I was recently contacted by a photographer who has multiple WordPress websites for his photography business. Each website is specific to one niche or genre in photography, like weddings or sports or headshots.
He contacted me after listening to my latest appearance on the Sprouting Photography Podcast. He was curious if he should consolidate his websites into one or leave them separate. Here was his question.
Recently heard you on the Sprouting Photographers podcast and I have a question.
I have a full service photography business. I.E.
– Wedding & Engagements
– Events & Sports
– Corporate and Headshots
I currently have three different websites and as would be expected, I have am not diligent about keeping them updated, blogs, new portfolio image, etc.
I have done extensive research with no real consensus on either side as to should a photographer focus a website on one speciality or have a consolidated site. I know Bryan has a consolidated site, but I constantly hear the argument that brides don’t want to hire a photographer who also shoots headshots and corporate events.
The answer to this question is very personal to the photographer. Without a black/white answer the only thing I can offer is the value of consolidation over separate websites. But also offer some small advice if he plans on keeping the websites separate.
When it comes to websites, having one is beneficial for multiple reasons. First, as you mentioned, maintenance is simpler and less time consuming when there is one website to worry about.
But there’s another reason that’s far better. SEO or search engine optimization. If you have three websites they’re likely on a subdomain or on separate domains. For example, myportraitphotography.com and myweddingphotography.com, or portrait.myphotography.com and wedding.myphotography.com.
That means search engines have to figure out where to rank you for each site because technically they’re all different.
Now, you could trip search engines with multiple sites if they’re using sub folders like myphotography.com/portraits and myphotography.com/wedding. However, that still means having to perform maintenance on three sites.
My recommended solution is to consolidate under one website and use pages and sub pages to create a subfolder style structure. So instead of myphotography.com/wedding being a separate site, it’s a page on your site specific to that niche.
Going this route means search engines will recognize that you have one website, they’ll identify what services you offer and which pages correlate to those services. It also means you only have one website to maintenance for updating a theme, plugin and WordPress install.
When making the move to one site you need to keep in mind the funnel, as discussed in the podcast.
If you prefer leaving things as is and want a simpler way to maintain multiple sites, check out WP Remote, Manage WP and iThemes Sync. All offer plugins to help you update and backup sites remotely and in one place.
I hope that helped guide you in one direction or another.