Today there is a dizzying number of places to show your photos on the web. Flickr, Facebook, Google +, 500 Pics, and even Twitter all have their own advantages, but it has become impossible to keep up with an appropriate amount of posting and commenting and still have time to actually take pictures. The requirements of shooting and actually having a life dictate that choices have to be made regarding my commitment to social media. As I try to find a reasonable balance, it seems to me especially important to keep my web presence firmly grounded in a strong personal web site.
It seems axiomatic that a photography site must be about the visuals. Most important is a beautiful gallery which shows my best work to maximal advantage, organized in collections that allow easy navigation and searching. But the site must be more than a simple collection of images. I want it to inform visitors about my photographic focus and goals and, beyond the usual artistic babble found in most "About" pages, I feel my story is best told in my blog. Finally a site must provide a clear path for those wishing to offer the ultimate compliment of actually purchasing my work. It is a lot to ask, but fortunately there are solutions which are comparative easy to create and surprisingly inexpensive.
After years I have finally update my gallery website. I started designing web sites back in 1995. Yes there was an Internet back
|My Cheshire Medical Site 2005|
|My Recently Deceased Gallery Site|
Time for a Change
I had intended to update my web presence for a few years, but never seemed to have the time to start over. I was finally pressed into action when my old web host decided to go out of the hosting business. Suddenly I had to find a new home by the first of the year and it seemed the obvious time to make a major upgrade.
I considered a number of options, but narrowed my search to two excellent choices, SmugMug and Zenfolio. Both offer professional appearing web sites with a large array of easily customizable templates, easy organization, social media sharing and commerce solutions that make purchasing images quick and painless. They both offer unlimited uploads providing the added benefit of an easy cloud-based location for my most important images. I eventually settled on Zenfolio, partially based on price, but also for ability to incorporate my blog and the ease of a self-fulfillment option. I expect that I will eventually use the affiliated Photo Labs for many orders, but for now I still like to control the printing and matting of my work.
The migration process was surprisingly painless. Both Zenfolio and SmugMug offer free trials. I was able to get the basics well
|Part of my New Front Page|
|One Page of my Autumn Gallery|
Check out my new site and let me know what you think. The address is the same as always :
Be kind there is still much work to do. And feel free to turn off the music when it, inevitably, becomes annoying. If you are considering developing your own web site, it has never been easier, and the results can make a significant difference in the professional appearance of your web presence.