MicrostockGroup Sponsors

Author Topic: Creating your own website  (Read 6332 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: January 21, 2008, 14:38 »
Having bought a domain name, I now want to create my own website. Has anyone got any tips, or advice? For example:

1)  There are free templates available on the web. Are they worthwhile? Can anyone point to any good ones?

2)  Or is it better to pay a designer and get a custom-made one?

3) Any guidelines on what designers ask to make a web site?

4) Any anything else you should watch out for in making a website?

All advice gratefully received. I'm a complete 'noob' in this area.


« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 14:56 »
I guess this is a "how long is a piece of string" kind of question. It depends on so many factors like: what do you want to do with the site, do you want to sell pictures from it or just promote yourself?

I am not very experience either at web design but I created my site quite easily with "iweb"  (on a mac) in a couple of hours...without too much swearing!

Sorry that this is quite a basic answer but I am sure there are much more experienced people on here that can help you.


« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 17:50 »
There are lots of template sites, just do a search for web site template.  these can be purchased for $50-$100, which is a pretty good deal, as it would take probably at LEAST 20 - 100 hours for you to hack your way through it (if you are not a coder, or have a good deal of knowledge allready).  To go this route you shoudl know at least a bit about programming though, so that you can edit the files and geting things up and going.  I have used this route a few times.

There are also sites like rentacoder.com (i think that is the name of it) where you can tell the people on the site what you are wanting, and then coders bid on the job.  You can get some pretty good deals this way.

If you contacted a coder for the price to do a site, it would probably be pretty expensive.  I inqured about a really fancy flash website, and it would have cost 2000 euro.

« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 18:45 »
I've created several websites for non-profit legal programs and I agree with leaf. Go to the free template sites. They save a lot of time! I'd also recommend getting some books, especially one about Cascading Style Sheets (they are the bane of my existence). Since I still remember html, mySQL, etc. from college I make websites with relative ease given a free template. However, if you don't know much about web programming you have two choices: 1) many books and many hours learning, or 2) pay a programmer.

« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 21:16 »
- I assume your hoster has php and mysql.
- I have the impression people here confuse between a template and a CMS.
- I use Joomla as CMS now, and for 2-3 years, on several sites. IMHO, it's the best framework around, and it's free (Open Source).
- As a template, I use one of the free templates around for Joomla, no sweat.
- My galleries are hotlinked to my FeaturePics portfolio (where I get the highest price and they have all) so I save on bandwidth.
- This my current Joomla 1.0 site.

- This weekend I started a new site based on Joomla 1.5 with the Rhuk_Milkyway free theme. I just changed the site logo (obviously) an some minor CSS things. The result is here but just have a peak there for the look and feel, since it's far from finished: most content is still empty.
Check this article to see how you can let your site work for you: all photos with the article are linked to a FeaturePics sales page - but you can take any site.
- On the Joomla forums, you can post a request for a coder that can install your menus and articles  for you - but I suggest you learn it yourself. It's not that difficult.

- The main things is that you have a very clear idea about the site map first. If it's simple like HOME - PORTFOLIO - LICENSE - CONTACT - and you have the content ready, it's maximum 1 day, back-and-forth emailing included. If you can't find a Joomla guy for under 50$, just send me a PM.
- And if you don't have a hoster yet, I still rent out 2$/month slots on my Hostgator host.

« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 21:26 »
I'v tried joomla and drupal CMS, I like drupal more.
Drupal more Search engine fiendly, URL friendly, you can even sell photo with credit system (usefull if your photo sell under $5 for small size).
With litle tweaking you can make microstock site with drupal.

Learn both of them you will know what you need.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 21:32 by erwinova »


« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2008, 23:52 »
I've created a lot of websites.  Sometimes I use Dreamweaver, but lately I tend to code the html in a text editor.  It gives me better control over the final look.

I think the bigger and better question here is, can you actually increase your sales through the creation of such a website?  How will you drive traffic to it?  I've tinkered with the idea of putting up a website to drive business toward my portfolios, but honestly I always pull back because I know how hard it is to get yourself a decent place in Google.

« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 05:45 »
Thanks for your feedback everyone. I know it was rather a 'How Long is a Piece of String' question, but I have almost no experience in this area. I've now got some useful links I can work on.

The main reason I want to set up the website is to showcase my work ... not sell anything through the site as such, but direct people to places where they can buy it. Of course, I've got photographs for sale with all the usual agencies, but I also write books. Have just published one of photographs and poems, and I have another on basic photography techniques being published in the UK in September. Thought I'd better get myself a web presence.


« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 14:21 »
I think it's worth doing, especially if you do some writing as well. If all you do is create images, then maybe just promoting your gallery on a microstock site is enough. But a lot of people (such as yourself) do many other things, and a personal website would be a good place to bring all of those things together and pait a complete picture of what you do.

Templates are a good way to go for a quick website. However they still require some code knowledge to configure. You might be able to download a free template, but if you have limited website creation experience, you still might need to hire someone to get it all set up for you.

If I were you, I'd hire someone. If you are on a tight budget, you might find a young designer/college student/guy just starting out to do it on the cheap. If you use a template, you're cutting out any design required. So you would just need to pay them to set up the HTML/CSS bits. I would imagine you could find someone to do it for under $500.

One really good thing websites are good for in microstock is referrals. Most sites have referral programs now, and I've made some money off of those. Mostly at istock actually. Not a ton of money, but it covers my hosting costs each month. Sometimes a little more.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 15:15 by helix7 »


« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2008, 14:50 »

If you're handy with Photoshop and want to design your own site but not code it, you could also try one of these types of services: http://www.psd2html.com/order-now.html

« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2008, 16:10 »
Thanx for the link Helix, maybe I will use that service..

« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2008, 18:58 »
- I have the impression people here confuse between a template and a CMS.
Well I wasn't confused because I didn't know there was such a thing as a CMS. The way I've created websites is to used a template, mainly for the graphics (tabs, etc.) and then coded the front and backend myself. Since the Joomla demo is down, what exactly does it do for you? 

« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2008, 02:32 »
Well I wasn't confused because I didn't know there was such a thing as a CMS. The way I've created websites is to used a template, mainly for the graphics (tabs, etc.) and then coded the front and backend myself. Since the Joomla demo is down, what exactly does it do for you?

As CMS, apart from Joomla, Drupal has been mentioned. There is WordPress too. For a photog, I think Joomla is better than WordPress (but Iofoto for instance uses WP).

What it did for me? Funnel random traffic from all over Google and Flickr/Yahoo to one place and then distribute it back all over my sales sites, with a preference for FeaturePics since they accept all and give me the highest yield. One big collector of traffic is Flickr.

Does it work? Yes... I have a payout again on FP and I noticed that 1/2 of my DT sales are without search terms, so they stem from visual search or direct portfolio entry.
I got about 70,000 matches now on Google, and I'm on rank 1,100,000 at Alexa. There are a lot of prospective buyers around, for instance blogs and small businesses that even don't know about stock. I'm the one that inspired FP to install the free bloggers license of 130px thumbs. Collect that long tail in the market and drive it to your portfolio.

It can make a (small) difference, but if you don't want to put in the effort, ShutterStock alone still gives the bulk of sales.

I plaid around with Coppermine gallery 2 years ago, even wrote mods for it as a contributor. It was a waste of time: you can't replicate one of the big stock sites just for yourself. Also forget direct sales unless your name is Yuri Arcurs.
For now, I see a personal site just like a funnel that funnels traffic in, and redistributes it over my RF agencies, nothing more. I got most of my ideas from Dan Heller's excellent writings about personal business strategy online for individual photogs.

The days of programming a site yourself in Notepad or Dreamweaver are long over. Use a CMS and concentrate on content instead of on form.

What a Content Management System like Joomla does it this. It gives you a front- and back-end for your site without hassles. You just have to (1) put in content (articles, images) and (2) tweak the design: layout, menus. No programming needed, not even HTML.
The look and feel is done by a template, and there are many templates around for free. You can even change template on the fly if you want to change looks: content and site map (menus, articles) stay the same.
I took the advice of Rinder and chose a very simple B&W design, to let the images speak.

This is what I'm currently working on, but it's largely unfinished. Click here (it's safe). It should be accessible since my host Hostgator is up 99.9% of the time.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 02:59 by FlemishDreams »


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
5 Replies
Last post February 05, 2014, 12:17
by cascoly
7 Replies
Last post November 28, 2015, 17:29
by leaf
4 Replies
Last post March 31, 2017, 05:12
by Sebastian Radu
3 Replies
Last post June 26, 2019, 20:54
by marthamarks
12 Replies
Last post May 20, 2021, 13:52
by ShadySue


Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results


3100 Posing Cards Bundle