Bi-Weekly Discussion Thread: Websites ...

AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ...Between Denver and BostonRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,262
edited June 1, 2010 in Weddings
How did you build your website? Did you do it by yourself, with a professional designer, or did you use an other company?

Comments

  • SwartzySwartzy Right Brained Scientist Registered Users Posts: 3,293 Major grins
    edited May 11, 2010
    The current website(s) I built using provided (purchased) templates. Smuggy has changed some things and now need to investigate how to re-vamp that site as it will be primarily for an HTML marketing site....hosting client galleries and such.

    My main site is a Bludomain flash site and using the template, built it myself so to speak. Everything has it's proper place so editing is straightforward once you get the hang of it. I hate code but had to learn some years ago when building a few other sites from scratch.

    With today's technology and software applications, one would think obtaining a template and filling in the blanks would be the best way to go....providing it's affordable. I see there are some vendors offering customized Smuggy layouts as well, although a couple looked over priced for my tastes.
    Swartzy:
    NAPP Member | Canon Shooter
    Weddings/Portraits and anything else that catches my eye.
    www.daveswartz.com
    Model Mayhem site http://www.modelmayhem.com/686552
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Registered Users Posts: 4,959 Major grins
    edited May 11, 2010
    I use a customized smugmug site. When I say *I*, I mean my wife did all the work and I just upload stuff. She was total HTML/CSS noob and just hacked her way through using the dgrin support forums.
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • Moogle PepperMoogle Pepper Big picture in the sky Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited May 11, 2010
    Me and coding = :soapbox:argue

    haha!

    At this point I am using ... bludomain. But after hearing much good word from Pat about intothedarkroom.com, I am looking to move after December.
    Food & Culture.
    www.tednghiem.com
  • Jeremy WinterbergJeremy Winterberg Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,233 Major grins
    edited May 11, 2010
    I use a self hosted wordpress blogsite. I'm using ProPhoto Blog 3 which is amazing if you want a sick blog. I designed it, but its not 100% where I want it yet. I'm going to be changing the background sometime, and I might actually just have my designer redo the blog.

    Candace Wilson from www.simplewishdesigns.com. She's a photographer/designer based in Knoxville, Tennessee. She made my new logo and is currently designing some letterpress business cards for me.
    Jer
  • marikrismarikris The Wannabe Registered Users Posts: 930 Major grins
    edited May 11, 2010
    I'm using Showit, but I'm thinking about going back to using Smugmug and saving some monthly $$$. As soon as I figure out how to make the lay-out similar to how I have it now, that is :(

    I want to have the same pages and don't mind if I lose the flash. I'm very minimalistic anyway; it's just so painstaking when one doesn't know a whole lot of css/html lol.
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Between Denver and BostonRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,262
    edited May 12, 2010
    I did my own flash website for wayyy too long rolleyes1.gif Gosh, I don't think I ever had so many headaches rolleyes1.gif

    Using photobiz.com now. Couldn't be happier. You can change the design with one click, upload / change information ... you're basically in charge of everything, and the changes will be applied immediately. Looks professional, the charge is minimal, and super user friendly thumb.gif

    LOVE them! iloveyou.gif
  • LeeHowellLeeHowell Big grins Registered Users Posts: 99 Big grins
    edited May 12, 2010
    A co-worker who does amazing web work pieced my site together...And she showed me some of the steps she took using dreamweaver and flash so that I can make updates in the future. I've already replaced the flash intro, which is obvious due to the slow load time - Her version was blazing fast, but the images were old and needed updating.

    I make all the basic HTML changes now though - I used a free template on my blog and integrated the color changes to match my logo, which I designed...Not much to it though :-P

    And of course, my amazing SmugMug (used as a client proofing gallery and houses some personal stuff too) has been through some facelifts recently and that wouldn't be possible without all the awesome tools that the SmugMug staff give us!

    I'm pretty happy with how things look right now - It's an ever changing beast, this internet thing...Hope to be able hand it all off to someone else to polish and clean-up once I'm making the big bucks...:-P
  • mmmattmmmatt Big Grimace Registered Users Posts: 1,347 Major grins
    edited May 12, 2010
    Qarik wrote: »
    I use a customized smugmug site. When I say *I*, I mean my wife did all the work and I just upload stuff. She was total HTML/CSS noob and just hacked her way through using the dgrin support forums.

    ditto except I meaning me! I got bids and all were over $1k to do it for me. I got pretty much what I had envisioned by spending a weekend on it. I knew nothing about html before I started. I will probably do a revamp after the season is over. It really isn't hard to do, it just takes some time.

    Matt
    My Smugmug site

    Bodies: Canon 5d mkII, 5d, 40d
    Lenses: 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f4.0L, 135 f2L, 85 f1.8, 50 1.8, 100 f2.8 macro, Tamron 28-105 f2.8
    Flash: 2x 580 exII, Canon ST-E2, 2x Pocket Wizard flexTT5, and some lower end studio strobes
  • glengoffinglengoffin Canon Lover Registered Users Posts: 19 Big grins
    edited May 12, 2010
    Agnieszka wrote: »
    I did my own flash website for wayyy too long rolleyes1.gif Gosh, I don't think I ever had so many headaches rolleyes1.gif

    Using photobiz.com now. Couldn't be happier. You can change the design with one click, upload / change information ... you're basically in charge of everything, and the changes will be applied immediately. Looks professional, the charge is minimal, and super user friendly thumb.gif

    LOVE them! iloveyou.gif

    This is such a timely (for me) thread! I've been wrestling with whether to continue with SM and HTML as my primary site or move to a FLASH based site. photobiz.com is definitely on my list so it is great to hear your impressions!

    Thanks - Glen
  • tenoverthenosetenoverthenose Major grins Registered Users Posts: 815 Major grins
    edited May 12, 2010
    Years agoI coded my own sites. Back then it was the only way to do things and be able to make changes on demand. About three or four years ago I moved to BluDomain. They were okay back then, with today's flash problems I definitely wouldn't go with them. Also I wonder how much traffic I lost because of it being a flash only site... but I digress. I had been planning on moving into a new site for a couple of years, but couldn't swallow the cost of a full custom site. Eventually I decided it was time and I hired IntotheDarkoom to do it (based on my previous experience with their products) and love the result. By no means the least expensive option, but I am a photographer not a designer or a coder. It was great to be able to give them my ideas and watch them turn it into a working product. Also I must add their customer service is amazing (have you ever tried to call BluDomain?) as is their quality.
  • marikrismarikris The Wannabe Registered Users Posts: 930 Major grins
    edited May 12, 2010
    I guess I will chime in again about Showit, since it might look like I'm unsatisfied with them in my previous post. I'm not. Actually, showit is pretty awesome.

    Customization is super easy, and even though they are flash based, they integrate html into the site, so people on iphones or droids can still access your site. Earlier today I received an email update: you're now able to create a customized mobile site. I looked it over and creating it seems to be a piece of cake (though mine will have to wait till after I move). There's also the facebook, smugmug and blogger integrations and the superb customer service. I really love the smugmug and blogger headers I made out of my website design. I even once twittered about a problem I had when making the facebook slideshow, and immediately, a staff member twittered back. That was pretty cool.

    Anyway, I will definitely miss all of that -_- Actually now that I wrote about it, it's giving me second thoughts. headscratch.gif
  • MishkaMishka camera obscura Registered Users Posts: 236 Major grins
    edited May 12, 2010
    glengoffin wrote: »
    This is such a timely (for me) thread! I've been wrestling with whether to continue with SM and HTML as my primary site or move to a FLASH based site. photobiz.com is definitely on my list so it is great to hear your impressions!

    Thanks - Glen


    On thing to keep in mind before you make a big move to flash is that a lot of new apple products may not to be able to read flash. That, and flash is so slow compared to HTML.

    I would be interested in looking at statistics for a flash website. How many people land on the front page and then immediately leave (music playing, page loads too slowly, can't see anything on the page)? If that percentage is high, something is probably not working well. Anybody with a flash-based website care to chime in?
  • Jeremy WinterbergJeremy Winterberg Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,233 Major grins
    edited May 12, 2010
    Mishka wrote: »
    On thing to keep in mind before you make a big move to flash is that a lot of new apple products may not to be able to read flash. That, and flash is so slow compared to HTML.

    I would be interested in looking at statistics for a flash website. How many people land on the front page and then immediately leave (music playing, page loads too slowly, can't see anything on the page)? If that percentage is high, something is probably not working well. Anybody with a flash-based website care to chime in?

    HTML 5 is the new way to go.

    I know whenever I visit a site that has music playing and I cant turn it off within 2 seconds I leave. Same thing if it doesn't load... Which is why I stay away from having a flash website - cause I know other people hate it too.
    Jer
  • jasonscottphotojasonscottphoto (I'm not Jason...) Registered Users Posts: 706 Major grins
    edited May 16, 2010
    Built with Smugmug - did it mostly myself w/help from dgrin and the smugmug wiki... then added a blogger blog and made the two look similar enough that I don't think a non-smugmug person could tell when they leave one and arrive at the other (except for the url changing). Decided on two different urls to try to boost SEO...
    Posts by Allyson, the wife/assistant...

    Jason Scott Photography | Blog | FB | Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | YouTube
  • ssimmonsphotossimmonsphoto Snap Happy Registered Users Posts: 424 Major grins
    edited May 18, 2010
    Mine is all hosted on SmugMug and I coded it all myself with some menu help from Dreamweaver and such. I redo it at least once a year since I'm sick and enjoy coding. I have a twitter/facebook/review panel thing that I have ready to add in, but I haven't had to time to trouble shoot why the code I paste in to SmugMug isn't working out how it should. I've dabbled with the idea of adding another website specific host, but I just can't justify it based on my booking rate and how inexpensive SM is in the first place. It would have to be really darn good to make me justify the switch.
    Website (hosted by Zenfolio after 6.5 years with SmugMug) | Blog (hosted by Zenfolio) | Tave User
  • PupWebPupWeb Still Learning Registered Users Posts: 166 Major grins
    edited May 19, 2010
    I hate flash sites!
    It seems most photogs use too much flash. Flash is slow and unsecure. Adobe knows this so you will see big changes in Flash in the future (It seems IMO that Adobe is positioning Flash to be used to make stand alone api's with Flex). I'm not saying to not use flash just not the whole site.

    Sound is annoying, don't have your site play music as default. Most people look at websites at work and nothing say's your busted than music blarring.

    Your site should use CSS period! It will behave well with Smugmug, you will be ready to go with future HTML standards. CSS is efficient and makes it easy to change the presentation of your site specific to screen size and web browser. Don't expect IE to follow W3C standards anyway so CSS is really good at handling this. This is important with all the mobile devices out there.

    I am excited about HTML5, it is supposed to render images & video faster and better, well see.

    some sites I have done:
    Atwood Grading - Flash header CSS everything else
    Kirk Kirk law - CSS
    Currently working on:
    TeamCArAudio - Flash header, CSS, AJAX
    Wilkerson Landscapes - Flash header, CSS, AJAX
    David Broadwell Photography - mostly CSS, CSS header and navigation, a little flash, I incorporate Smugmug gallery scripts. --I seem to be working more on other sites and not my own lately but need to finish this one.

    BTW:
    Mishka is right, Apple's recent announcement to not adopt Flash should concern flash site folks. As Biden would say "that is a Big F'ng Deal". Think of all those iPhones and iPad's out there.

    Also people with photography website services like Showit, Photobiz etc. need not to worry b/c they will stay ahead of the curve and make sure everything works. If they don't they are out of business.
  • ivarivar I'd be happy with a cookie Registered Users Posts: 8,395 Major grins
    edited May 20, 2010
    Mishka wrote: »
    On thing to keep in mind before you make a big move to flash is that a lot of new apple products may not to be able to read flash. That, and flash is so slow compared to HTML.

    I would be interested in looking at statistics for a flash website. How many people land on the front page and then immediately leave (music playing, page loads too slowly, can't see anything on the page)? If that percentage is high, something is probably not working well. Anybody with a flash-based website care to chime in?
    I just set up my new website, flash only at this time. My own design, me and (mainly) my brother coded it.
    If done properly, flash is not slower than non-flash; My flash file itself is tiny, way smaller than the photos that are shown on my site. I did put in a preloader image for loading the images itself. Although flash is associated with music (and vice versa), music is definitely not exclusive to flash (and vice versa). My site deliberately does not have any music/sounds, though.

    As far as iphone/ipad/etc not using flash; I did think about this before I set it up. There will be a non-flash mobile version of my site online soon; Not so much because the iPhone doesn't do flash, but because in general phones and pdas are used a lot for viewing the web.
    As far as the iPad, well, we don't have them here yet. I may set up the mobile site to change size on the iPad, I may go non-flash at some point. I don't like working with HTML5 at this time, since it is still a working draft and not a (candidate) recommendation. At this time, I can't think of anything else that can do exactly what I want, as smoothly and nicely as Flash, even though there are some nice libraries available ne_nau.gif

    (I do have to say, I'm not a full-time photographer, I pay my bills from the money I get from my other job. So, if I have one or two people who can not, or refuse to, watch my flash site, I really don't care to much. I can understand that it could be different for those really needing/wanting the business.)
  • PupWebPupWeb Still Learning Registered Users Posts: 166 Major grins
    edited May 20, 2010
    Flash does have security issues
    More and more everyday I am thinking Flash is not the way to go. A few months ago my wifes PC was all but brought down due to a Flash related security problem and last month my laptop had similar issues that even prevented me from viewing any photos on smugmug, logged in or not.

    How secure is flash? It's hard to tell Adobe is using smoke and mirrors to avoid the subject.

    My problems had to do with a flash movie messed up my security settings that basically took control of our PC's. Scary hugh?

    Did you know these settings are invisible to anti-virus programs and can easily get past firewalls better than any Trojan horse could? These settings are kept in an Adobe database and not your hard drive.

    Check your setting by clicking here.

    I like flash but I am also concerned specially after having issues that are really hard to detect. Even smugmugs guys where at a lost.

    I did learn about a very valuable trouble shooting tool that may help ya'll in the future. Trend Micro's Hijack this. Cnet gave it 5 stars. It is free and what it does is create a text file of everything running. What I did was run this tool in safe mode and normal. Using Scooter Softs Beyond Compare to compare the 2 files I saw what was causing my issues.

    -David
  • KinkajouKinkajou Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,240 Major grins
    edited May 26, 2010
    Also using photobiz.com after Angie's recommendation a while back - love it!!! I have a separate little blog on blogspot, but it's not 100% businesss.
    Webpage

    Spread the love! Go comment on something!
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Between Denver and BostonRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,262
    edited June 1, 2010
    Kinkajou wrote: »
    Also using photobiz.com after Angie's recommendation a while back - love it!!! I have a separate little blog on blogspot, but it's not 100% businesss.

    Hehe! :Diloveyou.gif

    ivar wrote: »
    I just set up my new website, flash only at this time. My own design, me and (mainly) my brother coded it.

    Ohhhhhhh, me likey-likey!! clap.gif Simple, elegant + beautiful photos!! Love your blog too!!!! iloveyou.gif

    Hey, how did you do the FB thing on your blog, if I may ask .... is that a plugin?
  • ivarivar I'd be happy with a cookie Registered Users Posts: 8,395 Major grins
    edited June 1, 2010
    Agnieszka wrote: »
    Ohhhhhhh, me likey-likey!! clap.gif Simple, elegant + beautiful photos!! Love your blog too!!!! iloveyou.gif

    Hey, how did you do the FB thing on your blog, if I may ask .... is that a plugin?
    Thanks! :curtsey

    I'm still playing around with my blog, actually; I have alot of posts to go live as well once I get the photos redone (want new sizes).

    The FB thingy is a prophoto 3.1 feauture. They recently released it. No separate plugins needed.

    Once you have that installed (there should be a link in your wp admin area as well if you haven't installed it yet) you can find the FB thingy under appearance - P3 customize - content - Post/Page Footer thumb.gif
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