There are loads of photography blogs and websites, but some are undeniably better than others. To help you enhance your photo blog, I’ve identified some of the unique unique features found on major photography magazine websites like National Geographic and Digital Photographer.In addition to examples of these features, I’ve also found plugins and extensions you can use to replicate these interactive features on your own photography blog or website.
One of the keys to a successful photography website is getting your visitors involved. National Geographic has a section called Your Shot Voting Machine, which enables users to rank images on a scale of one to ten. If you’re looking for a way to engage your site’s visitors and receive feedback on your work, then you should consider letting users rate your photographs.
If you use WordPress for your photo blog, then check out WP Photo Album Plus, a free plugin with loads of features, including an image rating system.
Another way to get visitors involved with your photography site is with an image face-off! Digital Photographer’s website includes a photography face-off feature: 2 images are pitted against one another, and users can choose their favourite. This feature encourages visitors to get involved, look at images, and spend more time on the site.
If you use Joomla for your photography website, then check out Photo Battle Factory, a premium Joomla extension that enables users to choose their favourite image from two contenders.
If you want people to come back to your photography website, then you’ve got to give them a reason to return. National Geographic offers the Slide Puzzle Generator, a feature that turns striking images into fun challenges. Offering a daily photo puzzle for your visitors to solve is a great way to encourage people to check out your site, and hopefully keep them coming back!
If you use WordPress for your photography site, then check out WP-jqPuzzle, a free plugin designed to transform your images into brainteasers!
Another way to attract people to your photography site is by turning your images into a match game designed to test your visitors’ memories. National Geographic offers the Daily Dozen Match Game, a fun and challenging distraction that requires users to uncover and match images.
If you want to transform your photographs into a match game, then check out jQuery Memory Game, a free jQuery script!
ePHOTOzine has a photo map gallery feature which maps images based on where they were taken. Users can view photos by location using Google Maps, and these images can be filtered by type (such as nature or portraits), date of upload, and tons of other options.
If you use and WordPress and you want to include a map of where your images were taken, then check out GeotagPhoto, a free plugin for WordPress!
National Geographic highlights a different image everyday with their Photo of the Day feature in the sidebar of their homepage. By showcasing a specific photograph, visitors are encouraged to click on the image and delve further into the site.
If you use WordPress for your photography blog or website, then you can install pFlickr Photo of the Day, a free WordPress plugin, to highlight an image from your Flickr stream in your site’s sidebar!
Digital Photo has a Your Best Shot section where photographers can submit their images, which other users can rate on a scale of 1-5. The highest rated photo receives the People’s Choice Prize, and the winning image is featured in the Winner’s Gallery. Running a photo contest is a great way to get people involved with a photography blog or website!
If you use WordPress for your photography blog, then you can use PhotoContest, a free plugin, to create and manage a contest. This WordPress plugin enables subscribers to submit their images while other users cast their votes!