Pixpa is a website builder a little different from other site builders in that it’s designed for artists, photographers or other creative professionals.
So if you’re a creative type you might already be aware of Pixpa or if not this review will give you an idea of what they can do for you. You will discover this is a website builder you should consider to create your portfolio website.
I came across them when I was asked if I’d like to review the platform. As I enjoy reviewing website builders I immediately said yes, so here we are!
Pixpa a Little Background
Pixpa was founded in 2012 by Gurpreet Singh. Having formed a multi-disciplinary creative agency Gurpreet worked on design and communication projects for artists, photographers, and designers from around the world.
The experience from this business led to the formation of Pixpa. Gurpreet imagined a platform where creatives could showcase, sell and share their work without relying on any third parties.
They are currently a team of 18 designers, developers and customers success experts situated in 4 countries. Pixpa have offices in India and the US.
What is Pixpa?
Pixpa is a website builder aimed at helping photographers, artists, designers and other creative people to create and manage their portfolio website. Additionally, you can create a blog or an e-commerce store.
It allows you to manage your online presence from one platform. Pixpa concentrates on giving you a great website but doesn’t provide email accounts or domain names. This isn’t a big problem but would make things even easier for a beginner to get started.
Starting with Pixpa
Once you have finished the sign-up process your first task is to choose your theme or template. There is a selection of 38 templates that are all fully responsive.
You can take a tour of each theme before deciding. You can check out the way each theme presents galleries, home page, contact page, about page, blog, and e-commerce store.
The templates are attractive and very visual as you may expect from a website that is aimed at creatives.
After selecting your template you are redirected to your control panel, as you can see below. From here you can edit and manage your website.
Clicking on the links under Create Your Website, Sell Online or Share Your Work will enable you to start working on the task mentioned.
Although some things have changed since this video was made it will still give you a good idea of what you can do and how to get started with Pixpa.
The tabs at the top of the page, are probably where you will start. Let’s take a look and see what you can do with each one.
From the website tab, you can add and manage all your content. You can add different types of content such as a gallery, a blog post, an e-commerce store, your Instagram feed or a guestbook.
On the right-hand side of the page, you have a list of your current pages and galleries. You click on the page you want to edit and make the changes required.
You may wonder what the Projects tab is all about. This could put all your galleries together in one group or certain articles together in a group. You can choose to show or hide this tab in the main menu.
Here you have everything you need to start selling your work on your website.
The initial store dashboard shows you statistics such as how many items you’ve sold over a certain time, how many products you have in your store and products that are running low on stock or out of stock.
On the left, you have the links that enable you to add products, set shipping fees, add tax rates, set payment methods or add discounts.
It’s all quite self-explanatory but will take a little time to get everything set up as you like. If you do get stuck there are articles that will help or live chat is always available.
Adding a Product
Adding a product is made very easy. Click the Product tab in the menu, then select Add Product. From there you are taken to a page where you select whether the product is Physical, Digital or a Service.
The next step is to give your product a title, upload photos, write a description, create a tracking code to keep track of your stock, set the tax rate and shipping fees.
Proofing lets you share your work with your clients. You can create galleries and make them public or private. If your gallery is private you can make it password protected.
You can enable the digital download of files, choose the size you make available and keep track of all downloads and of your client’s activity.
Clients can then proof your work, select their favorites and give their feedback. Alternatively, this could be a way of delivering your work to your clients – they can select the images they want and download them. You may want to give certain clients the chance to purchase products this can be done with proofing depending on your plan.
Each plan has a proofing platform. If you intend using this feature extensively there is a standalone proofing platform. You select the amount of storage you need and scale as you need.
The design section is where you can customize your site and change the look.
You can change themes, add a logo, change the color palette of your website, alter the padding, change the style of your menu (change fonts, color, hover color…), change the style of your content (styles for titles, subheadings, body text, text links), gallery layouts and change footer text. This is all possible without having to know any code.
You can also create your own CSS to override or modify your website code.
The settings section allows you to control many features on your website. I was surprised at how much you can do from this section. This list gives you an idea of some of the features you can control and there are new additions coming soon.
- Site settings – country, currency, time zone, your Google Analytics code, enable password protection, image compression for your website, enable Disqus commenting on your blog, sell images as prints by entering your FotoMoto store id, enter external scripts in the Head Section of your website for authentification for Google Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Pinterest etc.
- Connect your domain name to Pixpa
- Add your social media profiles
- SEO – add a title, keywords and a description of your site
- Create redirects
- Connect your chosen payment processor to your e-commerce store. Pixpa proposes Stipe or PayPal and one thing to note they don’t take any commission from your sales
- Various integrations – Google map, live chat box, social media sharing widget, Hellobar, EU cookie consent and many more
- Add a watermark to your images
Ease of Use
Although it’s been a while since I reviewed a site builder, I always like to start by diving straight into the editor to see if it’s easy to fathom out how to edit your page.
This time was no different, I jumped in and after initially getting going I started having problems.
Of course, this is my fault I should have first consulted their getting started guide.
With some of the other site builders, such as Wix or Weebly I managed to get started by playing around with their editors. However, this time I had to consult the help section and chat to get me moving in the right direction.
Once you do get the hang of it, there are so many features it makes it well worth the effort.
In the end, I enjoyed the experience. So if you find it a little difficult to start with, persevere and I’m sure you will be glad you did.
Here are some of the features I particularly appreciated.
There are 21 gallery layouts. You can choose a gallery layout for your entire website but for each gallery, you create you can still choose an individual layout.
Once you have chosen the layout there are many more customizations you can make – the number of columns, grid gutter, hover effect, hover icon, autoplay slideshow and more.
Cost Effective and Complete
Compared to other platforms the price is very affordable, all plans allow you to create unlimited pages and galleries and come with a proofing platform with 1GB of storage.
The Start plan at $5 per month allows you to upload 200 images and you can sell up to 3 items.
With the Grow plan at $8 per month, you can upload unlimited images and sell up to 10 items.
The Plus plan gives you unlimited images and you can sell an unlimited number of products.
It’s nice to see an e-commerce option included with even the cheapest plan, although you can only sell up to 3 items. With many other website builders, you have to buy one of their top plans to be able to sell anything!
The e-commerce platform is easy to use and you can add physical products, digital products or services.
Pixpa have integrated the FotoMoto to enable you to sell your images as prints or downloads.
Search Engine Optimization
Pixpa gives you the tools to optimize your website for the search engines:
- each page or gallery, you can add a title and meta description
- for each image, you need to complete the caption and this will be your alt tag
- for your store, it’s the same you can add a title and meta description for the store, categories and individual products
- Pixpa hasn’t forgotten your XML sitemap! Your sitemap is automatically created, you will find your sitemap at https://yoursite.com/sitemap.xml. You can add this to your Google Console or Bing Webmaster Tools this will help the search engines to index your pages, posts, and images.
Pros and Cons
- Good support – live chat and knowledge base
- Great looking mobile friendly themes
- Lots of layouts for galleries
- Integrated blogging platform
- Affordable with no hidden charges
- Integrated e-commerce platform
- Good SEO features
- Proofing platform
- Security – make your website password protected, watermark images, prevent people from copying your images
- Cloud hosting with CDN network to ensure the fast loading times
- Free trial
- You can’t host your website elsewhere
- No email account
Many of the website builders offer a free website. Not Pixpa and for me, it’s not a problem as I don’t want a free subdomain name with adverts. If you are looking for a free website try Wix or Weebly.
Pixpa offers a free 15-day trial (no credit card needed) and you get access to all features so you have a good idea of what to expect from the platform. If you wish to continue, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan before the end of your trial.
You can either pay monthly or yearly. A yearly plan is slightly cheaper than the monthly option. With plans starting at $5 per month, Pixpa is a very affordable website builder offering an integrated e-commerce solution.
Another advantage of the yearly plan is that you get a free domain name.
If you cancel your subscription there is a 30-day guarantee. This means if you cancel your yearly subscription within 30-days you will get a full refund. There is no refund for the monthly plans.
Nice – Free Websites For Students!
If you’re a student studying in any creative discipline – photography, design, fashion, art or architecture, Pixpa gives you the chance of creating your portfolio website for free.
To qualify you need to be enrolled in a recognized college or institution. Your free website continues until the end of your course, at which time you can subscribe to a paid plan.
Help and Support
Pixpa provides great support with a 24/7 live chat and an excellent searchable knowledge base that will help you with the vast majority of your questions.
Most customers are delighted with the quality of support they get from Pixpa!
What Pixpa Customers Are Saying
On the Pixpa website, you can find some testimonials from creative professionals and also see the websites they have created with the platform which may give you some inspiration.
Most customer feedback I could find was positive. People love the customer support and the ease of use of the site builder.
One complaint I saw on a couple of customer reviews was that it wasn’t possible to import existing blogs into Pixpa.
Most of the reviews I found were from 2016 and considering that Pixpa adds new features quite regularly I tried to include the most recent reviews.
I didn’t find any negative reviews of Pixpa which is a good sign as customers are usually more likely to write a review when things go wrong.
Should You Choose Pixpa?
After the initial problems with getting used to the platform, I enjoyed using Pixpa. I was impressed by the affordability and the many features of the platform.
Depending on the plan you select, as a creative, you can do everything you need:
- showcase your work with a wide range of gallery designs and other options
- have an e-commerce store that allows you to sell your work either as prints or digitally
- create a proofing platform that allows clients to review, buy or download your work
- have a blog
- optimize your website for the search engines
In addition, Pixpa regularly updates their platform and adds new features, so it seems to get better.
I think Pixpa is an excellent choice if you are a creative. The only way to see if it’s right for you is to try the free trial by clicking the link below.
Have you tried Pixpa? Let us know about your experience and if you think it’s the best choice for a portfolio website builder. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.