If you’re a photographer, architect, fashion or graphic designer, or any kind of creator, having a website where you can showcase and share your work is indispensable. Even better, if it lets you sell your work, your courses, or services.
Coding your website may be not be your cup of tea but finding the right website builder can also be demanding. Some can be too general with which you can do anything and everything and some be too focused or in the wrong niche. Some are specialised in building online portfolios but push their prices (way) above the inflation rate. And some don’t even feature a blogging tool.
It may come as no surprise but some photographers just use Adobe Portfolio. It’s part of the Adobe Photography plan so many already know how to use it. But as good as it looks, it doesn’t come with an online store.
This is where Pixpa comes in. It’s an all-in-one portfolio builder combined with ecommerce functions so that you can not only showcase your work but also grow your customer base and sell your work. You can also use your online portfolio website as a client-proofing tool and of course for marketing and promotion. All of this without a line of code.
- Pros and cons of Pixpa
- Who is Pixpa for?
- How easy is Pixpa to use?
- Pixpa design and templates
- How to manage your ecommerce store in Pixpa?
- Pixpa integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does Pixpa have?
- Payment options
- Pixpa security
- Pixpa customer support
- Pixpa pricing
- Is Pixpa the right tool for you?
Pros and cons of Pixpa
As an all-inclusive website-builder focused on photographers, designers, artists, and other creatives, Pixpa comes with everything you need to create your portfolio, as well as share and sell your work. You don’t need to take care of the nitty-gritty stuff like installation, maintenance, or security.
As long as you got an internet connection, you access Pixpa via your browser. It comes with a visual editor so you don’t need prior web development skills.
- With the mobile gallery app, you can give access to your clients (but only when you’ve subscribed to the Expert or Business plan)
- Easy to use and with its visual editor, your site will look consistent
- 24/7 via mail, chat, or phone, so you don’t have to worry about your time zone
- Organise your store in categories
- The store includes practical features such as discount management and abandoned cart
- If you expect a drag-and-drop editor and with it a greater customisability, you might be disappointed
- If you want to have an image in multiple albums, you need to re-upload it for each
Who is Pixpa for?
Pixpa started out in 2013 as a portfolio builder come shopping cart for photographers. But also has other features so that all kinds of creatives and artists will find it useful. It comes with a blog, an online store, client galleries, and marketing tools.
You’ll see it when you create an account. It’ll ask what kind of website you want to build
- Personal Blog
How easy is Pixpa to use?
Signing up for the 15 day free trial is an easy process and you don’t even need your credit card at hand. All you need is your email address and a password.
Since Pixpa is a no-code website builder, you’ll start by selecting your template. You can also do this later, so pick one now and you can change it later. You’ll then be taken to the dashboard where creating, customising, and managing your website are just a click away.
If you’re new to creating a website or simply just want professional help, you can get a Pixpa Expert to set up your website. It’s included in the Expert and Business plans.
You can launch your site in 4 steps
- Add content
- Add pages and organise the navigation
- Choose your plan
- Connect your custom domain
Easy. Of course, if you want to make your website stand out, you need to edit it. To edit your website, that is add new pages or customise existing ones, click on the Website tab in the left side menu. If you want to add any element to a page, just click on Add Section on the page where you want to add a new element.
You may have noticed that I’m describing Pixpa’s editor as visual and not as drag-and-drop. That’s because it’s more section-based because Pixpa wants your website to always look “pixel-perfect”. You move the sections to where you want with arrows, and then change the fonts and colours.
In short, working with Pixpa is a piece of cake. It has a clean and easy to use interface that lets you do your job in a few clicks. When you choose a template, Pixpa pre-builts your site and you can just add more or rename the existing ones. With its section-based, visual editor, you may not have as much freedom to customise your site as with other website builders, but it’s in a good way. Its editor is very simple to use and you always get a beautiful, consistent portfolio site.
Pixpa design and templates
As mentioned, you can change your template after you’ve already added content. Pixpa will take care so that your content will adapt to the new template’s style and layout. And if you don’t like it, it’s just as easy to revert back to your previous template. And, your content again will automatically adapt.
In contrast to some website builders such as Squarespace, all templates are free. And, you can add a blog and store to your website using any, as they aren’t feature-specific such as with Volusion.
How to manage your ecommerce store in Pixpa?
Except for the entry plan Light, all plans include an online store. You can sell your images as prints or downloads. Another way to monetise your skills is to sell products and services. For both, you first need to enable selling products and images in the tab Store in the left side menu.
Once enabled, you’re all set and you can start adding products. It’s easy to add information about licensing or usage or set tax rates. Pixpa’s store functionality extends to discount management, abandoned cart, and of course, product, inventory and order management.
You can organise your store by creating categories. These are similar to client albums and they allow you to sell your work to anyone. In contrast, client galleries are meant to be used and seen only by your clients.
In contrast to Smugmug, Pixpa doesn’t take a commission. Common with Zenfolio is that you can also self-fulfill using a print lab of your choice.
Pixpa includes more than 50 plugins essential for photographers and creators. Of course, it offers integrations with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools that can help you understand, analyse and optimise your site’s performance.
Other plugins fall into marketing tools such as Mailchimp to send out newsletters, live chat for support on your site, booking and translation tools.
What marketing and SEO tools does Pixpa have?
Once you set up your website, you need to market and promote it. You’ll find a tab labelled Marketing & SEO to help you with your tasks. It features marketing tools like marketing pop-ups, cookie consent banners, mobile action bar, and email lists.
You want to optimise your site so that you get organic traffic through search engines. It’s easy to edit your website’s SEO title and description, as well as each page URL, page title, and description.
Blogging is another way to get your name out there and grow your business. Pixpa understands that and gives you a comprehensive blogging tool that’s easy to use. You’ll find it under the Tab Website.
You can embed media such as videos and images with the intuitive WYSIWYG editor. The blogging tool allows you to schedule your posts and you can moderate the comments of your audience. It also supports multiple authors, so you can create a multi-author blog or publish guest posts.
To accept payments, you need to connect your account to Stripe, Paypal, or another payment gateway included in the integration list. Be aware that even if Pixpa itself doesn’t charge a commission, these payment gateways do.
It’s good to see that SSL is offered with all plans.
Pixpa customer support
The customer support team is available 24/7 and you can use email, call, or chat. The cool thing is, you can also ask questions about photography, not only about web design and how to set up your site. The Expert and Business plans include a website setup service.
There’s no free plan, but you can test drive Pixpa for free for 15 days. The higher plans unlock more features, so that you can have more pages on your site, marketing tools, or sell more products on your store.
Is Pixpa the right tool for you?
If you’re on the hunt for an easy to use tool to start a portfolio site or an online store Pixpa is a good place to start. It’s affordable and comes with an extensive feature list making it tempting for novices and seasoned creatives.
Yes, that’s right, Pixpa is great for photographers, but also for designers, architects, or bloggers, as long as you want images to be front and centre on your website. Although I’d recommend to not choose the entry plan, as that’s too limited.