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Photographer
Frank McDonough
Posts: 145
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I have been using a free web hosting site but now plan to build my own. Any recomendations?  I'm looking for something fairly easy to use but with a photographers needs in mind. I will be selling portraits/ images through the site. thought I'd reach out and get some feedback. Thanks in advance
Mar 22 13 10:20 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Danielle Hieronimi
Posts: 238
Chicago, Illinois, US


If you are using a free website host, most of them have paid options to turn them into better sites and without the free host logo on it and with your own secured domain.

However, if you are building your own site from scratch:

1. Register a domain name. GoDaddy is popular. Rates are reasonable.

2. Learn HTML, CSS, and Java. A great source for learning computer code languages is codeacademy.com
    Their lessons are free and in my opinion, better than W3 schools, because they have exercises for you to practice and see your results!

3. You also have the option of consulting with a computer programmer, graphic designer, or web programmer to register the domain name for you, build and design the site from scratch, and manage it for you. Definitely more money up front, but long term, you might be happy you did so. They will be able to set it up in a store front manner and link a PayPal or AMEX serve, or bank account to it for you.

4. If you are focused mainly on selling prints, consider opening a District Lines account where they vend the prints for you and you manage the site etc. You receive the money through Paypal.

I hope this was helpful! This is coming from a Loyola student in Marketing who knows HTML, CSS, and Java.
Mar 22 13 12:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
nishibe
Posts: 78
San Diego, California, US


If you want something inexpensive and to sell your stuff I would reccomend something like Square Space (www.squarespace.com) or something like Zenfolio. (www.zenfolio.com).
Mar 22 13 12:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Nelson Photograph
Posts: 346
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, US


I had a developer create a flash drive website for me, hosted by Filezilla, but it, of course, wouldn't work on Apple Products or most mobile devices.  So, since my developer moved out of state he suggested I set up a wordpress site.  So I did, and I have no expertise at all in webdevelopment, I purchased the theme "Photography" ($68)from Themefoundary and within a week I had everything going great.  Themefoundary support was excellent and have videos and print tutorials to walk you through every thing.  I decided to use the Awesome Flickr App for my galleries.  All very simple and it allows you to establish private galleries (requiring a password)and allows you to sell stuff directly from your site.
Mar 22 13 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio V
Posts: 136
Del Mar, California, US


bigfolio.com
Mar 22 13 01:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Nelia
Posts: 2,152
San Francisco, California, US


Take a look a using a Wordpress template.  There are lots of available templates that have been built for all kinds of purposes and businesses including Photography / Photographers.

The templates are pretty inexpensive, $35 to $50 on average, an are normally completely customizable in colors and other options.  What you are paying for is a framework, style and functionality.

Setting up a Wordpress template can be a bit challenging, but is not real difficult.  It is definitely easier that having to learn HTML, JavaScript, Java, CSS, etc. that you might need to build you own website from scratch.  I having been building website for over 20 years now and actually taught advanced website design at a Southern California Community College for a while.  I have also own and operated a ISP that specialized in website development and programming., so I am speaking from years of experience.

One of the best things about Wordpress is that it is a CMS or content management system and does not require you to know anything about any of the scripting languages I listed above.  You can maintain you pages using a word processor type interface in the admin section of the website.  Your page layout will be consistence since it uses the page templates that were designed within the theme.  There  are also tons of plugins available for Wordpress for things like shopping carts.

Most hosting companies have Wordpress as an option that can be loaded to your domain at no additional cost.

I would highly recommend that you look into using a Wordpress template for you website.  A great place to find and purchase Wordpress templates is Theme Forest http://themeforest.net/search?term=phot … =wordpress

Best of luck to you!

Edit
I am currently helping a Friend out by building his new website.  The website is being built off of the Wordpress template that he liked, chose and paid $35 for:

http://themeforest.net/item/baltimore-w … ew/3061096

And this is how the site is looking so far:

http://www.boudoirglamour.com


It is nothing fancy, but it is clean, professional looking and easy to setup and modify.  It is also a "responsive" design which means that it is optimized for mobile devices which is a big plus!
Mar 22 13 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hugh Alison
Posts: 2,105
Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom


Use Wordpress.

My website is all Wordpress - www.hughalison.com - simple, fast to load, easy to update.

A lot of much more sophisticated websites also use Wordpress as a CMS, and you would never know, Search the forums here - lots of threads.
Mar 22 13 02:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,053
Portland, Oregon, US


Tangential Advice:

1)  Start with a good web host.  My first web host was small, cheap, and terrific.  They got acquired & the new company was small, not so cheap, and not so terrific.  They got acquired, and then THEY got acquired, several times.  In the end, the web host I wound up with was buggy, expensive, and impossible to contact -- they didn't even have a phone number or an e-mail address.  I had to cancel my service by telling my bank to stop paying them. 

So, my advice -- stick with the web hosts are too big to get acquired.  Then, call their tech support phone numbers & time how long it takes before you are talking with a human being with an understandable accent.  That's how I chose GoDaddy.  You might be able to find cheaper, but the cheaper they are, the less satisfied you are likely to be.

2)  I have aging eyes -- they just don't work as well as they used to.  So, I have several design guidelines...
...  No teeny, tiny text,
...  No "fancy", elaborate, hard-to-read fonts,
...  No light fonts on light backgrounds,
...  No dark fonts on dark backgrounds,
...  No fonts on top of textures, gradients, or photographs,
...  Don't use a viewer's speaker without permission -- if a web site starts making
     noise, I immediately leave & never come back,
...  Unless you are a web designer showing off your skills, no fancy animations or
     otherwise confusing (or unfamiliar) user interfaces,
...  Keep it simple -- it should take only a few clicks before I'm looking at your
     photographs,
...  Have a specific objective for your site -- don't create a "one site for all
     purposes" web site.

Or, are you just asking what web page management software one should use?  If so, I didn't answer your question at all.  My web site has been around for 15+ years.  It is implemented with Microsoft's Front Page (which is now obsolete) -- I haven't found a replacement for Front Page that I like half as much.
Mar 22 13 02:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frank McDonough
Posts: 145
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Danielle Hieronimi wrote:
If you are using a free website host, most of them have paid options to turn them into better sites and without the free host logo on it and with your own secured domain.

However, if you are building your own site from scratch:

1. Register a domain name. GoDaddy is popular. Rates are reasonable.

2. Learn HTML, CSS, and Java. A great source for learning computer code languages is codeacademy.com
    Their lessons are free and in my opinion, better than W3 schools, because they have exercises for you to practice and see your results!

3. You also have the option of consulting with a computer programmer, graphic designer, or web programmer to register the domain name for you, build and design the site from scratch, and manage it for you. Definitely more money up front, but long term, you might be happy you did so. They will be able to set it up in a store front manner and link a PayPal or AMEX serve, or bank account to it for you.

4. If you are focused mainly on selling prints, consider opening a District Lines account where they vend the prints for you and you manage the site etc. You receive the money through Paypal.

I hope this was helpful! This is coming from a Loyola student in Marketing who knows HTML, CSS, and Java.

Thank you so much for replying and the information. I think I may go an easier routhe than learning HTML code tho. But down the road I might, Thanks and best Frank

Mar 22 13 04:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frank McDonough
Posts: 145
Boston, Massachusetts, US


David Nelson Photograph wrote:
I had a developer create a flash drive website for me, hosted by Filezilla, but it, of course, wouldn't work on Apple Products or most mobile devices.  So, since my developer moved out of state he suggested I set up a wordpress site.  So I did, and I have no expertise at all in webdevelopment, I purchased the theme "Photography" ($68)from Themefoundary and within a week I had everything going great.  Themefoundary support was excellent and have videos and print tutorials to walk you through every thing.  I decided to use the Awesome Flickr App for my galleries.  All very simple and it allows you to establish private galleries (requiring a password)and allows you to sell stuff directly from your site.

Perfect, that seems the way to go, Thank you

Mar 22 13 04:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frank McDonough
Posts: 145
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Nelia wrote:
Take a look a using a Wordpress template.  There are lots of available templates that have been built for all kinds of purposes and businesses including Photography / Photographers.

The templates are pretty inexpensive, $35 to $50 on average, an are normally completely customizable in colors and other options.  What you are paying for is a framework, style and functionality.

Setting up a Wordpress template can be a bit challenging, but is not real difficult.  It is definitely easier that having to learn HTML, JavaScript, Java, CSS, etc. that you might need to build you own website from scratch.  I having been building website for over 20 years now and actually taught advanced website design at a Southern California Community College for a while.  I have also own and operated a ISP that specialized in website development and programming., so I am speaking from years of experience.

One of the best things about Wordpress is that it is a CMS or content management system and does not require you to know anything about any of the scripting languages I listed above.  You can maintain you pages using a word processor type interface in the admin section of the website.  Your page layout will be consistence since it uses the page templates that were designed within the theme.  There  are also tons of plugins available for Wordpress for things like shopping carts.

Most hosting companies have Wordpress as an option that can be loaded to your domain at no additional cost.

I would highly recommend that you look into using a Wordpress template for you website.  A great place to find and purchase Wordpress templates is Theme Forest http://themeforest.net/search?term=phot … =wordpress

Best of luck to you!

Edit
I am currently helping a Friend out by building his new website.  The website is being built off of the Wordpress template that he liked, chose and paid $35 for:

http://themeforest.net/item/baltimore-w … ew/3061096

And this is how the site is looking so far:

http://www.boudoirglamour.com


It is nothing fancy, but it is clean, professional looking and easy to setup and modify.  It is also a "responsive" design which means that it is optimized for mobile devices which is a big plus!

Nice work on the sites and that's exactly what I'm looking to do, simple and clean but effective. Thank you so much for the info I really appreciate it that's a big help.

Mar 22 13 04:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
joeyk
Posts: 14,627
Seminole, Florida, US


Nelia wrote:
Take a look a using a Wordpress template.

This is what I use, and while the reasons are many, one no one has mentioned is the ability to employ SEO through built in features in Wordpress. What does this mean in the real world?

Top listing in a google search in 60-90 days if you do it right.

Mar 22 13 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJ_In_Atlanta
Posts: 12,548
Atlanta, Georgia, US


I have used the photo hosting sites like zenfolio, very easy and it allows for things like retail print ordering.

I move to a Wordpress site, www.ajscalzitti.com, for better SEO and a fully responsive theme.  It works on any devices, adjust for screen size, and no flash crap.  For commercial work many other creatives who may view it are on Macs or iPads/iPhones and flash isn't going to work.  Plus it's slow to load and it's way too easy for them to click next so-to-speak.
Mar 22 13 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rick OBanion Photo
Posts: 1,348
Saint Catharines-Niagara, Ontario, Canada


Wordpress with Photocrati...its a template and gallery system combined.
Mar 22 13 04:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Eliza C
Posts: 7,884
Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom


My partner uses Clikpic.
It's geared up to artists and photographers and it's cheap.
Gets lots of hits and lots of sales. Downside is that the images are small presumably to protect from image theft but that isn't always what you want to advertise yourself. But it seems to come up well in search engines.
Mar 22 13 04:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
JJMiller
Posts: 510
Buffalo, New York, US


There's also http://www.webs.com/features.htm

and http://bigcartel.com/tour

might be worth a look. A wordpress would need a cart add-on, and many hosting places offer something like http://www.zen-cart.com/

http://dreamhost.com/ seems like an interesting choice- I remember godaddy's control panel/user end was a nightmare but their phone support was amazing.

*edit there are tons of free WP themes, I don't think I'd pay for one unless it was something like http://headwaythemes.com/
Mar 22 13 06:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ShotbyRon
Posts: 767
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


David Nelson Photograph wrote:
I had a developer create a flash drive website for me, hosted by Filezilla, but it, of course, wouldn't work on Apple Products or most mobile devices.  So, since my developer moved out of state he suggested I set up a wordpress site.  So I did, and I have no expertise at all in webdevelopment, I purchased the theme "Photography" ($68)from Themefoundary and within a week I had everything going great.  Themefoundary support was excellent and have videos and print tutorials to walk you through every thing.  I decided to use the Awesome Flickr App for my galleries.  All very simple and it allows you to establish private galleries (requiring a password)and allows you to sell stuff directly from your site.

I've been wanting to build a wordpress site. Glad to hear someone with no experience was able to set one up.

Mar 22 13 07:02 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,077
New York, New York, US


Mar 22 13 07:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Scott Aitken
Posts: 3,587
Seattle, Washington, US


First, give some thought to who your likely clients are, and what kind of device they will be using to browse your site.

A few years ago, Flash-based sites for photographers were super popular. There were a bunch of companies offering inexpensive Flash sites with kinda cool graphics with good templates for photographers.

Unfortunately, iPads and iPhones, and some other mobile devices don't read Flash, making these Flash-based sites unreadable by millions of people.

If you are strictly a commercial photographer, and your clients are all designers and publishers with computers, then a Flash-based site might still work just fine. But if you shoot portraits or broadly offer your services to the general public, then you really need a site that will function on mobile devices, and that means something NOT Flash-based.
Mar 23 13 08:05 am  Link  Quote 
Model
lady maria
Posts: 190
Emmen, Drenthe, Netherlands


http://gonnelloseo.com/

Good websites if you actually want to be found on the Internet....
Mar 23 13 08:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rieni Otten
Posts: 193
Auxerre, Bourgogne, France


Danielle Hieronimi wrote:
If you are using a free website host, most of them have paid options to turn them into better sites and without the free host logo on it and with your own secured domain.

However, if you are building your own site from scratch:

1. Register a domain name. GoDaddy is popular. Rates are reasonable.

2. Learn HTML, CSS, and Java. A great source for learning computer code languages is codeacademy.com
    Their lessons are free and in my opinion, better than W3 schools, because they have exercises for you to practice and see your results!

...

I hope this was helpful! This is coming from a Loyola student in Marketing who knows HTML, CSS, and Java.

Amen. The advantage is that you're in full control of the design, the down side is that it can take weeks before you can build your first fully functional site especially if you want to implement php scripting.

Another option is to get a cheap hosting plan at Host Gator and use one of the thousands of site templates. They have special templates for photographers and some look pretty cool.

Some mentioned SEO but that has nothing to do with web design but is a matter of putting the right keywords in the right places. Anybody can do this by opening the html file in notepad and edit away.

Mar 23 13 03:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,082
Catskill, New York, US


I agree with the above but I prefer DirectNIC over Godaddy and the others. Easier to use interface and they have excellent support if you ever have questions.

I also suggest Dreamweaver as your tool. It's the industry standard and writes compliant code to whatever standard you choose..
Mar 23 13 03:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Moonlight Studio
Posts: 41
Hot Springs, Arkansas, US


One of the best deals going today is creative.adobe.com in my mind anyway. 20 bucks a month you get all the photoshop tools you need, the ability to host all yur work in idiviual folders which you can give your customers access to so they can select what they wish to have printed etc........As well the programs include up to 5 websites that you can create, using your own html or whatever, as well the programs include website designs elements and templates, even the dreamweaver that some like is included. Great thing I like is that I can access the storage from any computer anywhere (and I have a photoshop basic program on flash drive so I can work on stuff on the go)...

Presently I am designing a site and will be moving off of godaddy to creative..
Mar 24 13 08:07 pm  Link  Quote 
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