Hey John.. I'm gathering from my research that you can find "do it yourself" templates for as little as about $100. The designs aren't great, but certainly useable. Then I've found some better designed templates anywhere from about $400 to $800. Blaze-on mentioned earlier in a thread that about $1K for having a custom web design.
Once you really start looking, there are an awful lot of choices out there, and it really looks to be pretty easy.
My web site is DIY. I took a course at the local tech college on web design. I continue to have a bunch of fun with the site. Disclaimer here - I am sort of a geek in occupation. But, right now it's kind of the perfect storm of photography, art and geek so I get to be pretty happy about it.
One of the issues that you will find out that can be a problem in web design is content. It's not the time taken to design and create the web site, it's in the time and effort taken in preparing the content. I see this quite a bit. A photographer will have a really nice web site design that shows about eighteen photographs. That's because the web designers charge to prepare the content.
Just something else you need to consider.
Thanks Suzanne, I'd be willing to spend a couple hundred, but would like a template that doesn't look like a template or corporate design...
My site, www.desmidt.net, was my first (and only) one. It took me about two days using Dreamweaver MX. So basicially one day to learn Dreamweaver and one day to get the design/content up. Add another couple of days to scan prints. The problem is, I haven't updated it in a long time, and now I'll have to spend a day learning Dreamweaver again.
I did use frames, which I've heard isn't a good idea. Basicially, search engines can link to one frame without the other popping up. Personally, I don't think this is a big deal, as you can always have links to the main page from any of the pages. Supposedly, the way to do it is with a table. That way you get the advantages of frames, such as always having a header with link information or whatever, but you don't need frames.
In any case, does learning a little web design sound like fun? If so, give it a try. Even if it doesn't work out, you'll have learned enough to help you talk to a designer. If it doesn't sound like fun, farm it out. I wouldn't use a template. I'd rather get a wysiwyg program like Dreamweaver.
Something that I have been looking at is turning my Mac into a webserver. It's actually quite easy if you read a book such as Mac OS10, The Missing Manual. All you need is a static IP address and a reasonably fast DSL Lite connection. From there you can work in any software on your machine that saves/codes in HTML such as Appleworks. There is also a firewall on your machine to use. Just another idea that some may be interested in.
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Some users can't use flash, or the version of flash that you require. My windows95 machine still works just fine (it's only 7 years old), but there are a growing number of websites it will not work with. Though flash is not the only issue.
Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
And it would be tough to do things like this:
"I am an anarchist." - HCB
"I wanna be anarchist." - JR
I'm on my fourth website... doesn't make me an expert but I've spent money in the past on.... a custom website (about $4000 and hard to make changes) .... bought the software to do my own (seemed like a good idea at the time, never got it working) .... bought an overpriced DVD Tutorial to learn the software (more money in the wrong direction) .... did my own website with "www.bigblackbag.com" they are a hosting/template firm that is easy to use and now offer on-line proofing.
The first website was "thepicturedesk.ca" ..... then I did "www.bigcameraworkshops.com" and also "theweddingphotographers.ca"
It's worth looking at.
I signed up with BigBlackBag this July. I tried out their 7-day trial and decided on the 4th day to sign up with them. Really easy directions to follow and if I got stuck, an email or phone call got the problem solved right away. I'm almost 99.9% done. Right now I have three friends picking my site over with a fine tooth comb to make sure I don't have any grammatical or spelling errors, etc. I have 100 mb of space and have only used about 20 mb. They have a lot of great features, the most important to me is being able to change anything I want at anytime. It cost me $50 set up fee and $180 for a year (includes my domain name). It took almost a year for me to decide whether I wanted to learn Dreamweaver, buy a template (most were boring and leaned toward the corporate world - not art), have my son design it, plus a lot of other options. I just got sick of being in limbo and made the decision to find a good template based web site. For my needs, BigBlackBag fits the bill. I would suggest signing up for the 7-day trial. Really, you just push buttons and before you know it you've created your home page. And, no, it won't look like those beautiful sites one pays thousands of dollars for, but you will look professional. Good luck.
Thank you, both. I came across them before, and it's good to hear you've had a good experience.
I finally have a new website.
I ended up with a template, and yes it uses flash. That seems to be a bit taboo around here, but I am aiming it at affluent parents of the northwest 'burbs of Boston, most of whom have broadband connections. A template just seemed the easiest way to go in terms of time, afterall, I still had to keep an eye on my kids over the summer Plus, I just thought this particular design would make my photos look good!
It's at www.suzannerevy.com
Thanks for all the replies and help in this thread!