Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: To web or not to web

  1. #1
    mastamak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Queensland
    Posts
    305
    Real Name
    Grant

    To web or not to web

    I am struggling to set up a web page. It is just for my own personal interest at this stage but who knows, maybe in the future I might move it on to other things. To get some inspiration I looked at lots of the members websites in the Meet The Members forum and noticed a few features in common.

    Interestingly, very few websites, even those owned by members who appear to earn their living from photography, offer works for sale. It there some reason for this, etiquette, or the logistics of printing posting are just too difficult, or there are better online commercial outlets, facebook or twitter, perhaps. Or maybe there is just no market out there? Or maybe there is a market and, like fishermen guarding a favourite spot, no one is telling.

    What do other members want from their websites, personal hobby, get some recognition, just for family members, blogs and posts?

    To those who have established websites, what is your experience? Has it lived up to your expectations? I would be really keen to learn from your experience.

    Grant

  2. #2
    xpatUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,136
    Real Name
    Ted

    Re: To web or not to web

    Hello Grant,

    I have a website, originally for my watch hobby, http://kronometric.org also a blog http://tcktek.blogspot.com

    Lately, I use the the website more for posted images on various fora and on eBay. I like being being able to store images in any form that I like without the restraints of free photo-album hosting places. I also like to keep my mind active with the use of HTML5 and JavaScript using a proper HTML/XML Editor as opposed to those WISIWYG type editors which usually produce pretty poor code, IMHO.

    I tried watch sales for a while but there are now billions of pages on the net and I sold one watch in about 2 years. Put it on eBay and it's gone within a few days. I imagine it's similar with photos unless you're famous or really established. What I'm saying is that, after a noob has crafted their site, put up all the pics, nobody will actually see them except by accident - even if your creation is perfect for search engines with proper keywords, description and all that.

    Then there is the payment problem. That of collecting the money, which not that easy, oddly enough and it usually costs you money. About the best I've seen to date is Coffee Cups Shopping cart which can link up with PayPal, IIRC.

    Some people use a blog as a website but that is a constraining way to go.

    Perhaps you should consider an eBay Store, where it's all done for you. I had one when I was more active and Wifey was trying to sell silver jewelry (a sad market that . . .) but I gave it up when she quit in disgust with zero sales.

    I will be happy to advise you on any problems with the process of setting up a site, writing code, etc, etc.

    my e-mail: To web or not to web

  3. #3
    Ronny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Glendora, California
    Posts
    133
    Real Name
    Ronny Geenen

    Re: To web or not to web

    Hello Grant,

    For most of us building a website is a struggle. That kind of work is not our daily exercise. When I was a Realtor, I thought I need one and I collected and register some domain names. Through a Real Estate forum I met a person who is teaching web design using wordpress.org. After about 5 month following the classes step by step I succeeded to activate my first site called GlendoraHome.com. Funny, I just got that site appraised by godaddy.com for sale. Price is set between $189 and $567, because I ma retired from real estate. After that I learned to build a second site, which is part hobby and profession.
    My photo site is called http://LetPicturesTalk.com and I take images for Realtors their listed for sale properties.

    As you said I also looked at many sites, but doing so I also wrote down many notes, that I thing is important for what I want to do.

    You should really think what you want to reach with that site and who you want to reach.

    Good luck.

    Ronny

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,651
    Real Name
    Shane

    Re: To web or not to web

    Grant;

    I use WordPress for my site (http://www.shanesakata.com/) which gets hardly any traffic and is basically a convenient way for me to share images with friends and family. It is very easy to manage and upload images and you can incorporate them into blogs posts or simply post images stand alone. If you want to give it a try you can do so for free and they do have some themes geared towards photographers here (http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/s...hp?q=portfolio). You can also change themes very easily if the focus of your site changes.

    If you want more flexibility you can upgrade to your own hosting ($7 US a a month or so) and paid themes with eCommerce capabilities. I host my own site with a free theme (I am currently looking at a premium theme for $49 due to performance issues with my current theme) but that is mostly because I have another site that pays the bills and my host allows me to have multiple domains.

    Good luck!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Posts
    2,550
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: To web or not to web

    Hi Grant,

    Personally I would think a website is for the more serious photographer wanting/needing to generate some income from photography. You will also need to advertise your website to have people visiting it. Selling your service as a Photographer I would imagine people would want to see what you have done and what your work looks like. A website would be ideal for the purpose of showing prospective clients your work. In such a case I would find a professional web-designer to do the job for me, design a really professional looking website. ( Have a look at this one: http://www.johanpretorius.co.za/ : a true professional.)

    If you just want to share images with others, Facebook, Flickr and such sites should do the job for you.

  6. #6
    PhotoRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    595
    Real Name
    Robert Farkas

    Re: To web or not to web

    Zenfolio.com

    Love it.

  7. #7
    graynomad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    nr Bundaberg, Australia
    Posts
    112
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: To web or not to web

    I've had my main site for about 15 years, (www.robgray.com) I used to sell a lot of photos from it but TBH I got to the point where I didn't want a sale because the physical aspects of fulfilment are a real PITA, especially for a nomad.

    Fortunately that problem has been solved for me, about 4 years ago I sold $2000 of photos in one week, but I've not sold a single photo since and some time ago I removed the option. I know a lot of photographers who have similar stories and I think the market for online print sales is essentially non-existent these days, at least for nature pics.

    My only sales now are to magazines and the occasional book and these are digital fulfilment, that's easy.

    I am also a programmer so do all my own coding for the site, the galleries used to be automatically generated from a data base with all sorts of clever fuzzy-logic searching etc etc but I got sick of maintaining all that so recently I moved the photos to SmugMug, you can quickly set up a pretty good-looking gallery there.

    Overall I would say having a website of some description is a must these days, even if you don't sell directly from it you can use is as a shopfront/brochure/whatever and it's so easy to tell someone to look at www.grantspics.com (which is available BTW ) to show them what you do. If you don't want to set up your own domain the various options already mentioned work well also.

  8. #8
    mastamak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Queensland
    Posts
    305
    Real Name
    Grant

    Re: To web or not to web

    Thank you all for your encouraging words and advice. I have visited the sites recommended and am impressed with the quality of the web pages. I am proceeding slowly with wordpress and a purchased theme. Whether it will develop into something more than a personal interest I have no idea but it is certainly interesting and has motivated me to get my rather large image library better organised
    Grant

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,181
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: To web or not to web

    There once was, and likely still might be, an advantage to getting a domain name with a catchy title.

    My daughter registered a domain name for her business (not a photography business) many years ago. She has been offered $100,000 (USD) for that domain name. However, she gets so much business from that site that a hundred thousand bucks is a mere pittance.

    OTOH, the professional version of smugmug seems to be an easy way to sell photos.

  10. #10
    graynomad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    nr Bundaberg, Australia
    Posts
    112
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: To web or not to web

    I've had people interested in buying my domain, no $ have been mentioned because it's not for sale but in my case presumably only those with the same name will be interested.

    It's getting harder and harder to find a catchy and/or appropriate .com domain, but still worth doing if you can. I grabbed 2 the other day that relate to an electronics project I have on the go.

    www.ardweenet.com for those interested in electronics and/or Arduinos

  11. #11
    mastamak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Queensland
    Posts
    305
    Real Name
    Grant

    Re: To web or not to web

    Thanks Richard & Rob,
    I think I have a pretty good domain name which I have registered. It came about in a brainstorming session with my daughter and 4YO grandson. The grandson's suggestion was pretty good and with a bit of modification I adopted it as it resonates with the sort of moody photos I am trying to capture. I am not quite ready to make it known as the site is a bit shambolic at present. I have set up all the pages and links and now have to populate it with some photos of my own - I hope by late next week it will be in a state that I can ask for some comment and criticism.
    By the way, Rob, I thought your photos were stunning - They look like the Bungle Bungles. Am I right? I can't quite understand why you have abandoned your website in favour of SmugMug. Is it just a matter of upload convenience? I tried SmugMug and found it very tiresome uploading. I found Wordpress to be a lot smoother and easier to upload.

    Grant

  12. #12
    graynomad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    nr Bundaberg, Australia
    Posts
    112
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: To web or not to web

    Yes many of the shots are in the Bungles, I've been in there a couple of times. There are a few from up your way as well, specifically out near Dimbulah and I'm hoping to get back up that way in the next year or so.

    I used to have a quite complicated set of PHP functions on my site that built galleries from a data base and allowed fuzzy-logic searching, a personal light table etc etc but I decided I was sick of maintaining that sort of thing so went looking for somewhere else to host just a few of my best shots.

    On the PC side the database files and gallery templates were all generated and uploaded by my custom image-management program (http://siiman.robgray.com/index.php), this is written in VB6 and I've been maintaining that as well for about 15 years. But VB6 is no longer supported and probably won't even run on new Windows versions.

    So all in all it seemed easy to drop all that and let somebody else do the work

    That said I've got some really nice Flash code of the web that does a great job of showing galleries, so I may bring the pics back home.

    At this point I use ACDSee and it's very simple to upload from that so that was part of the decision. I will drop ACDSee soon though I think and bite the LightRoom bullet. I have LR4 installed but can't muster the enthusiasm to learn it yet.

    If you need a beta tester for your site when it's ready I'm happy try to break it

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •