After “several” months of trying to get a professional looking photography website operational, I finally “bit the bullet” and began working with a professional web designer. Let me tell you, she is the best, and that was one of my better decisions in this endeavor. Prior to that, I spent countless hours reading books, attending college level classes, and trying to coerce more knowledgeable friends and acquaintances into “lending a hand,” only to discover that there is much more to building a website than just placing some images onto a page, adding a brief description of yourself, and including a contact me page. There is way more to it than that.
I am going to assume that the reader has knowledge regarding the selection of a domain host and identifying a domain name. That, in itself, could be another blog topic. For my photography website to meet my expectations I first identified what it was I wanted the site to do. Was I looking for clients, trying to sell images, or did I just want folks to see my work? Much of that decision making centered on the type of photography I do, and if I was (or was not) trying to generate some revenue with my photography. Once I had those decisions made, and trust me making those decisions took some effort, I then chose the website design platform I wanted to use.
There are numerous web page development programs out there such as Website Builder or WordPress to name a couple. Prior to my making any decision as to web development software I looked at as many photography websites as I could find. I checked out the software used to build those sites that really caught my eye. I managed to find the website software used to develop my favorite site example, and I made my decision based on how the site looked, and if it met my needs.
Once I had the software identified, I needed to select a “theme”. That also took some research as there are hundreds of “Photography Themes” out there, and some may not work with the web building software program selected. I selected a theme and decided I was going to try and build the site entirely on my own. I selected a theme that, although pretty impressive when looking at sites using that theme, the theme itself was very complicated and difficult to use given my skill level. The one thing I insisted on having was a “responsive theme.” Responsive meant that no matter what media source used to view the site (cell phone, tablet, portable computer etc.), my website would appear normal, and all the pertinent information would be there.
It certainly is not my intent to recommend any specific software or theme. But, rather this is just a little insight as to the commitment I made when developing this website. It was critical for me to consider my type of photography, how that photography was to be portrayed, and what was the desired outcome I wanted. It was important for me to identify that I wanted galleries, portfolios, a blog, and that I needed a marketing capability, so I could generate some revenue through the sale of images and services on line in the future.
It took a long time before the site was ready to publish. There remains additional work to complete, and I respectfully would ask the viewer to contact me when errors are noted, or additional features are desired. Eventually there will be purchasing options included. Until then, should one have a desire to purchase any image or have a need for photographic services, please contact me.