Finally, a CMS for Photographers

Finally, a CMS for Photographers

You are a serious photographer intent on showing your work to the world. The only problem you have is that you don’t have a website that does your work or service as a photographer justice.

You have tried online services like Flickr or Facebook, but they don’t really fit the bill. Not only don’t they attract clients, these services do not offer checkout mechanisms to allow your clients to pay for your work. You have tried Wordpress, but it offers way more than you need, Joomla or Drupal are too complicated. After that, you have mostly given up or given in to money hungry subscription services.

As a photographer myself, I have worked through a lot of CMS to find what would work and what wouldn’t. Years ago, I set up my blog site using Joomla. I kinda stuck with that. After more than 5000 pictures posted and over 500 blog posts, it’s not easy to switch.

Then came the opportunity to start something new and independent from my blog, and with it a possibility to check out the “new” kids on the block. A quick search in Google learned that most of the portfolio sites are not really sites that let you keep everything. The most referenced CMSes for photography that come up are:

  • Zenfolio
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • Smugmug
  • Photoshelter
  • Koken
  • Carbonmade
  • Folio websites (wordpress template)
  • Format

Of those CMS listed, only one stands out that leaves me keep my pictures and doesn’t hold my site “ransom”. Most of these are online services that require a monthly or yearly subscription to keep your site online. On top of that, anything uploaded is usually only available through specialised interfaces, excluding FTP. While FTP is not my favourite file management, it does allow me to upload/download or remove something completely from my account. Most of them also do not allow you to tinker with CSS or add some extra functionality without extra payment.

Koken is the one of my choice for a photography site. It can be added to your existing hosting account with Coolcom at no extra cost. Koken is a free download from . Like many systems, there are free extras and paid extras you can add to your site. Social Media integration is, ehhhm, integrated. All you have to do it add the required links and they will show up on your site. Upload your images and your site is already mostly underway. Uploading can be done using the integrated file manager, but that’s like all online file managers, I don’t like them. The point that sold me to Koken is that they have an Adobe Lightroom plugin as well. Uploading photos is now done using collections inside Lightroom. You can create them in Lightroom and they will show up on your site. No need to even login to it.

But Koken can do much more than simply show a bunch of pictures. Plugins (free and paid) can extend the functionality of your site considerably. A (paid) plugin for a cart checkout will allow your visitors to pay for your work before downloading it.

Extra templates can modify the look and feel of your site, again there are free and paid options available.

Writing articles in Koken is a breeze, adding pictures from your site to that is a matter of seconds.

Here is what others have to say about Koken (you will find this on many of those “top 10 sites” as their only description) :

“As it is by itself, Koken is a strong contender for gaining the loyal clientele of the most demanding photographers, designers, and other creatives. Koken’s desktop-like interface makes it easy to upload and manage both images and videos. The CMS also allows you to add content from Flickr, Instagram, Vimeo, SoundCloud, and Twitter. Koken also has a publish services plugin for Lightroom.”

We have very well developed basic and custom installations of this software, the kind where we do all the configurations for you. 


Till the end of October, Give us a shout in the Help Desk and we will install the basic version at no charge. It's also listed our EVENT Calendar for the rest of October!



Henk von Pickartz uses Joomla here: and Koken here:


Henk von Pickartz

Written by : Henk von Pickartz

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