Photography is a satisfying hobby for a lot of people. You might be wondering how you can turn your passion for pixels into a business.

Fortunately, the open-source foundation of WordPress means many plugin developers have created solutions specifically geared toward online image sales. For example, NextGEN Pro from Imagely is a great example of the power of plugins for online photography businesses.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the unique needs of photographers in regard to e-commerce. Then, we’ll review five of the best e-commerce plugins for photography. Let’s jump right in!

Understanding the Unique Needs of Photographers

There’s a lot more to running a photography business than lenses, lights, and smiles. In fact, photographers have to consider a myriad of elements and tasks. Such as appointment scheduling, password-protected digital galleries, and much more.

Just some of the elements you might need to consider when building a photography website meant for e-commerce include:

Even if you operate your business outside of Europe, we also recommend becoming familiar with the European Union’s enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how it might impact you. For photographers, it’s important to know that GDPR does view photography as ‘processing personal data’. This means for you as a businessperson, it’s a grey area that depends on the level of and type of photography you undertake. It’s best to consult the experts, however, and study up before you make a costly mistake.

5 of the Best E-Commerce Plugins for Photographers

Now we’ve covered a few of the unique aspects of online photography businesses, let’s take a look at some WordPress plugins that can help bring those specific elements of functionality to your website.

1. WooCommerce

Wocommerce

WooCommerce is a giant among e-commerce plugins and really is packed with user-friendly functionality for a base price of $0. While there are beneficial add-ons you might want to explore for various premiums, what you get out of the box for free is plenty to get you started.

As an open-source plugin WooCommerce is extremely customizable. Additionally, there’s no limit to the number of products or users you design your e-commerce site for. Lastly, it’s equipped to help you sell just about anything.

2. Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is a plugin specifically geared toward making your life easier if your niche market is digital photo products. While this plugin can handle any digital file download, it’s definitely a great solution if you just need a plugin for managing digital download sales.

Easy Digital Downloads is compatible with a wide variety of payment gateways. PayPal and Stripe come standard with the free version of the plugin as do many others. You can also offer gateway options like BitPay, CoinBase, and Authorize.net through additional free and premium extensions. For even more features, you can check out the four pricing levels offered by the developer.

3. NextGEN Pro

NextGen Pro

When it comes to learning about NextGEN Pro, the question is: How much time do you have? Honestly, we could talk about the features offered in this plugin all day! Most recently, the plugin has added an automatic print fulfillment extension to its pro plugin. After viewing proofs online, customers can choose to purchase prints and have them delivered to their door without you ever having to intervene.

NextGEN Pro is a premium plugin with several price options. Starting at $99 annually for one site, and ranging in features up to $499 for a lifetime license on unlimited sites, there is a plan for nearly everyone. This plugin comes stocked with 30 extensions to help you protect, display, sell and promote your photography.

4. Envira Gallery

Enriva

The Envira Gallery plugin stands out among other gallery plugins primarily because it offers a drag-and-drop gallery builder. This means you can be up and running with a beautiful gallery of images, designed to your liking, in roughly five minutes.

This is the ‘lite’ version of Envira Gallery Pro, so it has fewer features – but is still an excellent choice for fledgling photography sites. This is a highly extendable plugin and if you like what you see, you can upgrade to the pro version starting at just $29 a year.

5. Sunshine Photo Cart

Sunshine Photo Cart

The Sunshine Photo Cart plugin is quite a gem. The free version of the plugin can help you create a fully-functioning client proofing and shopping cart experience. You’ll also be able to build unlimited galleries or products while providing customers with PayPal options for online and offline payments. Sunshine integrates easily into your WordPress theme and is not a commission-based plugin.

There are premium extensions available if you want to integrate with MailChimp, for example, or CampaignMonitor for advertising and marketing.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to think about before uploading your best shots to your website and hanging out the virtual ‘For Sale’ sign. As such, it’s understandable that photographers have some unique needs when it comes to creating an e-commerce presence.

Now we’ve gone over some options, you’ll be able to get started with your photography sales by remembering these plugins, including:

  1. WooCommerce: An all-around e-commerce workhorse with a reliable reputation.
  2. Easy Digital Downloads: This is a solid, niche plugin designed to manage digital download sales.
  3. NextGen Pro: Feature-packed – and our overall recommendation for a photography e-commerce plugin – this is a premium, high-performance solution designed by photographers, for photographers.
  4. Envira Gallery: Build gorgeous galleries online in minutes with a drag-and-drop gallery builder.
  5. Sunshine Photo Cart: If you just need client proofing functionality in a reliable plugin, this is an excellent choice.

Here at WP Tech Support, we can help you keep your WordPress site up and running. Plugin security is one of our specialties. We have monthly plans for any budget, so you can rest easy and focus on taking breathtaking photos.