In this post, we have curated a list of the best WordPress plugins for photographers, by photographers. We have expansive histories as photographers ourselves, originally as hobbyists, then over the past decade spending time as professional photographers in business.
As a result, our websites have become crucial to get right. We aren’t just hosting pictures for fun, but want to get more website traffic, clients to engage with our content and reach out, and get booked.
WordPress Plugin Tips for Photographers – What You Need to Know Before You Start Adding Plugins
Before we talk about our recommended WordPress plugins for photographers, we want to give some tips and advice for you before you go and download every single one.
In fact, that is our first tip – only use plugins if it’s absolutely essential to your website.
WordPress plugins can be great and help you do things you can’t otherwise with WP right out of the box, but they can also cause a lot of problems. The most common problem people encounter with WordPress plugins, and especially photographers, is having too many operating that take up a ton of disk space – making your website painfully slow and not user friendly.
Second, we always recommend testing out your website after installing plugins to make sure everything is in good working order. Before installation, you should also consider making a website backup (there’s a plugin for that, too!), in case anything on your site is damaged.
What we look for in good WordPress plugins as photographers
Our preferred WordPress plugins have the following features:
- Optimized for good website performance
- Easy to use and understand as someone with limited tech experience
- Impact our client facing website in ways that are unique or interesting for engagement
- Will see regular use, instead of just one-off instances
- Provide more site security, insights, ease of use
- Integrate with other things we use in our photography business workflows
- Inexpensive (we prefer free WordPress plugins or one-time costs as opposed to subscription plugins to maintain a high profit margin photo business)
With all of this out of the way, let’s talk about our favorite WordPress plugins for photographers…
Lazy Load – Optimize Images
Photographers struggling with a slow website can usually blame the amount of content they have on their sites. It’s not the text that slows things down, but all of those photos you want to share.
While website slowness is a common problem across any website, it is particularly impactful for photographers.
Fortunately, this issue can be addressed in a big way by using a Lazy Load plugin.
Lazy load is a tech term that can be defined like this…when a user opens up your website, only the things they can see are loaded. As they scroll down the page, new items are loaded as they appear.
This saves time and increases your website speed, which is essential for search engine optimization practices. Without lazy load, you’re entire website will load all at once – this can take a lot of time, and result in people leaving your site before they’ve even had a chance to see your photos.
jQuery Pin It Button for Images
Most social media related WordPress plugins have fees or an excessive amount of features that you don’t really need as a photographer. After much searching around, we found our favorites for getting you images marked up for Pinterest engagement.
This is a lightweight plugin that displays a Pinterest “Pin It” button on your photos. It can be adjusted to show all of the time, or just when a user hovers over the image. It’s a simple plugin, but effective at it’s job!
WordPress Hide Posts
For photographers who want to blog all of their work, but not necessarily make it all available for users to easily find on their blog roll – WordPress Hide Posts allows you to do just that.
We started using this WordPress plugin after deciding it would be invaluable to blog all our weddings and session work – even the stuff that wasn’t “the best.” By blogging everything, you can reach a wider audience. Even if you feel certain things are not your best work, prospective clients may – so you could end up booked anyways.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins – partly because it comes installed on every new website running WP. As far as SEO plugins go, it works well.
The best features of Yoast SEO for photographers:
- SEO and Readability Analysis on each blog post/page
- Identify “Cornerstone Content” (a few pillar posts that represent your website well to search engines)
- XML sitemaps submitted to search engines
The SEO features are great and give you the ability to set a focus keyphrase (usually your selected keyword), adjust the post URL slug, add a meta description (our main reason for using), add social media images, titles, and descriptions to make sharing cleaner, and more.
If we have one gripe with Yoast, it’s that it is weighty, and can slow down your website. If you are just using it with a few other small plugins, your site will perform just fine, though.
All in One SEO
As an alternative to Yoast SEO, All in One SEO is another WordPress plugin suite for search engine optimization of your website. Out of the box, it has more features than Yoast, with a few that could be particularly useful to photographers for better refinements to their content. It does everything Yoast does with some additions we’d like to mention below.
Some additional features of All in One SEO worth checking out:
- Video and RSS feed sitemap submissions
- Local business SEO
- Multiple location SEO
- Rich snippets schema markup
- Sitelinks Search Box
- SEO Audit Checklist
- Google AMP SEO
- Canonical Linking
- Automatic Image SEO
All in One SEO’s main drawback is how large it is. Generally, plugins that do a ton of different things will take up more space on your website, with the idea being that you need fewer plugins. This one is worth checking out for better search engine optimizations.
Better Search Replace
Better Search Replace is a plugin that helps make migration of your website from a non-Wordpress website to WordPress easier. For example, if you want to move from Squarespace to WordPress, this helps transfer the database content cleanly to WP.
You will only need to consider this if you have not yet migrated to WordPress.
W3 Total Cache
Caching plugins do a lot of things behind the scenes for your website that helps optimize it and make it faster. W3 Total Cache is a regularly recommended plugin, making many Top 10 WordPress Plugin lists around the web.
While the details of what this does is too technical for the average photographer to care, the results it can get you in better search engine visibility and site performance are essential. According to the app benefits in the plugin description, you will expect “at least 10x improvement in overall site performance when fully configured.”
For photographers struggling with site performance and speed, try this plugin to get out of the red.
WP Rocket is another popular caching plugin. It has many similar features as W3 Total Cache. In our observation, they are the most popular options in this space.
When selecting the plugin you would like to use, you should always check what performs best on your website. Some users will find WP Rocket to be better suited to their needs and optimize better, while others may find W3 Total Cache to perform better – there performance can be impacted by things like your website builder, website host, website design, and other things.
Envira Gallery is a premium photo gallery and collage plugin for WordPress that helps photographers display their images better. WordPress does have a gallery feature out-of-the-box, but it doesn’t work well in our experience. This plugin makes your galleries easier to create, mobile friendly, more responsive, better optimized for SEO, social media sharing, and more.
Storyform helps you to convert your website content into full screen magazine layouts. While this will not be for everyone, we can certainly see the appeal to photographers with audiences who appreciate a more visually interesting experience.
While this can be applied across your entire website, it could also be an interesting tool to play around with for creating unique pages like your photography pricing page, recommended vendor guide, or wedding guide for your clients (if you’re a wedding photographer).
This is a free security plugin for WordPress websites. We recommend it as WP websites are naturally prone to web attacks, malware, and spam. This is a simple solution that can enhance the security of your website.
For photographers who want to include a watermark on their images, did you know there is a WordPress plugin that can take care of that for you?
Forget having to manually add a watermark in Photoshop just to host an image on your website. This plugin automatically can add text or your logo file to all images uploaded to your WP media library. It’s easy and gets the job done!
MonsterInsights does what Google Analytics does in many ways, but let’s you view your data in a more engaging user interface, right from the backend of your website in WordPress. In fact, one of your first steps will be to set up your Google Analytics account in the plugin, so it can pull that data for you.
As photographers, diving into Google Analytics can often feel overwhelming. MonsterInsights helps streamline the data to the most essential, and makes it easier to view.
Showcasing your social media feeds on your website is the name of the game here. For many photographers, having an Instagram or Facebook feed of your content can help with future engagement from your site visitors.
Not all feed plugins are made the same. We like Smash Balloon because you have a lot of options to customize the look of your feed(s), as well as other features that allow you to optimize for SEO, user engagement, GDPR, and site speed.
If you use Showit for your website (which has WordPress as the blog), do keep in mind that you can create great looking feeds without plugins. We highly recommend Showit for photographers wanting to showcase their work and get booked. Read our post about 11 Showit SEO Tips & Tricks for Creatives to see some of the reasons why!
One of the major causes of slow websites for photographers is uploading images that are too large. While you can correct this by using a tool like JPEGmini before you upload, Short Pixel is a WordPress plugin for photographers that can correct this for you.
The way this works – Short Pixel resizes, compresses, and serves images from a CDN. You will have the option of showcasing images at different sizes on your website – from the full image size (rarely recommended) to smaller versions.
Soliloquy is a WordPress plugin for creating simple and responsive image sliders for your website. You can build yours using their drag and drop editor, pre-made templates and themes, and selecting your preferred style including lightboxes and carousel sliders.
For photographers needing a custom designed contact form for their website, WPForms is a popular option. Early in our wedding photography business, when we hosted our website on WordPress, we used these contacts forms.
If you plan to run a photography business yourself, we do recommend upgrading from contact forms like this to one integrated with your CRM (customer relationship manager) for even better results as you will be able to do more to ensure inquiring clients translate into booked sales.
Related: Best CRMs for Photographers
If you are a photographer who wants to run as much of their business through your website as possible, Birch Press offers a solution you may find interesting for appointment scheduling. After you design your calendar availability, you can add a scheduling link to any page on your website. You can also create multiple schedulers – some photographers may benefit from this for things like scheduling consult calls, scheduling timing for mini-sessions and portrait shoots, and similar.
Not as scary as it sounds, OptinMonster is a great solution for photographers wanting to grow their emailing lists. Email marketing is one of the most underutilized methods of marketing for photographers, but one of the most impactful for growing your business. This WordPress plugin is more than just giving people an option to join your mailing list.
Main features of OptinMonster:
- Drag and drop builder
- Enable popups (desktop/mobile friendly)
- Add a countdown timer to boost conversions
- Add forms to your sidebar
- Coupon wheel optins
- Build email marketing campaigns
This is one of the few paid plugins we’d consider valuable for photographers!
WooCommerce is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) WordPress plugins for e-commerce. If you don’t know what e-commerce is, it’s the selling of goods online (simple!).
This WP plugin allows you to sell your photos through a customized storefront on your website.
If you’re looking to make extra money as a photographer, a tool like this can be a great way to sell your images in a professional looking environment.
One of the few WordPress plugins for photographers that is specifically designed for professional photography needs is Picu – a client proofing plugin.
This plugin is great for portrait, wedding, real estate, commercial, corporate, sports, landscape, and other styles of photography where you are providing a proofing gallery for clients to select the images they want to buy.
While there are many online gallery services for photographers that have this feature, for some photographers this may be a more cost effective way to keep it integrated with their website directly.
Finally, you should regularly make backups of your website just in case. While there is a way to do this manually (and it’s pretty convoluted and complicated if you’re not tech savvy), plugins like Updraft Plus offer a good solution.
Making regular backups ensures that you don’t lose any of your sites content in the future should anything bad happen.
Photographers running websites on WordPress have access to countless features.
Our favorite WordPress plugins for photographers are the ones listed in this article – helping you optimize your workflows, make your website look and function better, helping you get more traffic and leads, and more.
Chris is a SEO professional with a passion for helping photography businesses succeed online. With years of experience in the industry, he has a proven track record of increasing website traffic, improving search rankings, and driving revenue growth for his clients.