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Author Topic: Simplest way to start your own website?  (Read 3095 times)

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« on: February 21, 2013, 10:40 »
0
Hello to everyone!
This is my first post here, but i have been reading this forum for a while and i find the members here are really friendly and am really thankful for all the informative posts.
I am an illustrator with a niche subject. I also do video (travel mostly), and animation.
I have been thinking of having my own website (for selling my images only for now) for a while but i have no knowledge about web building, coding, .. the most i can do is to customize my Zazzle store! I could learn but i dont really want to spend time on that right now, and also i am not very comfortable with hiring someone to do it for me.
So i read through the forum and i guess my best bet right now is Photoshelter? They dont support vector file but i am OK with selling Jpeg as my illustrations are selling mostly in jpeg anyway. I could not find FAQ from their website. It looks like i just need to purchase a domain name and then get a package from PS? Any requirement for the system or any hosting on top of that? I am using Windows and dont plan to change anything unless it's really a must.
I would love to hear from people who have used Photoshelter here, how easy and straightforward is it, are you happy with it?
Any other suggestions would also be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.


« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 10:42 »
0
Also check out photodeck.com .

Pinocchio

« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 12:39 »
+2
We find PhotoShelter very good up to a point.  It's very easy to upload, organize your images in galleries and collections, you get lots of guidance with the stuff that matters for SEO and the people there have been nice and very helpful.  The pricing tool is good (based on what sellers actually get, updated regularly) but somewhat out of date (I'd like to see support for PLUS-style Media summary codes).  I would like to see a zoom feature so that buyers can examine images at 100% prior to purchase, and I'm hoping it will be included in the new templates expected to roll out later this year.

Regards

« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 09:04 »
0
Thanks for your reply, guys. I had a look at photodeck, it looks pretty much similar to photoshelter, right?. Both provide you with hosting and you dont need any coding to set it up, except that photodeck dont charge the transaction fee. But i have heard that in term of SEO photoshelter is better? Please correct me if i am wrong.

@Pinocchio: How long did it take you to set it up (i mean setting up all the features, not counting the time uploading and keywording your port) and do you think i could do it myself without help if i dont know any programming language? And yes the zoom feature would be great. Does it update automaticcaly at photoshelter? or you have to do it manually? (i saw the nightmare of updating with Ktools and for me that is a big no no)

« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 10:56 »
0
Also check out photodeck.com .

I hadn't heard of them and took a look. Do you know anyone who's used them and had a good experience? $30 a month isn't terrible given you don't pay them a cut of sales, but are you still on your own to market the site and your work?

Pinocchio

« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 16:26 »
+1
Thanks for your reply, guys. I had a look at photodeck, it looks pretty much similar to photoshelter, right?. Both provide you with hosting and you dont need any coding to set it up, except that photodeck dont charge the transaction fee. But i have heard that in term of SEO photoshelter is better? Please correct me if i am wrong.

@Pinocchio: How long did it take you to set it up (i mean setting up all the features, not counting the time uploading and keywording your port) and do you think i could do it myself without help if i dont know any programming language? And yes the zoom feature would be great. Does it update automaticcaly at photoshelter? or you have to do it manually? (i saw the nightmare of updating with Ktools and for me that is a big no no)

First of all, I recommend you keyword your images and add every scrap of metadata you need before you upload them anywhere; keep these as your master archive, and keep them in a safe place/s.

There are a number of steps to setting up a PS web site; this is from memory, and may not be complete or totally accurate.
1.  After signing up, you need to get a domain name.  PS will help with this a little, but mostly you'll work with the hosting company you choose.
2.  Choose a template - trivial, and I believe you can change your mind as often as you like, the new template can display images already uploaded, no need to upload again.
3.  You can set up a PS web site in a couple of hours, and do not need any programming skills of any kind.  The bulk of your time should be spent formulating a gallery and collection structure to organize your images into galleries/collections, and crafting the various page, gallery/collection and other descriptions.  This part of the preparation is probably best done on paper or a whiteboard before you do any uploading.  Setting up your web site is a matter of filling descriptive text into boxes - no technical skill required; you will need a) the descriptive text for pages, galleries, collections and so on, and b) the metadata in your images which PS will automatically extract and populate into the relevant text boxes for you to refine if necessary.  You can test drive your web site after every change, just keep filling in text until you are happy.  I assume you have looked at a number of photographer's web sites, and have a good idea of what will work for you.
4.  PS has an SEO grader which seems to be very good; it identifies any relevant input that you've left blank.
5.  However, getting the most out of your web site requires more than you've done to this point.  You need to feed the search engines (Google) by providing some additional information.  To do this, you will need some webmaster skills, and this is likely the most technical step in the whole process.  I've heard tell that PS will not/cannot help you with the Webmaster stuff, not sure if that's true, so you might ask.  You can use Google Webmaster Tools (free, just google it).  Based on what I've read in the PS forums, this step is very important; there are photographers who reported large changes in google rank before and after doing the webmaster bit.

Regards

« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 22:01 »
0
Thanks for your reply, guys. I had a look at photodeck, it looks pretty much similar to photoshelter, right?. Both provide you with hosting and you dont need any coding to set it up, except that photodeck dont charge the transaction fee. But i have heard that in term of SEO photoshelter is better? Please correct me if i am wrong.

@Pinocchio: How long did it take you to set it up (i mean setting up all the features, not counting the time uploading and keywording your port) and do you think i could do it myself without help if i dont know any programming language? And yes the zoom feature would be great. Does it update automaticcaly at photoshelter? or you have to do it manually? (i saw the nightmare of updating with Ktools and for me that is a big no no)

First of all, I recommend you keyword your images and add every scrap of metadata you need before you upload them anywhere; keep these as your master archive, and keep them in a safe place/s.

There are a number of steps to setting up a PS web site; this is from memory, and may not be complete or totally accurate.
1.  After signing up, you need to get a domain name.  PS will help with this a little, but mostly you'll work with the hosting company you choose.
2.  Choose a template - trivial, and I believe you can change your mind as often as you like, the new template can display images already uploaded, no need to upload again.
3.  You can set up a PS web site in a couple of hours, and do not need any programming skills of any kind.  The bulk of your time should be spent formulating a gallery and collection structure to organize your images into galleries/collections, and crafting the various page, gallery/collection and other descriptions.  This part of the preparation is probably best done on paper or a whiteboard before you do any uploading.  Setting up your web site is a matter of filling descriptive text into boxes - no technical skill required; you will need a) the descriptive text for pages, galleries, collections and so on, and b) the metadata in your images which PS will automatically extract and populate into the relevant text boxes for you to refine if necessary.  You can test drive your web site after every change, just keep filling in text until you are happy.  I assume you have looked at a number of photographer's web sites, and have a good idea of what will work for you.
4.  PS has an SEO grader which seems to be very good; it identifies any relevant input that you've left blank.
5.  However, getting the most out of your web site requires more than you've done to this point.  You need to feed the search engines (Google) by providing some additional information.  To do this, you will need some webmaster skills, and this is likely the most technical step in the whole process.  I've heard tell that PS will not/cannot help you with the Webmaster stuff, not sure if that's true, so you might ask.  You can use Google Webmaster Tools (free, just google it).  Based on what I've read in the PS forums, this step is very important; there are photographers who reported large changes in google rank before and after doing the webmaster bit.

Regards

Thank you so much Pinocchio for taking the time writing these steps. I have a better idea now. I think i will sign up for the trial offer on PS and see how it goes.

« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 01:56 »
0
Photodeck is very good....

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2013, 07:47 »
+2
I've been with Photoshelter for a few years and am happy with it overall.

It's a complete service including hosting. You sign up, choose a plan, choose a template website layout, and upload photos. No coding is needed but if you move up to a higher plan you can custom code it if you want to. You also don't need a domain name but with a higher plan you can choose to use one. The standard name is yourchosenname.photoshelter.com.

It's pretty easy. You can create categories, drag and drop photos, create RM, RF, and Personal Use download pricing. Printing is mostly automated and is handled by places like Adoramapix and my experience has been very good with it.

Some of the downsides. Google seems to have a love/hate thing with Photoshelter. You either get great indexing or really bad. So knowing SEO helps. Like most technology there are some ongoing bugs and features that are slowly being worked out. They have a forum so you may want to spend some time there. You also need to drive your own traffic to your site. They provide the platform, you do the marketing.

Hope this helps.

« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2013, 18:33 »
0
Thank you very much Paulie. Do you use their licensing terms (RF and Personal use)? Is there anyway to add an Extended License?
One big question about the tax setting? What you guys do with tax?  Can we just leave it blank? I dont plan to sell prints, just digital downloads.


 

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