Building a website

BLOG vs WEBSITE

I love this blog and I have a lot of fun showing off my new pictures and sharing tips to a whole lot of photographers.

But when a client calls they’ve never said… oh I loved your blog so much I want to hire you.
They do say that about my webiste

But then they continue to say they spent a long time checking out all the stuff on the blog.
I can tell it’s there on the blog they got to know my personality and what I’m like which helped seal the deal.

They often comment on how they liked my personality… I ask how do they know… usually they percieve it from, not only my writing but coming from the pictures as well.

I meant my present website to be for weddings only… But I also have plans to start making waves in the Family Lifestyle photography world.
It would be really good for me and is right down my alley.
So I need another website.

HOW TO MAKE WEBSITE

well don’t plan on making it yourself.
Takes way to much time and isn’t worth it.
Unless you’re loaded with money don’t hire someone either.

There are faster better options, that can get you up and running with a professional style website with tons of bells and whistles in a matter of 1-3 days.
The hardest thing you’ll do is picking… picking the site style and picking the pictures to go on it.

It’s impossible to have a website programmed for as cheap as the template websites offer.

And among the best of them is bludomain.com

$200

It’s $200 to buy a website from them.
(when it says $100 it means $200 because of hosting with them or somewhere else)
No monthly fee or anything if you spend the $200.
And you can usually make it look like you want it.
Superb backend to the site that is usually really easy to use and to upload pictures to.

You might need a tad of technical knowledge to give the people the information on where to set up the site etc.
I’m sure you have friends that can help

Host

You’ll need to get a webhost seperate.
I use mediatemple and there are tons of other options… maybe are much cheaper.
And some are sketchy in what they say they’ll give you to what they actually do.

They host on bludomain as well… it’s $100 a year

The Choice of thousands

They are indeed very popular… so you won’t be unique.
But again do you have the thousands if not tens of thousands to create something like they give you for $200?

There is a list of all their clients here

there are other places with templates like this… this just happens to be where i shop.

My choices

I presently use lucille ann – as you can see I modified it quite a bit to get a look for me

I am 95% sure I’ll be getting Samuel

But I’m looking for one more style

My other favorite choices are Billy, Adriana and Alexa

My suggestion is to use the client list acroll down and find some or do ctl-f to do a search for actual uses of the site. To see real life people in action using the site.

Specially since the test sites for Adriana and Alexa are a little scandalous. As the third choice i’m leaning alexa.

I would appreciate your help

If you have an opinion of which one I should use for Family Lifestyle and then another for Portrait/event
and then down the road for Travel photography
Mainly Family Lifestyle and Portrait

Samuel will probably most likely be one of those but i still haven’t decided what goes where and a 3rd and maybe even a 4th style.

Looking at them I would suggest get an idea of what you might like. Could be very helpful for you.

WHAT I LOOK FOR

I usually want my pictures bigger.

I also want one of the newer ones that shows the URL for every section you’re in, at the moment my website is older style that the URL never changes.

I also want to change the background image to make it more mine and give it that Blue look.

Setup Party

I’d be willing to help others set up these sites as I have already set up 3 (sister and a friend and me)

But it’d have to be a group thing helping a bunch of people at the same time.

I asked bludomain if they would hook us up if we had a big group to do this all at the same time. We’ll see. They have written back… I’ll let you know.

I’m also willing to let people use my host to host their websites, if you’re cool.
These photo websites usually don’t get tons of traffic so i’m not too worried until you become world famous with tons and tons of traffic.
We can all help to defray the costs a little bit. And I can have them setup on my host a whole lot easier than trying to figure out everyone elses host… something I don’t have time to figure out.

Just sayin’… might not happen anyway. But me and my assistant/intern will be setting up a few later this week early next.

What you can do right now

Start picking out those pictures for the website… because that’s going to take you a long time.
If they’re already picked out you can have a running website fully done in a matter of a couple of days.

My sister had her website up in 3 days… 1 to pick the site 1 for bludomain to set it up and 1 for her to put her pictures in it.
It did take her a little while to pick her pictures but the point is when she chose a site 3 days later she had a one running.

You can also decide what info you’ll have on there… like bio, or prices and stuff like that.

You do get to organize the site how you want after all.

8 Comments

  1. sloanie says

    So what’s the philosophy behind compartmentalizing your work to separate web sites for each area of photography you’re into? Except for perhaps the song, your wedding photo site isn’t by it’s fundamental design wedding-centric. (I’m just weighing out in my mind the user experience of having multiple sites to visit to see your work). I guess I’m thinking of other pro web sites where they’ll have a splash page where you can select either the blog or the photo site (I guess I’ve seen those with more than one sub-site for different target audiences, but for good reason). In any case, it’d be awesome if there were some consistent themes / elements across sites + blog. An identity, so to speak.

  2. scott says

    That’s a good question.
    I’m not sure I have an awesome inspiring philosophy.
    Partly because I want to.

    I meant the wedding site to be just wedding stuff… but because i didn’t have any other location I put in all the rest of the stuff.

    If I advertise for weddings I want them to go there and see all the wedding stuff.

    But now I’ll start doing a lot of Family Lifestyle photography and if I advertise for that I’ll want someone to go see a site dedicated to that.

    There are ways to make sites with them all in the same place… i’m not sure bludomain sites are the best way.

    In the end I’ll have everything under Jarviedigital
    weddings.jarviedigital.com
    portraits.jarviedigital.com
    family.jarviedigital.com

    I will try to keep similarities between them all and links and other things to make it all easier to navigate the different websites.
    I do see some other photographers that make their seperations a little cumbersome and so I’ll work hard to make it work.
    I’m also doing something completely different for my “Splash” page… because I have several other photographic related projects and blogs.
    I won’t be doing the typical bludomain splash page.

    Thanks for making me think about it.

  3. Rhett Olson says

    Scott, have you ever considered ShowIt sites? A little more expensive than BluDomain, but then your site doesn’t look like every other photographer’s site. I build my own site, but when people ask me about sites, I usually refer them to Blu because it’s fairly easy. Just wondering about ShowIt.

  4. Kyla Stevens says

    I like Alexa the best. It would be great for the family website.

    I appreciate this post. Building a website seems more obtainable now and a great way to boost advertising for a business.

  5. Steph says

    I’m with Kyla, I think you should go with Alexa for your family website. I’m on board. I want to do a website and am ready and willing to do whatever I need to, to get it going. Just let me know and I’m there!

  6. mickelle says

    Just a quick question –

    Have your experiences with their customer service been good? I hear it’s a very, very mixed bag. I know that’s who I’ll be going with anyway — price is very much the determining factor in my world — but I’ll admit I am nervous. Is this why you host your own stuff?

  7. Torsten says

    I really like blogs like you said I shows a lot more of your personality. Do you have just a personal blog? JaG

  8. Kimbrey says

    Very interesting. Thanks for all the information- may help me a lot in the distant future. JaG

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