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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #1  
Old 27th July 2009
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How to produce a web site?

Following on from this thread I thought I would pose the question "How?".

I have created web sites, in the early days hand crafting html with a plain text editor, latterly with Dreamweaver. Life is too short to contemplate a diy solution for a photo gallery when off the shelf solutions seem to be available at zero or modest cost.

I have observed from the posts in these forums (fori?) that some folk have gone the way of producing their own galleries/albums using tools such as JetPhoto & Shozam while others have chosen to use hosting services such as Zenfolio and SmugMug.

I would very much appreciate hearing from group members about how they arrived at their chosen solution. What were the issues? How did they arrive at their decisions?

I have, as evidenced by my signature, made limited use of Flickr. Useful for getting images quickly available to family and friends but not terribly impressive in terms of presentation.
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  #2  
Old 27th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Hi David,

If you already have sufficient space to accomodate a gallery from your website host provider, and you can use Dreamweaver, you already have the means to build a Adobe Spry gallery like these examples if you know your way round Dreamweaver you will soon pick up the Spry widgets.
The only advantages I can see in paying for one are that if you are intending to sell pictures from the gallery a bought version may have a shop built in, and the likelyhood of more traffic to the main site.

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Gavin
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Old 27th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Oh dear - a thread that wants a rational reason for the things we choose to do.

OK - I maintain my own website running directly under my domain name. Why, because the isp I use provides webspace and domain mapping as part of the service (or as a bribe to reduce customer churn). So I already had the space available and would have to pay no extra for it.

Originally I hand crafted my site out of raw html, an interesting exercise but time expensive for maintenance. Though I could have saved a lot of effort if I'd taken the time to design a better structure.

A year or so back I rebuilt the website with Shozam. No particular reason to use that product other than having downloaded a trial it seemed to do what was written on the tin, and would provide a manageable structure. Experience has shown that that was correct and the product is easy to use. Certainly suitable for anyone who knows no/little html. Like most products of the type it does incorporate paypal integration, though I don't use that

On Saturday afternoon I totally rebuilt my main website and promoted it live. It was a trouble free operation.

Drawbacks of Shozam - well it's a fairly closed product. So you have to work within its constraints, it certainly isn't the best solution if you want to incorporate large amounts of text. But it does have a number of hooks where you can put your own html.

Drawbacks of having a website in isolation - well traffic really, you are dependant on your ability/effort to attract views. It doesn't have a base community likely to casually browse it, sure Google will find it (if anyone looks) but your ranking in any search is likely to be quite low unless you are linked to by a number of 'high quality' sites.

There is of course another solution to consider and that is the use of 'blogs' - though I suspect they suffer again from low traffic and you are effectively committed to very regular updating.

Nick
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Last edited by Nick Temple-Fry; 27th July 2009 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 29th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Thank you both for taking the trouble to reply. Rather disappointed in the number of responses but certainly not the quality.

I have no interest in trying to use a site for selling but I think it would provide "a better on-line experience" than e.g. Flickr or Facebook for those family and friends with whom you wish to share photos quickly.

My ISP does provide web space even with php & mySQL support, though I know much less about php than asp.

Gavin
I have had a quick look at Spry and have succeeded in generating a table of images with thumbnails etc although did pinch the re-sized images and xml file from JetPhoto Studio. Although I have produced sites which are database driven I am not a professional - entirely a hobbyist. Unless I have missed something a better understanding of javascript than mine is necessary having looked at the Adobe examples. Perhaps you will advise me otherwise. In any event this looks like a candidate project for long winter evenings.

Nick
As always a sensible and well argued response. I have downloaded the trial of Shozam and it is certainly very easy to use. Which version do you have?

It is also very quick and easy to produce a gallery with JetPhoto Studio. It seems to be capable of generating :

1. Flash movies
2. HTML/Javascript output
3. Data upon which its server will operate

The server is not required for 1 or 2 but version 3 has the greatest variety of display modes and is extraordinarily easy to manage.

An example is here

I think I will construct my first serious attempt with JetPhoto for no other reason than that it is free for personal use. Although it is not as readily configurable as Shozam.

I would welcome your observations on the above.
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Old 29th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

My site is all done with HTML/CSS, php and mySQL (I didnt program the site, but I'm very slowly getting to understand the code that the programmer has written for me) but the front end artsy stuff is my work. I suppose the main thing when you do your own site is that you can make it your own style/layout, and you're not bound by other peoples limitations.
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Old 29th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

I use the 'Business Edition' as this has the hooks to integrate your own HTML code. The only real difference between that and Business+ is that the + version allows you to remove the 'Shozam' branding. Not really worth it, for me, at more than double the cost.

For most purposes the cheaper options would be more than adequate.

http://www.shozam.com/products/tabs-...by-edition.htm

One drawback, which seems to be common to most products, is they do not incorporate version control, effectively every edit is destructive (to the copy on your computer) with no rollback to a previously 'stable' website. After decades in IT this is anathma to me, any system should allow you to go-live and regress at will. Fortunately Shozam just uses the windows folder structure - so it is easy enough to create regression and development versions outside the product workflow. But I'd urge anyone to think about this as there is little worse than having updated your website and then not being able, easily, to go back to the previous version.

Nick
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Old 29th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Take a look at my galleries here

http://www.picturewales.com/wedding_photography.php

I used a script called slideshow pro, which is a plugin for flash http://slideshowpro.net/

Its only $39 and very easy to use, you dont need to know how to use flash, you only have to create the page size and drop in the plugin and then configure the settings how you want them very easy ! and I think it looks very professional.

There is loads of things you can do with it, thumbnails, live preview, watermark, even import video

I have used it on my other website as well here

http://www.designingwales.com/portfo...hotography.htm
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Old 29th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

I produced my site using SoftPress FreeWay (Mac only). I come from a desktop publishing background and FreeWay is very much like using QuarkXPress.
Have gone on and done a few sites for work.

I also have a blog (done using a standard Wordpress template) posted a few movies on Vimeo and have a flickr stream for a specific set of photos.

I think photographers need to use different forms of social media, rather than just a web site.
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Old 30th July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevednp3 View Post
Take a look at my galleries here

http://www.picturewales.com/wedding_photography.php

I used a script called slideshow pro, which is a plugin for flash http://slideshowpro.net/
Nice web sites with nice pictures - I will download free trial.
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  #10  
Old 31st July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Built mine with iWeb templates on my Mac - easy and simple and not bad results. The real issue (unless you only want a site to share with family/friends/etc) is getting visitors. Google it appears ranks mainly on the basis of high quality links to/from your site.
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Old 31st July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Google dosent base its rankings so much on links anymore (they change their mind like the wind) its more down to

1. Page titles
2. Page Name
3. Page Content
4. Meta Keywords (although this has changed recently)

I do Search engine optimization as part of my day job, if anyone needs any help and getting their site ranked high, please get in touch, I'd be happy to offer free advice to e-group members
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  #12  
Old 31st July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

That's a very generous offer - hope you don't get inundated!
Any comments on mine would be much appreciated.
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Old 31st July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

ha ha - no probs, glad to help as so many has helped me on this forum

Right with your site, this is what I suggest

Google looks at 4 main things to base your ranking

1. Page title
2. Page heading
3. Page file Name
4. Pages main txt content

The days of links and even meta tags are long gone.

Split your services pages into individual services, ie portraits - book covers - fine art etc etc

Either in the main menu or as a sub menu under services.

When you create the individual pages, call the file names like portrait_photograpy.htm and so on

Then give each page a very descriptive title ie for portraits

Low Cost Portrait Photography in Eastbourne East Sussex

Use the same page title as your heading and make sure the heading is set to a H1 tag.

Then write some content text for the page and try to include keywords like PORTRAIT, PHOTOGRAPHY EASTBOURNE, at least 5 times within this text.

Apply the same tactics for all other pages and a mix and match of keywords for the homepage

Resubmit your site to google and yahoo, give it 2-3weeks and watch how high you rank for say the search term "Portrait Photography Eastbourne"

Look at my site - www.picturewales.com - and look at how I have titled the pages and set my headers up.

Stay away from using your name or welcome to our site, use descriptive keywords and you will rank high in no time

I hope this helps
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  #14  
Old 31st July 2009
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Thanks so much
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  #15  
Old 31st July 2009
gno
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Re: How to produce a web site?

Hi David,

You may be interested in Googles Optimization guide it's in pdf format and worth a read.

Regards

Gavin
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