The internet makes it incredibly easy for your studio or photography business to connect with current and future clients. From email, to Facebook , and of course your website, the world wide web affords you an abundance of potential outlets to show off your work and book your next project. Earlier this year it was announced that a new top level domain was made available for the photography community. Now, instead of your website ending in “.com”, you can opt to purchase a domain name that ends with “.photography”. Is this necessary? Is it a good move? Should you move your site or claim an address for your future site? Let’s put the subject in focus.
Is It Necessary?
To be frank, yes it is necessary. A top level domain is kind of like a zip code. For instance nearly every city has an 11 Main Street. It is the zip code that differentiates the address and helps to ensure that mail is sent to the right location. With thousands of new websites being registered every day the .coms and .nets of the online world are running out of addresses. To combat this new top level domains are being released to increase and help organize online real estate. So MikeJones.com is in fact a different web address than MikeJones.photography. For the sake of the future of the internet these changes are necessary.
But is it Necessary for my Photography Business?
We are going to go with “yes” once again, but are adding in that you can wait if you have an existing site. While we may not be used to it now, this is the direction that the web is headed. In just a few short years this will likely be such a common practice that differing top level domains won’t be anything new, and people, your clients that is, will be accustomed to navigating to websites housed on differing top level domains. Your business website existing on .photography may actually make more sense in five years than it sitting on a .com.
Do I Have To Go With .Photography?
Of course not. You can certainly keep your .com, .org or .net if you prefer. If you don’t like .photography you can also select from: .camera, .lighting, .equipment, .gallery or .graphics.
Will It Affect My Search Rankings?
Just like us, your photography business can be greatly affected by your appearance in search. While there is currently no evidence or even suggestion of photographers ranking better with .photography domains there is the possibility that it may help down the road. If you have a current site and want to move to .photography, or choose an entirely new web address that you like better on the new domain, you will want to have your site moved in a way that will keep the (hopefully positive) rankings that you have built up. In this case we recommend working with a web professional and ensuring that they stick to Google’s Guidelines for moving a site. By following the right procedure you can go from CharlesThompsonTakesPerfectPhotographs.com (it sounded so good when you first picked it out didn’t it) to CThompson.Photography without losing any of your search traffic.
When Should I Move My Site?
We get it; you are a photographer not a web developer or online strategist. A move will cost money and take up time that could be spent making money. But that’s really just short term thinking; is it not? If used properly your website can bring you leads. You can post your portfolio, contact information, promotions and more, in order to bring in more business. Our suggestion is that if you are developing a brand new site you should highly consider one of these new top level domains now. You will be ahead of the pack and have access to considerably more web addresses on the .photography domain. Having your web developer create a site for .photography does not cost any more than going for a .com. In fact right now many hosting providers are offering discounts to help promote the new domains. If you have an existing site then this is something that should be on your long term to-do list. If you are planning on redesigning or updating your site in the future then we suggest making the switch then. Otherwise we advise watching how web search and trends go. It will be a necessity sooner than later. If you want to guarantee that you get the right url you can purchase your preferred web address now and sit on it until you have the time and budget to make the switch. Holding a domain can be very affordable, it is much cheaper than paying for actual hosting. You can choose a domain now and save it for yourself on the cheap until you are ready to house your website on it.
Face it, your website is a huge part of your marketing efforts or at the very least could be. It is a great way to bring in new business, and it lets potential clients see your work in advance. Having a website also gives you that much more credibility. Ensuring that your website runs in tip top shape is important to your business. Staying on top of up and coming internet trends is just one of the things that you have to do to. Hey, you’re probably used to wearing several hats already, are you not?