The only way to learn is by making mistakes right? So we all know every photographer needs a website to show off their portfolio, well I had been a customer of Bludomain since I first started in 2010 but now in 2014 I felt that I needed to revamp my look and make it a little bit more of who I am. After lots of research and watching many workshops on CreativeLive I decided to leave Bludomain and build an amazing website through ShowIt (aka ShowItfast). I spent hours upon hours restructuring my website, designing it and making it “perfect” but then I noticed I kept hearing crickets. I had a couple of inquiries but they were from people that were redirected to my website through The Knot not because of my website.
During a meeting with a potential client I asked them if they had seen my website and that’s when I realized the website’s not very user friendly as a matter of fact, it’s not user friendly because it’s not mobile friendly. In today’s world we all think that people still go on their computer to view photographer’s websites but the truth is many people just access most websites through their cell phones and iPads. Therefore using something that was limiting my “friendliness” through mobile devices was not the smartest move. As far as SEO goes and with google becoming so much more strict on this Showit just wasn’t working for me anymore.
I have been following lots of other photographers that have had the same complains lately from the ShowIt team. My biggest issue has to be the mobile friendly-less the website provide, as well as lack of SEO. Another big con is that I am such a perfectionist that I would constantly be spending hours of my day updating little details on the website that would then become bigger things and it was taking away from other things that I should’ve been doing instead of working on it. For some people Showit might work, for me it just wasn’t the right thing. Besides paying almost $40 a month for the service it just wasn’t the kind of website provider I should work with.
On the other hand, some people have complained about Bludomain’s customer service. I have nothing to complain about. Yes, it’s not great that you have to wait on them to deliver the website, then customize it, and then wait for them to make it go live but besides that if you find a template that you like and don’t want to spend too much time designing and tweaking little things Bludomain might be your best choice. The templates usually run from $50-100 with certain add-ons that may cost an additional $100 and the hosting that will cost $100/year but that beats the $468 you’d be spending with ShowIt. It is also html5 meaning it will show up on your potential client’s mobile devices and iPads. I will be making the switchback to Bludomain. I believe it’s the best decision for me and it’s the smartest thing for SEO. As far as SEO is concerned I also believe having a blog is the best way to redirect new people to your website therefore keeping both things updated is crucial to your work and portfolio.
Update: It’s been about a week since I switched over to Bludomain; I usually track my websites through Google Analytics to see how much traffic they are getting. Above is the screenshot I got of my Google Analytics results today April 6th, 2014 and you can already see the difference in hits I’ve gotten on the website in the past few days through Bludomain. SEO wise it was the best decision for me, it’s also definitely mobile friendly. It even looks like an app on most cell phones…
The layout may not be exactly customizable but it’s ok – as long as I’m getting the traffic my website and images need to be seen the design of the layout isn’t as important. Showit was extremely customizable but it wasn’t great on traffic, and it wasn’t great on mobile devices. There was no point in having a beautiful website if nobody was seeing it.