Essential WordPress Plugins For Photographers & Their Business

You are here because of an interest in WordPress plugins for photographers and their business.  If you continue reading, then you’re interested in WordPress for photographers, more specifically, plugins that are worth installing on your WordPress website.

WordPress Plugins for Photographers

In this article you will see some very useful WordPress plugins for photographers that can help make your website become more than just a website. Some of these WordPress plugins for photographers can provide business management functionality so that your website works for you in so many ways.

The majority of the plugins included here are used on my photography website. Want a list of all my currently active plugins? Click here to jump to it.

Google Analytics

monster insights

I recommend using Monster Insights because it makes life easier to connect and view Google Analytics. In addition to quickly connecting to your Google Analytics account, it offers very clean and easy to follow dashboards on your site’s statistics. It basically offers what Google Analytics offers, without having to leave your site.

For those more technical, and want a lighter plugin, try Simple Universal Google Analytics which comes with no reporting. It just allows for easy adding of Google Analytics to your site.

Simple Universal Google Analytics makes it extremely simple for anyone to implement the Analytics tracking codes.

Search Engine Optimization

Yoast SEO

There is no better SEO plugin than this plugin from Yoast, and it is also one of the most popular plugins in the WordPress directory. Yoast SEO makes it very simple for anyone to add SEO functionality to a website. The plugin also adds necessary Open Graph data for sharing on Facebook, Google Plus, etc. Optimizing your photography website has never been easier.

If you record and publish a lot of videos on your website or blog, then I recommend adding the Video SEO plugin which compliments the WordPress SEO plugin.  This will add an additional video sitemap to your site and generate a search engine result with a video thumbnail and more.

If you are trying to market your business locally, then I recommend taking advantage of the Local SEO plugin which also compliments the WordPress SEO plugin.  With it, you can easily localize your website to multiple locations or just one, include a map (or many), hours and address all with proper Schema markup.

When thinking about SEO, it’s important to consider the little things Google requires businesses to do in order to stay ranking well.

One of the modern ways, at the time of updating this post, is to use Google My Business and in particular, updating your GMB page with new posts. GMB posts don’t have to be intricate. They can be as simple as what you share on social media.

post-to-google-my-business

This is where the plugin Post to Google My Business comes in handy. It enables you to post to GMB at the same time as publishing a new blog post. The premium version goes way beyond that too, but automatically reposting to GMB overtime.

Contact Forms

gravity-forms

Of all WordPress plugins for photographers specifically as a contact form tool, this is the best.  This is not a free plugin, but it is definitely the ultimate contact form plugin. Why? Well, it is packed with so many features and is supported by a wide range of third-party developers. Rocket Genious, the developer of Gravity Forms, has also created integration with PayPal, Mailchimp and more. In addition to contact forms, photographers can use the plugin to create questionnaires for clients. Visit The Modern Tog website and click Must Have Tools to see client questionnaires for Weddings, Family Portraits and Newborn Portraits, and Senior Portraits.

Want some free Gravity Forms form templates?

Do a search in the WordPress plugin directory for Gravity Forms and see if there are additional plugins that can benefit your business.

If you want another premium form plugin option, try WP Forms, which is quite impressive as well.

shootq

I already mentioned that Gravity Forms has addition support by other third-party developers. Here is a great example. This plugin makes it possible for Gravity Forms to transfer the contact information from prospects into a photographer’s ShootQ CRM database. There are also add-ons for Salesforce and other CRM systems.  You can even connect your form to Sprout Studio if you utilize them for your CRM.

Not interested in paying for a contact form plugin? Custom Contact Forms is a free alternative with a bunch of good features.  Hey, not all WordPress plugins for photographers have to be expensive.  Free can work!

Booking Calendar

booking-calendar

While it is possible to use Gravity Forms for booking, this plugin makes a very simple booking system for photographers. It’s designed for online reservation and availability checking service for your site.

WordPress Gallery Plugin + Ecommerce

The most popular of WordPress plugins for photographers, the most popular WordPress gallery plugin and most specifically WordPress gallery management plugin without a doubt. With over 20 million downloads (as of 4/27/2018) and 1.3 million active users, the plugin has proven itself to the WordPress community. Now owned by Imagely, the plugin will be taken to the next level of awesome with even more features that benefit photographers.

Like Gravity Forms, NextGEN Gallery is also supported by third-party developers. Do a search for NextGEN in the WordPress plugin directory and you will see over 100 add-ons.

NextGEN Pro

NextGEN Plus is a premium add-on to NextGEN Gallery with extra display styles of your galleries and a Pro Lightbox for individual photo commenting and social sharing.

NextGEN Pro adds a full E-commerce system for photographers to sell their photographs. PayPal Standard, PayPal Express and Stripe payment gateways. Multiple pricelists are supported as well. NextGEN Pro offers coupons, tax, free product offerings, proofing and so much more.

Backups

WP Time Capsule

Hopefully, your photography website hosting company offers free backups. But if they don’t then check out WP Time Capsule. The free backup plugin can store your site and its database in Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon S3.  And it works like Apple’s Time Machine, using incremental backups. And like Time Machine, you can revert to a specific state of backup. At this moment WP Time Capsule is completely free.

No WordPress plugins for photographers are worth it if you do not have a good backup system in place (like you should with your photographs).

SEO Friendly Images

seo-images

As of WordPress 4.7, images uploaded to the Media Library no longer get ALT text automatically saved.SEO Friendly Images can help you make ALT text, easily. And as you know, ALT text is good for image SEO.

Spam Prevention

akismet

Akismet checks comments on your articles against its web service to see if they look like spam or not.  It will automatically block known spam and report IP addresses to its database.  Of all spam protecting WordPress plugins for photographers, this is by far the best and happens to also be created by the company behind WordPress.

Note that Akismet requires a WordPress.com account (which is free).

Content Scheduling

editorial-calendar

The Editorial Calendar makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog.  Knowing that you’re blog is a crucial element to your photography business, keeping it organized is as important.

Social Media Editorial Calendar For WordPress

If you want an enhanced editorial calendar that also lets you automate your social media activity then check out CoSchedule instead of Editorial Calendar.

Social Media Scheduling

WordPress to Buffer Pro

If you’re using Buffer already then you need to take a look at WordPress to Buffer Pro. It will enable you to automatically add new content to your Buffer queues.  With it, you’ll never need to manually schedule anything to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or elsewhere. Then you can work more on your photography business in other ways, and only reply to comments on social as needed.

Page Builder

You have two options when it comes to page builders in WordPress. The first is to use the built in block editor and possibly an extension to it. The second is to use a page builder plugin like Elementor.

Elementor

I’ve heard it time and time again “Squarespace is better than WordPress because it’s easier to use.” I can understand the argument, but really it’s not better. And for those who say it’s easier, they’re wrong. Why? Becuase there are more options for beautiful drag and drop page builders then what Squarespace offers. My favorite one is called Elementor. It’s a page builder plugin that’s built the right way, and it’s so beautiful and easy to use. Elementor makes WordPress easier for photographers.

If you choose to use the block editor of WordPress, you can do a lot of what Elementor offers, but using WordPress core blocks. No additional plugins needed.

If you want to extend beyond WordPress core blocks I recommend trying one of the following plugins:

Image Compression

Imagify

One of the most common dilemmas in photography websites is image compression. As photographers we want our images to be large and beautiful. But search engines prefer small and highly compressed. There is a fine line for image compression. I usually recommend JPEGMini Pro which is available for Mac and Windows. But for those who need a plugin I recommend Imagify. there is no better option!  It will compress your photos in the Media Library as well as your portfolio images in NextGEN Gallery.

Testimonials

Reusable blocks in WordPress can be the perfect tool for creating testimonials. But if you need something more robust than either a block plugin with a testimonials block and the builtin reusable blocks feature, then I have the plugin recommendation for you. WP Business Reviews is a plugin which can import reviews from Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook and more.

It’s fantastic because it works so well, and offers organizational tagging and collections so you can display your testimonials in various ways.

 WP Business Reviews

It uses a shortcode, which means you need to use the shortcode block for displaying your testimonials.

You also have a variety of displays styles, like a grid and a carousel.

Site Security

Security is a pain point of any photography website. Wordfence Security is a free security plugin that includes a firewall, virus scanning and more.  While it is free, there is a premium version available for those needing additional security.

  • Scans core files against repository for changes
  • Scans for signatures of over thousands of known malware variants that are known security threats.
  • Continuously scans for malware and phishing URL’s in all your comments, posts and files that are security threats.
  • Scans for heuristics of backdoors, trojans, suspicious code and other security issues.
  • Checks the strength of all user and admin passwords to enhance login security.
  • Monitor your DNS security for unauthorized DNS changes.
  • Includes a firewall to block common security threats like fake Googlebots, malicious scans from hackers and botnets.

The list can go on for days.

Currently Active Plugins

All the plugins in the following list are currently active on my website. The list is in alphabetical order.
  1. Akismet
  2. Gravity Forms
  3. Gravity Forms Google Analytics Event Tracking
  4. Gravity Forms Mailchimp Add-On
  5. Instant Articles
  6. Imagify
  7. Kadence Blocks
  8. NextGEN Gallery
  9. NextGEN Pro (for proofing and selling photos)
  10. OptinMonster
  11. Redirection
  12. Related Posts for WordPress Premium
  13. Scott Wyden Personal Site Plugin
  14. Social Warfare
  15. Social Warfare Pro
  16. WordPress Editorial Calendar
  17. WP Mail SMTP
  18. WordPress to Buffer Pro
  19. WP Rocket Cache
  20. WP Time Capsule
  21. Yoast SEO

WordPress Themes For Photographers

All of these WordPress plugins for photographers are great, but you need your website to look great before it can really help your business.  Fortunately, I’ve already written about the best WordPress themes for Photographers.  Please note that I work at Photocrati, but believe it is the best choice for a photographer’s website.

Your Turn

Now I want to hear from you.  Tell me which plugins you think are essential for a photographers website and business.  I will review your comments and will add to the article any I agree with.

Thank you for checking out my list of essential WordPress plugins for photographers and their business, and I hope that you found the content useful.

Scott

Essential WordPress Plugins For Photographers & Their Business

This Post Has 67 Comments

  1. This was amazing, thank you! Lots of work to do now, but you have simplified it a lot!

  2. Wow! Great article! I was just working on improving my SEO and looking for other plugins just a few days ago. LOVE the editorial calendar. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I am not sure I would include it because NextGEN Gallery will soon have eCommerce built-in.

      1. image-store works pretty good. Lacks the support and features I really need, but NextGen surely needs to add ecommerce. I like using nextgen and estore but have found that image-store is better for event photography and being able to select multiple images and sizes.

        If I were buying my photos, then the plugin wouldn’t matter but our customers are dumb and lazy. image-store is easier for customers.

        1. NextGEN Gallery has eCommerce in works, for a premium version of the plugin.

          1. From what I gather NextGEN still hasn’t added eCommerce have they. I am using Sunshine Photocart which has some great features but it is written very poorly and breaks easily. Also it is really tricky to get it to integrate with some themes. So much so that I have had to setup my cart as a sub-domain.
            I need something along the lines of what Reggie mentioned… the ability to bulk upload images and apply a price and product category/ies to them in one click. Most carts need the products to be setup individually. If someone can create a cart that has bulk uploads, simple category/product assigning and uses the WP themes gallery instead of having to create it’s own then that person will be very popular indeed.

          2. Hi Tim,

            NextGEN’s ecommerce system is nearly complete. In fact, it’s been internally beta tester for two months now and is now available for all NextGEN Pro customers to beta test as well. There is some info on it at the NextGEN Gallery Facebook page. If you’re considering it, be sure to pick it up at the $39 price because once ecommerce is released the price is going up.

  3. for free? or they are going to charge for the premium version? and how much?

  4. Scott:

    Really great suggestions here. I personally would put JetPack as a must have. There are just some really great things in that one download, especially for those not so experienced with blogging. Also, because of the way it integrates into WordPress.com, it will always be updated and supported.

    I’ve used gravity forms for our collaborative blog and it’s a great plugin. I couldn’t be happier. It’s premium but only about $25/year. That’s a small price to pay for a lot of functionality. My contributors can upload images right into a blog post template. Very awesome.

    Last thing, the more plugins you have the slower everything will load (generally). One plugin isn’t a huge deal, but photogs should look at responsive themes instead of installing WPTouch. I switched over to a responsive theme for all of my blogs and it’s beautiful at any size. No more feeding a “mobile” site to visitors. Maybe you know of some limitations that I don’t where WPTouch would be better?

    Great post. Definitely retweet this!

    1. JetPack does have some useful tools, but I am not sure it is definitely an essential.

      I agree about the responsive theme versus WPTouch, but if a website isn’t responsive (yet) then WPTouch is a great choice for a mobile site.

  5. Most usefull WordPress post I’ve read in past 7 days , thanks

  6. HI Scott, thank you very much for this very helpful list. I have a question. Are you by any chance using Thesis? If yes, are these plugins all compatible? I am thinking of switching my website to WP Thesis but am hesitant because I am really familiar yet with WP and am not sure if it’s easy to manage, although everybody says it is. Thank you again, Marc.

    1. I use the Photocrati theme. I used to use Thesis, but switched away from it a while back.

    1. You’re welcome Chuck, thanks for putting it out as a free plugin. Photographers are going to love it!

  7. The ShootQ add-on was removed from the WordPress directory sometime around August, 2012.

    Do you know why, or if it still available somewhere else? I bought Gravity Forms to use with it and now it is gone.

    1. Unfortunately there was no explanation and no traces of it at all. Have you tried contacting ShootQ to see if they know?

  8. This looks like a great list of plugins. I am newer to photography sites. Will one of these plugins let me:

    * have password protected galleries for each client/event?
    * provide a way for the client to order from the gallery?

    Thanks,
    Joe

  9. Great Post. I find nrelate absolutely essential. Thanks to your post I now use SEO Friendly Images too. Thanks!

  10. NextGEN Gallery has a problem that it is not mobile optimized. For that purpose I created a plugin called WPJaipho which gives iPhone app look to your galleries for iPhone and Android users.
    Check it out at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wpjaipho/

    1. The galleries work on mobile, but do not switch to a mobile specific design like done in WPJaipho. However, further mobile optimization is in the works.

      1. I am working as a Test Manager specializing in mobile so if you need any help just email me

  11. Great post. Now I need to go install a bunch of these and revamp my site. Thanks, Scott!

  12. This will help me alot. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  13. These are great. I am using a few of these. Yoast is wonderful. For contact form I am using a free plugin called “Easy Contact Forms” which is very rich in features. You can create many different contact forms for different parts of your website.

  14. I am revamping my entire site and am struggling as I try and find the right plugins to meet my design needs. I’m currently trying to find a plugin that basically does the following, but I can’t find it because I don’t know what keywords to search for. Basically, if you’ve ever been to a site like USAA or any site where there is a interactive system for you to get to your destination by navigating the on-screen options, but also has a field somewhere (like a live-updating total for example) that updates you on your current selection(s). For example: I am a photographer and want a plugin where people can click on the pricing page, and then see a window of divided areas, starting at the top left it makes you choose “In Studio” or “On Location”. Then your selection activates the next field where you choose the Product you want (portrait, wedding, etc). Then that activates the package field. So on and so on. At the right or somewhere on the screen is a field of live-updating content where it tells you what it would cost and a description of what you’re getting in your selected options. Does that make sense?

  15. Do you have any suggestions for being able to stop people from dragging and dropping images off your site? Any kind of security measure you can take to make it a little more difficult for people to take your images?

  16. Another plugin I use for collecting session fees, proofing (even with packages!) is wp estore. It’s versatile and one of the most simple plugins to use out of the box, but allows plenty of customization.

  17. I think a plugin like ours, Sunshine Photo Cart, is an important one for photographers. Put client proofing on your own website for better design/branding integration and make more money by ditching transaction fees.

    1. Hi Derek,

      I was one of your beta testers but when trying it I didn’t feel it was ready for prime time. I am happy to give it another test if you want.

    2. Thanks a bunch for this list! I installed a few of the recommended plugins, and looking forward to trying out a few others. One plugin that I am looking for, but am having a hard time finding… I use NextGen for my client galleries, as proofs. I currently number each photo in each gallery for my clients to reference when they order their prints from me via email. This is so not the way I want to have my clients place their orders! I want to be able to allow them to choose their photos and print sizes directly from their gallery, and then check out! I am only finding plugins that allow you to purchase the photo, but not give any options as far as sizes, or mounting, framing ect. If you could point me in the right direction, I would be soooo grateful!!! Thank you!!! :)

      1. Oh, wow! After reading all the helpful comments as well I installed image-store, and have found my sizing options for print orders! Yay! This is just what I have been looking for. Now to play around with it, and see if I can make it work for me. By the way, you said that NextGen does have ecommerce in the works. Do you have any idea when they may be making that available? Thanks again..

        1. eCommerce is going to be a big project so there is no ETA, but they are starting the development process for eCommerce and Proofing within a week or os.

        1. After playing around with the image store, I am less than thrilled… Seems messy! And I was hoping it would work along with NextGen, not use it’s own galleries. Back at square one! Do you have any suggestions as to another option that would work using NextGen galleries, until they make theirs available in the pro version? I am definitely looking forward to that. I will also submit my feature requests, thanks for the suggestion!

    3. Sunshine has been out for a while and we have it quite stable now. Tons of new features since the beta phase, would love to have you test it out again and see if you feel it’s ready to recommend.

  18. always helpful posts Scott!
    I found this one while searching a stock photography plugin.
    Any thought about sell media plug in from graph paper press? or some other suggestion? I use photocratti theme and the e-commerce is only for print orders if i don’t miss something. I would like to have the ability to build my own stock photo page
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Thomas,

      You could use the Photocrati eCommerce system for selling stock by creating stock products with specific prices for them. This could also be done for proofing with a price of $0. I haven’t used Sell Media enough to provide an opinion.

      1. more info about Photocrati eCommerce system and stock products can work?
        maybe a blog post with guidance?

        Thanks again!

        1. Hi Thomas,

          There is a lot of info on the Photocrati eCommerce system here. If you have specific question about the eCommerce system, send an email using the Photocrati contact form and we’ll be happy to help.

  19. Hi Scott,

    GREAT post! Thank you!!
    So – it seems that Next Gen and Photocrati’s Super Theme are both excellent products. But, NextGen doesn’t appear to have its ecommerce solution available yet…and Photocrati doesn’t appear to be responsive. Darn – wish one or both could have ALL features. OR, maybe I’m missing it and they DO?

    Thank you!!

    1. eCommerce is on the roadmap for NextGEN Pro and responsive is on the roadmap for Photocrati.

  20. I use the Photocrati theme (just switched from Genesis). It has an Ecommerce component, so do I need to purchase Next Gen Pro as well? Thanks.

    1. You don’t have to, but the NextGEN Pro Ecommerce system is different and has digital downloads and proofing (in the next update). Eventually all Photocrati users will have the advantage of NextGEN Pro without the added cost. But in the meantime, to use the NextGEN Pro Ecommerce you would have to buy the plugin.

  21. Thank you for some very useful plug ins. I will have to try some of these out for myself.

  22. very useful. how do you go about managing clients and client portfolios on a photography website? I want to display the photos and let the client proof them prior to me editing them.

    1. I use NextGEN Gallery with NextGEN Pro, which offers proofing capabilities.

  23. How do you feel Visual Composer compares to Elementor? Any noticeable differences that make Elementor better?

    1. I prefer and use Elementor. It’s one of the two best page builders for WordPress right now.

  24. Hi Scott,
    Thanks for the great list.
    I use Photocrati Theme 4.9.3 “Underexposed” and would like to install Woo Commerce but it is not compatible with Photocrati. The built in e-commerce functionality is only for selling images and I am looking for an easy management tool for selling my photography courses. Other than changing themes, any suggestions?
    Thanks

    1. WooCommerce needs themes to be coded for it. If you want to use WooCommerce with Photocrati you would have to modify the theme, which I do not recommend.

      1. Thanks for your reply. Can you recommend an ecommerce plugin that would work?

        1. I personally use Sensei (which is part of the WooCommerce ecosystem), but there are many LMS plugins that you could do for selling courses and many of which do not require a specific theme customization.

  25. Thanks for your blog – it’s been helpful…I understand you work for PhotoCrati so I don’t want to put you on the spot but I’ve been trying to get good solid comparisons of current versions of PhotoCrati vs ProPhoto for my pending website. There are two aspects to my business so I need many galleries and good user friendly ecommerce option for prints, digital and other retail products. Have you come across a current features comparison that you could share? Thanks for your help – there is a lot of out dated material to be found on the net :)

    1. I’ve never seen anyone do a direct comparison.

      1. Thanks Scott, I tried to do a fair comparison based on what I’d like to do with my site – and decided on PhotoCrati. Thanks for taking the time to reply :)

  26. Hey Scott, All your listed plugins for photographers business is very helpful for me.
    I’m using Avartan slider WordPress plugin for my photography site and it’s quite worthy. This responsive slider plugin helps me to grab users attention easily. By using this slider I can add impressive image sliders, video sliders, content sliders, text and animations to your website. It has unique features like touch and swipe navigation, drag and drop visual slider builder, multi-media content and much more which helps me to make my site more attractive. For more features.
    It gives me millions of possibilities to showcase my work in a fascinating way. I hope that it will help you.

  27. Would love to use woocommerce ecommerce with the NextGen gallery as I would like to give customers the option to add framing services and also buy already framed stuff. Oh how I wish NextGen PRO supported this!!!

  28. Hello! Thank you for this great list of plugins. :)
    I am a photographer myself and there are some plugins that are useful for me!!

    Last year I searched everywhere for a plugin that I could use to manage my clients and projects without having a lot of work with it.
    I had to search a really long time, until I found something suitable. So if you ever create a list with management plugins for WP: I downloaded the WordPress plugin “Photography Management” from Codeneric and I am very satisfied.

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