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Best website builders for photographers in 2021

laptop open on desk showing photographs
(Image credit: Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash)

Of the many services making up the best website builders, there are free and affordable platforms widely available, but few of these apps are designed specifically for photographers. While photography websites have some features in common with other sites, professional photographers rely on website builders that can display their work in the best possible light.

In this article, we’ll cover four of the best website builders for photographers to consider. Each of these platforms provides excellent tools and ease of use at a reasonable price, and some give photographers the ability to sell images through their websites. We’ll examine their pros and cons to help you identify the best way to display your work.

Format's homepage

Format's excellent user interface provides users with an easy-to-use service (Image credit: Format)

1. Format

Intuitive interface with a variety of options

Reasons to buy
+Excellent user interface allows for outstanding ease of use +Supports web stores and blogs 
Reasons to avoid
-Somewhat pricey for large volumes of images 

While Format doesn’t provide the same range of features as more robust website builders, it streamlines virtually every aspect of building a website. Its ease of use and decent set of features for basic website building make it a great option for any photographer looking for a simple way to develop a website.

Users can choose from more than 60 themes, with premium themes available for an additional charge. Every theme is thoroughly customizable, so you can always make changes if you don’t like particular aspects of a given template. Format is free for up to 14 days, giving users more than enough time to test the platform.

Furthermore, each theme is set up to display perfectly on all devices, including computers, tablets, and phones. You can easily check what your site will look like on different devices using the Preview function.

Format also makes it easy to upload and display images on your site. After uploading, simply drag and drop each image to the desired location. Assuming you don’t want to make any changes to your template, it won’t take you more than a few minutes to put your new site online.

It’s also worth mentioning that Format provides some extra features and options that aren’t available with certain competitors. For example, users can import an existing domain, create an online store and blog, and edit CSS directly. There are numerous video tutorials to help you understand the platform’s functionality.

It has two plan categories - Portfolio and Workflow - which themselves have three and four pricing plans respectively, and which cover an ascending scale of capacities, features and services.. The Portfolio plans start at $15 a month with the Pro package, rising to $25 a month for the Pro Plus package and $40 for the Premium plan, while the Workflow plans start with a free service, moving up through the same options as Portfolio and at the same cost points.

Carbonmade's homepage

Carbonmade is a website builder designed and built for creatives (Image credit: CarbonMade)

2. Carbonmade

Built from the ground up for creatives

Reasons to buy
+Dedicated portfolio builder +Quickly switch between different layouts and themes 
Reasons to avoid
-Fewer customization options than some alternatives 

Like Format, Carbonmade is designed for speed and ease of use rather than a deep set of features. That said, it’s built specifically for photographers and other creatives, so many of its tools are perfect for artists.

In contrast to Format, Carbonmade only includes a small selection of templates, although you do have some control over the specifics of each design. It also has a highly intuitive interface that facilitates quick website creation and editing. There are three tiers of pricing, starting with the Beginner package at $8 a month, with the Pro and Expert tiers respectively costing $12 and $18 a month.

While help resources are available if you run into any issues, Carbonmade generally makes it easy to find what you’re looking for on your own. It provides decent room for customization without making the interface overly complicated or confusing.

Carbonmade Messages, one of the platform’s more unique features, enables site creators to communicate directly with visitors who are interested in their photography. Other tools include the option to connect a custom domain or upload images directly from your Dropbox account.

Although Carbonmade is missing a few features, such as password-protected pages and online sales, it’s still worth considering for photographers who simply want to display their work. Especially given its affordable rates, Carbonmade is an accessible option for many photographers.

Squarespace's website

Among the most popular all-round website builders, Squarespace provides professional templates (Image credit: Squarespace)

3. Squarespace

One of the most popular website builders

Reasons to buy
+Professional templates +Incredibly simple website builder 
Reasons to avoid
-Limited customization 

Although Squarespace isn’t specifically designed for creatives, it still comes with sufficient features for photographers. Arguably the most well-known website builder, it provides numerous professional templates including options for both full-screen and grid formats.

Squarespace automatically crops and resizes images for you, so you won’t have to do any extra work to make your site look good on all devices. Furthermore, while certain colors, fonts, and other options are applied by default, you can quickly customize these based on your preferences.

Unlike Carbonmade, Squarespace gives users the ability to set up password protection on certain pages in their gallery. You can also set up a contact form in just a few clicks to give visitors an easy way to get in touch with you if they’re interested in your work.

While most users will focus on the platform’s web interface, Squarespace works surprisingly well on mobile devices through its iOS and Android apps. All things considered, Squarespace provides everything most photographers need to showcase their work on a professional site.

Read our Squarespace review to learn more about this website builder, including its pricing plans.

Dunked's homepage

Dunked provides a simple website builder for a quick site setup (Image credit: Dunked)

4. Dunked

Unmatched simplicity for quick setup

Reasons to buy
+Get online quickly +Clean, professional interface 
Reasons to avoid
-Limited template selection 

Dunked is missing the depth of some of its competitors, particularly with respect to its selection of templates and features. On the other hand, it makes up for these issues with incredible ease of use, enabling users to put their websites online in as little as a few minutes.

Like many other website builders, Dunked uses a drag-and-drop approach to website building. Subscribers can also split images by category or simply onto different pages for full control of site layout. The platform’s simple interface streamlines these processes into just a handful of clicks.

While Dunked doesn’t provide as many templates as other website builders, each template works well on all devices and screen sizes. Additionally, experienced users can make fine-grained adjustments by editing the CSS. Speed and accessibility are two of the platform’s greatest advantages.

Dunked is undoubtedly too simple for some use cases, but most photographers will find that it has all the tools they need to get started. It offers a ten-day free trial, so you can set up your site before deciding whether to stick with the service or switch to another website builder - while there are two paid options, Agency and Professional, priced respectively at $19 a month and $8 a month, offering different services and features for businesses and individuals.