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Author Topic: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.  (Read 6297 times)

Lust4Life

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Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« on: November 09, 2017, 01:15:02 pm »

I built my first and current web site using what is now Dreamweaver back in 2006.

"Time to update my sites look" was a random thought that flashed through my mind, and one I unfortunately decided to focus on.

I want a drag and drop building experience, no coding required, that give me flexibility and I own and control the code to build and modify my site.

Here is what I have found:
Word Press is the "shell" that is in favor at this time to build your personal photography web site under that is open code.
To do anything professional looking and not learn a lot of coding, you need to buy a WP Site Builder.

There are numerous "site builders" out there to choose from

After studying at least half a dozen, I first tried Divi from Elegant Designs.
I was disappointed and learned that embedded in my site that I was building are what is called "short links".
This makes it extremely difficult to move to another builder program, so you are basically captive to Divi.
That I didn't like.

Then I tried and are using now (2 weeks tomorrow) a program called Beaver Builder. (yes, I did let out a big laugh when I saw the name!)

Like it more than Divi, but I am finding it interesting that the WP model is built on the purchase of "plug ins" to do the most simple of tasks that are absent in WP. 

Thus, curious how many of us are actually building, expanding and maintaining our own sites?
If you are, what tools have you been using, and what is your degree of satisfaction.

I'm not looking for a site such as Wix, at least not yet.  A bit more frustration and I may be!  :-)

Jack

PS:  Here is what I have accomplished in 3 days of working with Beaver Builder - REMEMBER, I am no where near done, just sharing where I am at.  The need for "nesting" topics in the pull down for Photography is yet to be resolved.
dev.shadowsdancing.com
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Jack

DougDolde

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 01:37:48 pm »

I'm done with roll your own websites.  I use Photodeck.com. 
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Cornfield

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 02:14:14 pm »

Photodeck for me also.  Great system at a reasonable cost.

My clients often comment on how well the system works for them.
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Rob C

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 02:52:56 pm »

The only website I ever had is the present one, and it's by Weebly. As it works under my own chosen address, it costs a few bucks a year, but I also get another, free one, as long as I don't mind having the Weebly name present within the address.

It took me years to get there because I have no interest in computer code. The site does all that I need, and could be upgraded to do stacks more stuff I neither require nor desire.

Of course, your needs may be far more sophisticated than mine; for me, my website prov°des me with a rapid access to the shots I like, and far easier than having to look through my own lists of files. If there's a glitch, it's that I can't figure out how to finds my original file numbers from the website; right clicking doesn't help me get the information I seek.

At least, should all my files be lost, there is a minimal backup present in the website.

Rob

KLaban

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 03:16:40 pm »

Thus, curious how many of us are actually building, expanding and maintaining our own sites?
If you are, what tools have you been using, and what is your degree of satisfaction.

Artist's sketchpad, pencil and Dreamweaver CS6.
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Dinarius

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2019, 12:55:41 pm »

Just found this thread via a search for Wix.

Had never heard of Photodeck, but I really like the look of the offering. Ä21 p/m for the standard offering seems good. Can you have a link to a Wordpress blog on a Photodeck site?

Is ďPowered by PhotodeckĒ always on the front page of a site? Not a dealbreaker, just curious.

I badly need a fresh look and I want the smallest learning curve possible with any changeover - little or no code.

D.
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Cornfield

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2019, 02:10:40 pm »

Dinarius, you can remove powered by Photodeck.

You can export a Photodeck as a Wordpress theme.  This covers the basics for the WP site and you can add additional options as plugins.

Photodeck recently changed the service and terms.  My package cost is about the same as previous but I can now have unlimited videos on the plan.
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budjames

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2019, 07:53:47 am »

I moved my website, www.budjames.photography, to Zenfolio after Apple shut down its web app. I have been very happy with the features and performance of Zenfolio. The company always rates well with independent reviewers.

The web tools, templates, etc. are easy to use and allow quick changes in my portfolios. It is also very affordable.

Photography is my hobby and not my business so I don't use the onsite selling features of Zenfolio although I've heard they are very capable.

Regards,
Bud James

Please check out my fine art and travel photography at www.budjames.photography or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/budjamesphoto.
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Bud James
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routlaw

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2019, 02:59:18 pm »

I used Photodeck for a couple of years, didn't care for it myself and moved over to Format in the last couple of years and much prefer it over anything else I've tried. Excellent and quick customer service if you ever need it too. Lots of support with these folks. I find it to be far superior to Photodeck and way more intuitive to implement.

Hope this helps.

www.roboutlawphotography.com

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Peter McLennan

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2019, 07:50:31 pm »


PS:  Here is what I have accomplished in 3 days of working with Beaver Builder
dev.shadowsdancing.com

Your link should probably have read
www.shadowsdancing.com


Beaver Builder is a plugin, which requires the most expensive Wordpress subscription level.  Too rich for my blood.

Mine isn't a photography site, in fact it's proving much more complex to build it than pages of galleries. Adobe's "myportfolio" does a good job of that, and I believe it's included in the basic photography plan.

I've built it so far with a lower level of Wordpress subscription and a free theme.  No code whatsoever.

www.petercmclennan.com



« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 08:07:25 pm by Peter McLennan »
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Dinarius

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2019, 02:39:28 pm »

I used Photodeck for a couple of years, didn't care for it myself and moved over to Format in the last couple of years and much prefer it over anything else I've tried. Excellent and quick customer service if you ever need it too. Lots of support with these folks. I find it to be far superior to Photodeck and way more intuitive to implement.

Hope this helps.

www.roboutlawphotography.com

Very much like the look of Format. Quite a few templates that appeal to me.

Reviews are very favourable.

Thanks for the heads-up.

D.

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Rob C

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2019, 09:25:17 am »

I use an adobe portfolio site. Itís free with my subscription to Photoshop and I love it. Having a website-name.portfolio still looks better than website-name.weebley.wix.geosite.net/looking site.

I put my top 10 from multiple categories on there; Probably 5-6 categories right now.

Don't forget: you are not stuck with the Weebly name because you use their products. If you want if free, yes, but you can vary that to varying degrees by using your own domain name which, of course, you have to pay to enjoy.

Check the website at the signature below.

Rob

D Fuller

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2019, 09:09:08 am »

Your link should probably have read
www.shadowsdancing.com


Beaver Builder is a plugin, which requires the most expensive Wordpress subscription level.  Too rich for my blood.

Mine isn't a photography site, in fact it's proving much more complex to build it than pages of galleries. Adobe's "myportfolio" does a good job of that, and I believe it's included in the basic photography plan.

I've built it so far with a lower level of Wordpress subscription and a free theme.  No code whatsoever.

www.petercmclennan.com

Iím confused by this. Wordpress is an open source platform. Itís free. What do you mean by ďthe most expensive subscription levelĒ?
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luxborealis

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 07:25:56 pm »

Iím in a similar quandary. Iím adding galleries to Adobe myportfolio as it comes with the Photography Plan and will continue to develop it. AND, Iím using SmugMug as, with referrals, I havenít paid for it in years. But itís a bit stale. I run my blog through Wordpress at no cost. I also have a Flickr account where I have the most complete set of galleries, but not with full res files, but web appropriate stuff.

Of all the sites, it seems my Flickr photos show up most frequently in searches, though Iíve also been found and have made subsequent sales through my SmugMug site. Not sure if this is helpful or just babbling.
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AndyS

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2020, 05:49:59 am »

Hi,

For what it's worth I've just moved my site over from a Wordpress based site to a Squarespace site:

www.astannard.com

I've been really pleased with how easy Squarespace is to use - although admittedly it's not a free site builder.

My reasons for moving over from a Wordpress based site were that I ended up having to spend a fair amount of time maintaining the site: Updating plugins, updating wordpress, keeping backups, ensuring all my plugins and themes stayed compatible with each other etc. If I didn't do this the the site became vulnerable to hacking attempts (of which one was successful and nearly wiped my site!)

With Squarespace I'm able to spend time concentrating on content instead, which is the way I'd like it to be.

My very first site was actually hand-coded in HTML and PHP by myself. A great learning experience, but increasingly difficult to keep everything working nicely on different browsers, mobiles etc etc.

Regards,
Andrew.
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wanderer_123

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2020, 01:23:26 pm »

I agree with Andrew, Square Space is a great platform these days. Really simple and easy to use.

I have been building websites for 10-15 year, personally I use Wordpress:

https://mattbanton.com/

But you need to know the platform to get good results from it. So if websites are a new thing for you, defiantly have a look at Square Space if budget permits.

If anyone needs help, just give me a shout :)

All the best,
Matt
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T1MC0LE

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2020, 06:44:25 pm »

If SEO is important to you, have a look at photo folio. The code is much more concise than square-space or Wordpress  and can be friendlier for search engines crawling your site. Square-space is great but certain templates are more SEO friendlier than others also the way square space applies alt tags is just plain stupid.

Benny Profane

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2020, 10:57:04 am »

Just built one on Format. Easy and good value. Happy.
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jimh

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Re: Building a Photography Web Site, yourself.
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2020, 12:16:14 pm »

I had a gallery on SmugMug for years.  It looked nice, but once I got going with Google Analytics I realized it got fewer views than the Loch Ness Monster - and I also saw that my search indexing was actually declining over time.   So I did some reading about SEO, formed a plan and created a new site based on a combination of WordPress and my SmugMug gallery.   

Shameless self promotion here: I wrote some blog posts about my SEO journey which I think some people might find useful.  Here is the first:
https://jimhphoto.com/index.php/2019/11/28/smugmug-and-seo-crickets-chirping/
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