A Wordpress based approach to building a new website?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Tom Kershaw, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    The context here is that I need to re-build my photography website in due course within the next few months, having built a simple site with hand coded HTML back in 2006-2008 that hasn't been updated since and doesn't meet my current criteria; meaning I'm happy to start from scratch in design and technology terms.

    Whilst I could build another hand coded site, and given enough time probably come up with something that did match what I want to achieve better than a template based solution (at least visually), I wonder whether anyone here has had much success with Wordpress or other content managed approaches to constructing a photography portfolio type site, including "premium" options, e.g www.photocrati.com ? - I can see a major advantage in the content management option in terms of being able to manage images with a database-centric approach.


    Tom
     
  2. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    I love Wordpress. Especially the widget plugins for photographers. There's also great SEO adaptability. I'm a total noob and I've found the learning curve pretty positive. There's an endless amount of templates too. I'm still learning but I know it will do what I want. I set up a general art blog to practice with the SEO and updating content. When I get it wired I'll move my photo website.
     
  3. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I have also been thinking of doing something like this. I don't know if you have ever done any Wordpress themes, but they aren't too tough. I went through this tutorial - http://www.wpdesigner.com/2007/02/19/so-you-want-to-create-wordpress-themes-huh/ and have now done a few themes to match client sites. Here is the one from my web design web site: http://www.macgroveweb.com/blog

    I have not really done much with images, however, so that is next for me.

    So, I guess I don't have a heck of a lot to offer, but just that I agree that it seems like a good idea.

    Paul
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Thanks for the notes Casey and Paul; I've order a copy of the 'Wordpress Bible' discounted on Amazon and will see how I get on, at least to the extent of figuring out the options.

    Tom
     
  5. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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  6. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    What are the best choices for hosting the site once designed, less expensive but not a blog, just a showcase and information site.
     
  7. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

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    GoDaddy is what I'm on now. So far their rates are fair and I haven't had issues. I hear that Media Temple is okay, but my wife (a web developer and the creator of my site) has one client using them and has had no end of trouble. YMMV...

    Oh, and a quick word of warning about WordPress. If you're going to use it, make sure you've got the most recent release. There have been a lot of really large security holes in the earlier releases. One photographer I know lost her entire site due to a security breach.

    Andrew Rogers
    www.silversunbeamphoto.com
     
  8. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I have heard in the past that GoDaddy is one of the hardest firms to leave if you wish to go elsewhere. Actual horror stories. Might want to Google and check about this.
     
  9. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I host several sites and am some what of a computer dork. Only somewhat though. Just to put that out there.

    I use Wordpress for the blog I share with my brother. It's good at what it does. I've never really looked into using it to do portfolio type stuff; a listing of appropriate plugins might be nice to put in here. It is *somewhat* user friendly once you get it up and running; it's certainly gotten a *lot* better in the last couple years in this respect. That being said, when something goes wrong, be prepared to futz with permissions, .htaccess files, broken php, etc. Then again, I've been using it for over 6 years, so our site has gone through a lot of versions of Wordpress. The way I look at it though, it's really set up for blog-style stuff. You can make it do other things, but something tailored for your specific needs might be better. If that something exists. I'd be interested to hear what people come up with.

    About 2 years ago I went looking for photoblog/portfolio software and wasn't too impressed with what I dug up. I probably missed some good options.

    As far as hosting, I might steer clear of GoDaddy as well. I've heard bad things. I used Jaguar PC for the past 6 years. They are decent. I stopped recently because I wanted more control of the server and am now running at Linode, which I would NOT recommend for casual use. I've also heard good things about https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/. If you are a Mac person, it might be worth checking out MobileMe, and hosting your site there.
     
  10. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I rebuilt my whole site earlier this year using Wordpress and Thesis framework. I wrote a series of articles about all of it that you can read here.

    It is a very capable and flexible approach that makes adding content very easy. I am a fan.
     
  11. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    I'm also on Wordpress. It's easy to install and easy to extend. There are lots of handy, free plug-ins if you don't want to do coding.
     
  12. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Clay,

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your articles. I was interested to learn of your use of Adobe Lightwave as I had not considered that approach. Could you describe in more detail how you apply Lightwave in your workflow from the scanning end; considering you're starting off with an analogue product in the form of a negative or print?

    Tom
     
  13. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Alec Soth just revamped his site using Wordpress and it looks good.
     
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  15. deisenlord

    deisenlord Member

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  16. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    David,

    How do you see your theme in relation to 'Thesis'?

    Tom
     
  17. deisenlord

    deisenlord Member

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    Tom,
    I believe Thesis allows more customization without coding but it might take you a bit longer to get started. Thesis is really more like a "platform" or "framework" for a theme, rather than a hard coded theme. If that makes any sense.
     
  18. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I did exactly this earlier this year using Word Press and Zenphoto after 5 years of a relatively dead, hard to update HTML self-coded site. WP oriented content management systems (CMS) make updating gallery content a breeze, while the "blogging" features can keep your site alive and current. No $ output to create the site in terms of software using my existing host, plenty of help on line, and a vigorous user community have made me a fan. Most web savvy gurus seem now to be recommending blogging tools over web-design software for site construction of all kinds.

    You can see my results here.
     
  19. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Thanks to Clay and Ike, I'm a Wordpress user as well. I revamped my site earlier this year (thanks, Ike!), but it's still not complete. I've had other priorities come up in the mean time...
     
  20. Solarize

    Solarize Member

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    My website is on Wordpress, based around a premium theme from www.prophotoblogs.com

    I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending the theme. Well worth the money for the time it saves messing with code. It is also VERY easy to customise.

    Ciaran
     
  21. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    So ROL, what did you use for the gallery portion of the site? I think my beef with using blog software for this kind of thing is that it ends up looking like a blog, i.e. posts by date and category. Most of the examples I've seen, including the ones at the prophotoblogs site, follow in this vein. Which is great if you want a photoblog kind of thing...
     
  22. deisenlord

    deisenlord Member

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    All the good themes allow standard pages that aren't part of a blog. No reason for your site to look like a blog if you use wordpress.
     
  23. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    ^What Ike said!^
     
  24. Solarize

    Solarize Member

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    I did not want my site to look like a blog. My landing page (with portfolio) is not the blog itself... Just set up pages and feature the galleries in those.

    Ciaran
     
  25. Solarize

    Solarize Member

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    Beaten to it... What Ike and Kerik said :smile:
     
  26. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Ahh so you guys use the Pages feature. Thanks.