ShootProof is a fantastic platform for photographers.
It lets you create a photography website quickly, showcase your photos in its cohesive galleries, and even add ecommerce functionality – without any external tools!
But ShootProof is not the only solution you can choose on your photography journey. You can also reach for WordPress – the largest content management system out there.
If you’re not sure which one to choose, we’re here to help!
There isn’t really a definite answer for everyone of course, because people’s needs vary, as does their confidence level with getting a website set up. That’s why in this article we’re going to provide a full breakdown of how Shootproof can help you build a photography landing site, and how it stacks up against the most popular website building platform, WordPress.
This article will help you decide which solution is best for you, and how to get started.
Let’s jump in!
A Brief Introduction to Shootproof
ShootProof is a platform launched back in 2010 that’s designed to enable photographers to grow their business. It offers a range of features that are specifically tailored for photographers at various levels.
Key features include:
Online Photo Store: This feature allows photographers to sell prints, digital images, and other products directly to their clients. Photographers can set their own prices and keep 100% of the profits, fully integrating this store with client galleries.
Portfolio Website: ShootProof provides tools to build a simple yet professional portfolio website. This website includes essential pages such as an About Page, Contact Page, and Homepage.
Dedicated Online Photo Galleries: Each client can have their own dedicated gallery. These galleries are easy to use and can be customized to match the photographer’s brand and style.
Digital Invoices and Contracts: ShootProof provides the ability to create digital invoices and customizable contracts. This feature helps simplify the business side of photography.
Client Email Campaigns: Shootproof also includes tools for email marketing, allowing photographers to send automated emails to clients and potential clients. These emails can include information about sales, promotions, or even a weekly newsletter that keeps customers informed and engaged.
It’s clear that Shootproof provides an easy-to-use platform for creating attractive websites aimed at photographers, and current data shows that there are well over 11,000 sites currently powered by Shootproof.
But with WordPress powering over 810 million websites (45.8% of all websites on the internet!) and 20 years of development and progress under its belt, might it be a preferred alternative?
Let’s look at both platforms together to see what the options are.
#1: Ease of Use for Photography Portfolios
The right content management system (CMS) includes not only tons of features, but also an easy way to use them. There’s no benefit in having access to 100+ features, while not being able to properly use any of them.
That’s why the ease of use is critical when choosing the right CMS platform.
ShootProof is excellent in making your portfolio presentation simple and easy to share with your potential customers.
You can create clean and professional galleries like the example below with just a few clicks.
Also, ShootProof offers a highly intuitive interface – you’ll quickly get the hang of it even if you have never used such a platform before.
Your clients can effortlessly view, select, and purchase photos.
This enhances the overall satisfaction and experience for both you and your customers – maximizing the chances of making sales.
WordPress offers a balance of customization and user-friendliness.
Since WordPress is a much more robust platform, there is a slightly longer learning curve, compared to ShootProof. But once you master it, you’ll appreciate the creative freedom and the amount of customization WordPress offers.
Also, if you’re really a non-technical person, there are thousands of user-friendly themes and plugins that make the whole setup a piece of cake. We wrote about some of our favorite themes for photographers in this article.
While there might be a bit more involved in getting set up with WordPress, it provides you with much more creative control over your portfolios. The ability to customize themes and layouts lets you tailor your online presence to match your brand’s existing style.
#2: Design Flexibility for Personal Branding
Having creative ideas you can put into action should be your priority.
The right platform should let you have creative freedom, add personal branding, and have the flexibility you need to build your dream photography website.
ShootProof offers photographers a range of pre-built galleries designed by professionals – and they do look good.
You can use them to showcase your photos in an elegant way as you can see below.
This greatly enhances the overall aesthetics of your website and ensures consistent branding. You no longer have to worry about having different styles when showcasing your photos between pages – making your brand professional and on-point.
This is a great way to elevate your website from competitors!
For instance, if you’re an event photographer, you can use ShootProof to create consistent branding that aligns the client’s experience with the event’s theme.
This creates a memorable impression that sets you and your clients up for success.
However, it is worth noting that the customization options are a little limited.
WordPress allows for much more customization options with your site.
This is especially useful if you’re looking to create a website that represents your personal brand in a unique way – you can replicate the exact design you have in your mind!
You can change virtually anything on your website, including:
And because WordPress is open source, you can, if you wish, dive right into the code, and change anything you want to. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, there are plenty of developers who will be able to help.
Of course, you may well feel you don’t need anything changed quite that dramatically. Most themes allow you to make a whole range of dramatic customizations, ensuring your site has a unique look that matches your brand image perfectly.
#3: Features Tailored for Client Interaction
Your website can’t just look beautiful, it also has to be functional.
The easier you make it for customers to view your photos, leave feedback, and make purchases, the more sales you generate.
ShootProof gives you the ability to create galleries of your images, and also offers built-in ecommerce functionality that lets you sell print and digital products directly from your website.
Because this is built-in, there’s no need to use third party apps, although of course this does remove the element of choice as far as how you prefer your ecommerce system to work.
This is again an example of how you have the option of choosing between simplicity and convenience, and control.
WordPress has the most powerful plugin ecosystem of all platforms.
You can add literally any functionality to your website and streamline the whole process of client interaction – from visitors landing to your site to them becoming loyal customers.
For instance, you can use our own plugin, picu, which is one of the most popular plugins for photographers.
Our online photo proofing plugin, picu, will save you time and money, massively simplifying and securing the process of client photo selection.
This process can often entail endless back-and-forth emails or telephone calls in which vague descriptions of the requested pictures and changes are eventually narrowed down.
This is a drain on your time, and something that picu can handle for you with ease.
With the picu plugin installed on your WordPress photography site, you simply upload your client’s proof images to a gallery that can be shared with them directly from the plugin (no need for composing emails and attaching links).
The client is then able to browse the images, selecting the ones they want by clicking them, and adding any notes they want directly under each image. Maximum, minimum, or exact quantities can be included, and then once the client has made their selection, you’re able to see their choices and notes within your own dashboard.
So much simpler, quicker, and more accurate for both you and your clients!
If this sounds like a great fit, get started with picu today for FREE.
But aside from photo proofing, you can also add many other plugins for things such as building image galleries, event or booking calendars, search engine optimization, or even to add a fully-fledged ecommerce store to your site.
There’s not much you can’t do with WordPress, since there are 58,000+ plugins out there.
#4: Performance and Speed for Client Satisfaction
The performance of your photography website is critical.
In fact, it takes as little as a one-second delay to decrease your sales by 7%. Not to mention the bounce rate getting sky-high with every additional second of load time.
And according to Google’s data, you’re losing 40% of your customers if your website takes longer than three seconds to load on mobile.
ShootProof ensures your clients get the best possible experience.
Every page you create is fast loading, so clients can navigate through your site quickly, view photos, and make purchase decisions in seconds.
You also don’t have to worry about your site being down or inaccessible.
We’ve personally tried creating portfolio websites with ShootProof and had no problems with photos not loading properly – even with hundreds of photos!
If you’re after a great user experience, ShootProof offers a reliable platform. Simplicity is often the best approach for creating fast-loading sites, and Shootproof definitely achieves that.
WordPress performance can be excellent, but ultimately its performance does rely on a number of different factors.
Unlike with ShootProof, the performance of a WordPress website will depend on the hosting providers, themes, and plugins you use.
That’s why it’s essential to choose the right hosting provider – not just the cheapest one!
If you make the right choices and use proper optimization, including caching and content delivery networks (CDNs), you can achieve a 95+ PageSpeed score.
#5: Pricing and Cost Considerations
Of course, pricing plays a major role in choosing the right CMS solution. If a platform doesn’t fit your budget, there’s no reason to keep paying for it.
ShootProof has a subscription-based pricing model.
You can choose between multiple plans, which include different features and client management tools.
All ShootProof plans are all-inclusive, covering hosting and essential features you need.
This makes it very easy to choose a plan which fits your needs and budget. Plus, you won’t have to pay for multiple solutions as with WordPress – there are no separate payments for hosting, plugins, and themes with Shootproof.
You can also hop on their FREE plan with up to 100 photos and 5GB of storage.
WordPress is a FREE content management system.
However, you’ll have to pay for your domain and hosting provider – which can be found from as little as a couple of dollars a month.
This does not include any fees for (optional) premium themes and plugins.
Depending on your needs, the expenses for a WordPress website can vary. For instance, premium themes, plugins, and high-quality hosting may involve additional costs. This can easily make a WordPress website more expensive than a ShootProof one.
However… as with any subscription service, you are entirely at the mercy of Shootproof’s pricing structure, which could easily change at any time.
If this does happen (and we’ve seen it happen with other companies in the past many times), it presents website owners with a real difficulty – accept the new, higher price, or try to move their website to somewhere more affordable. This itself is not always easy when you’ve built your entire site using the tools exclusive to that platform, so make sure you keep this in mind.
With WordPress, you have almost complete control over how much you pay.
If your web hosting company puts their prices up, you can easily just move your website to a different hosting provider at any time – and with WordPress this process is easy.
Conclusion – What Your Favorite CMS Platform for Photography?
WordPress and ShootProof are both great platforms for photographers. There’s no clear winner between the two – everybody has different needs and preferences.
If this article has whet your appetite for building your own photography website, you will find these resources useful too:
- How to Fix the Two Most Common WordPress Image Upload Issues
- Image SEO for Photographers
- What Is Photo Proofing And How Does It Help Your Clients?
Are you a photographer who is drawn to WordPress?
picu, our WordPress plugin for photographers, saves you time – making it easy to get photos approved. Say goodbye to waiting for clients, doing extra unpaid work, or delays caused by clients.
Just shoot, upload, and get photos approved by the client with a single click.
Try the free version of picu today and upgrade for more when you’re ready:
- Brand and customize. Add your own logo, adjust colors, and even use Google or Typekit Fonts to make picu your own!
- Mark and comment. Let clients send you directions for post-processing or collect more information from your client.
- Selection options. Some jobs require an exact number of images. Other times, a broader range might suffice. picu Pro has you covered and allows you to set selection goals for your collections.