In this article, I will list down the best free photography website builders and briefly review their features to help you pick the best one.
Finding a decent website building solution for free can be quite a challenge. Discovering a good website builder for photographers is even harder since you need a lot of storage for your content and not every free plan includes that.
However, there are some generous providers that offer free plans with limitations that aren’t a complete disaster. It takes some time to differentiate between a good and a bad deal, especially if it’s for free.
Some builders have hidden fees and push aggressive marketing when you’re using their free versions.
For example, there is a builder that claims to let you sell items online and manage your store inventory with its free plan. However, when you actually upload your product and try to put it on your website – a request for upgrading appears.
Personally, I would like to avoid such hurdles when creating a photography website for free (or any website in general).
That’s why I created a list of providers that offer semi-decent or decent free plans for aspiring photographers. I was successful at avoiding many scam-ish looking offers…
However, some limitations are unavoidable.
Usually, a free plan won’t come with a custom domain connection, so you have to settle down for “www.yoursite.provider.com” URL. Also, most of the time you will have to accept to host your site builder’s ads on your website.
Due to such restrictions, your brand’s professionalism might suffer, although, it doesn’t stop you from hosting a fully functional website.
Now, let’s get into a list of the best free photography website builders, where I briefly review the pros and the cons of said platforms to help you pick the best solution possible.
In my search for the best builders that let you create free websites for photographers, I came across a lot of different options, but five stood out for different reasons.
The best free photography website builders, in no particular order, are:
Wix is a great free photography website builder for many artists because it’s a #1 in design customization. It also offers a great free-forever plan as a starting point for aspiring artists and has over 500 templates to choose from.
Signing up with Wix only takes minutes, and you won’t ever be asked to provide credit card details or any other sensitive information.
One of the things that Wix prides itself on is its extreme customizability. The website editor allows true drag-and-drop design, which means you can position elements exactly where you want them on your site.
At the same time, Wix also offers a range of photography portfolio templates. If a custom design doesn’t tickle your fancy then you can simply choose a template that you like, upload your pictures, and have a fully functional website within a few hours.
With over 40 photography-specific templates, you will almost certainly be able to find a design that appeals to you. Remember, Wix lets you change and tweak nearly any design and content element on your site for free.
Also, one of my favorite things about Wix is that it offers a range of photography-specific features.
However, the free version doesn’t give you access to all of these features. Sure, you will be able to create organized photo galleries with high-resolution images, use your blog to promote your work and build a strong online community.
Still, you won’t be able to add a custom domain or a store unless you upgrade to a paid plan.
Wix’s free plan does have a few other downsides when it comes to creating a photography website, especially if you want to sell any of your images. The free plan doesn’t include any eCommerce functionality, and you won’t be able to accept online payments.
You will also have to put up with a Wix subdomain and Wix advertising on every page of your website. If you want to connect a custom domain and remove these ads you will either have to upgrade to a paid plan – starting from $13/month.
Some people might find that the amount of storage available is a little limiting as well. You will only have access to 500MB of storage unless you upgrade to a paid plan. If you want to upload a lot of high-resolution photos, Wix’s free plan might not be the best option.
Still, when it comes to the website builder and photo management interface, Wix stands out as a winner. Although the storage is somewhat limited with the free plan, it’s super easy to upload and sort your files.
You can upload high-resolution photos with a maximum file size of 25MB – more than enough for most people. You aren’t limited to uploading files from your computer either.
Wix also lets you import photos and other files directly from a range of online platforms, including Facebook, Google Drive, Google Images, and Dropbox.
Ultimately, Wix is a clear winner on many fronts when it comes to building free photography websites for photographers. It lets you create highly personalized websites, offers a range of templates, and provides comprehensive photography features. However, it is a little limited in terms of the amount of storage that the free plan offers.
SITE123 is arguably the best free photography website builder on the market – if ease of use and simplicity are things that you value. Like most of the providers on this list, SITE123 offers a range of photography-specific features, a great free plan, and the ability to upload high-resolution images.
In my eyes, one of the best things about SITE123 is that they target photographers, offering a range of portfolio and file management services. They claim to be the “easiest photography website builder”, and I’d say that they aren’t exaggerating too much.
However, there are a few things that you should be aware of if you do decide to use SITE123. Although I found their website builder intuitive and easy to use, it doesn’t offer the same level of customization as some other providers. I mean, that beginner-friendliness has its own cost.
If you want a simple photography website, this shouldn’t worry you. But, if you want to personalize your site and fine-tune your design, then you should look elsewhere.
SITE123 does offer a range of attractive templates that specifically target photographers. However, it’s worth noting that you can’t change your template once you’ve published your site. This could make things difficult in the future if you want to rebrand your business.
You also won’t be able to connect a custom domain to your free website – to do this you will have to upgrade to the Premium plan ($12.80/month).
Storage is also limited to the free plan. You will have access to 500MB of storage before you have to pay. If you plan on building a simple photography website, this should be enough.
However, if you want to upload a lot of high-resolution images, then you’ll either need to upgrade to a paid subscription or look elsewhere.
When it comes to uploading images to your website, SITEE123 makes it easy. Like many other website builders, it offers a simple media interface that lets you upload files from your computer.
Most common file formats are accepted and you will have the ability to categorize and sort your images however you want.
I had a quick look at some of the other photography websites that people have built with SITE123, and I wasn’t disappointed. Most are very attractive, load fast, and seem to offer decent enough features.
For example, this wedding photography portfolio looks attractive enough so that I would book the artist’s services.
If you ever get tired of limitations such as the inability to connect a custom domain or hosting SITE123 ads on your site, the premium subscription also has a nice pack of features for photographers.
For example, SITE123 offers eCommerce capabilities, allowing you to sell your work if you want to. Digital sales are possible, and payments are accepted by most major providers.
In the end, I feel like SITE123 will help a lot of people build the best free photography website possible. It is simple and easy to use, but even the free version offers plenty of features. SITE123 does have its downsides, but I feel like the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Jimdo is another great free photography website builder. It has a great free plan packed with features that could help artists get noticed as well as offers great templates and an AI site-building functionality.
Although it isn’t the most popular website builder, Jimdo has built a reputation for excellence. Its AI website builder called “Jimdo Dolphin” provides a super beginner-friendly and intuitive site creation process that doesn’t require a single line of code.
Once again, Jimdo offers fast, simple website creation. It claims to let you “create your own website in 3 minutes” with “no coding expertise needed”. This is just one of the reasons why Jimdo has made my list of the best free photography website builders.
Like all of the builders that I’ve looked at here, Jimdo offers a passable Free Forever plan. It is quite limited, but it offers more than enough features for photographers who want to build a simple portfolio or hobby website, including the ability to add galleries and organize your images.
Jimdo also offers two different website building processes. First is called ‘Jimdo Dolphin’ – the beginner-friendly site building using AI to set up your website. The second one – ‘Jimdo Creator‘ – a bit more advanced site editing with code access to people who want to customize more.
Like most of the builders on this list, Jimdo offers photography specific website building services, with an entire range of dedicated visual content features. Some of these features are only accessible with one of the various paid subscriptions, but many of them are included in the free plan.
With Jimdo’s free plan, you will get access to one of their website builders, a branded subdomain, and the ability to add up to five pages to your site.
However, you won’t be able to add any eCommerce or store features, connect a custom domain, or add more than 500MB of files to your site. The lack of storage space is the main area where Jimdo falls down. It also only allows .jpeg, .png, and .gif file uploads.
Nevertheless, it still doesn’t deny the fact that Jimdo Dolphin was super easy to use, which can be useful for photographers as you don’t have to spend hours learning a new skill.
For example, it took me all of a couple of minutes from the time I signed up until the time I was editing my new site’s design. The Jimdo Creator is also a great option but requires a few more tech skills to get started.
As I was guided through the website creation process I could specify that I wanted my website to showcase my photos. I had the option to connect to Instagram and use my existing photos as well, which is cool if you want to widen your audience.
Unfortunately, Jimdo doesn’t let you add a custom domain to your website unless you upgrade to a paid subscription. While this annoying, it’s by no means unexpected – almost all website builders that offer a free plan provide only a branded subdomain unless you pay.
Jimdo also falls down on the customization front. Its Dolphin website builder is very modular and offers limited design flexibility. You have to place elements in pre-coded positions and there’s very little flexibility when it comes to changing things like text position and image size.
In saying that, you might not be too worried about this lack of flexibility, as it helps keep things simple on the design front. However, if you want to be able to access your site’s code and fine-tune your design you should use the Jimdo Creator builder.
From a photography point of view, Jimdo makes up for the lack of design flexibility with streamlined image management. When you start building your website you will have access to a media library where you can store photos.
You can either upload files from your computer or connect to your social media accounts, and both options will be attractive for different people.
All things considered, Jimdo is a decent choice for photographers who want to build a simple website to showcase their work. If you want access to any eCommerce or booking features you will have to upgrade to a paid plan, but if you just want somewhere to store and showcase your work, then Jimdo does just fine.
Zenfolio is one of the best free photography website builders that provides a lot of niche features for aspiring artists trying to get income with their hobby.
It offers a 14-day-free-trial for photographers and lets you try out its premium features for free to get a feel if this website builder would click with you.
Zenfolio is packed with templates that all have image galleries implemented so you could easily showcase your work.
Most templates look quite similar as the main spotlight comes to the pictures that you will upload to your site – as it should be. After all, having unlimited storage for images lets you post pictures in the best possible quality.
Zenfolio also provides a ton of tools to protect your visual content and author rights. For example, you can protect your galleries with passwords if you’re selling pictures to a private client.
You can also watermark your pictures so they don’t get stolen and re-used somewhere without your consent.
The best part about Zenfolio is that it’s super intuitive to work with. The website setup process takes only a few moments.
The site editing process in Zenfolio is also streamlined so even the most inexperienced people could build a website. It takes only a few moments to get around the basics.
However, this website builder doesn’t allow too much customization. So if you’re thinking of doing more than just arranging your photos aesthetically and working with galleries, this is not an option.
After all, Zenfolio’s templates rely on white space in its layouts to enhance the picture itself and avoid cramping the page. In my opinion, it’s a good thing that provider focuses on the “less is more” principle.
So, if you’re looking for a really niche free photography website builder, Zenfolio is a great pick. It has a lot of features related to photographers only and provides unlimited file upload storage. This builder is a super fit even for beginners, so it’s a clever choice to try it out using its free trial.
IM Creator sells itself as being “built by creators, for creators”. It offers completely free services for students, artists, and non-profit organizations, which makes it a great choice for people who want to build a free photography website.
For me, the features that the IM Creator offer make it one of the best choices on this list. For starters, it gives you unlimited bandwidth. To put this in simple terms, your website will be able to cope with high visitor loads for extended periods of time without crashing or becoming too slow.
IM Creator also offers full eCommerce services – for free as well. Again, this is something that none of the other providers on this list do, and it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re planning on selling your photos at some point in the future.
And, if your business really takes off, IM Creator makes it easy to scale your sites. Its designs are simple but powerful, and the templates provide great starting points for photographers.
When you start to build your website, you will have access to 17 photography specific templates. They all include features like galleries and portfolio pages and have been designed to help you get maximum exposure for your work.
The actual sign-up process is simple and you only need to add your name, email address, and password. You will be taken directly to the website editor, where you can customize pretty much everything.
The editor itself is attractive and easy to use. Uploading images is extremely fast, and you don’t have to worry about file sizes, especially since you have unlimited storage.
If you want to edit your site’s code and fine-tune your design, then IM Creator lets you do this as well. Of course, you will need the necessary coding skills and experience, but it is possible.
It’s also worth noting that IM creator doesn’t make you start with a template. You can also build your website from scratch if you’d prefer.
It’s also important to know that you won’t have access to unlimited storage and all of the premium features that IM Creator offers if they decide not to class you as a student, artist, or non-profit entity.
If you’re looking for a powerful but free photography website builder, then I’d definitely recommend it. Of course, you should explore your other options, but IM Creator really seems to have it all.
Although there are numerous website builders out there, not all of them suit photographers. A good free photography website builder offers a decent free plan, gives you sufficient storage space, and provides photo-specific features.
After reviewing a wide range of website builders, I managed to come up with five that excel in terms of both free plans and decent features.
Wix is a great choice for photographers who want a truly personalized website. It lets you create a free site with up to 500MB of storage space and gives you access to a powerful drag-and-drop builder.
SITE123 is easy to use, which makes it a favorite among people without a lot of tech experience. Although its website builder doesn’t offer a lot of customizability, its simplicity and photography-targeted designs are great.
Jimdo offers two website builders that are both great for photographers. The Jimdo Dolphin builder is simple and easy to use, while the Jimdo Creator builder gives you access to your site’s code and more customization capabilities. Both can be used with a free plan.
Zenfolio is a great pick for its niche features that are concentrated for photography business only. You get watermarking for your pictures, unlimited storage, great booking management, and simple yet pretty designs.
IM Creator is my favorite free photography website builder. It offers unlimited hosting, eCommerce capabilities, and a great site editor, all at zero cost for artists, students, and non-profit entities.
Ultimately, the best free photography website builder for you will depend on your needs. Consider your design experience, how much you want to be able to customize your site, and exactly what features you need.