Let’s compare WordPress vs Adobe Portfolio for photographers and photography websites. I’ll offer advice based on my own experience after using both platforms for this website, which launched in 2018.
Choosing the Right Platform
Choosing the right platform depends on what you want to achieve. There are no right or wrong answers. But there are choices to be made. To help you make the right choice for your own website we will:
- Look at the history of this website and how it evolved.
- Understand why I’ve tried both platforms.
- Explain what I settled on and why.
- Conclude with some recommendations.
- November 2018: Domain name registered – burnimage.co.uk
- December 2018: Website launched using Adobe Portfolio
- December 2019: WordPress blog added on a subdomain alongside Adobe Portfolio.
- February 2020: Entire website moved to WordPress.
- July 2023: Major website redesign.
Let’s work through the timeline for this website and explain it:
Why a Photography Website?
Why did launch a photography website in the first place? I’d returned to photography in 2018 after a hiatus and wanted to create an online presence to showcase my work. You can read more about my photographic journey here if you’re interested.
Thats why I registered burnimage.co.uk in November 2018.
Ray Burn Photography
Why did I choose burnimage.co.uk as the domain name for Ray Burn Photography?
- Short and memorable domain names are a good thing.
- It’s a play on my surname and photographic images.
- It was available!
So, how did I proceed? I’d been using Adobe Lightroom since version 1.0 back in 2007. It used to be an outright purchase but had evolved into a monthly subscription plan called Creative Cloud Photography. After my return to photography in 2018 I decided to take up the subscription plan, providing me with the latest versions of Lightroom and Photoshop at all times. The plan also includes Adobe Portfolio, providing a means of creating a photography website at no extra cost.
So that’s what I did. This website was born using Adobe Portfolio in December 2018.
WordPress and Adobe Portfolio
So, why did I add WordPress alongside Adobe Portfolio ? The answer is simple. I needed a blog! I’m a prolific photographer. But I’m also a keen writer. As a professional photographer writing is an integral part of my craft. Adobe Portfolio shines as a showcase gallery for your images. But it’s not so great for a writer. It certainly doesn’t have a blogging platform.
That’s why this blog was born in December 2019 using WordPress. However, my galleries were still on Adobe Portfolio. Which meant WordPress had to reside on a subdomain. It worked. But it wasn’t the most elegant or user friendly solution.
Why did I make the decision to move exclusively to WordPress? There are two main reasons for that decision:
Firstly, as already mentioned, having my galleries on the root domain (burnimage) and the blog on a subdomain (blog.burnimage) wasn’t the most elegant solution.
Secondly, as a writer, I wanted to provide a written narrative or editorial with each photo gallery. That’s not really possible with Adobe Portfolio. To be fair, it isn’t designed for that. However, by using WordPress, I could achieve all of my requirements on one platform.
Upon reflection, WordPress is the more elegant solution for my style as a photographer and writer. It enabled me to combine my photo galleries and blog seamlessly into one website in February 2020.
Remainder of 2020
After the migration to WordPress I spent the remainder of 2020 adding content and galleries. I also tweaked the design along the way.
I’ve settled on a deliberately simple black on white website design. But there are tons of WordPress themes (design templates) out there to choose from. If you’re interested, this website uses a self customised version of the Enterprise Pro theme by StudioPress.
July 2023: I’ve moved to GeneratePress for the theme and design. See the update at the end of this post.
Best for Photographers?
So, which is best for photographers, WordPress or Adobe Portfolio? The answer is that they are both fantastic platforms. But choosing which one is best for you as a photographer depends on a few things. Let’s summarise the advantages of each platform:
Consider using Adobe Portfolio if you:
- Already have an Adobe Photography Plan and want to create a website at no extra cost.
- Don’t want to get involved with the technical aspects of website design, hosting and management.
- See the benefit of being able to publish a website in about 30 minutes without any fuss.
- Want beautiful looking photo galleries that you can add to from within Lightroom. Adobe has some magic sauce that does this for you automatically.
- Don’t want to mess about with resizing, exporting and uploading images to your website.
- Have no need for a blog, journal or a place to publish articles.
- Don’t want to provide a written narrative or editorial with your galleries.
- Are not looking to sell prints or photographic services on your website.
Consider using WordPress if you:
- Want an infinitely customisable website that you’ll never outgrow.
- Don’t mind the extra cost of website hosting and the like.
- Are happy to get “under the bonnet” and do it yourself (or hire a web designer to do it for you).
- Don’t mind the extra steps of resizing, exporting and uploading images to your website.
- Are comfortable with using gallery plugins to publish your work. I use FooGallery and FooBox Pro.
- Need for a blog, journal or a place to publish articles.
- Want to provide a written narrative or editorial with your galleries.
- Are looking to sell prints or photographic services on your website.
In conclusion, for us photographers, I don’t recommend using both Adobe Portfolio and WordPress for your photography website at the same time. Although that’s exactly what I did for a while! But it was never my original intention to do so. It’s simply that my requirements quickly outgrew Adobe Portfolio, which I didn’t envisage at the outset. In other words, try and work out where you want to end up with your website from day one. Then you can pick the most appropriate platform for your needs.
Update: July 2023
I have redesigned this website from the logo down. I’m still using WordPress but I’ve moved to GeneratePress for the theme and design. It’s a highly customisable yet fast loading framework. That’s why I’ve chosen it. Plus the previous design was starting to look a bit dated!
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions please leave a reply below and I’ll do my best to help you.
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