The decision to redesign your wedding photography website is a big decision. Its very easy to stay with a design you have and know works, not least because it is a lot of work to change but trends in design change with  full width big pictures and less reliance on text which suits me, I’m an image maker! As a wedding photographer it’s important maintain a contemporary looking website, for many of us our website is our shop window and so it is important that is dressed well.

It’s been 5 years since brianparkes.com was last redesigned and over that time a lot has changed even for somebody who keeps abreast of technology. In researching for my own site I came across some interesting things you may hopefully find useful.

The first is that viewing on mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets has taken over traditional computer browsing. This is huge for your website redesign because while it used to safe to assume everybody had a certain resolution, now the screen size can be anything from a few inches to a couple of feet long and anything from square to a letterbox shape. Its important to come up with a wedding website which can adapt to every type of device. A few years ago this was done with a separate ‘mobile’ website, usually of limited functionality you could direct your users to, however as of 2015 the big buzz phrase of the day is ‘Responsive Design’.

Responsive design morphs the layout of the same website to both desktop and mobile users over any shape or size of screen. Its not just about making the site look pretty on tablets and giving the user a better experience, Google cares deeply about it to the point it is written into their search algorithm now and it is important to have a mobile friendly website for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) reasons.

Another thing that has changed in the weight of social networks, Facebook and Twitter are now much more important than they were 5 years ago its important to incorporate these into your web design. A link is the bare minimum, if you can get your website and social media accounts tightly integrated even better.

Another change in the wedding photography landscape is the phenomenon of blogs, blogs have changed the face of SEO by allowing wedding photographers the ability to write relevant content that the search engines will gobble up. Its clearly the way to go and very important to help with your SEO efforts. An easy way to get into blogging is to build your wedding photography website on a content management system such as WordPress or similar. This will allow you to focus on the content rather than the HTML and is much more productive than trying to manage a blog manually.

Finally I think the other big change is that year on year users expect more. The Internet is all grown up now and clients expect professionally designed and beautifully crafted websites. When I look back at my first website 12 years ago it was laughable by todays standards but brought in a ton of wedding photography commissions for the simple reason that none of the other wedding photographers in my area had one! I was literally one of the first and being I.T literate and understanding how Google indexed sites I was able to use that to my advantage but those days are gone.

With professionally designed themes available for a few pounds more and more wedding photographers are turning out slick websites with little or no technical knowledge. You may not like it, but if you don’t keep ahead of the competition, you are going to fall behind! The easiest way to stay up to date is to ride on the backs of giants. A good content management system (CMS) can take the leg work out of your website redesign by giving you access to the latest technology without having to actually understand it fully. Some CMS offerings have good SEO built right into the framework and others are ‘skinnable’ and you can change their look and feel within minutes simply by applying a new skin or theme, many of which are available free.

So there you have it in a nutshell, move forward or be left behind. The world wide web is changing.

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