How to Establish Your Web Presence

Guide for Photographers and Others on How to Create an Efficient Website

We’ve been working a lot on our company web sites and performed a detailed research on what is the best and most efficient way to build a personal or a company web site. Now we have the opportunity to share opinions that can help beginner photographers create professional-looking online portfolios, blogs or even a small stock agency.

Screen shot of photographer's blog

Screen shot of Photo retoucher's blog

In my opinion, every photographer should have a web-based Portfolio and Blog. I suggest beginning with a blog, because it’s less time-consuming, and more search-engine friendly. Yes, search engines (like Google, Yahoo, MSN) love blogs. It’s always better to start sooner than later, time is working against you in this case! You can show your clients all your best photography through the blog and your blog is the best method of communication between you and your client.

Blog

Step 1

Choose your domain name, register and host it. Some of the trusted and larger companies to do this are:

www.networksolutions.com

www.godaddy.com

GoDaddy also provides an inexpensive hosting service.

Step 2

Go to wordpress.org and download the latest version. Then follow the three easy steps to start blogging.

You can find themes, plug-ins and ideas on this website. Just start your photography blog and you will understand that it’s easy and has unlimited possibilities to show your works and personality. You don’t need to be a web developer or to know HTML and programming to start your own blog. Just follow instructions and ask questions on the forum. Many people will be glad to help you.

You can even skip step 1 and begin your blog in a couple of seconds. All you need is an email address. You’ll get your own WordPress.com address (yourname@wordpress.com), a selection of great, free and customizable designs for your blog (themes), 3 gigabytes of file storage (that’s about 2,500 pictures!) and all the other great features. You can blog as much as you want for free. Your blog can be public to the world or private for just your friends.

See our blogs as an example:

www.akelstudio.com/blog

www.perfectphotoblog.com

Web-based Photo Portfolio

Step 1 is the same as with a blog

Choose your domain name and find the hosting:

www.networksolutions.com

www.godaddy.com

You can use an existing domain. (For example, you can use www.yourname.com as a portfolio, and www.yourname.com/blog as your blog.)

Step 2

Find the right gallery plug-in for your images.

Simple Viewer

We are using Simple Viewer . It is a free / $45 Pro, customizable Flash image viewing application. You will be able to automatically create a Simple Viewer gallery using desktop software (such as PhotoShop, Picasa, iPhoto, RapidWeaver, Aperture, Lightroom).

WP-SimpleViewer is a plug-in to easily integrate Simple Viewer galleries into WordPress.

See our photo portfolio as an example www.koloskov.com.

LiveBooks

LiveBooks Professional has been designed to meet the needs of individual photographers looking to build their brand and share their work in a professional online experience. This is a great gallery, but very expensive, especially for beginners. A basic package costs $800.

Joomla.com

Joomla is a content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Websites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Website software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

Joomla is designed to be easy to install and set up, even if you’re not an advanced user. Many Web hosting services offer a single-click install, getting your new site up and running in just a few minutes.

Here you can find thousands of extensions for your website, including photo-galleries, shopping carts, contact forms, polls and many other cool things.

See our company web site as an example – www.akelstudio.com

Please let us know if this article was helpful for you and what you’d like learn about in more details.

Most importantly, don’t be intimidated by the process of acquiring web presence. Starting a website or a blog is simple and quick. Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply a lover of photography on an amateur level, you can certainly use the internet to put your work up and communicate with clients and/or friends. Do some research on the resources we provided you to see which service would work best for you.

And of course, keep checking back for more useful information and articles!

5 comments to How to Establish Your Web Presence

  • Thank you sharing this informative article. I am very sure many people could get benefit from it.

  • Great information, much appreciated!

  • Hello, for the step 2 I like to bring http://www.viewbook.com to your attention. With Viewbook.com you can easily create portfolio galleries, basic portfolio pages and complete custom websites with an online editor. All the best!

  • I think that if you take the time to understand the WordPress system you can have it all under one domain. That is what I did and I am not a web designer. There are many solutions that work very well will WP that produce fantastic results.

    I used to use Simpleviewer on my old site and it is a fantastic tool. But once I went with WP I was able to combine everything under one domain. Joomla is also a great CMS but I found it a bit less intuitive than WP. It is also designed for none blog sites. Or at least less blog focused sites.

    All your points are good valid ones, I just think it can be done under one roof so to speak. This kind of eliminates your part two of your article.

  • to Michael Albany
    Thank you, Michael for your opinion. I like WP too. I agree, you can have everything under one domain, everything depends on a requirements to the application you are trying to build.

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