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Author Topic: So I made a Microstock Site for Me ...  (Read 27418 times)

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« on: October 13, 2010, 16:24 »
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I decided to use Ktools to create my own microstock site just for curiosities sake. It was fairly easy to implement, but the mysql stuff did spook me a little. Anyway, I was just wondering what you all think of it. I have tested the payment system with Paypal Sandbox, and it seems that everything is working properly. Here is the link if you want to take a look: http://rfstocks.com/

Also, sometimes the site seems slow. Then again, maybe it's just me.


« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2010, 16:31 »
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I think you did a pretty good job of it. It didn't seem slow on my iPad at all. Congrats for taking on the challenge. Hope it goes well.

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2010, 16:39 »
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I like it!

it is very fast loading and navigation wise on this end.

It sounds like it was simple to do, did u have previous experience doing this?

What does somethig like that cost to do?

Im thinking if its cheep and easy then why not have one?

nick

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2010, 16:55 »
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I like it!

it is very fast loading and navigation wise on this end.

It sounds like it was simple to do, did u have previous experience doing this?

What does somethig like that cost to do?

Im thinking if its cheep and easy then why not have one?

nick


Yeah, I have a little web design experience. Mostly, all I did though was just change the colors and adjust the CSS code a bit. The php and mysql coding is not really my thing, but that was already done for me anyway. While you do not have to be a genius web designer to use the software, it helps to have some familiarity with it. Ktools will probably help you should you need any assistance. It costs around $215 for the software, $100 a year for updates after the first year (optional), and $100 annually for hosting (varies depending on host you pick). I'm using Inmotion hosting. Be sure the webhost you pick lets you use mysql, or it may not work. And something called PhpMyAdmin is also useful for your webhost to have. Also, I'm not sure how refunds work should you change your mind about the Ktools software. Ktools also provides their own hosting, but it costs more.

Here's who Ktools recommends for hosting: http://www.ktools.net/find.hosting.php
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 16:59 by Whiz »

« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2010, 16:58 »
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You did a terrific job. I also you hit upon a very nice concept in your About Us page... : "RFStocks is a microstock website that sells the photos and illustrations of a single artist."
It led me to thinking that the industry should be ripe for very specialized stock sites. Maybe not just a single artist but perhaps a single concept such as "medical only", "off beat" stock or "very edgy" stock. The nature of that beast is that it must be highly selective to supply what's promised.

And you just may have folks pestering you with money in their hands to make one like yours for them. As I was typing this zenpix posted with your first sales lead!

« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2010, 18:23 »
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I decided to use Ktools to create my own microstock site just for curiosities sake. It was fairly easy to implement, but the mysql stuff did spook me a little. Anyway, I was just wondering what you all think of it. I have tested the payment system with Paypal Sandbox, and it seems that everything is working properly. Here is the link if you want to take a look: http://rfstocks.com/
Ktools photostore has always been the best solution, imho. Good choice, although they tend to have that stereotype Ktools look.
Also, sometimes the site seems slow. Then again, maybe it's just me.
You're probably hosting it yourself and in that case, beware that no hosting plans were created equal. Especially the database should be fast. It makes a lot of difference with how much accounts you share one server machine. Some cheaper hosters dare to put 500 accounts on one machine.

« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2010, 18:28 »
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"RFStocks is a microstock website that sells the photos and illustrations of a single artist."
There is a plugin so you can have several contributors on one site.
It led me to thinking that the industry should be ripe for very specialized stock sites.
I have been talking about this for a while here in private about a similar site that should carry only un-microstockish editorial in a certain niche, but coming above the Google noise is almost impossible. You will have to seek the customers in your niche actively.


microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2010, 02:36 »
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Great job! Your personal microstock site is more professional looking than some of the "real" microstock agencies I know

« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2010, 04:47 »
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Amazing!  :o
Wish you the best!

« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2010, 06:07 »
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On the Ktools forum I am maintaining a list of known working Photostores to which I have now added RFStocks. My favourite Ktools stores are Just World Photo and Phovoir-Images, which are very well done sites. You can hardly see they are Ktools derivatives.


Wow!  Just World is really nice.  Good colors and layout.

« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2010, 12:06 »
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Very impressive. How are sales?

« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2010, 12:54 »
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Very impressive. How are sales?


None yet.

alias

« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2010, 14:52 »
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Very impressive.

I wonder theoretically how practical it would be to federate independent sites built using these tools. Whether it would be possible to build a unified search for example.

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2010, 17:42 »
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Whiz, that looks really great!   It loaded perfectly fast for me.  And it seems simple and intuitive for buyers. 

Have you thought about going into business setting these sites up for other people?  Hint, hint.... :)

« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2010, 18:44 »
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Great idea.
The best is that you can put a link to your site on your profile page on DT, IS... than sell your images cheaper and get 100% commission.
Don't understand why "big guns" don't do it. They are known and I'm sure that many buyers go directly to their portfolios. Another good points: acceptance ratio is 100% and not upload limits ;D

« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2010, 18:54 »
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Very nice.  A bit expensive though.

I've been flirting with IFP3 for many months, their sample sites look so good, but it is even more expensive.
http://www.ifp3.com/index.cfm

« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2010, 21:04 »
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Very nice.  A bit expensive though.

those look about the right prices to me, don't try to compete by undercutting at microstock prices. The best you can hope for is to attract traffic from google images for a hard to find subject. do let us all know how the sales go - experience tells me there won't be that many, but then I didn't do that much promotion either.

and yeah stick an affiliate link on that "There were no photos found" search results page to a microstock site (SS or FT would be my choices). you'll never be able to cover all the bases.

if you can modify the site, change the title tag on each image page so that is it more than just the image title e.g. "radishes" becomes "stock photo of radishes" or "radishes | rf stock photos"

good luck

« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2010, 05:38 »
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I meant expensive to set up the site (software + hosting).

« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2010, 05:47 »
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Very nice.  A bit expensive though.

I've been flirting with IFP3 for many months, their sample sites look so good, but it is even more expensive.
http://www.ifp3.com/index.cfm


Expensive?  $250?  How much work would it take to write all that software?

« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2010, 06:37 »
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Hello Whiz,

I too have one of those sites in my collection ( www.royaltyfreesportphotos.com ) though mine is more mid-stock-ish.

Not that I really spend any time there!  :-[  but the only feed back I get from buyers is there isn't enough stock, never mind if the pic they needed was there or not.  So my tip,
open it to your friends and get as many pics as possible and you might have a chance.

Good luck.   JC

« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2010, 13:57 »
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Hi,
 Yes it is nice and work fast looks simple so you got all the right tools.

« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2010, 21:14 »
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Expensive?  $250?  How much work would it take to write all that software?
There is a lot of good software selling for around US$60-80.

« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2010, 17:52 »
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On the various freelancer sites and classified listings there are often ads from people wanting to hire coders and designers to do customized ktools installations and modifications. The fact that the product has a hinterland and is also supported by 3rd party and independent coders means that it is potentially a better solution than sites designed from scratch. At least there are people out there who know how it works, the database architecture etc.

It certainly looks like a great choice for events and wedding photographers, charities etc

But I was curious whether anyone here has any ideas or information about the scalability of solutions built around ktools.

« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2010, 19:19 »
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I have a KTools installation running since a few years, and hired someone knowledgeable to tweak it to my wishes. From the conversations we had over those tweaks, I learned a few things:

1. It's not as customizable as you might think it is (Probable cause: my wishes were just incompatible with Ktools)
2. The structure of all php filles for KTools has become too much of a collection of "security fixes" to make them easy to tweak. Not so much poorly written, but amended a few too many times, mostly for security reasons. (Changing one option requires the modification of quite a lot of php files)


I since learned to tweak code a bit, and had a successful go at implementing a few tweaks myself, but it is -indeed- a nightmare, and not something I'm looking forward to do again.

Not sure if it's already implemented, but there is (was) talk about hashing the most important bits of code, encrypting it (or whatever, that's where they lost me), making further tweaks even more difficult, but creating a very secure system

I like the concept, and the features. It has potential. However, I don't find the current KTools very user friendly. Also, if you don't host the site yourself, the costs of storing the high-res images can be quite an unwelcome surprise.

The success of the KTools potential resides primarily with the quantity of resources and time available to market it properly. Once you got your installation up and running, the real work is only just beginning.


 

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