In the past 2 or more years, everything moved online. Even museums such as the Musée d’Orsay are offering virtual tours so that you can tour them from anywhere in the world. The same applies, if you’re an artist, photographer, or designer. If you want to make your name you need to let the world know about you and your work. And if you want to be taken seriously, you need something more substantial than your social media account.
Fortunately, nowadays it’s easy to create your own website, portfolio, blog, and do the marketing yourself. It’s thanks to portfolio website builders. But it’s not only about your work and the quality of your imagery. It’s also about everything around it: The aesthetics of your site, the viewer functionality, how fast your site loads, reliability – just to name a few.
22Slides is a portfolio website builder made by professional photographers for photographers and other artists. It focuses on ease of use and helpful customer support. You don’t need web development skills with its design editor but it helps if you want more freedom in customising your site.
- Pros and cons of 22Slides
- Who is 22Slides for?
- How easy is 22Slides to use?
- 22Slides design and templates
- How to manage your ecommerce store in 22Slides?
- 22Slides integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does 22Slides have?
- Payment options
- 22Slides security
- 22Slides customer support
- 22Slides pricing
- Is 22Slides the right tool for you?
Pros and cons of 22Slides
22Slides offers tools and features to get your work online easier. It gives you
- Free custom domain name for a year
- You can password-protect individual pages
- Custom code
- Online sales
Hosting is included. Following website builder standards, 22Slides provides its service on a monthly subscription and you access it via your browser.
- Easy to use
- You can mix and match different page design components – you are not bound to a template
- No cookie-cutter look and feel
- Custom code extends its customisability
- Its customer support connects you directly with the designers and developers
- You can test-drive 22Slides for 30 days without handing in your credit card details
- Very reasonable pricing
- SEO-friendly due to its HTML5 framework
Image cap of 1500, as a workaround you can install its Flickr or Tumblr add-on
Who is 22Slides for?
Seeing how 22Slides prioritises customer support coupled with its very simple pricing, it’s a great choice for creative professionals.
There’s a limit to how many images you can upload though. The cap is at 1500 but you can install its Tumblr or Flickr add-on to work around this ceiling. Both don’t count against the 1500 limit so that you can upload as many images as you want for free.
But this image limitation may make 22Slides less attractive for largish and growing professionals. It may be better suited for creatives who have a small(ish) business and want to keep it that way.
How easy is 22Slides to use?
22Slides is not your run-of-the-mill website builder. Instead of starting with picking a template, you add the content of your site. This means you start with adding the different pages that you want such as home, about us, contact us, or image galleries.
Your next step is to design your pages. Since you’re not bound by one template that governs your entire site, each of your pages can have a different design. This gives you the flexibility to have different designs and layouts for different projects and galleries.
22Slides sports a clean, uncluttered, and intuitive interface. It’s not complicated to make your site look attractive. Since you also don’t use a template that gives your entire site its look and feel, your site will not look cookie-cutter.
22Slides design and templates
22Slides is mobile-ready out of the gates. Each page can have its own overall website as well as page layout.
How to manage your ecommerce store in 22Slides?
You can add an online store to your site by enabling its PayPal add-on, or embedding a service such as Ecwid or Cartloom. Use PayPal if you plan to run a very simple store where you only sell one image per item. If you want a “real” online store, you need to use the embedded shopping cart.
The add-ons will help extend the features of 22Slides or overcome its limitations. As mentioned, you can enable Flickr or Tumblr to lift the cap of 1500 images. Very handy is the Dropbox add-on that will turn your account into a custom client review area.
What marketing and SEO tools does 22Slides have?
Having an online presence is only half of the work if you want to try to make your way and your name as a creative professional. People need to know you exist and see your work.
22Slides uses HMTL5 as well as optimised its hosting for fast loading for SEO. Out of the gates, your URLs are descriptive, that means they’re in human-readable form.
If you want to add meta tags to specific pages, you can use the custom code to add the tags into the head section.
If you enable the Tumblr add-on, you can add a Tumblr blog to your site.
If you want to sell your work and accept payments, you need to enable either the add-on Paypal or use an embedded shopping cart.
22Slides automatically installs a free SSL when you add a custom domain. You can also create hidden or password-protected pages so that you can share your images or proofs with your clients (you need to enable the Dropbox add-on).
22Slides customer support
This is its strong point. When you have a question you can chat directly with the web developers and designers. You don’t chat with first-level support and get escalated (endlessly) until your question is answered. The team usually answers within hours. There’s also a searchable help centre.
The pricing of 22Slides is refreshingly simple. You get all its features for $10 a month and don’t need to worry about upgrades or fend off upsells.
Is 22Slides the right tool for you?
If you’re a business-savvy creative professional, 22Slides is a powerful, yet easy-to-use website builder. You’ll be able to create a site outside of traditional pre-made templates. With its pricing, it’s a risk-free way of getting your portfolio up and start selling your work. And, it doesn’t have significant downsides.
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