Despite being very simple and easy to use, WordPress proves to be a powerful blogging platform for various purposes. Professional photographers have found that they can enhance their portfolio by taking advantage of integrated and third-party capabilities.
Some ready-to-use themes come with the layout and galleries needed to display photographers’ works. Creating a powerful photography-oriented blog is as easy as installing the following plugins:
NextGEN is an automated plugin that comes with so many functions and operations. It adds the Gallery capability to your blog and supports images packaged into a single .zip file.
SEO-friendly images allow you to addandattributes to your images to boost traffic. This plugin allows your photographs to be added into Google Images and other images database under relevant keywords. This could significantly improve traffic from search engine, especially if you use more detailed filenames.
FancyBox for WordPress
When users click an image on a WordPress blog, the website goes away by default, replaced by the image itself. They have to use the “Back” button to get return to a previous page. With FancyBox, images would appear in neat, little windows, while the rest of the webpage fades to the background. Everything comes right back after users click the small close icon. Compared to other similar plugins, the FancyBox nicely combines easy configuration and good look.
No Right Click Images
Post Thumbnail Editor
This plugin helps photographers to crop thumbnails from photographs the way they want. Originally used by bloggers to control the thumbnails creation, it can also used on photography blogs to create thumbnails for photo gallery. The advanced automatic cropping feature allows photographers to get thumbnails exactly as they’d like.
The plugin forces WordPress to rebuild any cropped thumbnail. After running their photography blogs for a few years, professional photographers may change their mind on how thumbnails should be cropped. It can be difficult to force the WordPress platform to adhere to any new thumbnail setting. Regenerate Thumbnails can help you to specify whether you want to regenerate some subsets or all of them.
The plugin allows professional photographers to sell their works online. Flickr and Smugmug are popular platform for photographers to sell their images online. However, many photographers want their customers to stay on their website and have more control on the entire purchasing process. WooCommerce does a wonderful job of offering reliable payment mechanism and it doesn’t scrimp on useful features. The plugin makes photographers less reliant to web developers as they can add a sophisticated purchasing system with incredible ease.
Many photography blogs are also affected by spam and often, unwanted comments arrive within minutes after the website is set up. A professionally-run photography blog should feature a good spam control mechanism and WordPress comes with a proven one – Akismet. The plugin is already integrated with WordPress, but unfortunately ignored by some blog owners. It monitors incoming comments automatically and seems to have an uncanny ability to tell which ones are spam and which are legit. Spam comments are quarantined in a specific section for later evaluation. Very rarely, Akismet gets it wrong, but it’s very easy to put a legitimate comment back to where it is belong.
All in One SEO Pack
Many photography blogs use less text-intensive than normal ones, which can be somewhat detrimental as they are fewer keywords used throughout the blog. All in One SEO Pack helps photographers to set extra information for the whole website or individual webpage for search engine bots to grab onto during their periodical crawling sessions. For example, the plugin allows you to add specific information into the Description Field, which is displayed in a search result page. This is only one of many powerful features that can be handy if photographers want to direct organic searches in certain ways.
Broken Link Checker
Photography blogs with many images in them can be occasionally affected by broken links. The plugin prevents visitors from bumping into the annoying 404 error page due to a non-existent webpage. Broken links may occur after you manually work with the file manager tool. Blog users will be automatically warned if a link fails to respond, which allows for immediate fix. Any broken link will continue to be crossed-out until users delete or fix it.
Loading an image-rich photography blog on smartphones and tablets can be costly for users with limited data allowance. This plugin helps to convert a photography blog into usable mobile format. With its powerful feature, WP Touch can generate a user-friendly mobile version. Optimized webages would load much more quickly on mobile devices, offering significantly better user experience.
It is a very useful plugin to convert any WordPress post into a PDF file. By specifying certain template layout, photographers can define how PDF files are generated. With PDF files, visitors can get a highly usable and good-looking portable version of any webpage, as directly saved HTML pages can be more difficult to handle with their many associated files. PDF files generated by the plugin preserve images, formatting, URL links and other HTML elements.
Google XML Sitemaps
Photography blogs can be more complex than normal blogs due to the use of galleries and pop-up windows. Google XML Sitemaps help users to submit sitemaps to major search engines and keep them updated with recent changes. Although bots already do amazing jobs of scanning website hierarchy, the plugin helps to assure that search engine won’t miss latest changes on your photography blog.
Grunion Contact Form
Some professional photographers may benefit from well-designed contact form. It helps them to communicate with potential clients for specific photography gigs. For those who are not averse to a little bit of CSS coding, they can even style the contact forms.
W3 Total Cache
Photography blogs can be more sluggish than normal ones due to the use of many high-resolution images. W3 Total Cache can help to accelerate your website and bring the performance to a more manageable level. WordPress is a PHP-based platform and it takes time for servers to interpret codes into straight HTML pages. W3 Total Cache optimizes the myriad files needed to produce webpages. It reduces load on servers and improves performance on users’ web browser by storing pre-generated HTML pages. Defaults settings already help immensely to speed up a photography blog and users can optimize it further if they are willing to work with its numerous settings.