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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Web Site Advice Sought
Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 6:12 PM on 09.03.12
->> A quick question for those of you with professional web sites. Did you use a template, go through a service, or go it alone. For those of you using a template or service, what’s' your preference and why? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. - Paul
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 7:39 PM on 09.03.12
->> I use neonsky.com been with them for 6 years. Unlimited everything.
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Mike Doran, Photographer
Petaluma | CA | U.S.A. | Posted: 8:48 PM on 09.03.12
->> Give this site a look www.squarespace.com Great web hosting service and if you create a site with them you get a free domain name.
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Josh Peckler, Photographer
Chicago | IL | | Posted: 11:12 PM on 09.03.12
->> If you want something simple to just show pictures, I use 500px.com. For $50 a year you can upload as many as you want and it is very simple to use.

Here is my site: www.joshpeckler.com
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Josh Peckler, Photographer
Chicago | IL | | Posted: 11:15 PM on 09.03.12
->> Sorry forgot the link to the 500px.

https://500px.com/upgrade
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Konstandinos Goumenidis, Photographer
Tracy | CA | USA | Posted: 12:00 AM on 09.04.12
->> Paul, it all depends what you want. There are thousands of places with templates and a good amount of dependable places you can host. If you plan to do a lot of updates and have limited amount of knowledge in web stuff I would go with some type of CMS system that will allow you to update easy. Also when looking for something to host photos make sure it is cross browser compatible as well as mobile friendly. It seems like a lot of photo sites are still Flash based and flash does not show on phones. With 28% of the users in the states now using a mobile device to check most of their content its something to take in consideration. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have. I went back to school to grab a Bachelor degree in web technologies.
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 12:01 AM on 09.04.12
->> aphotofolio.com. Lots of choices of templates, which are infinitely changeable. Great customer service. Inexpensive after the initial cost (do the calculations for keeping it 1-3-5 years).
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Angel Valentin, Photographer
Miami/San Juan | PR | | Posted: 9:03 AM on 09.04.12
->> I have three websites w/Livebooks. I think they're great. Been a customer now for over 8 years.
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Tom Ewart, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 9:23 AM on 09.04.12
->> I will have to put my vote in for Arvixe you can get to them though my home page at www.nwaphoto.com==link at the bottom of my page. Inexpensive and unlimited, they also have Wordpress infrastructre you can use, It seems that Wordpress is gaining some foot hold in the marketplace, they day 20% of all new web sites are wordpress sites, but they support a lot more also. I will probablly redesign my web site with both html5 and some wordpress elements.
Oh yea, with my one hosting package I currently have 6 websites hosted there...
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 5:06 PM on 09.04.12
->> Paul- you are getting some good advice here. We are lucky that in 2012 there are so many options available to us photographers that do not cost an arm and a leg. And the quality is amazing- especially when I think back to using Adobe page Mill on my first site in 1998!

One idea that has not been mentioned yet is doing a Wordpress-based site with a template from someone like Graph Paper Press. That is what I have done here:

www.manginphotography.com

One of the great things about doing a site like mine is I can update anytime I want in just a few seconds and Google loves going through Wordpress sites to gather info so you get GREAT SEO.

I have taken advantage of that. Googgle "sports photographer" and see what comes up.

Good luck!
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 6:42 PM on 09.04.12
->> Paul, I took Brad's advise a couple years ago and went with Photoshelter and I use Graph Paper Press for my template. My blog and site look the same. Photoshelter has helped me with all kinds of stuff from SEO to marketing. My site is still a work in progress and I need to blog more, but overall I love Photoshelter. I had a smugmug account, but closed that a few years ago. I now have 2 Photoshelter sites and they've been real nice with working with me too.


Here's my site:
http://msuttonphoto.net
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 8:04 PM on 09.04.12
->> Ditto on Brad's advice. WordPress recently released their 2012 theme, and it is responsive. "Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design" from https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites
Everything I build from here on out is going to be responsive. To think that the iPhone was only released five years ago and what a mobile society we have become. Everything thing should be mobile friendly.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 10:03 PM on 09.04.12
->> I like WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System) for websites. You can either get your own hosting service and most have one-click installs pretty much to install WordPress.

If you don't want to mess with hosting WordPress yourself and you still want more power than a WordPress.com website you can use
http://page.ly

Lots of folks also use
http://www.photobiz.com

I've used SquareSpace before and it's nice in that you don't have to worry about the backend of running the site but I didn't like the way they handled the file directories. Also getting the website exported from SquareSpace and into WordPress was a total pain, this may have been improved since I did that over a year ago. One of SquareSpace's forte is supposed to be it's easy to get data in/out if you want to change platforms, it wasn't that easy.
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David Scott, Photographer
Portland | OR | US | Posted: 7:07 PM on 09.13.12
->> I use Wordpress and themes from studiopress.com for 3 websites. I also have a Photoshelter site which I use to deliver high res images to clients and now to create a dedicated show to present to potential clients.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 8:01 PM on 09.13.12
->> I took the unusual route (so it seems by the response so far) and built the PhotoNews site myself. Based on the philosophy of learning to fish as opposed to just taking one, I bought a couple of PERL scripts 10 years ago and started to learned to modify the code to get the functionality I wanted.

My galleries are searchable by date, keywords and captions; offers the ability for users to create albums; delivers hi-rez files to clients; manages contributor uploads; automatically watermarks images and make thumbnails to uploaded photos; maintain user accounts (and separate pricing for services for each); and even generates code to post photos to my blog, links for facebook and embed images into other webpages. And, it does a lot more.

For me, is if something breaks, I know how to fix it and when I want to make changes I don't have to call (or pay)(or wait) for someone to do it. While probably not a popular idea, I recommend learning to do it yourself. Not only do you have full control, but you also learn another skill set.
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Paul Meyer, Photographer
Spring Creek | NV | USA | Posted: 8:11 AM on 09.14.12
->> Paul, i did what Clark's ^^^ last paragraph said. I have Dreamweaver and actually learnt html and css from youtube videos. Now I know enough to be dangerous about html5 and css3. I built my own website and installed 2 jquery slideshows and a sales galley with Zenfolio while I host with InMotion.

There are plenty of "convenience" set ups for the people who want a turn key, but as Clark mentioned about learning a new skill set, I was able to parlay being an appointed MX track photographer into being their marketing guy (web and posters) which brings in more dollars. I also have the same situation with a local band (tog and web design) and negotiating with a Supercross MX rider to do the same thing (tog and web).

The upfront cost with Adobe Master was a dent, but it's starting to pay off.
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Greg Kendall-Ball, Photographer, Assistant
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 9:40 AM on 09.14.12
->> I recently switched to Virb (www.virb.com). $10 bucks a month, and it's simple to use. I think you can hack it up and customize it, but I was looking for something clean and simple.
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 11:32 AM on 09.14.12
->> Cool little trick with Mozilla Firefox is to hold down the CTRL+Shift+M keys (tools > web developer > responsive design view) and it quickly shows you how your website views on smart phones/iPads.
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Michael Clark, Photographer
Santa Fe | NM | USA | Posted: 12:19 PM on 09.14.12
->> I would highly suggest Aphotofolio.com. They offer top notch websites. Mine was even included in the PDN Photo Annual a few years ago. Here is the link to their templates:

http://aphotofolio.com

They load crazy fast and even have a new HTML 5 template that is very nice. And the images are huge as well.

if you go with these guys I would suggest working with a designer to make it look killer. These cost $1000 up front and then $17/month for the server space.
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Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 1:24 PM on 09.17.12
->> Thanks everyone. Lots of good ideas. Lots to think about.
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Osamu Chiba, Photographer
Vista | CA | USA | Posted: 6:59 PM on 09.18.12
->> I am with Clark but not all of features he mentioned. I am a former computer programmer (C++) so picking up Perl and now PHP wasn't so difficult, actually more like "downgrading".

And it's good to be able to make changes any way I want, and often I learn something new, like AJAX / jquery lately.
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Powell | TN | USA | Posted: 9:48 PM on 09.18.12
->> I really like the support and options at photobiz

Love it!!!! Pm-r
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Al Sermeno, Photographer
Happy Valley | OR | United States | Posted: 5:11 AM on 09.21.12
->> Prior to making the full switch to Mac I used BreezeBrowser Pro. It comes with some basic templates but with limited programming skills you can customize the templates. It is the most customizable and easy to use software I have used. I now use a plugin for Dreamweaver that is convenient but lacks the same level of customization that i had with BreezeBrowser. I am holding out hope that BreezeBrowser will become available the Mac OS some day. Good luck.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 3:00 AM on 10.02.12
->> I'm bumping this up since Gizmodo just posted a great deal today.

There's a web hosting deal going on for $10 for a full year (offer ends 10/3/12).
http://www.inmotionhosting.com/gizmododeal/

I've never used In Motion Hosting so I can't totally vouch for this but it seems like a good deal. If anyone know of their hosting service you can chime in.
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Paul Meyer, Photographer
Spring Creek | NV | USA | Posted: 8:54 AM on 10.02.12
->> I'll pitch in a vote for InMotion as a hosting provider. Been with them 3 years.

Excellent packages, technical service and after sales support. Seems like the deal is pointed at the Business Power package and it sells for $7.95 a month. I pay $191 for a 2 year cycle for the same plan.

$10/year for the first year, exceptional deal!
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Thread Title: Web Site Advice Sought
Thread Started By: Paul Hayes
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