Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Pro Business Discussion => Topic started by: Mike Sellers on February 02, 2015, 12:38:05 pm

Title: Websites
Post by: Mike Sellers on February 02, 2015, 12:38:05 pm
What website companies would be a good choice and be less expensive than Photoshelter?
Mike
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: JoeKitchen on February 02, 2015, 12:39:51 pm
I use Square Space.  No complaints so far and I have a lot of freedom with how I can alter the design. 
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: David Anderson on February 02, 2015, 05:40:44 pm
I'm with Portfoliobox and pretty happy - their follow-up is very good.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Iluvmycam on February 02, 2015, 05:56:01 pm
I use Tumblr...have 30 something of them.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: PeterAit on February 03, 2015, 07:55:02 am
I have used WebHostingHub for years - very inexpensive and great tech support. I have always used Lightroom and then JuiceBox Builder to create galleries for upload, but WHH does offer a number of photo gallery apps as well as online sales and other apps, but I have not tried them.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Justan on February 03, 2015, 11:06:46 am
Fwiw, beware of using cost as the sole or primary criteria. Many web sites have considerably less than 100% uptime, and/or little to no support and horrid response times. Plus if you need any server side services make sure those are included with the package and that they provide some assistance with them, if needed.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: MarkM on February 03, 2015, 04:06:03 pm
I just did a self-coded update of my website and I can tell you first hand that competing with services like photoshelter, squarespace, and aPhotoFolio is at the point where it isn't worth the effort, even if you enjoy the process.

When you look closely at these services, $30/month is a bargain for this:

If you are serious about being in business, this is too important. You can find plenty of $5/month hosts, but it's very unlikely that you will be able to design a site, or even reasonably hire a designer, that will compete well with these services. They are setting the bar really high right now and frankly, it's hard to understand how they are doing it so cheaply. Viewers make a decision about you in less than a second based almost entirely on the design of the site and you often don't get a second chance.

If this isn't business-critical and is more of a personal site, maybe something like 500px would work? I think $6/month will get you an account with which you can use your own domain.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: HSakols on February 03, 2015, 06:23:26 pm
If you find your own host and build your own site you can pay more like 30-40 a year not a month.  My host is My Small Orange and I found my domain name through Go Daddy.  I think that a personalized site stands out more. Unless you are selling a lot of photos $30 a month is too much. 
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: MarkM on February 03, 2015, 06:40:39 pm
If you find your own host and build your own site you can pay more like 30-40 a year not a month.  My host is My Small Orange and I found my domain name through Go Daddy.  I think that a personalized site stands out more. Unless you are selling a lot of photos $30 a month is too much. 

Is this the site you're talking about, or a different one?
http://www.yosemitecollection.com
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: HSakols on February 03, 2015, 06:47:11 pm
That's mine and it needs to be updated.  I am re editing  a number of portfolios that I will make into Juicebox Web Galleries.  Keep in mind this is my hobby and I've pretty much given up on trying to make money with photography. 
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: MarkM on February 03, 2015, 06:57:33 pm
That's mine and it needs to be updated.  I am re editing  a number of portfolios that I will make into Juicebox Web Galleries.  Keep in mind this is my hobby and I've pretty much given up on trying to make money with photography. 

Okay, but then you are dealing with an entirely different, and much looser, set of requirements than someone who is counting on a website to be their first introduction to potential clients and customers. You are in the nice position of being able to do whatever makes you happy regardless of how well it performs. In this case, sure, $30/month is a lot to justify. But considering this is the Pro Business discussion board, I'm working on the assumption that people will depend the site to perform at a certain level.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Roscolo on February 03, 2015, 07:54:41 pm
Have a few websites for my photography business, printing business, and for my gallery, as well as one for my wife's business. Use Wordpress for all of them, using 2 paid templates @ $40 each. Pay about $35 / month for my own VPS (virtual private server) so my sites don't get bogged down like they do on shared accounts (i.e. all the cheap hosting out there). Worth every penny. Wordpress is extremely intuitive and easy to use.

And if you use Wordpress, look into DesktopServer ServerPress. Makes it easy to build Wordpress sites locally, then upload to server. Major time and hassle saver.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: jferrari on February 03, 2015, 09:10:35 pm
Have a few websites for my photography business, printing business, and for my gallery, as well as one for my wife's business. Use Wordpress for all of them, using 2 paid templates @ $40 each.

What plugin and theme did you use for your printing business? Thanks.   - Jim
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Martin Ranger on February 03, 2015, 11:49:49 pm
I don't know if they are cheaper than Photoshelter but I highly recommend Aphotofolio:  http://aphotofolio.com/

+1
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Mike Sellers on February 05, 2015, 12:15:09 pm
has anyone signed up with www.artstorefronts.com ?
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: JeanMichel on February 05, 2015, 03:48:50 pm
I am happy with Zenfolio
Jean-Michel
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: MarkM on February 05, 2015, 06:28:07 pm
I am happy with Zenfolio
Jean-Michel

Jean-Michel, are you happy with Zenfolio for personal reasons, i.e. easy-to-use, affordable, etc., or because it's actually performing by bring customers and sales to you. I ask because I've never seen a Zenfolio site that doesn't look Zenfolio-ish. By that I mean a site with a bunch of information your average user doesn't care about such as: random image metadata like capture time, the number of visitors, comments on individual images, or password protected and empty galleries exposed to the public interface. All of these things, at least to me, seem to interfere with any attempt to create a strongly branded presence.

Having said that, if it's working, it's working, which is why I'm asking.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: pixjohn on February 05, 2015, 07:05:20 pm
Just a few personal thoughts after reading this thread,  since I am in the process of changing my web site www.Johngibbel.com  from Flash to HTML5. I did most of the work on my previous website with a little coding help from a freelancer, but now want to move to a simpler way to update to html5.  The notes below are my own personal thoughts.  I would rather have my web site on my own server, since I already have 2 other sites running on it.

www.aPhotoFolio.com  $17.00 per month + $1000 setup fee or $34.00 per month no set up feeís. I like the look and feel, setup fee is way to high and monthly is a little high.

www.SquareSpace.com - $16.00 per month, sample site does not resize to screen, cutting off part of window.      Template Site html5

www.Photoshelter.com -   $29.99 per month. Each page you have to click to go to gallery, then click again on a image to view gallery instead of going directly to the gallery image. Template Site html5


www.livebooks.com - $19.00 per month or $199 year. Sample on site is different then the real photographers website?  I donít like the sample page- powered by live books on the website. The photographer's real site does not have that link. I am also not sure if you can rename portfolio 1,  portfolio 2, portfolio 3 to custom names.  Livebooks use to have a  good name but since the ownership change they have lots of negative reviews.

http://www.zenfolio.com $140.00 per year, Template site HTML5 & Flash
Similar look  to other sites.
Dislike most of the templates, you have to click through to gallery then click again to see gallery of images then click image to view full size images.

http://www.artstorefronts.com
Looks more like photography retail then portfolio site

http://format.com $20.75 per month. I did not like having a link for the host on the page.  Sample was very slow to load images. I also viewed a few sites using format and did not like having to look around on how to scroll images. I then noticed you have to use the scroll bar on the bottom to slide images.  
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: MarkM on February 05, 2015, 07:22:49 pm

www.SquareSpace.com - $16.00 per month, sample site does not resize to screen, cutting off part of window.      Template Site html5


Almost all the photographer's sites I've seen on Squarespace are responsive and resize quite well. For example: http://sbelangerphotography.com/ Maybe the sample you saw wasn't a responsive template.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: pixjohn on February 05, 2015, 09:53:12 pm
another site I viewed

www.Dripbook.com $350 for the year. I like that I can run the site on my own server. I also like the look of the sites. I dislike having the powered by Dripbook ad on my site. The drip book site also has its own website to search for photographers. (I am not sure if that is useful?
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Justinr on February 11, 2015, 06:39:48 pm
That's mine and it needs to be updated.  I am re editing  a number of portfolios that I will make into Juicebox Web Galleries.  Keep in mind this is my hobby and I've pretty much given up on trying to make money with photography.  

Are you using an HTML editor at all? If not then I can highly recommend Expression Web which is now a free download - http://www.microsoft.com/en-sg/download/details.aspx?id=36179

I do my site with it and use Zen photo and Juicebox for the galleries. However, you don't get work via web searches over here so as far as I am concerned it's mainly there to prove that I actually exist.  www.inkplusimages.com


As a shop window I can direct potential customers to whichever pages are appropriate by emailing them a link(s), e.g. my contemporary tractor gallery - http://www.inkplusimages.com/zenstock/Contemporary-Agriculture/Tractors-and-machinery/  I have yet to have anyone say to me they found me by an internet search, unless they are trying to sell me something.

TBH, I've wasted far too much time messing with websites and have hardly seen a cent's worth of reward. They have their uses, but be clear as to want you want to achieve and don't expect too much of it
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Dinarius on February 18, 2015, 03:34:39 am
Is anyone using http://www.koken.me/ ?

I've been experimenting with it and I like it.

You are limited to a small selected of well designed, but editable, templates. The choice isn't overwhelming, as other offerings can be.

My only issue would be with the Support, or lack of it.

It doesn't have the critical mass of users to be self-supporting, and replies from the owners of the product are disappointing.

Any takers here?

Thanks.

D.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: patrick love on February 18, 2015, 09:17:36 am
http://www.indexhibit.org/ is the format I would use, if I was starting over today.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: jferrari on February 18, 2015, 10:36:52 am
http://www.indexhibit.org/ is the format I would use, if I was starting over today.

Sorry but this looks like the pages I was coding via Notepad back in the early '90's. Yuck.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: pixjohn on February 18, 2015, 03:35:15 pm
Koken is from the creater of http://slideshowpro.net. my site is based on slideshow pro and the customer service was atrocious, They took $$ then stopped without any notice and fixes. they left customers who paid for the software hanging.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: Dinarius on February 19, 2015, 05:59:49 am
Koken is from the creater of http://slideshowpro.net. my site is based on slideshow pro and the customer service was atrocious, They took $$ then stopped without any notice and fixes. they left customers who paid for the software hanging.

Hhhhmmm.....

Having handed over my $60 to Koken for one of their templates, I'm now beginning to wonder. My experience of their support isn't much better.

It was a toss up between them and Photocrati (about whom I've heard only good things - what swung it was one of Koken's templates, which I preferred) so I may revert to them now.

D.

Title: Re: Websites
Post by: jferrari on February 19, 2015, 07:37:15 am
Koken is from the creater of http://slideshowpro.net. my site is based on slideshow pro and the customer service was atrocious, They took $$ then stopped without any notice and fixes. they left customers who paid for the software hanging.

Headline quote from the link you posted: "SlideShowPro has closed." The free WordPress platform has dozens of free plugins that do excellent slide shows if that's all you are looking for.    - Jim
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: pixjohn on February 20, 2015, 01:47:14 pm
It only took them 2-3 years of no support to post that they no longer support the software.

I  am going to try the free trial with Dripbook because I can use my own server to host the website.
Title: Re: Websites
Post by: douglevy on February 20, 2015, 07:05:51 pm
I have two photoshelter sites, use zenfolio for selling prints to my wedding clients, and a fully custom site that I paid a good amount of money to a designer for. $30-$40/mo for the storefront of your business, if you're a full time pro doing 10's of thousands of dollars in revenue a year is pocket change. I'd argue that your site is the single most important thing to spend any money on.

My sites:

Photoshelter, http://www.douglaslevy.com and http://www.douglevy.net My fully custom site: http://www.douglaslevyphotography.com (wordpress based). My photoshelter sites have NEVER been down, and my custom site has been down for an hour, in the years I've had them. The customer support, sales features, and customizations are worth every penny.

-Doug