When everyone with the latest iPhone considers themselves a photographer, it can seem like making money from selling photos online is nearly impossible.
But, those that turn to entrepreneurship know that adding ecommerce to their impressive portfolio is an excellent way to make extra money from their art.
So we did a deep-dive into all the ecommerce platforms available to find the ones best suited to sell photos online. We put together a review based on the following features:
- Ease of use
- Download options
- Custom orders
- Blogging & SEO
- Social media integrations
- Portfolio customization
- Added copyright security
And found the top 6 platforms to help artists monetize their art, and create a thriving business. So put down the camera, sit back, and find out how you too can make extra cash from your art.
Format: A Top Pick for Photographers
Rated as the number 1 pick by photographers, this is the go-to solution for photographers big and small that want to sell photos online. This user-friendly pick is ideal for those looking to join a thriving community of creatives.
What we love
This is a platform made for photographers, and so offers features that will help artists showcase and sell their work. This is the least expensive option, and users have a large library of galleries and themes to choose from, good customer support and blogging features. There are also ecommerce features that allow sales of prints and other custom options, limited and unlimited digital downloads, watermarks, image optimization tools, SEO, and more.
Compared with other website builders like Wix or Squarespace, there is far less room for creativity and customization.
Try it for free for 14 days, and then plans start from as little as $12 per month, and the most expensive Unlimited plan will cost $25 per month.
Squarespace: The Budget Friendly Website Builder
Best known for its stunning and mobile responsive designs the platform is also the most budget-friendly. This is an ideal option for photographers with a smaller portfolio looking for a professional design.
What we love
The website builder is easy to use, and there’s a high degree of customization available. There are also the basic ecommerce features that one may need including customizable emails, automatic discounts, custom galleries, style manager, auto-delivery, blog features, native plugins, and integrations. Also comes with great built-in SEO features.
It can be complicated for complete beginners and the ecommerce features are fundamental. There are also limited payment gateways.
Try it for free for 14 days, and then opt for the Basic plan for $26 per month to get access to ecommerce features.
Wix: The Intuitive Website Builder
This free and intuitive website builder is the most user-friendly option when looking to sell photos online. With a lot of creative control and the drag-and-drop website builder, you can have a great looking site in minutes.
What we love
There’s a large library of free and paid templates to choose from, and the platform can handle high-quality photo uploads and storage. Photographers can sell digital downloads, and the platform offers to deal with licenses and prints. There’s also m-commerce support, great marketing, and blogging tools.
The ecommerce features can be basic, there are limited product attributes, less SEO friendly, and too many options can be overwhelming for complete beginners.
The most basic plan is free, and the ecommerce plans start at $17 per month.
SmugMug: A Good Platform to Monetize Content
This dedicated portfolio builder is excellent for showing off your photography. With an emphasis on clean design and features for monetizing your content, this is the best option for beginners.
What we love
As a specialized photography website builder, the platform offers all the features photographers need. From syncing your photo library with Lightroom to the partnership with high-end printers to allow sales of prints, custom water-marks and right-click messages for added image protection, extensive social media integrations, multiple download options, and ecommerce optimized galleries.
There are far fewer templates to choose from compared to other platforms, and the ecommerce features and integrations are basic.
Try it for free for 14 days, and the most suitable plan for ecommerce purposes start from $88 per year.
Weebly: An Excellent Choice for Small Photographers
This is the best option for a fast set up, and an excellent choice for photographers on a smaller scale. The platform is not overloaded with features and has a user-friendly interface.
What we love
There’s a large library of mobile responsive design to choose from, with lots of room to get creative with customization. Great digital goods selling options, custom galleries, and built-in blogging features that make your site search engine friendly. Great selling features like abandoned cart emails are also available, and free $100 credit for Google Ads.
The ecommerce features are limited and lack some desirable selling tools.
The ideal plan for photographers just starting out will cost $17 per month and $26 for photographers with a large portfolio.
Shopify is the best option for beginners to sell photos online as the platform requires no coding or design knowledge to get started. With a choice for many apps, in the Shopify app store, you can manage orders, marketing, inventory and so much more in one place.
What we love
Shopify offers great resources to help you start your online business, and network with other photographers. Apart from this you can customize your photography store without any coding skills using over 70 responsive themes.
Although there are plenty of plans to choose from starting from as little as $29, there is a commission charge per sale that beginners should be aware of.
The basic plan is $29 per month, plus a 2.9% commission charge per sale. You can also test the platform with a free 14-day trial.
To make it as a photographer, consider creating several streams of income, like selling print-on-demand items. Adding ecommerce to your portfolio is a great place to start, and with the platforms above that’s easier than you think. You should decide whether selling prints or just letting your portfolio shine is more important to your brand before you sell photos onlines. Good luck!