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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Is it time to break up with your Flash website?
Grover Sanschagrin, Photographer, Photo Editor
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 12:48 PM on 09.15.11
->> Our pal Brad Mangin just posted a story on his blog about dumping his Flash-based portfolio website in favor of HTML.

http://manginphotography.net/2011/09/why-i-broke-up-with-my-flash-website-2/

This brings up an interesting question - if you have a Flash website, are you considering a switch? Why? Why not?
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 1:00 PM on 09.15.11
->> Brad's site looks fantastic. Too bad you had to break up with your old site :)

I think it's definitely time to get ride of 100% flash website. Wordpress themes are FANTASTIC. We use them for our business headshot site here:

http://www.dccorporateheadshots.com/

and a different theme for our actors/models site here:
http://districtheadshots.com/

The sites are easy to update, easily to customize and there are literally thousands of themes that one could use. Some are free but the better themes will cost you (prices vary).
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Grover Sanschagrin, Photographer, Photo Editor
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 1:11 PM on 09.15.11
->> Yeah, WordPress is super powerful. And GPP has really nailed it, making themes specifically for photographers.

One thing that always cracks me up when you talk about WordPress to many photographers, their initial reaction is "I don't want some website that looks like a blog!"

Brad's new site looks and acts nothing like a blog. It's actually a portfolio website running entirely in WordPress.

And, it loads really fast.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 1:19 PM on 09.15.11
->> I went to an all HTML5 website a while back in preparation for the mobile web surfing onslaught that we are experiencing ... even though there are many smartphone and other mobile devices that can and do use Flash, HTML5 functions so much smoother, uses less resources and less power as well ... even on a traditional desktop PC ... I don't have a problem with or a vendetta against Flash per se ... but even Adobe has introduced several improvements and new tools to create/convert flash animation to an HTML5 cross platform universal use ... in the end ... I think anything you can do to simplify a potential client's viewing experience can add to the situation ... plus ... if I see one more Blue Domain "let's all look alike but with a different color scheme design cookie cutter photographer site" ... my head may explode .. ;-)

I created my current web site using the Lightroom plugins that Terry White demonstrated here in his Tech Blog ... it's very easy to create, upload and update, all right from within the comfy confines of a single user interface ...


http://terrywhite.com/techblog/archives/6617

It's not the only option, but one that offers a very low cost, efficient and nearly trouble free setup and maintenance ...
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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 1:38 PM on 09.15.11
->> I am currently in the process of doing exactly what Brad just did. I have a flash website, but will be moving to a wordpress based one, probably with a GPP theme hosted on photoshelter. I'll be adding a blog in there as well.

Biggest reason, SEO.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 1:50 PM on 09.15.11
->> Brad's new site looks amazing!!! I remember years ago, speaking to Brad about Livebooks and him deciding to go with them. Good luck with your new site and like I said, it looks amazing!!!

I have actually two custom Livebook sites and I love them. I definitely don't like the fact that the my Apple mobile devices wont support flash and I don't like that my Photoshelter Archive is not integrated into my site. In fact, Photoshelter tells me every few days that I should get a site with them and their sites do look good. Then my archive would be with my site.

Still, with all the things I don't like, I love the way my two sites look. Pictures are big, design is great, and the support team gets back to me very quickly. Livebooks also evolves with the industry and one day soon, they will be right there with the latest website technology, just like they have been in the past.

Good luck Brad!!!

Jeff

http://www.JeffLewisPhotography.com
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 4:03 PM on 09.15.11
->> My flash based website didn't work on my iPad, so it was a no brainer for me. Brad's webinar last year sold me on Photoshelter which has probably been my BEST investment since I decided to shoot on my own and go into business for myself. The best thing about Photoshelter for me is its ability to become my off-site backup in case of a catastrophe. Plus it’s database ability that I didn’t have on my old site as well. It also makes me caption everything before I post it. My site is still a work in progress, but it’s getting there slowly but surely.

http://www.msuttonphoto.com
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Jamey Price, Photographer, Assistant
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 4:18 PM on 09.15.11
->> Yeah. Ive been using GPP wordpress themes for about a year now. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

www.jameypricephoto.com
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Kent Miller, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 8:28 PM on 09.15.11
->> Grover,
You really think it does not look like a blog?
It may be fast and well done but it looks like a blog template to me.
Not saying its a bad thing.
k
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 8:42 PM on 09.15.11
->> I'm about to break up with my ugly HTML site... Does that count? ;)
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Juerg Schreiter, Photographer
Fort Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 9:10 PM on 09.15.11
->> http://gigaom.com/apple/the-day-apple-won-the-flash-fight/
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 9:20 PM on 09.15.11
->> Kent, I agree. It looks like a blog.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mike Brice, Photographer
SLC | UT | USA | Posted: 10:07 PM on 09.15.11
->> I wonder how this is going to impact Livebooks as one of their most praised customers recognizes the need to adapt and move on.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jason Joseph, Photographer
Dublin | OH | USA | Posted: 11:08 PM on 09.15.11
->> I dumped my Flash site in favor of my Photoshelter site. And I'm not looking back.

http://www.jjphotography.photoshelter.com
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John Schreiber, Photographer, Assistant
Redondo Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 12:01 AM on 09.16.11
->> @Stew and Kent... It probably looks like a blog template because I think that link is indeed his blog, not the main portfolio site we are talking about... Here is the main website:

http://manginphotography.com/

I also have to +1 Wordpress with Graph Paper Press... I built my whole site with a Graph Paper Press theme (Modularity) and then tweaked it a bit. Their support is also amazing. If I had any kind of question, it was usually answered within a few hours and, at most, a day. That was a huge help when trying to edit the template.

Plus, the ability to seamlessly integrate a Photoshelter archive into your custom-made theme and keep a consistent look is awesome (Now I just have to spend the time and organize an archive...).

But, to sum it up, GPP is more than worth the $50.

http://www.JohnSchreiber.com
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 1:47 AM on 09.16.11
->> Kent, Stew, etc. Sorry if you might be confused. I have two sites and I am thinking you might be talking about my blog site that was linked above:

http://manginphotography.net

This is truly a blog and that is how I treat it. The big change for me was using GPP and Wordpress for my new portfolio site:

http://manginphotography.com

Thanks for all the kind words about the new site. It was a ton of work, but I am thrilled with the results. More importantly, editors and Google also like it.
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Bob DeChiara, Photographer
Burlington | MA | USA | Posted: 8:44 AM on 09.16.11
->> I agree with Stew, Flash is not SEO friendly and the options that GPP offers makes the switch a no-brainer. Flash based sites were cool but I think they have run their course.

Good job Brad! The new site looks great...only one thing missing...where is Fenway Park??
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 1:13 PM on 09.16.11
->> Thanks Bob! You need to look harder- it is there!
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Bob DeChiara, Photographer
Burlington | MA | USA | Posted: 2:12 PM on 09.16.11
->> Ah ha....has to be the pic of the Blue seats...Can't believe I missed that one!
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Jason Myers, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 4:48 PM on 09.16.11
->> I currently use Photoshelter, had Livebooks build a site that I never went live with and am now considering ditching the "new" Livebooks site for a GPP site. I can't believe I spent the money on the LB site now that I see what GPP is able to do without Flash......Hindsight 20/20 I guess.

Looks Great Brad!
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Rodrigo Pena, Photographer
Beaumont | CA | USA | Posted: 3:23 AM on 09.19.11
->> Hi Grover, I'm using Photoshelter too. I've had some problems with people viewing my flash-based website lately. Out of the last 6 new clients that have needed to view my website, 4 have had trouble. It's a simple fix really; they just have to update their flash player, but it causes major headaches when people do not know how to update their flash players.

I may ditch this style of Photoshelter site and see if you offer alternatives. Here's my site if you're interested:
http://pena-photography.photoshelter.com/
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Ron Erdrich, Photographer
Abilene | TX | USA | Posted: 11:56 AM on 09.19.11
->> NIce look, Brad and it works pretty good even on my Touch iPod.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 12:23 PM on 09.19.11
->> When I was a photobuyer for a publishing company, I hated flash sites and having to wait for pages to load. After a while, if I got to a site that had the loading message, I leave and move on to the next photographer on my list. There were probably 10 to 15 photographers a month who I could have licensed images from or assigned freelance jobs for us had it not been for their flash driven shots. My workday and workload, and I can't imagine anyone else in the editorial world either, just did not allow me to spend 5 or 6 minutes on a photog's site to view four freakin' pages before even getting to their portfolios. When I built the PhotoNews site, I vowed never to use flash because I wanted to cater to people who had deadline to meet like I did back then. My name is Clark and I've been flash free for 13 years.
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Shelley Cryan, Photographer
New England | CT | USA | Posted: 11:07 PM on 09.28.11
->> I'm looking to make the jump from a flash-based site soon, and as a Photoshelter user, am considering the Graph Paper Press integration. But how do you resolve the image security issues?

Of course flash is horrible from an SEO standpoint, but it does add some security -- it's not right-clickable at least. I see that the GPP theme on Brad's site -- sidewinder -- has some kind of right-click protection on the home page, but that's not the case for other themes offered by GPP, specifically on themes that'd work better for what I'm trying to do.

Any advice on this? Or do you just resign yourself to saying the price of having your SEO optimized using your preferred design is having your images less protected? Thanks for any advice.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 1:03 AM on 09.29.11
->> Shelly ... Sadly, if you think Flash or any other "protection" in place is keeping watch over your images, you are mistaken ...

If you post an image on the internet ... it can be downloaded and saved by the viewer ... PERIOD

Right-click or no right-click, flash or no flash ... there are literally millions of pages listed on the search engines that tell you how to circumvent ANY protection you can think of ... because as long as you images have to be downloaded to the computer or device the viewer is in control of in order to view them, there is just no getting around it ... even if you disable right-click using java script for a site/page ... there are browser plugins readily available that will ignore them and allow users to right-click and download EVERY image they view if they choose ... Not to mention all they have to do is a quick screen capture of the browser window, apply a slight crop and VOILA! ... they just stole your image ...

Your options are:

1) Watermark your images. That way even if they are stolen, you at least get some free advertising ... just be sure to include your web address in the watermark ...

2) Don't post images on the internet.

3) Accept that others will "steal" or "borrow" your images and stop worrying about it.

Short of that, until there is a drastic change in the technology itself ... there are NO protections that will work ...
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Randy Abrams, Photographer
Bath | NY | US | Posted: 10:04 AM on 09.29.11
->> Butch included almost of the ways to steal an image except the one I'm starting to see more and more and that is people taking a picture (cell phone or other camera) of the computer screen to get a copy of an image (including the watermark). I've seen several of mine on kids Facebook sites lately where they have done this. Doesn't even seem to matter how cheap the image is to buy, they would rather steal it.
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Kurt Rivers, Photographer
Ormond Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 2:20 PM on 09.29.11
->> Shelley,

Right click and save the image (on most photoshelter sites or every sports shooter profile page)then look at it on your computer.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jared Wickerham, Photographer
Pittsburgh | PA | U.S.A. | Posted: 3:01 PM on 09.29.11
->> +1 on WordPress themes...

Fellow SportsShooter member and OU student, Joel Hawksley (
http://joelhawksley.com), just did my new website after switching from a Livebooks site.

My website (
http://www.wickphotography.com), blog, and Photoshelter archive are now all integrated and I couldn't be happier. My SEO was great before and now I think it's even better.

Updating my site is even easier than it was with Livebooks. I highly recommend talking to Joel if any of you are interested in switching to wordpress. The kid has been doing HTML since he came out of the womb.
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Kent Nishimura, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 3:29 PM on 09.29.11
->> +1 to what wick said. Joel Hawksley is the man.
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Angel Valentin, Photographer
Palmer | PR | Puerto Rico | Posted: 7:47 AM on 09.30.11
->> That's just wrong. this is an inappropriate post BIG TIME ! Why ? 'Cus I just got TWO new Livebooks sites !
I'll let them run their course and see what happens in the next 12 months and then maybe reconsider. LB does a good job for me. I just keep running into all these HTML5 talk.
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Shelley Cryan, Photographer
New England | CT | USA | Posted: 1:16 AM on 10.01.11
->> OK, directly because of the kick in the pants this thread provided, I dumped my flash site today. Thanks for the encouragement!

I ended up making my new site a wordpress site based on a Graph Paper Press theme integrated with my Photoshelter archive.

Thinking about switching and stressing about switching definitely took much longer than actually doing it. As evidence, I'm posting the link to my new site, moments after I've made it live:

www.shelleycryan.com

There's a lot more work I need to do on it yet, but I thought I'd put myself out on a limb to show what can be done rather quickly with the tools available (note my post from earlier in this thread, where I was still just thinking about it on Wednesday). The sky didn't fall down as a result of switching and I don't think I got any gray hairs because of it. But I did get a new site that is easier for search engines to find and that works on mobile devices.

Thanks to all who contributed to this thread. Every time it popped up on the front page it reminded me to get to work on this.
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Radu Rosca, Photographer
Tirgu Mures | MS | Romania | Posted: 7:09 AM on 03.30.12
->> Time to get myself a premium theme, it's too tough to customize a minimalistic one so i had to make a decision. My question is, has anyone used www.elegantthemes.com for that? They seem very inexpensive.. $40/year and you get unlimited access to all the themes they have..
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Thread Title: Is it time to break up with your Flash website?
Thread Started By: Grover Sanschagrin
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