If you’re just starting with a new photography business, creating a great website is a MUST for attracting new customers. A website for photographers is not only your virtual storefront, it will also include important information and images that will be a key deciding factor for a progressively digital world of potential customers to hire you.
In this article we’ll discuss how to build a Multi-vendor Photography Business Website With Dokan.
Make Money by Selling Your Stock Photography
Photographs are important communication tools. Many photographers have a wish to sell their photos. And professional photographers often include selling high-quality stock photos as a part of their business plan.
It’s the ultimate compliment when someone pays to use your photography. Photography business can offer a nice supplemental income.
Some photographers are even making money out of it.
A common question from those who are interested in selling stock photos is: ‘can I really make money?’
The answer is “Yes,” as the photography markets are bigger than ever. But also there is high competition and the obvious surplus of stock photos on the market. While you can make money, it is important to understand that the stock photo business is very challenging at best.
A solid strategy on what to shoot, how to shoot, and where to sell images is essential.
Market Opportunities for the stock photography business
It is very easy to buy a stock photograph for doing certain work rather than hiring a photographer. In this digital era, everyone needs pictures to share thought and ideas through digital media. Those who need stock photographs on a regular basis are as under,
- Web designers
- Many others
So, you can imagine how much opportunity there is in the stock photography business.
Should you launch your multi-vendor photography business website?
Multi-vendor photography business already ruled by so many big companies like Dreamstime, iStock, Shutterstock, Bigstock, and 500PX. It is really easy to earn money from their website. Anyone can signup in their site and start selling. But you may ask why do we push you to build that kind of site? Here is why….
Benefits of doing Photography business through existing big marketplace
Everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. At first, let’s look at the advantages of doing photography business through those sites,
- They already have their own customer setup.
- Initially, it’s not required much more money and time.
- The risk is very low if the plan not works there is no loss.
Disadvantages of doing business under those marketplace
Where there are advantages, there also some disadvantages and they are as follows,
- You have to compete with so many renowned professional photographers within the same marketplace.
- It takes long time to become popular.
- The marketplace will not give you that much of flexibility how will you want to showcase your stock photos.
- They might have their own pricing matrix which you must have to follow.
Hopefully, you get some idea about the challenges what you face in those marketplaces.
Advantages of what you get from your own multi-vendor marketplace
Now let’s have a look at the benefits you will get while you have your own multi-vendor photography business website.
- You will have your own freedom of choices.
- You can customize your own creation.
- Integrating your marketing strategies.
- You have the full access to control everything.
- The sense of flexibility, excitement, and independence will help you to grow your business.
How can you build your multi-vendor photography business website?
Creating a multi-vendor marketplace and maintaining that site may seem quite a tough task to you. But, it’s not so difficult. You can easily setup your multi-vendor photography business marketplace. You don’t need to know any technical knowledge to maintain your site. Here are the steps:
- Buy a domain name and go for web hosting.
- Install WordPress.
- Activate a plugin, WooCommerce.
- Set up a multi-vendor plugin, Dokan multivendor marketplace plugin.
- A Suitable WordPress Theme for Your Multi-Vendor Photography Business Site.
Step-1: Buy a domain name and go for web hosting
The first step to create multi-vendor photography business is to choose a domain name for your business.
You can check the availability of your desired domain name on several websites. Like Name.com. If you want to buy a new domain you can get that service from bellow sites,
Now, let’s move forward about web hosting.
Websites are made of with files such as html files, CSS files, image files, etc. When you visit a website, your browser makes a request to a server which then returns these files.
This doesn’t mean that you need to buy your own server and manage the hardware. Instead of this you pay someone else to use their server. When you pay someone for space on their server we say they are “hosting” your website.
It’s very much important to get a secured web hosting service. Otherwise, your site will take time to load, or become vulnerable. You can get secure web hosting service from HostGator. Or you can go to the above-mentioned service providers. They also provide secure web hosting.
Step-2: Install and set up WordPress
Here are some methods on how to install WordPress.
Method #1: Choose a host that comes with WordPress pre-installed
The easiest way to install WordPress is to just pick a host that does it free or automatically for you. Nowadays, many WordPress-specific hosts will let you choose to have pre-installed WordPress.
Here are a few recommended hosts that offer pre-install WordPress for you:
- Bluehost – affordable and comes with pre-installed WordPress.
- SiteGround – has tons of WordPress service marketplace-specific features that make your life easier.
Method #2: How to install WordPress via cPanel and auto-installers
cPanel is the dashboard that most web hosts providers give their customers. When you sign up for hosting, your host should give you with login details for cPanel.
In your cPanel interface, your host should give you an auto-installer. Auto-installers basically automate the full WordPress install process. So instead of doing everything manually, you just input some basic information, click a button, and the auto-installer installs WordPress for you.
Method #3: How to install WordPress manually
Download the latest version of WordPress from wordpress.org.
Then unzip the zip file and upload it to the
public_html (or similar) directory of your website. If you’re not sure how to log in to FTP, ask your hosting provider for your FTP account information.
The rest will be done by your web hosting provider.
Step-3: Install and Activate WooCommerce in your WordPress site
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that adds all the essential eCommerce features instantly to your site: shopping carts, checkout, payment processing, etc. There are a lot of paid extensions available to add more eCommerce features to your site.
If you’ve never used WordPress, it’s not so difficult to install the plugin. You can search for plugins and install them straight from your WordPress admin dashboard.
After successful installation click on the Activate button to activate the plugin.
Now you will get WooCommerce in the plugins list.
Step-4: Make your eCommerce site to multi-vendor photography business site by Dokan
Dokan multi-vendor plugin will give you the privilege to make a complete multi-vendor marketplace of your own. Your vendor can upload stock photographs from front-end by using Dokan. To activate Dokan you have to follow a similar installation and activation process just like WooCommerce. Furthermore, Dokan Lite is totally freemium plugin. If you are interested to check out the professional packages of Dokan Multivendor Plugin, visit here.
Login to Dashboard > Plugin > Add New > Click search > Type “Dokan” > Install > Activate.
Dokan has its own built-in configuration wizard. You have to do it according to your requirement. For better understanding, you can see the below video tutorial of Dokan setup process or follow the complete documentation to activate Dokan.
Step-5: Select A Suitable WordPress Theme for Your Multi-Vendor Photography Business Website
Congratulations!!! You have successfully built your own multi-vendor photography business site. Now send an invitation to your photography community to sell their stock photographs on your photography business marketplace. They can easily register from the front-end of your marketplace.
Now here are some tips and tricks to grow your business.
How can Photographers make their marketplace?
Anyone can register as a seller to your marketplace from the homepage. They just have to click on the sign-up button and select them as a vendor. They have to fill up the necessary field and just click the submit. But immediately they cannot upload their products in the store. Their request will be on the pending status.
Now the admin of the store will have to give all vendors permission from the back-end. Then only they can upload the product to their store for sale. To activate permission follow the below steps.
Log in to Admin Dashbord> Users> All users> Select the newly added vendor> Edit> Scroll down and select “Enable Adding Products” from Selling tab> Update User
Note: You can also give privilege to your sellers to upload products immediately after registration.
If you want to verify your sellers you can avail Dokan Professional package. This plan consists of more attractive and time-saving premium features.
Individual seller get a single store for them in your multi-vendor photography business marketplace
Dokan plugin provides you the facility to create a single store for each seller. They can customize their store based on their requirement.
To help your customers you can show your seller list or store list in the menu bar. It will add extra value to your photography business marketplace. By this privilege, your customer can go through any seller as per their own choice.
To add a store list in the menu bar follow the steps.
Login to your Admin Dashboard > Appearance > Menu > Select Store list > Add to menu > Save Menu
Premium features for the Sellers or Vendors
With Dokan plugin, every seller gets an individual dashboard. With this feature, they can easily track their records of selling and earning data etc. Which is not totally available in other photography business marketplaces. So this is a kind of a USP(Unique Selling Point) feature of Dokan plugin.
How can photographers upload photos to their site
Only WooCommerce gives you permission to upload products from the back-end. But don’t worry, Dokan multi-vendor plugin also allows vendors to upload the image from the front-end.
Photographers must log in with their personal credential. Then they will have to go to the product tab. Click on add new product. A popup window will appear. There they will have to add a feature image of that product. They should upload a very small sized photo of their real image. Then fill all the necessary important fields. Here they can upload a single image by clicking on ‘Create Product’ button. If they want to add multiple photos at the same time then they will have to select ‘Create & Add New’ button again to repeat the process.
After clicking on Create Product button the photographer is redirected to an additional page. There they have to select the downloadable option. Then scrolling down they will get a new menu of a downloadable option. After that select add file. Here they will have to choose/select the real image that they want to sale.
Question may arise in your mind, why anyone would have to do so many things? The answer is very simple. All these things are mainly for security reason. Without this anyone can download your real image from the site. The real image only appears when the buyer will pay for it. The vendor can control the download limit from their side also.
Advantage of product review before publishing
After uploading a product by vendor, admin can hold it in the queue to review the photo. After the completion of the review, the photo will be published once it meets all its terms and condition. Also, if an admin wants he/she can select the vendor as a trusted one. Once they do this, then that vendor can publish their product directly.
It’s totally up to you whether you want to keep review option or not. But it is recommended to keep the review option at the initial stage. Otherwise, anyone can intentionally destroy the brand image of your photography business marketplace.
Once, all the image is published, it will be automatically get showcased on the ‘Shop’ menu. It works as your photo gallery for your Photography Business marketplace.
Buying and Selling procedure of your photography marketplace
In your multi-vendor photography business marketplace, anyone can sell their stock photos. But as an admin of your site you have the ultimate power of everything.
Now the most important part is on board. Buyer can easily buy the stock images from your marketplace/business site. They just have to select the cart button and the process automatically gets complete by Dokan. Buyers have to review the cart and then click proceed to cart button. Buyer will get a new page and there they will have to fill up some necessary fields in order to purchase photos by paying through PayPal or other popular payment gateways.
Cash withdrawals option by the photographers
When a buyer successfully completes his payment then he can get the download link of the real photo. After a successful download of the product, the cash amount will be seen available in the seller’s account for withdrawing. Then the seller can request to admin to withdraw the earned amount from their dashboard. As an admin, you can set the limit of withdrawal for the vendor from your back-end.
Customize the Dokan theme specially for making a photography business-friendly website
Add Slider to the Homepage
To make your marketplace more lucrative you can add a slider to the homepage of your multi-vendor photography business site. It makes your site more attractive. You can follow this link to activate slider in your homepage.
Hide the default product category menu list
Once you install the Dokan theme you will get product category menu. But if you are not interested to show this on your site you can remove it easily by adding a simple code in additional to CSS field. Just simply copy and paste the below code in the CSS field and its done.
Customize the menu list of the vendor dashboard
You can customize the side menu bar by activating Dokan Menu Hider Plugin. Normally, while you are going to sell stock photographs then there is no need to show ‘order’ option on the dashboard. You can hide this by this awesome plugin.
Add lucrative gallery in your photography business website
It is recommended to use default shop showcase feature. But if you want to add eye-catchy gallery like other marketplaces, then you can choose 3rd-party gallery plugins. Photo Gallery has WooCommerce compatibility but you have to get their premium package. Otherwise, you will have to face hassle of adding photos from the back-end.
You can show the Envira gallery in Dokan theme as well.
Go to Admin Dashboard > Plugin > Add New > Click search > Type “Envira” > Install > Active > Create Envira Gallery from their menu > Copy short code > Publish as a new page
Your photography business website will continue to evolve and grow over time, however, these are the essential elements that you need to be aware of and complete during the set up stage. Also, make sure to include a portfolio of your best photos so your target audience feel forced to book with you and lots of photography work heads your way.
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