How to create a professional looking photo site

If you are a photographer like me, you might want to display your photos in some kind of online portfolio. Here are my ideas..and results.

First I googled around for suitable services. I can tell you that the opinions on available leading services differ a lot. Photo hosting sites have various features, some features are liked by some people and disliked by others. Photo hosting sites tend to evolve and add new features, so reading a forum thread posted 6 months ago might not give a fair view of the service in question.


I've had my photos posted at for a while, but see a great limitation when it comes to allowed sizes, maximum uploads etc. is strictly Swedish so it might not be an alternative for you anyhow.

What I was looking for

Basically, I wanted this:

  • Great design and layout, and the option to customize
  • Unlimited, or acceptable limit, when it comes to file size and storage
  • Acceptable service fees (yes, I'm an amateur too..thight budget)
  • SEO friendly website, because I do want people to find my site via Google
  • The option to hook up my own domain name to the site
  • Not a "must have", but built in features to sell photos and prints would be neat

The selection

I read about 10-20 forum threads, and visited some of the top ranked services and read about their features. Finally the list consisted of:

  • SmugMug
  • ExposureManager
  • Zenfolio

Maybe you would have made a different choice but price, features, and customer satisfaction made my sign up for a free trial with Zenfolio. And after playing around for two days, I decided to go for their premium account. It's $100 a year, but then again they cover everything I put on my wanted list (see above)! Two weeks after trial sign up (14 day trial) I got the premium account and hooked up own domain to the site.

Please take a look at the result at and let me know what you think. And if you want to check out Zenfolio by yourself ( I recommed the free trial) please go to Zenfolio.


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