DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Best/Cheapest way to have your own domain/website!
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 62, (reverse)
AuthorThread
05/31/2012 07:59:28 PM · #1
So I currently have a smugmug and a facebook.

But slowly and surely, I am moving towards making my own website (aka kristinageddertphotography.com), which I intend to use as a sidejob for Senior Portraits/Engagements/Weddings
The dream of course would be to some day go professional/full-time, but for now I know I am not there yet.
The problem is, I don't quite know how to go about doing it, especially because I have no coding experience.

If you have a website with your own domain, my question is how you did it and what services you used?
Did you do your own programing? Did you go through a site that gives a basic structure and helps you customize?
Feel free to share your website :-)

I am looking for a somewhat cheap but high quality way of doing it
I know that smugmug allows you to pay a more expensive membership to customize your own page with your own domain, but that is 150 dollars a year, and I am wondering if there are maybe cheaper options that would provide similar quality.

Edit: Thanks for the help. I have officially created kristinageddertphotography.com

Message edited by author 2012-06-05 14:37:25.
05/31/2012 08:44:25 PM · #2
I have hosted my own site forever but moved the photo thing to a 500px account recently when they ran a special for $25 a year. I like the clean interface and the compatibility with ithings. Before that I wrote my own simple little flash site as an exercise to play with flash & xml :-0).

There are a zillion hosting places - just grab a shared unix plan for @8/mth for your purpose. I suggest you make sure it include a wordpress install as for someone not a programmer IMO that's the best platform for you to DIY.

The domain - grab anywhere. A lot of hostings will throw it in for free but I always manage that separately - well, lets say I've been burnt before and I just prefer been able to move hosts when I like and they can do squat about it if your not using them for the domain :-)

For the furnishings under wordpress - explore the free themes and pic one. There are some nice addons but that's a tad more complexity - doable for most people. When you get more serious.... have a look at better options.

Edit: To be clear, I don't mean my 500px acct that all of us have - I mean they will host your site and you get to pick the theme from a very limited set. See here for my site as an example running under 500px.

Message edited by author 2012-05-31 20:46:13.
05/31/2012 08:54:45 PM · #3
Originally posted by robs:



Edit: To be clear, I don't mean my 500px acct that all of us have - I mean they will host your site and you get to pick the theme from a very limited set. See here for my site as an example running under 500px.


dont mean to hijack but are you aware how pixilated your images look when i click that link??? it looks really bad. you quality shows though but the images are not showing in their full resolution.
05/31/2012 08:58:26 PM · #4
Originally posted by mike_311:

Originally posted by robs:



Edit: To be clear, I don't mean my 500px acct that all of us have - I mean they will host your site and you get to pick the theme from a very limited set. See here for my site as an example running under 500px.


dont mean to hijack but are you aware how pixilated your images look when i click that link??? it looks really bad. you quality shows though but the images are not showing in their full resolution.

Hummm... really? They look fine from here & I just use the 500px plugin, so should not be an issue....... What resolution is your browser window?? Thanks for the heads up.... I will have a look!!
05/31/2012 09:01:42 PM · #5
I have created a number of sites and will second the Wordpress recommendation.

When selecting your hosting service look for one that provides Wordpress and uses Simple Scripts. Simple Scripts will make installing the Wordpress simple and you can be up and running in no time.

05/31/2012 09:10:46 PM · #6
To use your own domain and customize on SmugMug you simply need to go from the 40USD to the 60USD a year plan. The 150USD plan is for photographers looking at selling right from there site and if you are working full-time as a photographer, that extra little bit is probably worth it, but if you don't need those extras then 60USD is more than enough. SmugMug is nice. Uploading and keeping things clean is easy. I see no real reason why you would have to move from it unless there was a specific look you were going for but couldn't achieve with it.

I have a smugmug @ //www.studiof7.com/ and it's been fun. I know there are people that complain about the SmugMug branding and people wanting to remove it, and in time I'm sure they will. They are always looking at making things better. BUT if you want to move on from them, as [user]Registered Userrobs[/user] said, 500px is nice. They have a limited number of themes but they look nice IMO. Not sure what the plans are though.

I have and English tutoring site @ //www.planet-english.net/ and it took me forever to figure it all out. I started with a free template and used Dreamweaver to make all the necessary changes and adjustments. I had a lot of help from more knowledgeable people as well. There are plenty of free and still very professional looking templates out there to work with. Some hosting sites provide a website creator or templates. I know Bluehost has something that allows you to create websites, they were promoting it not too long ago...can't remember the name.

Anyways, good luck. Let us know how things work out.

ETA: Wordpress is great. I have had issues with it in the beginning, but you get the hang of it.

Message edited by author 2012-05-31 21:12:19.
05/31/2012 09:14:52 PM · #7
I'm seeing the same thing as [user]Membermike_311[/user] is. Nice photos that look pixilated. The edges are jagged like you upsized from a smaller photo. What sizes are you uploading? Maybe another thread needs to be created for this?
06/01/2012 01:22:56 AM · #8
I would stay with smugmug.... You will just need to do some googling to see how to fully
customize. The 60 plan should suffice. I have been working on my own site, and have been able to remove all smugmug branding..... //www.angiemacphotography.com
06/01/2012 02:01:38 AM · #9
Originally posted by mike_311:

Originally posted by robs:



Edit: To be clear, I don't mean my 500px acct that all of us have - I mean they will host your site and you get to pick the theme from a very limited set. See here for my site as an example running under 500px.


dont mean to hijack but are you aware how pixilated your images look when i click that link??? it looks really bad. you quality shows though but the images are not showing in their full resolution.


I'm also seeing large images, but with pixelation, look at the nose areas for example
06/01/2012 06:40:11 AM · #10
Originally posted by heatherd:

Originally posted by mike_311:

Originally posted by robs:



Edit: To be clear, I don't mean my 500px acct that all of us have - I mean they will host your site and you get to pick the theme from a very limited set. See here for my site as an example running under 500px.


dont mean to hijack but are you aware how pixilated your images look when i click that link??? it looks really bad. you quality shows though but the images are not showing in their full resolution.


I'm also seeing large images, but with pixelation, look at the nose areas for example


just checked it again at work and it looks the same. Firebox browser. 1920x1080 both monitors. agree with 31.gif heavyj we should move this to another thread.
06/01/2012 01:14:35 PM · #11
For those who have a smugmug website, how does the coding work for your own website in comparison to what is available for the basic 40 dollar package?
Is it just a text box where you have to write in code, or are there drop down menus and such where you can choose what you want without actually coding it?

Also, I just updated my membership in March. Do you think it is worth it to pay the extra 20 bucks for not a full year, or should I wait until the next time I need to renew?
06/01/2012 01:23:45 PM · #12
Originally posted by KristinaG:

For those who have a smugmug website, how does the coding work for your own website in comparison to what is available for the basic 40 dollar package?
Is it just a text box where you have to write in code, or are there drop down menus and such where you can choose what you want without actually coding it?

Also, I just updated my membership in March. Do you think it is worth it to pay the extra 20 bucks for not a full year, or should I wait until the next time I need to renew?


It's like 45c a week for the rest of the year, I'd probably just take the plunge and try it at that sort of cost - if you don't know how to code it can be very frustrating even doing wordpress (although I do agree this is by far the easiest way to go for someone not in to website design).
06/01/2012 01:31:44 PM · #13
Smugmug has both an easy drop down system for simple customization and boxes available for advanced customization/coding.

I knew nothing about webdesign or coding when I got the site. Whenever I wanted to do something I would just do a google search looking for what I wanted to do (making sure to add smugmug into the search) and was able to find someone who figured out the coding and has listed what the cut and paste into which boxes.

It is really not that hard and you can not mess anything up. In the advanced customization menu there is an option for them to email you a copy of your current settings, so it you don't like the change you are about to make, you can just go back and cut and paste what you had before.

www.angiemacphotography.com
06/01/2012 02:06:33 PM · #14
to jump in here, any advice on domain names? should one go with an shorter url as opposed to longer? i always though short was easier, it kind of bugs me when i need to check the spelling of along url.

for instance, in my case, what would be the best option? or other?

MAPhoto.com
MAPhotography.com
MichaelAlestra.com
MichaelAlestraPhotography.com
06/01/2012 02:16:07 PM · #15
Originally posted by mike_311:

to jump in here, any advice on domain names? should one go with an shorter url as opposed to longer? i always though short was easier, it kind of bugs me when i need to check the spelling of along url.

for instance, in my case, what would be the best option? or other?

MAPhoto.com
MAPhotography.com
MichaelAlestra.com
MichaelAlestraPhotography.com

Personally, I like it short and to the point, so I would go with MAPhotography.com.
You have the benefit that your last name isn't as popular as mine, so I was lucky to get cjsphotography.ca. You should have more options, at least one would think.

I'm sure there are people who can't spell Michael, let alone your last name. Would you want to rely on chance for those people?

CS

Message edited by author 2012-06-01 14:17:48.
06/01/2012 02:18:09 PM · #16
Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

...Personally, I like it short and to the point, so I would go with MAPhotography.com


+1 best name by far.

ETA:
Having said that I went for markallchin.com and if your name is available I would take that too!

Message edited by author 2012-06-01 14:18:57.
06/01/2012 03:01:16 PM · #17
Originally posted by Mark-A:

Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

...Personally, I like it short and to the point, so I would go with MAPhotography.com


+1 best name by far.

Agreed, but that domain is not available except aftermarket ($$$). You could go with alestraphotography.com (available)

and agreed - you should get mikealestra.com (and michaelalestra.com, also available) as well and you can point them to your photography site.
06/01/2012 03:07:12 PM · #18
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Originally posted by Mark-A:

Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

...Personally, I like it short and to the point, so I would go with MAPhotography.com


+1 best name by far.

Agreed, but that domain is not available except aftermarket ($$$). You could go with alestraphotography.com (available)

and agreed - you should get mikealestra.com (and michaelalestra.com, also available) as well and you can point them to your photography site.

Yeah, just checked, they want $4300 for MAPphotography.com. It was the same with CJSPhotography.com, but I was able to snag the .ca domain instead. You won't have that luxury.

Getting a couple which point to your main site isn't that much money and it's a terrific idea. Your name is common, yet different enough, that it shouldn't get too mangled with other sites in a proper search.

Try having Chris Smith for a name.

CS

Message edited by author 2012-06-01 15:07:38.
06/01/2012 03:12:29 PM · #19
Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Originally posted by Mark-A:

Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

...Personally, I like it short and to the point, so I would go with MAPhotography.com


+1 best name by far.

Agreed, but that domain is not available except aftermarket ($$$). You could go with alestraphotography.com (available)

and agreed - you should get mikealestra.com (and michaelalestra.com, also available) as well and you can point them to your photography site.

Yeah, just checked, they want $4300 for MAPphotography.com. It was the same with CJSPhotography.com, but I was able to snag the .ca domain instead. You won't have that luxury.

Getting a couple which point to your main site isn't that much money and it's a terrific idea. Your name is common, yet different enough, that it shouldn't get too mangled with other sites in a proper search.

Try having Chris Smith for a name.

CS

Actually, having seen that you have already watermarked some of your images with "Michael Alestra Photography", I assume you are already using that as your business name? If so, you should just use MichaelAlestraPhotography.com - if I saw one of your watermarked photos on the web and wanted to check out your work, I would always try www.WhateverYourWatermarkSays.com
06/01/2012 03:28:24 PM · #20
How sad is it, that my biggest concern in getting a domain name now is that when I marry (someday hopefully lol), my last name is going to change =p

I think shorter domains are better as well. That being said, most of the short domain names have already been taken, which is why so many photographers just go with their fullname.
06/01/2012 03:30:45 PM · #21
Originally posted by mike_311:

to jump in here, any advice on domain names? should one go with an shorter url as opposed to longer? i always though short was easier, it kind of bugs me when i need to check the spelling of along url.

for instance, in my case, what would be the best option? or other?

MAPhoto.com
MAPhotography.com
MichaelAlestra.com
MichaelAlestraPhotography.com


This is just my opinion, but I question the need for the words "photo" or "photography" in the domain name. When I think of Smugmug I think of photos even though there is no reference to photos in their domain name. As far as I know, people do not use wild card characters to search for all domains including those words. If you make your name synonymous with photography in your area/niche, I beleive people will see it and think of you and your pictures. I agree that shorter is better to a point. Alestra is a unique last name, and would be great imo, but it appears to be registered already. If you could get your first/last name.com, then market it, use SEO tools, etc., I think that would probably be best.
06/01/2012 03:32:38 PM · #22
Originally posted by KristinaG:

How sad is it, that my biggest concern in getting a domain name now is that when I marry (someday hopefully lol), my last name is going to change =p

I think shorter domains are better as well. That being said, most of the short domain names have already been taken, which is why so many photographers just go with their fullname.


The name of your business does not necessarily have to change just because you get married
06/01/2012 03:33:29 PM · #23
Originally posted by KristinaG:

How sad is it, that my biggest concern in getting a domain name now is that when I marry (someday hopefully lol), my last name is going to change =p

Why? Don't take his name, problem averted.

CS
06/01/2012 03:40:55 PM · #24
Originally posted by JiaBob:

This is just my opinion, but I question the need for the words "photo" or "photography" in the domain name. When I think of Smugmug I think of photos even though there is no reference to photos in their domain name. As far as I know, people do not use wild card characters to search for all domains including those words. If you make your name synonymous with photography in your area/niche, I beleive people will see it and think of you and your pictures. I agree that shorter is better to a point. Alestra is a unique last name, and would be great imo, but it appears to be registered already. If you could get your first/last name.com, then market it, use SEO tools, etc., I think that would probably be best.

Having "photography" in the domain name is one major key to SEO. Not having it is a disadvantage. It's not everything, but it helps a lot. I don't see a problem with moderately long names - especially if they match your business name AND have SEO keywords.
06/01/2012 03:41:30 PM · #25
Originally posted by cosmicassassin:

Originally posted by KristinaG:

How sad is it, that my biggest concern in getting a domain name now is that when I marry (someday hopefully lol), my last name is going to change =p

Why? Don't take his name, problem averted.

CS

Yeah, make him take YOUR name!
cavewoman.png
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 11/20/2018 02:33:17 PM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2018 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 11/20/2018 02:33:17 PM EST.