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How we built our own website

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and while I may receive a commission or referral discount should you choose to purchase something, I would never include a link to anything I have not personally found to be an asset to my business or life. 

Being a business owner for over a decade, I have tried out several different free and paid website building platforms and hosting providers. When I had a single website for my photography business, Photobiz was a great drag and drop option that has continued to add new features over the years, so it was my one stop shop for client images and my portfolio.

Last year, we needed to create some more websites and wanted more control over how the final websites would look and what features we could choose to add in the future. We began looking into options that would let us build all of the websites we needed through one platform. Jake’s food blog would have affiliate links, something we knew nothing about. We also needed to rebuild our photography website into two sites – the one you are on now, for Hatfield Photography, and the other one is Next Level Photo Education. 

WordPress seemed overwhelming to me and from keywording to affiliate links, I had no clue what all I needed to do to build a website from scratch. After getting sucked into a Google tornado, I found a free trial for Wealthy Affiliate and once I got started with the education on their site, I knew I was going to want to upgrade after the first week. I had found the perfect platform for me to build all of our websites! 

What I like about Wealthy Affiliate over some of the other website options are the education and support. I’ve only gotten through a small fraction of the information on there. You can build your site step by step as you watch videos on what to do next. You can build a WordPress website straight through the Wealthy Affiliate website. 

There is a live chat so you can ask a general question at any time when you get stuck and the entire community is great about getting you the info you need quick. The first time I had to contact customer support, I was annoyed, frustrated and had no patience. I had updated a plugin, and it crashed my whole website on an important day when I needed it to work! 

So I send them a message explaining what I had done and how I couldn’t access my site at all and less than 5 minutes later, I had a message back saying to log in and check it now. It was fine! I ended up reverting the plugin back to the old version and then trying to reinstall it, crashing my site a few more times before the day was over. Each time, they quickly fixed my website and asked me to make sure everything was back to normal on my side. 

My favorite plugin that I’m using on my website is Elementor Pro. It makes it so easy for me to drag and drop the content that I want on a webpage or blog post. Many premade templates can be easily customized to create a whole page or add a small section to page or post. 

The simplicity and functionality of Elementor gave me what I needed to be able to build our websites. We wanted the control of being able to make changes to any aspect of our websites at any time, even though neither of us had the skills to build a website let alone the 4 websites we needed to build. 

You can check out all 4 websites designed in WordPress with the Elementor plugin here:

Hatfield Photography is relocating this year and we are available for photo shoots in both locations. We have openings for personal brand photography in the Pittsburgh, PA area through June and in Austin, TX as soon as May! 

For more information visit our main page at www.hatfieldphotos.com or use the button below to schedule a call with us to get all of your questions answered! 

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