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  1. #1
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Want to make a professional website

    The past two years or so I have been working parttime making portraits. My marketing has been word of mouth. As a mac user, I have a "homepage" that is just a template that I use through .mac. It's fine for showing work, but the design is a little boring, and I think a more custom and professioanal design would show the work better. As my youngest is finally off to kindergarten in September, this fall will be time to transition to more full time work. I figure, a little marketing may be in order!

    I like to think of myself as a reasonably good photographer, but a lousy designer, and a complete idiot when it comes to website stuff. I'd love to find some kind of easy to use well designed template to drop my photos/text/contact info into. I have found a few resources, but would like to know if anyone else has used a website design service. How much did it cost? How easy or hard was it to get the site up and running? How did the hosting work?

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Suzanne, just sent you a PM..

    Dave

  3. #3
    blaze-on's Avatar
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    My only advice (seeing as my photo site is not running yet) is to hire someone locally or at least will be available to you and for you. Possibly a student who needs to have a "real" site on their resume.

    Many so called web designers have no design abilities, but know how to format.

    Keep it simple yet elegant.

    Look for someone who has done art sites, or look at many sites you find appealing and use them for samples of what you're looking for and go from there.

    Should you hire someone with experience, a decent site (custom) designed and formatted for under/around $1k would be fair, as the competition out there for web "designers" is fearsome...

    You can also put out a request for bid on Craigs list and cater it to your area.
    Just my 5 cents worth...
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  4. #4
    Pragmatist's Avatar
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    Keep with the times

    Suzanne, there are a number of things to keep in mind when embarking on a web presence. Until not too long ago, the majority of sites were built with web authoring software (FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etcetera). Unless you were authoring the site yourself, changes and updates would put you at the mercy of your web designer & host. Not to mention the complexity of doing it yourself, as you would have to author the changes, and then upload them to your site.

    The new trend is called CMS (Content Management System). Many of the sites are now using it, and one that everyone is familiar with would be Weather.com, and from a discussion perspective, this one. CMS sites are generally based on a specially scripted template and system, such as Joomla or PHP Nuke. The great thing about that is the framework is open source, meaning it is free. Custom templates or designed templates are where you can incur some cost.

    The beauty of the CMS is that if you can use a word processor, you can make changes and upload pictures and galleries yourself without the assistance of a web guru. You will need a host, someone to set it up for you per your design requirements, and you are essentially ready to go. Everything is accessable from an administrative interface, and it is relatively easy to integrate PayPal into the mix if you wish to do online sales. My preference in Joomla. Check out the deal at http://www.joomla.org

    For a variety of templates and a view of some of the possibilities, check out the club templates section at http://www.rockettheme.com .
    Patrick

    something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...

  5. #5
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaze-on

    Many so called web designers have no design abilities, but know how to format.

    Keep it simple yet elegant.

    Look for someone who has done art sites, or look at many sites you find appealing and use them for samples of what you're looking for and go from there.
    I have to disagree on the design abilities Matt, there are quite a few out there that have the abilites, its just most people don't want to pay for them, just like many a customer don't want to pay the price for a fine art prints, since the advent of many of the wysiwig editors, every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks they can do a quick website for Friday night beer money...which is a sad thing, just as since the advent of digital cameras, every body thinks they are a photographer!....Professional web design does cost money and it also involves quite a bit more than just doing the website and hosting it...

    Dave

  6. #6
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    matt magruder does very nice websites, too (scootermm) here on apug.

    my one suggestion: no flash!
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

    blog
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  7. #7

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    hi suzanne

    whatever you do, flash or html or ???, make sure it will be easy for you to update your info, add pages &C. i had a site designed several years ago, it was all html --- i pretty much updated it / made new pages &C &C &C, and it was easy but it alway took a long time to do. adobe made some sort of ez $50 website drag+drop web design program that made it really easy ( since i know very little code) ... i think the program is usually given away as a bundle these days ...

    the site i have now, is flash, not html, and it is a bit easier to get images up /remove add galleries &C ... i wouldn't say it is better, but it is easier for me to manage just the same ...

    it all depends on how much you want to fiddle with it and how patient you are.

    good luck!
    john

  8. #8

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    I designed my own professional site using Apple's iWeb software. iWeb comes bundled in Apple's iLife'06 package. Cost $79.00.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com

    My previous site cost $1500. The new site is getting better response.

  9. #9
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Suzanne, I'm totally web-stupid, but still managed to do all my current sites myself. I use homestead.com since it's drag & drop, but I've managed to figure out some javascript slideshows as well.

    My sites are:

    www.cheryljacobsphotography.com
    www.cheryljacobsportraits.com
    www.cheryljacobsworkshops.com

    If you don't mind putting a little time into it, it's not so bad.

    - CJ

  10. #10

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    I'm glad this thread was started...good info for the "no website" photographer.

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