If you are a Aspiring Photographer, one of the Most Important things you can Have in your Arsenal is a WEBSITE. and it is actually easier then you think to do yourself. You just have to find the "right"provider". and with so Many Options That claim to be
"The number 1 Platform for photographers"
It really depends on what your needs are. and How much do you want to pay. And I cant stress this enough I believe a Website for a Photographer is Crucial. When I first started out about 20 years ago The number one question I was asked was, and still is. Do you have a website or FB page where I can see your work? and Yes Facebook is fine if You dont plan on selling any prints and or you are Just starting out. But eventually you will want to step up your Game with a Website. am Hoping this can Help a bit on making your decision. To me what is one if not the most Important option you need to have is the ability to sell prints or downloads and its so much easier and pain free when you have this option directly from your galleries. when you do a Search for. "top Photographers/client websites you will get most if not all of the following which are all very popular and have there own Pro's and Con's. and keep in mind that some offer little storage while others Offer Unlimited...
Wix : While wix Has Fantastic options such as forums, Blogs Add on aps and much more and even Great price packages, They Lack the option to offer your Visitors the ability to Buy right from your Gallery. if they ever bring this to there platform I will Gladly switch back to them. I do use them for a different type of website I Have but not for My Photography buisness.
SqareSpace : while a bit pricey for my Tast I do Love some of the options this Platform offers, but again Lacks the ability To offer your Clients Prints directly from the galleries. They claim to be the Number one Platform for Photography But in my opinion Thats a BIG NO. I cant stress enough How important this Feature is.!!!!!!
SmugMug : smugmug is or was actually one of my Favorite Options. but the Admin part of it is a bit confusing, but the Prices are decent and they offer a Package with Unlimited Storage which is also very Important. They do Offer the option to buy directly from you Galleries as well as Digital Downloads in Mant different Sizes and resolutions BUT a Big Cone for me was Having to Beg for a Pay out and not exactly Easy. Most other services allow the use of paypal or Strip which are two of the Biggest Options for Payments but smugmug does it the hard way and Only Allow Payments ONCE a month. which is one of the which is why I stopped using there service.
Pixieset : While they do have Good Customer Services, easy access galleries for both you and your client. very straight forward Admin Panel that anyone can Learn. and the ability to sell prints and more from the Galleries. The website and gallery are almost two different website to the point that you need two different domain names. one for the Gallery section and one for the website, which makes No sense what so ever and makes you buy aditional Domain name. I was recently with them but on top of these issues my website was Flagged by google as Spam. when i contcated them their advise was for me to BUY additional Secuirty. needless to say I switched.
Arcadina : if you run into this Name for a photography website RUN dont look back just Run
UPDATE: since I have another None Photography website with wix. I recieved a Message that they FINALLY have the option to sell Photos directly from your Galleries so I had to do it and switch Back.... Wix has always been one of my Favorite Platforms but was Lacking that Option and now that they Finally did it I dont think Ill be using any other platforms from now on.