the packaging for the products your logo, or business identity. Inside the the box you can add a 6 x 4 print which can have a personalised message on or use your own branding. This can be set up in your account settings under boutique packaging. 
Then applied to your SmugMug galleries.
The box and the contents which arrives represents you and your photography business at it’s reputation.
Quality products in quality boxes and packaging which all adds to the excitement trying to find the prints inside the packaging. That is part of the deal or the package why clients are using and will use you as a photographer.  This standard of quality products will sell you more prints, wall art and photo products. 

3. Choose a free website template

Tip 3.
Use one of the free SmugMug website templates to design your photography website that sells prints.
There are around 21 photo website templates to choose from. You can easily customise the templates for anything.
I just used the SmugMug website template Duke to build my 30 page dog breeder website.  

View all SmugMug templates >

photographers portfolio website

How to find the free websites templates –
From the photo site (front page) of your SmugMug website
Click on the three dots in the top right corner
This will show the dropdown menu
Click – New Site Design
This will take you through to all the templates.
Choose a template you would like to work from. You can preview the design of the template. If you like the design when you preview and want to use it. Click in the top right corner choose this design, then customize To choose another design click back

tips to design a photo website

4. Pick a colour scheme for photography website

You don’t need to become web designer to sell prints online. Any of the SmugMug website templates are fully customisable and you don’t need any codes. 
You can change the colour scheme of the website easily. The background, the header, the footer, even the sides of the page can be all different colours.
There are different types of backgrounds to choose from too. Textures, patterns, seasonal, abstracts like bokeh and loads more. 

Here is tip 4

To design your photography website that will sell prints.  
The website colour scheme to sell prints needs to be as plain as possible so your photos stand out.
White, off white, black, dark grey, keep it simple. With no fuss or distractions whatsoever.
So that the photos are the main focus on the page.

To change the colour scheme of a SmugMug website you need to be at the front of the website the homepage.  
In the top bar click CUSTOMIZE
This will will bring up a customize panel, it’s dead easy and straight forward to use. 
To change the background colour, find and click on Theme. 
The Theme is the look and style of the website. 
Try out the different styles and colours, you can’t break anything. 

To change the header and footer colour scheme in the Theme section still, you need to look for Active Theme.
The Active Theme is the one your using
Click on the wrench icon 
This will bring up Edit Theme 
Advanced settings
is where you can change the colour scheme of the header, footer and other sections of the website.

5. Which fonts to use

Tip 5.
The best fonts for your photography website that sells prints are the ones you can read online. It is as simple as that, clean, clear and legible the font needs to be.
If you go for a swirly, curly, twisty, twirly type of font make sure the words buy & book can be read. 
Popular fonts for a photography website are

To change the style of text on a SmugMug website go back into Theme
> Active Theme
click the wrench icon
Edit Theme panel will pop up
Basic is where you change the header fonts and the body fonts to the website.
You can use a different header font to the body font. There are loads to choose from. 

6. Accent colour for website

What is an accent colour for a website?
The accent colour for a website is a colour that stands out. You will use a bright accent colour on the buttons and links on the website which need to stand out to draw attention.
For example on a photography website which sells prints the buy photo button needs to stand out. 
The colour scheme for the website needs to be plain and simple so the photos you are selling to stand out. But also the buy photo button needs to stand too.
This is because ‘buy photo’ is the CTA call to action, what you want visitors to your website to do. Buy your photo or buy your prints. 

Tip 6.
How to change the accent colour in the SmugMug website template. 
As In Tip 4
In the Active Theme
Click on the wrench
Edit Theme
Advanced Settings
Basic 

7. Add photos to a photo gallery

Before you can add your photos onto the website template they need to be uploaded into a SmugMug gallery. 
This is what SmugMug is about, their galleries. 
Hit upload and upload your images into a gallery.

Tip 7. 
The photos you use on the website want to be your best photos. Less is more with this one. 

(These galleries also are where you store all your photo’s online with SmugMug’s unlimited photo storage. Create as many as galleries as you like and fill them with photos.)

Online photo galleries

The galleries have self explanatory settings.
For the photos to seen on the website the security & sharing setting on the gallery needs to set to public. 
To sell your prints online all you need to do is switch the visitor shopping cart on in the shopping settings on the gallery.
You will need the Portfolio or Pro account with SmugMug to be able to set your own price. Not sure what to charge, go with the SmugMug default pricing to start with.

To set your own price –
Selling Tools in the top bar of the Photo site homepage then manage price lists

Tip how SmugMug works

You don’t need to build your website to start selling prints with SmugMug. You need a photography website to promote yourself, and you need to make one so you can sell more prints. 
But once the photos you would like to sell are in the SmugMug gallery, your price is set and the visitor shopping cart is on. 
You can then share that gallery via email or Facebook and start making money from your photography. 
For example if you have just started out with your photography, done a photo shoot or a photographed a Wedding and want to get the photos out to the client here you go.  
Get it moving while you are deciding which photos to use on your website. 

8. Create content for a website

SmugMug provides you with all the tools you need to successfully promote your photography business online and sell prints from with –

A ready made online shop 
The professional print lab for your photos
A choice of photographers website templates. 
The full screen SmugMug photo galleries to display and sell images from. 
SmugMug has just done most of the work for you

Create a page on the website

All you need to do is create some pages for your website so you can add your own content.
From the photo site homepage, top left corner 
+ Create
Web Page 
The web page is a page you can customize for any purpose.
Choose page type and layout.
There are 10 different page types including a custom page which is a blank page. 
All the page types can have extra content blocks easily added to the page by dragging and dropping on.
SmugMug is the easiest website builder for photographers. 

Unsure what pages to create take a look at this blog post for some ideas  10 ways how to make money as a photographer

9. Start a photography blog

Start a photography blog on your website. There is no limit to how many pages you can use. 
Write blogs about your photo shoots or anything related to your photography. 
You can also customise the colour scheme of each page to match your photos. 
When you click on customize to customize the website. Just the page you are working on can be customized separately to the rest of the website. A different colour or background can be used.
As well as adding photos to text to the pages. You can also add the SmugMug galleries which you have photos for sale in. 
This is great for event photographers, or if you have wildlife and landscape photos you selling.
Write a blog about the photos  in the gallery and then say that the photos in the gallery are available to buy. 

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