Your Portfolio Online
Where Should Your Portfolio Go?
To be straight foreword, should your portfolio be a dedicated website owned and operated by yourself? Or should you utilize another option such as a popular and modern social network such as Facebook? There are many good and bad reasons for each alternative, so lets take a closer look:
A dedicated website displaying your photography portfolio is often considered the best alternative, however, there is much to be said about this. Firstly, it is easier for clients to google and find your website, in comparison to facebook, as facebook pages are rarely indexed in Google higher than a standard website. This seems like an immediate turn on, however it takes months, years, and tons of non stop dedication to draw a website to the first page in search engines such as Google. Along with this, there is the potentially expensive price for a custom designed website, or a cheap (or free) alternative using free themes (designs) and merging them with WordPress. There is still the hassle of purchasing and renewing a host AND a domain. Then, to top it off, after dealing with all these little pieces, you must always maintain and update the website with current articles/photographs. Yes… it is all quite daunting. If you are not quite up to all this online dedication, look into Adobe Lightroom’s pre-made website templates, or iWeb.
- Time Consuming
- Costs Money (hosting/design/domain)
- Long Time To See Results
- Need To Be Tech Savvy
- More “Traditional” Approach
- SEO Beneficial
- Your Photos Are Yours
I have seen Facebook users soar to great success with a simple photography “page”. They manage to capture the attention of their friends, and friends of friends, and end up with thousands of “fans” to their page. It is far simpler than the previous dedicated website method, and if done properly can yield significant results. It is easy for friends to find your work, however, this is only if your surrounding friends have Facebook accounts, as your page will not be accessible without one. You can upload images and attach these to albums with almost no hassle! Quick, simple, and if you already know the Facebook interface, easy to set-up! Be very careful when uploading images, as when you sign up for Facebook you give away all rights to your photos.
- Potential Fast Results
- Easy To Upload Images
- Must have FB Account
- Give Away Copyright
Dedicated Website + Facebook
If you are tech savvy and want your clients to have the greatest experience, integrate social networks with your well designed portfolio. This will draw cross traffic between the two sources, adding interactivity and cross promotion. If you need to hire a professional to set this up, I highly recommend this approach. The results will far exceed using just one alternative by itself as you will get benefits from both sources: SEO, short and long time results, and a variety of audience sources since many may not even own a Facebook account.
Of course there are many, many other routes to take when building an online portfolio. These are just the two most popular, and the two that I am personally most involved with. Other alternatives are displaying images on Flickr, Deviant Art, PhotoShelter, and 500 Pixels to name a few. Perhaps more articles will follow revolving around these.