Ten Common Mistakes Made by Photographers Using WordPress

photographers wordpress

If you are a photographer or artist who relies on WordPress for your blog or portfolio, chances are you aren’t utilizing all the available tools or adhering to the best practices that could help your site stand out.  Below is a list of ten mistakes that photographers (including myself) make when using WordPress.

1. Non-readable image filenames

Image filenames are an important factor in optimizing for search engines. Below are a few examples of non-optimized filenames:

  • DSC000234481.jpg
  • picture1.jpg
  • 20110301-tda-0023.jpg

The filenames above might work well when archiving photos in your image software program, but they are useless on the web.  Including descriptive keywords in filenames on the web will give search engine spiders a clue about the picture.  For example, here are a few optimized image filenames:

  • shark-attacks-california-surfer.jpg
  • libyan-rebels-fight-qaddafi.jpg

Don’t go overboard with keywords or you will dilute the value of each keyword included.  Use hyphens (-) instead of empty spaces, which show up like this in urls: this%20is%20a&20keyword

2. Empty alt and title attributes

Search engines have a difficult time interpreting the content of images.  The more relevant text you include around the image itself, the easier it is for search engine spiders to interpret the content of the image.

The alt attribute provides some alternate text to describe the image if a browser has image loading disabled and is important to the usability of your website in case your visitors have poor eyesight or are using assistive reading technology.  In photography terms, the alt attribute is comparable to the image title metadata.  Google confirmed in 2007 that the alt attribute is their primary point of focus when trying to understand the content of an image.

The title attribute is displayed on tags when hovering your mouse over an image (also known as a “tooltip”).  It should provide advisory information about the image for which it is set.  Below is an image tag with optimized filenames, alt and title attributes:

<img title="Surfer attacked by sharks in California in 2011" src="http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/shark-attacks-california-surfer.jpg" alt="Shark attacks California surfer" />

Adding alt and title text to images in WordPress is easy. After uploading an image using WordPress’ Add Media button, click Show and you will see the Title and Alternative Text fields.  Click this screenshot for a larger view.

3. Squished images after changing themes

A common point of confusion is that changing the image sizes on the Media Settings page will resize all existing photos in WordPress.  It doesn’t.  WordPress creates thumbnails when you first upload the photo.  Chances are you set your Media Settings to a size required for your previous theme.  If you change themes, you might need to resize these previously uploaded images.

First, make sure that you have set your Media Settings to the correct size specified by your theme’s instructions. Then, install Viper007Bond’s Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.  It allows you to automagically resize all images that you ever uploaded into WordPress based on your new images sizes on your Media Settings page.  This will save you hours of work.

In some cases, the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin doesn’t work. This is typically due to the fact that you uploaded very large, sometimes even the original, image into WordPress and the plugin simply cannot process all of the large images.  If this is the case, ensure that your thumbnail sizes are set to the correct size according to the theme’s instructions and upload the photo again.

4. Website is not cached

Is a slow loading website hurting your photo business?  It could be.  Photography websites tend to load lots of large images, which translates into slow loading pages.  By creating a “cached” version of your website, you could speed things up to 10X faster.  Thankfully, there’s a plugin for that.

The W3 Total Cache plugin by W3 Edge will decrease the load time of your website, resulting in a faster page loads and happier visitors.  The W3TC plugin improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.  While there are other caching plugins available, my experience is that the W3 Total Cache plugin provides superior results when configured properly.

5. No CDN

The closer your visitors are to your content, the faster it will load.  A Content Delivery Network is a team of servers located around the world containing copies of your static media content.  When a visitor located in New York loads your website, they will be served content from the closest data center located in, say, New Jersey, instead of loading the data from your web server located in Hong Kong.

The W3 Total Cache plugin contains an option for hosting all static media content at the CDN of your choice.  There are many CDN options available, but the most popular by far is Amazon Web Services’ S3 account.  It is cheap and integrates with the W3TC plugin.

6. Poor lead generation

Make it easy for your site visitors to call or email you.  Put your phone and email (or link to contact page) in the footer or sidebar (or header) of every Post and Page.  Better yet, include a short personal bio, with photo, to make your site a bit more personable.  Use the GPP About You Widget plugin to add a bio box to help generate leads and connect with potential customers.

7. Create an opt-in, opt-out mailing list

One of the best ways to piss off past or potential clients is to send unsolicited email.  Even worse, if your email doesn’t contain an unsubscribe link, amongst other things, your well-intentioned email marketing campaign is technically, well, spam.  The CAN-SPAM Act is a must-read if you market your business to a list of email addresses.  Not surprisingly, there is a plethora of email marketing services available.  Here are a few that integrate well with WordPress so so you can turn site visitors into regular readers and potential customers:

8. Resize images before uploading

If you are uploading your original, high-resolution images in WordPress, you have essentially just given the entire world access to your digital negatives.  Any image that you upload to the internet can be downloaded, period.  Resize your images to the maximum size required by your theme before uploading them into WordPress.

9.  Forgetting to assign Featured Images

WordPress 2.9 introduced the ability to assign “Featured Images” to specific Posts, Pages, and Galleries.  Many themes now use this feature for creating thumbnails on the homepage and archive pages.  If are using a theme and you can’t figure out how to give your posts a thumbnail, chances are you haven’t set a Featured Image.

WordPress 3.1 hides some screen options (including Featured Images) on Posts & Pages edit screens by default.  To show the Featured Image box, click the Screen Options link in the top right corner when editing a Post or Page and check the Featured Image box.  Here is a tutorial that shows how to use Featured Images in WordPress.

10. Selling photos on other websites

Did you know that you can sell photos and prints directly from your own WordPress website for free and keep 100% of all sales? Yep, it’s true. Install our free Sell Media plugin and immediately start selling your photography. You can manage your portfolio, blog and photography store from one central location. Your wallet will thank you.

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Posted by , at Graph Paper Press

Thad is the founder of Theme.Works and Graph Paper Press. Previously, he produced online multimedia and documentary projects for USA Today including the inauguration of President Barack Obama and many others. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Abby.

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  • Shaminder Dulai

    Great advice as always Thad! I came in here reluctantly, nothing personal I just think all top 10 lists are created as link fodder these days, but this was fantastic and I actually learned a few things!

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Yeah, as you know we rarely do lists. Occasionally they are useful, especially when mistakes are so widespread yet easily corrected. Thanks for stopping by, Shaminder.

  • http://twitter.com/paulgiunta Paul R. Giunta

    I am assuming that you like W3 Total Cache better than WP Super Cache?

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Yeah. I used WP Super Cache for years. Then W3TC popped up. It includes lots of options: Page Cache, Code Minify, Object Cache, Database Cache, integration with various CDN’s. All of those features, when combined, can create a blazingly fast site. The plugin is top notch.

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  • http://techbold.blogspot.com Nick

    Very helpful for photographers and please use example.com instead of mysite.com which point to some hosting company

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Word. Thanks for the tip. Post has been edited.

  • http://twitter.com/peterhearl Peter hearl

    Some great tips here, I do most of them, but a couple of new one I need to do, Thanks.

  • http://www.christylee-photography.com Christy Lee

    Found this thru ImageMaven on FB- this is an awesome article for me right now as I have just launched my WordPress site for my new photography business and I am in the thick of editing and changing around the theme and adding to it constantly. I’m new to WordPress as well, so any and all tips and tricks are gold to me! Thanks!

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  • Janine_fugere

    I’m a bit confused by the advice to resize my images to the max size required by my theme before uploading them to my blog. I understand that all images on my blog are essentially giving away my digital negatives, but this seems counterintuitive to me – why wouldn’t I resize the images smaller to make them less desireable as downloads???

    • http://twitter.com/asseenbyjanine Janine Fugere

      Answered my own question – the max size allowed by my blog is FAR smaller than the full size of photos taken by my camera…

  • Deborah

    Thanks…this was great. I’ve been doing many things wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/vrobconsult Valerie

    Mistakes #photogs make w/ their websites and esp with WordPress…

  • Anonymous

    Nice list of things to do and NOT (flash) to do. In my personal case I write a specific excerpt on every post and I use the content to fill both Title and Tag attributes.

    • http://twitter.com/asseenbyjanine Janine Fugere

      Can you give more specifics on how to do these things? I’d appreciate the tips!
      Janine Fugere – As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images

      • Anonymous

        I have my website running under WordPress. In the places where I show images, the php code is:

        <img src="” title=”” alt=””/>

        In this case, both the Title and Tag are filled automatically with the concrete excerpt of every post.

        • http://twitter.com/asseenbyjanine Janine Fugere

          You’re talkin’ to a relatively new WordPress user here who knows extremely little about coding. so I need clarification. When I add a photo in a post, the areas I have to fill in are “Edit Image Title,” “Edit Alternate Text,” and “Edit Image Caption.”

          Are you saying that you use that php code for the “Edit Image Title” field, then create an excerpt for the post that contains whatever keywords you want your post & the photo to be searchable using? And you put the same php code into your tag field for the post?

          If my understanding is correct, would this same php code work for anyone, or is that one that is specially created for your blog?

          Last, what about posts that have multiple photos in them? In this case is it better to name the photos each separately, then create an excerpt with keywords for the entire post (& use the php code you mentioned in the tag field)?

        • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

          @Fotosons – That is one way theme developers “bake” alt and title attribute functionality into themes. It’s a good approach.

          @Janine – You don’t need to know code to add alt and title tags to your images in WordPress. Check out this screenshot that shows you where to add this info after uploading images into WordPress: http://cdn.graphpaperpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/wordpress-alt-text-example.jpg Simply upload images into WordPress, then click on the SHOW text next to each image and add a Title and Alt text.

      • http://twitter.com/asseenbyjanine Janine Fugere

        @graphpaperpress – thanks for the screen shot – very helpful and very simple. I was already using the title field but will start adding more descriptors in the alt field. Thanks!

  • http://www.tommanleyphotography.com Tom Manley

    That was useful clear, and helpful info as usual from GPP. Thanks and good to know im doing most of these things, However, as a relative newcomer to WordPress and very pleased with the service that On Assignment theme has given me, i am still unclear about the benefits of using FTP and being able to customise theme… Some help on this area would be great…

    • http://twitter.com/asseenbyjanine Janine Fugere

      Ditto to Tom’s request about customizing. I’ve made some great gains in customizing my Modularity Lite theme (i.e. adding widgets, plugins, headers, etc. But I want to upgrade to Modularity in order to fully integrate with my PhotoShelter website. But I have limits as to what customizing I know how to do & it seems far less if “built in” to Modularity as there is to Modularity Lite. I’m daunted by understanding how to customize the Modularity Theme (don’t know custom CSS coding) but can’t afford your “pro” service. Tutorials on basic things like what are the numbers for various color codes would be very helpful. Another area I’d want to be able to control is the viewing size of the homepage slideshow for example. Any tutorials on these topics would be great!

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Glad it was helpful, Tom. Generally speaking, unless you know HTML, CSS or PHP, there is very little need access your site via FTP. If you don’t know code, I highly recommend sticking to the options that are available on the Theme Options panel. Plus, once you have WordPress installed, adding new themes and plugins can be done from the WordPress admin panel.

      Here is a great resource if you decide to learn HTML, CSS and PHP (so you can further customize your theme):


  • Owhiteley

    Great post! Really well written and makes for easy reading! I’ve installed W3 Total Cache as per your advice, my website loads super quick. I wondered if you had any advice or links on setting this up properly – there are a lot of awful blogs out there on this! It works well on my site, but I’d like to fine tune the standard settings to make it even quicker. A

    Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!

  • http://www.kaushikbiswas.org Kaushik Biswas

    Very important point you described here, will be of much help for me as I was planning to start a personal photoblog (I am not a professional photographer). Some of these points I already take care of, but will study the entire aspects again to make it complete.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/tomtom-540tm TomTom XXL 540TM

    Very very important stuff written here. I agree about the fact that a lot of people that do SEO on there websites miss out on these really important things. Even the smallest things such as optimizing there images so it is search engine freindly.

  • http://www.provision-com.com justin bieber

    very useful info,
    maybe I can visit your blog every day,
    I always wait for the update info from your blog,
    thank you very much.

  • http://www.bengebo.com Ben Gebo

    Great stuff!

    • Male Eanhancement Group

      Definitely  a Great post! I have been looking for a WP photogallery that recognizes AND utilizes the keywords tagged to my images. 

      Thanks again!

  • http://twitter.com/photorohan RohanB.com

    Totally agree, and should add to DISABLE RIGHT CLICK to that list.

    There’s a plugin for that

    • http://www.facebook.com/ASSEENBYJANINE Janine Fugere

      More info please on this DISABLE RIGHT CLICK plugin….

    • Ipinchedyourphoto

      nothing is more annoying than a disabled right click. if someone really wants to save a copy of your image, there are a hundred ways of them doing so. if you’re that concerned about your images being stolen by ‘right click, save image as…’, you really shouldn’t be uploading them to the internet in the first place.

    • Andrew

      No to disable right click. There are dozens of nifty things that people can do with their browser when they right click that aren’t necessarily of any malicious intent. I don’t want to be assumed to be a criminal when I visit your site.

    • http://twitter.com/NathanChilton Nathan Chilton

      Many photo blogs block right-click, but if I want a copy of the photo for my offline collection of inspirational images, it only takes me an extra 5-10 seconds or so to find the actual path to the photo and download it (or just a single press of a button to do a screen capture). These plugins only stop your mom from downloading the picture.

  • Marco

    Thanks for the post Thad. As a new bee in wordpress, this post was very helpful. I am now in the process of learning, and eventually move to wordpress.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Marco
      Check out Lynda.com classes on wordpress. They range from simple setup of wordpress, to creating your whole site from soup to nuts. And with a couple classes in you can have your ideas up on the web in no time.

      I hope this helps.


  • http://twitter.com/jeffreyholmes Jeffrey Holmes Photo

    Great advice Thad, especially the file name and alt info. My personal preference when it comes to images on my blog is Photoshelter (not a paid endorsement). I also use visualsociety for my wordpress blog. It offers a great widget that inserts images from my photoshelter galleries into my blog, hence links back to my web site. it is so simple and easy.

  • http://www.mannywallace.com Emanuel Wallace

    Great post. I really need to work on updating my WP that I use for my photo work [http://www.evanoslen.com] but I don’t think that some of these tips apply to me. I could be wrong though.

  • http://vivecakohphotography.photoshelter.com/ Viveca Koh

    A very useful article, and thanks for all the links to plugins etc. I have gone through my own site and applied as much of this as I can!

  • Salonee Pareek

    I am about to relaunch my very-basic-till-now website and blog and your post has just made my task a whole lot easier! Yay! Cheers to you man! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/danconia Sean D’Anconia


  • http://www.facebook.com/danconia Sean D’Anconia

    I’m moving my site from squarespace over to your themes – love them! http://www.majestysecret.com

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  • Anonymous

    Addition to your list… Don’t use flash DO use HTML5.
    Chances are if you know flash, HTML5 is a bit easier and it searchable by engines.

    Just my 2 cents

  • Anonymous

    Good advice! thanks for sharing! have always liked the graph paper press themes!

  • http://venuraherath.com/ Venura Herath

    Nice short but very insightful information.
    Thanks Thad!

  • http://www.kallekoponen.net Kalle

    After installing W3 total cache plugin and subscribing to Amazon S3 the speed and user experience of my site, http://www.kallekoponen.net deteriorated significantly. I lost the logo and the slideshow on home page. The incredibly complex settings universe discourages even trying to find out what´s wrong so I just deactivated the plugin. Any advise?

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Sounds like you didn’t upload your static media content. There is an upload button and some settings on the W3TC -> CDN page for doing this.

  • Anonymous

    Very useful!
    I’ve now made some changes, lets see what happens!

  • http://twitter.com/jasminedefoore Jasmine DeFoore

    Great post Thad. One note: there is a pretty robust free version of mailchimp. It comes with more than enough email credits to get most people through their email marketing needs, especially if they are doing a 100% opt-in list via a website signup form. I think it’s something like 12,000 emails a month.

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Thanks for the clarification Jasmine!

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  • lindywoods1

    Thanx for that, super usefull!
    Just to check #8  did you mean Resize your images to the maximum size required or minimum by your theme?

    • Janine

      This confused me at first also but I figured it out. The maximum size allowed by my WP theme is 950 pix wide, which is still large enough to show nicely on my blog, but vastly smaller than my full res images. So you can go with the maximum your theme allows and still avoid “giving away” your digital negatives. I did also choose to add the “no right click” plugin.

  • Ruth Hendricks

    Thanks for this information.

  • Ar Photographs

    very useful, how can I learn more about making my website cached?

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  • austincanon

    For someone new to the Word Press process and all of its capabilities, this article hit the mark. Concise, specific, to the point. Reading this in conjunction with the WP support tutorial. I learned a long time ago to read, learn, research before jumping into a new program and start hacking away.

  • Dan

    Hello, thanks for this great advice and overview. Many things i didnt knew and will consider in the future. i am at wordpress since just some months now, so i consider myself as a newbie. I was wondering if there is a plugin or any different way of alt text / title text uploaded images? I think the on board function of wordpress’ media / gallery to title text pictures is o.k. for a limited amount of pictures, but if i should write an alt and title text for hundreds or even thousands of pictures “manually” then i won’t have time to actually taking pictures anymore. How are other users solving this? How are the “pros” doing this? There must be so many user out there with a similar issue, or am i missing something at wordpress gallery function that i havn’t realised yet? any automation? Thanks for any help or advice!

  • Anonymous

    Flash is searchable, google has been doing it for a few years now:
    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/06/flash-indexing-with-external-resource.html“To date, when Google encounters SWF files on the web, we can:Index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. We click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.Discover links within Flash files.Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.Support common JavaScript techniques for embedding Flash, such as SWFObject and SWFObject2.Index sites scripted with AS1 and AS2, even if the ActionScript is obfuscated. Update on June 19, 2009: We index sites with AS3 as well. The ActionScript version isn’t particularly relevant in our Indexing process, so we support older versions of AS in addition to the latest.”

    • Serj

      Yes, it is searchable but the most popular mobile device, Iphone (I think Ipad too), wont show it to your potential customers… so why use it?

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  • http://www.cosmictap.com Anthony Citrano

    Very helpful, but S3 is not a CDN – Amazon’s CDN is CloudFront (which can easily be extended from S3, however.)

    Also CloudFront is quite slow as CDNs go but it is easy to set up and administer. You might also consider resellers that offer faster networks, such as GoGrid (resell EdgeCast) or LiquidWeb (resell L3).

    [Disclosure: while I am a photographer, I also work for a CDN.]

    • Male Eanhancement Group

      I was designing my company’s website and you plugin came very handy. Thank you for taking your time and doing a great job helping people like me. Your work is definitely appreciated.

      iBacklinkPRO – backlink building tool

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Thanks for the clarification. We use S3 and Cloudfront. Might look into GoGrid, though.

  • John

    I have just finished the design of my web site and this info is just what I need to make sure the behind the scenes stuff is working at its best

  • Ecscholar


    Great post! I have been looking for a WP photogallery that recognizes AND utilizes the keywords tagged to my images. It would be great if I could simply upload a handful of random images and this plugin sort them by my keywords and then create galleries with my keywords for titles. Do you know if such a plugin for photo galleries on WP exists?


  • Ste

    Point .1. and .2. are somehow essential, as well as the title of the post. I have noticed that Google associate the post title to the photo(s) in the post. As an example I have noticed that a google search with “vinegar melbourne richmond” shows my photo in the 1st google picture page result with link to my page 
    I tested a similar photo but with a generic post title and google does report it, however in page number N.. :D.
    Thanks guys for you suggestions 😉
    A Melbourne Daily photo

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  • Adorakframes

    Excellent article. Thanks for the post!

  • http://www.igorphotos.com/ Igor Wedding Photographer

    Super great article for photographers, thank you!

  • http://remonty.socrates.biz.pl/ Arthur

    Nice piece of stuff, amazing, thx.

  • BogdanR

    Good tips, thanks!
    I was following only a few of those…

    • http://www.saganmarketing.com/ Sagan Marketing

      I agree and likewise was only following a few of these, but my question is should all of them be followed? For example CDN. I agree that it’s nice to be able to serve your content faster, but how much faster does it make it? Does it justify the cost? Is it based on how visitors you have? Basically, how do you know where to draw the line?

      • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

        I’ve read that using a CDN slashes asset load times by up to 50%, especially for users outside the U.S. It also frees up CPU on your web server for serving up your web pages, rather than just serving up static media content over and over and over again.

  • http://georg.pagenstedt.de/ georg

    Great hints, I did about 50% of this … But I am still wondering, how to use Google for a photo site. Google Picture search might bring traffic, but do I want to have my photos around all over the web? So I am using alt tags only in my blog, but not in my galleries …

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      I have received photo jobs based solely from clients searching Google images. The more you, your website, and your photos are out there, the more places you’ll be seen. Exposure is good.

  • http://wphostingguide.com/ experiencedorganiser

    I still can’t believe people don’t use proper file names still. I though it made sense to use proper, descriptive filenames, if not just for your own use when sorting through your images and storing them. When you have so many (thousands and thousands) like I do, it really helps! Get started early and keep everything organised from the start, you will appreciate it later on, trust me

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Ditto! Proper filenames are a must.

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  • Bloggerdavid

    Your information is really great.  I like this article.  You have given rise to many points that I agree with and have enjoyed reviewing.  You have a lot of really good information in this article.

  • http://marybaum.com/ marybaum

    Actually, MailChimp is free unless you have more than 2,000 subscribers and are planning to mail them more than  6x/month. (max 12,000 emails/month) 
    In which case: A. You won’t have 2K subscribers if you mail six times a month. That’s the very definition of spam in my book. B. 2K subscribers? Who don’t report you if you DO mail them six times a month? That is the single most valuable asset any business can own – it is the very definition of money in the bank, and it is perfectly okay to monetize it. (Your duty, if you’re a corporation.) Whether it’s courses and consulting, to Photoshop brushes and actions, to photo services, people who hang on your every word like that definitely want a piece of you. You owe it to your fans to give it to them – at a fair price. So on that basis, I would consider MailChimp plenty affordable.

  • Rachael

    This is very helpful indeed to this WordPress newbie. Thank you!

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  • judo

    This is what I call the real style and pattern of article writing.
    You have set up a perfect example of posting. Keep up the great work!

  • teys

    I dabble into photography and this is really helpful and informative. thanks!

  • neversink

    I would like to use fullscreen photos in my gallery page. Do your themes allow that??? I don’t want the images cut off, just want a photo to go to the optimum size to fit the full image on the screen. I don’t want my images cropped by a full screen option during a slide show or when viewed one by one.

    As an alternative option I would be satisfied with almost fullscreen image with a border around it, with not much space between the border and the edge of the screen.

    I want my photos to stand out, not the design of the WordPress theme. Thanks so much.

  • Guest

    much need list these, i gotta implement many changes !

  • Black Swan

    Heres another…posting a smaller image than the width of the text on a page. Doesnt look great layout wise. (Example above)

  • raju

    nice psot
    fifty jobs

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  • http://www.replicon.com/time-clock Time Clock Software

    Most people dont care about the tags. Descriptions are not missed often, as its the basic information about the image. But alt and title attributes are must important too. Especially when you want search engines to recognize your efforts. At the same time using Flash makes your work hidden in search engine point of view.

    I believe photographers dont need to portray their efforts using flash, their photos will do the talking, isn’t it?

  • Steve

    Nice and handy points to remember while uploading own pic shots on wordpress.

    Thanks Thad Allender

  • http://www.ikf.co.in/digitalmarketing/seo-services.html SEO Services India

    Nice and handy points to remember while uploading own pic shots on wordpress.

    Thanks Thad Allender

  • alex green

    Good article except i think you should upload larger photos then what your theme allows, because screen resolution is getting better and better. You dont want your photography blog (and posts from years ago) to have shitty resolution in years to come. Right now im using a retina display laptop, and if your photos are only 600px wide, well i might look for more high res photos somewhere else. What are your thoughts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ana.simin Ana Simin

    Great advice, and thanks for featuring a photo of me in your article! :)

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  • designerix

    Well this make me smilee how be inner page get rank. in google :).. thxs mate …

  • leslie_nicole

    Great post. I have a question about best practice for featured images and the blog page. A lot of photographers/visual blogs will have the full post on the blog page or at least one full size image – instead of thumbnails. I’m debating which is best. One the one hand, having at least one full image with excerpt is visually compelling – on the other, thumbnails are great for mobile browsing.

  • Babyraj

    Thanks for the info

  • http://wparena.com/ Wordpress Arena

    Photography is art, but it is also science. But above all else, it’s how
    some one tries to show the world what they see from their point of view.
    Aside all the technicalities, If a picture is able to convey the exact
    same message to the audience which a photographer intended to, I would
    say that’s a job well done.

  • http://digimix.us/ DigiMix Design + Marketing

    Great tips Thad. Have you ever run into the issue of image color profiles being modified when thumbnails are generated automatically by the WordPress media library? For example, the image thumbnail saturation is automatically increased after it is rendered.

  • Monica Salazar

    Great advice, thank you!

  • Paul Armes

    Just added the Cache plugin to my site, http://www.pjaphotography.com amazing the difference it makes. Load time was always my main problem according to my SEO software, it’s now improved by 60%! So thank you! I never knew that plugin existed!

  • http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/ friv 2 friv 3 friv 4

    A very useful article, and thanks for all the links to plugins etc. I
    have gone through my own site and applied as much of this as I can!

  • Hana

    Loved tbis article. I am not a photographer, but I draw/paint and post images of my items. These are easy to follow rules. Thanks for including links as well! Nothing’s more irritating than having to open a new tab and search each term while simultaneously reading instructions on a post hehe.

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  • Tonie Christine Sexauer

    I am DYING to figure out how to do an archive page (that can actually be a landing page) with thumbnails to posts I CHOOSE with a photo grid that is simple and clean! Any idea where to start? I am new to this!

  • http://thesortinghouse.blogspot.co.uk/ The Sorting House

    Thank you so much, really helpful post!

  • http://devtalk.net Dmitri

    > Any image that you upload to the internet can be downloaded, period.

    And what is wrong with that, exactly?

    • http://graphpaperpress.com Graph Paper Press

      Nothing, unless you make your living creating photography to help feed your family.

      • http://devtalk.net Dmitri

        I suppose, but then photogs such as Trey Ratcliff put up full-res photos on G+ for non-commercial use, which is very smart. Means you can print and stick it on a wall.

        • David Drufke

          He feeds his family teaching photography, not creating photography.

        • http://devtalk.net Dmitri

          It is of no concern of mine. I just want a nice picture on the wall.

        • David Drufke

          That’s neat!

        • Bob

          It should be a concern of yours. You referred to him as being a photographer that gives his work away, as if to say photographers should give their work away. He’s not a photographer. He’s a teacher. Difference.

          But hey so long as you get your nice photo without paying for it what do you care what inaccurate nonsense you post on the net?

        • http://devtalk.net Dmitri

          I don’t think I’ve posted any inaccurate nonsense. First, I mentioned that there’s no problem with a photo being downloadable on the web, per se. I mean, if you don’t want to post it, don’t post it. Next, I mention that a particular photographer (ok, teacher, but still a pretty good photographer) posts high-res stuff online for all to see/take/print/put up on the wall. This I like, because this person is sharing their work for others to enjoy – not just on the screen but on the wall, too. So what inaccurate nonsense did I post, exactly?!

    • Anon

      Intellectual piracy. Theft of digital goods. Copyright infringement.

      What exactly is wrong with your brain that you don’t know this?

      • Bob

        Exactly !

      • http://devtalk.net Dmitri

        Warped logic. Just because person A has posted a full-res picture and person B has downloaded it does NOT mean that person B has committed intellectual piracy OR theft of digital goods OR copyright infringement.

  • Khan
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  • bc-steve

    Great article, thanks!

  • Ryan Tiehen

    Awesome article!

  • Dave Cooper

    “Flash is a blackbox to search engines”? perhaps a few years ago… Not anymore, Google is happy to index any flash content and it does a great job of it. You say “what about other search engines?”, I say: “there are other search engines?”

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  • charlotte bell

    great info. Do you have any recommendations for wordpress sites for photographers. I have been using envato themeforest and their customer support is awful plus instructions are poor.

    • Kelly

      Find a theme with good support. They have many there. :) themeforst is a selling venue, the theme makers are the ones that support the theme not themeforest. Dive into the comments before buying, they can be very telling on a theme. Ive had great luck there the past few years. Some themes were a dud but its because i didnt do enough research on the theme in the first place. ha ha

    • aaron foxhall

      I would have to recommened logodf.com I found them to be amazing, with support and their themes look beautiful, There niched themes built for photographers.

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  • hartsook

    Thad, great post. I have an additional suggestion for you and your readers: try the Jetpack Photon module. I’ve written a review of that (see: http://hartsook.com/website-pages-loading-slowly-might-help}, but the gist is: Pho­ton is an image-only smart CDN solu­tion using Automatic’s WordPress.com servers. All your images on a page are automatically uploaded to their servers once you activate the Photon Jetpack module the next time the image is served.

    Sub­se­quently those images are served to the reader’s browser from the WordPress.com CDN net­work con­cur­rently with your con­tent being served from your own website host. But wait, there’s more… Pho­ton uploads the orig­i­nal size image, but serves a scaled-down image based on the browser request. It’s smart enough to see the dif­fer­ence between a Retina and lower-res dis­play device and serves a higher-res image to the Retina dis­play. You can ver­ify this is working by open­ing an image in another tab and look­ing at the url. If Pho­ton is serv­ing it the url will start with some­thing like i2.wp.com/yourdomain.

    This one trick with­out any other caching makes a HUGE page-load dif­fer­ence on sites with lots of graph­ics, espe­cially if the images have not been pre-optimized. This is not an excuse for you to avoid pre-sizing and opti­miz­ing your images before you upload them to your site and all the other suggestions you’ve made. But if you have a lot of legacy images that are way too big, and you don’t have the budget to go back and replace all those with reight-sized versions,Pho­ton can help – and it’s free!

    • http://fredcurrie.com Fred Currie

      Great suggestion. I suppose you can’t get too much CDN. I appreciate your insights.

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  • Amandascott

    Wow nice great info. I am not a photographer but these are easy to follow rules. Thanks for including links as well! Nothing’s more irritating than having to open a new tab and search each term while simultaneously reading instructions on a post hehe.

  • http://fredcurrie.com Fred Currie

    Thank you Thad. Excellent list. Especially the CDN tip. I heard about a cool WP plugin yesterday that puts a watermark on your jpgs when you upload to the media library. Search for “watermark” in the Dashboard – plugins – add new.

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  • http://jshphoto.net Stephen

    Thad, I’ve had a lot of luck with W3 Total Cache. It certainly does speed things up. I would, however, like to take it to the next level. According to google, page load times are important, and one of their main beefs with GPP themes and plugins is blocking js. I’ve been able to minify easily enough, but it would be great if I could make it non-blocking. Whenever I try to do that, I start having errors. I have used the async method to no avail.

    I’d love to hear what GPP has to say on the matter. Surely, you all have tried to speed load times on your own sites by trying this method. I’d love to hear your input on SEO and minify setting for W3 Total Cache. Is there a specific order .js and CSS files should be in to make everything work great?

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  • Rasha

    thank you. i just started my photography blog so this helped a lot. My Blog http://www.12capture.blogspot.com/

  • Shalene Hanson

    Tried Cache/CDN, but it messed up my site. :( Can’t seem to get them figured out!!
    More reading required! I’ll get it working yet!


  • http://www.destinsol.com/reputation-management.html Mary Hickman

    thanks for sharing this blog.it is very useful for me .

    Search Engine Optimization

  • mmixxx

    you say that W3’s caching plugin ,”provides superior results when configured properly.” what configuration do you recommend ?

  • Melony Smith

    Thanks for all the information. What do you suggest we we resize our images to without loosing the quality of an image.

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  • http://www.mallarme.com.mx/ Mallarme Photography

    Yes “Alt” and “Title” attributes for an image is very
    necessary, when some put its image any website. Because when crawler crawl your website its only read the text part of your site so putting alt and title attribute help the crawler to read and cache your image. It’s actually a very good tip for the blogger putting alt and title
    attribute in image.

    Mallarmé Photography

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  • tonycottrell

    I suggest everyone uses a post processing software like photoshop or lightroom to resize images rather then letting your server do it. Nextgen gallery will automatically resize images and they tend to lose more quality than if you do it via LR or PS. Good info though!


  • http://www.belovedlovephotography.com Beloved Love Photography
  • http://www.kathymuir.com/ Kathy Muir

    Interesting and very useful tips.

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  • Customer Care Numbers

    thanks for share your wisdom.its really helpful for the beginners.its really informative post.

  • http://piercingmetal.com/ Ken Pierce

    Excellent post, thanks for the useful insight. I was guilty of not using the “alt-text” myself and while too arduous to rectify on legacy posts, I will for sure be addressing this going forward.

  • Jacky

    11. Not using Photography Management Plugin
    I use it to provide photographs to my clients. I love this plugin, it is intuitive and safe. Here is the link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/photography-management/

  • ErsanSeer

    I’m really struggling here. My Settings > Media no longer works but it used to work just fine (as of a month ago). It just stopped working and doesn’t resize my hi-res images. I am currently checking with my provider (Hostgator) to see if something is wrong with their GD Library, which I doubt is the problem. When I attempt to upload through Sell Media it displays the full hi-res (5,000-10,000px) file. And Sell Media won’t allow me to sell a file in the dropdown unless the file actually exists. So I’m stuck because obviously I’m not going to put the hi-res file on the site.

  • Tina Beldrai

    thank you very much for these great tips, will definitely be using them!

  • Jo

    We are VERY keen to hit the subscribe button for the monthly subscription to theme.works and have had some great feed back to our queries of the last weeks through your support channels. I am though reading below ErsanSeer’s comments and a little concerned as these issues would greatly affect our business also. I’m wondering if they were resolved? How is it going for you Ersan?

  • Jo

    Esran, just one thing…were the photos you were trying to upload already jpg versions of your original hi res image?

  • Dylan Mumaw

    8: “Resize your images to the maximum size required by your theme before uploading them into WordPress.”

    The thing is, it isn’t always your theme dictating how an image should be displayed. Media display plugins have full width options and responsive masonry layouts that conform to the viewport and can be opened in full screen lightboxes. As a photographer, how am I supposed to re-size an image that can be viewed on both a 5K iMac and a non-retina iPhone without trashing the pixels or crashing the phone?

  • ekonovianto

    Good tips, thanks!
    I was following only a few of those…

  • http://p2molvaer.tumblr.com/ Per Tore Molvær

    I have keyworded 600 pictures in Lightroom and now I have to do it all over again in WP. Please make a plugin to extract keywords from the metadata..

  • DreadFool

    good info, gracias!

  • shiva prasad

    I’m having hand-made arts and I’ve maintained a book for it and I want to know how to upload them by capturing photos of it or by scanning them and I want to start a wordpress blog I don’t know how the view is going to be seen in that blog so, please help me.
    Thanx in advance……………..!!!!!