Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Pro Business Discussion => Topic started by: Dinarius on April 24, 2016, 08:53:51 AM

Title: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Dinarius on April 24, 2016, 08:53:51 AM
I want to overhaul my site and I'd like to consider a new template, one that I, someone with limited computer knowledge, can have total control over.

I want the facility to create clean, simple galleries of images, with some text and not much more.

What would people recommend?

It might be useful to other to get a debate going.

If this isn't the right forum, please move the thread.

Many thanks.

D.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: David Anderson on April 24, 2016, 09:44:55 PM
I have a couple sites -

My photography website is on Portfoliobox and was easy enough to get up & running and has fairly nice galleries.
There's some issues with thumbnails that get cropped automatically and like most photo template sites I've seen, some bright spark has decided that we all want cropped thumbnails.
I think they're a pain in the ass as the cropping sometimes ruins the feel of the photo and might put someone off from having a closer look. Clearly they were designed by the devil and not a photographer.
Maintaining the site or adding new content is easy.

My other site, the fly fishing blog is done on Wordpress and though it's harder to get up and running and requires more learning, I think it's the  way to go because of the near endless add-on options.
You can download free templates or buy one of the specialised ones.

Eventually I'll be moving my photography site over to Wordpress as well.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Dinarius on April 25, 2016, 04:01:17 AM
Thanks for the reply.

I've been taking a look at Wix. I like what I see. So do about 70m others, it seems.

Any views on Wix appreciated.

Thanks again.

D.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Chris_Brown on May 01, 2016, 11:14:39 AM
Total control = renting server space (e.g., BlueHost.com) + installing the site software (e.g., html or a shell such as Wordpress & a theme)

Wordpress themes are getting very sofisticated in flexibility (phone, tablet, computer) and security. Once you're familiar with Wordpress, installing & customizing a theme is easy, but some find it tedious.

Another solution is to pay for all-in-one hosting & template software, such as Square Space.
https://www.squarespace.com

Some find this solution not distinct enough from others on the system, but it's fast & easy to set up.

Whatever path you decide, make sure your site can deliver to all devices.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Endeavour on May 02, 2016, 08:16:40 AM
Once you're familiar with Wordpress, installing & customizing a theme is easy, but some find it tedious.


This is half true

Depending on the theme, there are often simple controls to customise the look/feel. But where it usually gets sticky if you want to go 'off piste' at all. Then it gets very tedious

But this I mean, lets say you have a great looking theme, but it has a white background for your pages, and you want to change it to a dark colour - if there is no button for it built into the theme you are going to have a hard time changing it yourself.
Similarly, if you want to tweak layout of menus or footers etc, then you may find yourself having to edit files manually or installing extra plugins etc.

Wordpress is great, but it does take a bit of practice to get things working well - if you arent having someone build it for you (and therefore paying them to take the pain to meet your requirements) then take your time playing around and install demos/free themes until you find the one you like best - then build your site fresh with that one.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: BartvanderWolf on May 02, 2016, 09:02:16 AM
I want to overhaul my site and I'd like to consider a new template, one that I, someone with limited computer knowledge, can have total control over.

I want the facility to create clean, simple galleries of images, with some text and not much more.

What would people recommend?

Hi D.,

Depends on how hands-on or commercial you want it to get, but there are still hosting sites like:
https://www.flickr.com/
https://www.smugmug.com/
http://www.zenfolio.com/eu

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Chris_Brown on May 02, 2016, 10:31:17 AM
This is half true
100% true for me. I've been using WP for over ten years now. Easy but tedious. The variability and stability of good themes is actually quite good now.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Endeavour on May 02, 2016, 03:54:05 PM
100% true for me. I've been using WP for over ten years now. Easy but tedious. The variability and stability of good themes is actually quite good now.

yeah, it's easy IF the theme gives you the ability to change the thing you want. there is a huge inconsistency with what you can change between different themes.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Robert.W on May 06, 2016, 12:33:16 AM
Check out imagely.com. They have WordPress themes and plugins specifically for photographers. They also offer hosting which is actually a pretty good deal as its specifically designed for WordPress. I'm planing on giving them a try in the next couple of weeks. I already use their theme and plugins so it seems like a logical next step.

The themes and plugins are easy to work with and they have a lot of nice features that are easy to use.


I want to overhaul my site and I'd like to consider a new template, one that I, someone with limited computer knowledge, can have total control over.

I want the facility to create clean, simple galleries of images, with some text and not much more.

What would people recommend?

It might be useful to other to get a debate going.

If this isn't the right forum, please move the thread.

Many thanks.

D.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Shanghai_Phil on June 15, 2016, 10:05:38 PM
WordPress is definitely a good option to customize and SEO-up your website. A lot of template websites are not at the pinnacle of SEO flexibility.

That said, I'm busy running my business most of the time... and so I ended up opting for one of those infamous hosted website templates, I'm with aphotofolio.com - I left www.squarespace.com very unhappy about server performance and download speeds. Crucial with sites heavy with images. Aphotofolio seems to be performing better, but ultimately the goal is a custom website, I think.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: gmfotografie on August 17, 2016, 01:38:06 AM
i ilke squarespace - its easy , good support and great design.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Analogue_Rob on August 28, 2016, 06:59:17 AM
Squarespace has great customer support and it took me an evening to get my site up and running then about an hour of little tweaks about once a fortnight.

I highly recommend it especially as it looks great when viewed on mobile devices and a larger amount of content is now consumed on mobile devices than traditional laptop/desktop interfaces.

Mine is www.robyoungsonphotography.com if you want an idea.

Best of luck!

Rob
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: acktdi on August 29, 2016, 02:31:01 PM
If you have Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC, they include free hosting with a limited amount of templates - https://www.myportfolio.com/layouts
I used to do my own Wordpress hosting but keeping content updated and server management became too time consuming.  The new Adobe Portfolio works well enough for me.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Fred Salamon on August 31, 2016, 07:30:27 PM
Have a look at Graph Paper Press (https://graphpaperpress.com/)

Recently found them while researching website templates for myself.
If anyone here has any feedback about them I would love to hear it.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Jim Kasson on September 02, 2016, 11:00:46 AM
Check out imagely.com. They have WordPress themes and plugins specifically for photographers. They also offer hosting which is actually a pretty good deal as its specifically designed for WordPress. I'm planing on giving them a try in the next couple of weeks. I already use their theme and plugins so it seems like a logical next step.

The themes and plugins are easy to work with and they have a lot of nice features that are easy to use.


Thanks for the pointer. Their site looks impressive. However, I sent them a bunch of presales questions two days ago, and haven't heard back yet.

People considering hosting might be interested in my questions:

Quote
How do you count visitors? Unique over a month? If it's hits, I'll be over the 250K/mo limit. I am currently running about 200K unique visitors/mo and a couple of million hits.
I've been using WordFence to restrict countries from which I receive nothing but spam. Can I continue to do that?
Do you supply security reports?
Do you use fail2ban?
Who owns the templates and the site content if, perish the thought, you guys go belly up?
Is there provision to transfer the site to anyone with an AWS account at that point?
What do you use for downloadable site backups?
Can I do a site backup to my own AWS account?
How long have you been around? Are you making money? Who are your VCs?
In the event of a security breach, is recovery included in the monthly fee?
When you say you'll do the transporting of an existing site, is that only for WordPress sites? My present site has both WordPress and other content.
Are you using Flash or all standards based host/client protocols?
What are you doing, if anything, to prevent user downloads of images?

Jim
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Jim Kasson on September 06, 2016, 03:34:06 PM

Thanks for the pointer. Their site looks impressive. However, I sent them a bunch of presales questions two days ago, and haven't heard back yet.

Update: after a week, I am getting the Imagely newsletter in my mailbox, but so far no answer to any of my questions.

Jim
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: RPark on October 24, 2016, 08:12:16 PM
Very late to this discussion, but I use Wordpress with the premium theme ProPhoto.

I was already a pretty experienced Wordpress user but wanted less backend work for my photo site. Prophoto has lots of very nice free designs included in purchase price, right out of the box and the new version (6) is fully responsive (mmmmm, Google likes).

I'm still running ProPhoto 5, c/w built-in mobile-friendly plugin, but hope to upgrade to 6 when I can find time to invest in what will be a fairly extensive overhaul.

Any criticisms re design on my site can be laid at my feet -- I created my own design (a modification of "Crafted") -- something you can also take on if you want to personalize your site beyond what's available with pre-built designs.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: RandyHufford on October 25, 2016, 09:54:23 PM
It would be help full if we new your goals for web site? Please list all of your goals?

Is it just a portfolio?

Do you want to sell?

etc etc etc
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: Riverman on October 26, 2016, 09:07:07 AM
I am also looking for a new software option for my website.  I like having my own host, so I'm not interested in something like squarespace, but I'm sure it is probably the easiest way.  My site is made using Softpress Freeway which is no longer in business.  If I subscribed to the entire Adobe Suite I would use Adobe Muse.  Beacause I don't I'm looking at Rapid Weaver.  Anyone else use Rapid Weaver?

Hugh
www.yosemitecollecction.com
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: john beardsworth on October 26, 2016, 11:38:56 AM
...If I subscribed to the entire Adobe Suite I would use Adobe Muse.....

In that case, have you looked at their Portfolio site builder? This tutorial (http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/2016/03/adobe-portfolio-10-day-challenge.html) might help you see how the idea would work.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: DrakeJ on October 26, 2016, 01:44:40 PM
I like squarespace simply because of the simplicity.
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: douglevy on October 30, 2016, 12:17:12 AM
Photoshelter.com (who my site, http://www.douglaslevy.com is through) or A Photo Folio https://www.photofolio.io/overview

I'm a huge Photoshelter fan, the backend is incredibly easy to use, I also use it for client proofing and delivery, they have great customer service and SEO, and it's run, built and designed for photographers.

-Doug
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: rcdurston on November 03, 2016, 10:51:31 AM
For me, the best investment I have ever made in my business is getting APF site 5 years ago.
https://www.photofolio.io
No BS, proper navigation, great SEO, easy to use UI.
I cannot say enough good things.
Changed my business.

thanks
Rob
durstonphoto.com
Title: Re: Website template recommendations?
Post by: pearlstreet on November 03, 2016, 11:10:25 AM
Rob, your site looks great on my iPad.  I tried apf also but didn't like how it worked on the iPad - looks like they fixed that.