When Dan was younger, he couldn’t have imagined himself owning a business, let alone a photography website business. But after 10 years as an accountant, he started his journey with ProPhoto, a full-service website builder and web host for photography business owners.
ProPhoto started when the original founder’s wife needed a quality space online to display her photography. When the WordPress theme he designed worked well, other photographers were interested in buying it. Then, ProPhoto was born. Through Dan’s mutual connection with the founder, he started his journey with ProPhoto 11 years ago. Three years ago, he took over as the owner.
“We'd like to hit the sweet spot for folks…not having a cheap cookie cutter site that looks like everything else, or a super expensive custom site. We're really hoping to hit that spot where you can make the site look however you want, but you don't have to spend a fortune for it.”
I’ve been using ProPhoto to host my own photography website, https://jennings.photo/, since the early 2010s. I started out with a ProPhoto theme and immediately loved the beautiful interface and simple template. The themes’ clean, elegant designs made it fun to show off my work, and the customization made it easy to make the site my own.
ProPhoto has grown a lot since those early days, though. As the website industry changed over time, Dan and his team started noticing that customers were struggling with their sites. There were too many parties involved–a website host, a plugin added on, and a theme, so the site would be noticeably slow.
“In a lot of cases, we've seen people frustrated, slow sites, not getting the help they need. A lot of times we're actually jumping in and helping with the hosting piece…and doing that kind of support ourselves. And we thought, why not do this all?”
In 2020 ProPhoto became a sort of “one stop shop” for photography business owners’ websites. They offer ProPhoto themes, a website builder, and they host your site. They’ll help you with plugins and set up every aspect of your site, giving you a single source for all of your questions or needs. I’ve experienced this first hand with Jennings Photo. I’ve used their template for nearly a decade, but I recently switched my entire site over to ProPhoto. it is amazing how much faster my site is! Learn about some of their changes in this video.
The most notable thing about ProPhoto is their customer service. With such a small team, and with Dan at the helm, their attentiveness to their user’s needs is unparalleled.
“First and foremost, as a company, what we like to do is help people out. We want to see you succeed. We want you to feel comfortable with your website”
Dan offered two quick tips for having a quicker site for your photo business. Firstly, delete old stuff! If your site is full of content from three or four years ago, Dan recommends taking some time to look back through it. Unless that old blog post or album is generating a lot of traffic, consider doing some house cleaning.
Secondly, keep your image size small when uploading. If you upload an image that is bigger than 2560 pixels, WordPress isn't even going to use it. It's going to create a 2560 pixel wide image and display that. So Dan says, don't upload anything wider than 2560.
In the last three years since taking over as owner, Dan has grown a lot as a person. One thing he’s gained is more comfort taking chances. He’s found that no matter what happens, he’ll come out the other side with new knowledge that you can apply to his next project.
“It's okay to be risky. I'm a pretty risk averse person. I like to have the spreadsheets, have everything laid out before I make a move. Sometimes you just gotta go for it and see what happens. You gotta be able to take chances.”
From their super customizable templates, their easy to learn interface, and their amazing customer support, I can’t recommend ProPhoto enough. If you’re a little farther into your business like me, and you sign up for ProPhoto, they’ll start by getting you set up on a temporary site so there’s no downtime.
For readers of the Photo Business Help blog (like you), ProPhoto is offering a special introductory rate of only $25 per month for the first 18 months. Just use the coupon code photobizhelp when you sign up.
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