Being a successful photographer is a hard work, but promoting your photography like pro’s can be a helping hand on the path of “being noticed”. And how can you stand out, if not with a stunning WordPress website – a key factor for signing a deal or losing a client for the next photo-shoot.
In a previous article, we wrapped up a list of 10 attractive and efficient WordPress themes for photographers, now let’s have a look at the plugins – those little invisible helpers that can highlight your work, enhance your audience and make your call to action visible. In this way, you can take the camera and do your job, while WordPress website will monetize your passion.
Best Free WordPress plugins for photographers
Editing and SEO purposes
- SEO Friendly Images – This plugin automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images improving traffic from search engines. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according to the options you set, making the post W3C/xHTML valid as well. This plugin makes sure that you don’t miss any search query.
- Post Thumbnail Editor – If you are sick and tired with cropping and scaling your images, this plugin might help you. Some WordPress themes come with random and annoying sizes: your images are cropped from the middle or the edges are disappearing. Therefore, installing this plugin, you can manually fix the thumbnails and adjust the images as you please.
- WP Smush.it - If you are a perfectionist, you feel that each pixel must be meticulously aligned. With this plugin, you can reduce the size of your images keeping the quality intact. WP Smush.it is one of photographers must have plugin for some self-explanatory reasons: it is stripping meta data from JPEGs, optimizing JPEG compression, converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs and stripping the un-used colors from indexed images.
Social Media Purposes
- Digg Digg – With this plugin you can display all popular social sharing buttons, such as Twitter, Buffer, Facebook Share, Facebook Like, Digg, LinkedIn, Google +1, Reddit, dZone, TweetMeme, Topsy, Yahoo Buzz, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, Sphinn, Designbump, WebBlend, BlogEngage, Serpd, Pinterest, Pocket and Tumblr. The best part of it: there’s an “all in one” share button plugin.
- AddThis – AddThis can be considered the among the best sharing, social, recommended content, and conversion tools; helping you make your website smarter. Most of the tools are free, but the Pro users get some additional (awesome) widgets.
- Flare – Flare is a simple, yet eye-catching social sharing bar that gets you followed and lets your content get shared via posts, pages, and media types. This plugin allows you to add a “Follow Me widget” on your website, linking to your social networks and configuring multiple share icons for Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Google+ and Pinterest.
- OmniGallery – Social Media processes can be tackled other way around as well. This plugin helps you to add pictures from you social media accounts (Instagram, Pinterest, Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, and Dribble), directly into your WordPress Gallery.
Gallery and “Functionality” purposes
- Metaslider – Slideshows are an attractive way to present your images. They are engaging and makes your users to spend more time on your websites. Metaslider plugin will make sure that everybody will be mesmerized with your photography. All you need to do is to select images from your WordPress Media Library, drag and drop them into place, set slide captions, links and SEO fields all from one page. There are 4 options available: (Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides & Coin Slider) and you can use the use the provided shortcode or any templates included, to easily embed slideshows in your blog.
- NextGen Gallery – As they advertise it, this plugin is most popular for WordPress. You can take advantage of its responsive design, a dozen gallery styles, a stunning full screen lightbox, commenting and social sharing for images, e-commerce, proofing, and more. You can choose between NextGen Free, NextGen Pro and NextGen Plus (last two are requiring some fees).
- SlideDeck – This plugin helps you to create beautiful sliders for your site in just few minutes. In addition, SlideDeck supports images, text, video, and custom HTML, as well as integration with content from your favourite platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, NextGEN, RSS feeds, and more.
- Flickr Photostream – With this plugin you to show your Flickr Photostream, Photosets, Galleries, Group Pools, or Tags in your blog, with a very elegant and awesome layout.
- Thinglink Official Plugin – ThingLink can give your website’s visitors a run for their money. This plugin makes your images interactive, by adding text, sound and video inside images.
E-commerce and Administration purposes
- Booking Calendar – You can manage your photo-shoots and appointments with clients in a booking calendar online directly on your website. Customers can see the update in a timely manner and they can make online reservations for your photography services. This is the ultimate booking system for online reservation and availability checking service for your WordPress website.
- Sell Media – After all the booking is done, it’s time for selling some photos. With this plugin you can license your work, create price groups and check your sales report regularly. All the sales activities can be incorporated within Sales Media plugin without reaching out for the help of a third party (However, this plugin is not free).
- WP iSell Photo – A free alternative for an e-commerce plugin is WP iSell Photo. You can easily sell photos, images, digital print etc. using the built-in WordPress gallery feature. With this plugin you can increase your photo selling conversion rate with one-click PayPal checkout.
- WP invoice – This plugin lets you create and send web-invoices and setup recurring billing for your clients. In this way, photographers will have all their financial administration in the same admin with the content. In addition, the plugin ties into WP’s user management database to keep track of your clients and their information.
Marketing and Performance purposes
- SumoMe – Built in to boost your website’s performance, this plugin gives you a suite of tools, from analytics to e-mail opportunities (MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor). This is, literally, the easiest way to double your email subscribers and your reach among social media channels (includes sharing tools for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more).
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – In addition to your stunning photography, add great content to facilitate the buying process, but don’t forget about SEO. You can have a fully optimized WordPress site using Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin – fully packed with analysis tools, meta tags customization, a SEO headline creator and many more features.
- JetPack – Get your WordPress, streamlined. While you are in studio taking photos, this plugin takes care of the performance of your website. Its features include: customization, mobile theme, content tools, visitor engagement, site performance and security.
- W3 Total Cache – A very important attribute of a photographer’s website is speed. You want your images to be loaded within seconds, providing visitor a smooth navigation. Therefore, you need an Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.