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Thread: Lets talk websites

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Lets talk websites

    I've got to put together a website so I would like to see some examples of others and ask a couple of questions;

    1. Whos website do you like the best? It may be your own or someone elses. Leave a link to the one you like.

    2. describe the process of creating it..i.e. development, hosting ect....
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: Lets talk websites

    Mike,

    You don't mention the purpose of the website you wish to create. What is the goal? Do you like or dislike Flash (I happen to dislike it). Do you need client areas, where a client can view proofs? Is it simply to be a brochure, or are there interactive elements?

    Just some thoughts that may help you wrangle the process a bit.

    Dale

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Lets talk websites

    Dale the answer is mostly yes. I'm not a professional but I do a lot of photography locally by word of mouth so a proofing area, client log in is a good idea. Mostly I have a project coming up and I need to have a electronic viewing area. Purchasing prints option is nice but not necessary.
    I like Jonos new site and Woody's but I would like to see what others like / dislike. What do you not like about Flash for example? Thanks
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: Lets talk websites

    Flash has its advantages for photographers, in that "right-clicking" of images, or dragging them to the desktop, is not available, but with the constant movement in flash plug-ins (visitors needing updates), and the delayed loading, I'm not a fan of the functionality struggles for some visitors. I'm a "KISS" guy (Keep It Simple Stu...") when it comes to web applications/sites and prefer that IF flash is used, it's used very sparingly. As a visitor, nothing gets me to leave a site quicker than to have to sit and wait for a flash library to load. If a page chugs to load the library I usually just close the window. Visit a high-end company's site selling products or service via $250K website and see how madding it is to wait for this huge flash movie to load when you enter the site. It's just silly IMO. Not everyone has a fast connection to the internet. I'm currently sitting in Bangkok and while my connection is pretty fast (faster than my home in the U.S.) most here have much, much slower connection speeds. It can be torture waiting for some sites to load.

    Of course, I just visited one flash-based site which loaded fast, was clean looking, and functioned well, so done right Flash can be nice. However, I just stripped a Flash-driven client section from my site because I hated the image quality. There are some issues with colors and details b/n flash and simple HTML pages and it has been a point of frustration for some fussy folks who have both flash and non-flash offerings (to accommodate visitors without the needed plug-ins). Colors often differ in the two different settings. In my case, I was simply using SimpleViewer to generate the slide show and incorporated into my site for clients to flip through the images. I hated the images, but the clients could not tell the difference, my sister-in-law could not see it (a disinterested party), and another observer wasn't moved by the difference. To me the difference is obvious and drastic (in this example), so I pulled it and rebuilt the section using the same method I do for my other stuff. SlideshowPro is another tool that can be used, so I may try that next time. I'm not a Flash developer, so I have to just sort of limp along and cobble, though I am comfortable with (X)HTML and CSS coding at modest levels.

    I find that for "client viewing" or just plain old convenience to visitors, a page of thumbnails is very nice. This can be sectioned by category or client, or whatever. If one offers 100 proofs to someone, they can flip through the full-size images and "ooh and ahh", but it's difficult to cull without a full view of thumbs. This is quite easy to do. If commenting is allowed on the images, the client can mark them with a number rating, or ask you to hide certain images from view (i.e. rejections), etc. One could also incorporate a rating tool separately as well (like a five star thingy) via JavaScript.

    I don't recall the details of Jono's site, and may not know which one you refer too, but I have visited one that he used for sharing his M9 experiences with all of us (that was great of him) and I didn't see anything there that was complicated coding. I'll have to revisit to see if I can offer a more useful comment. I don't recall if he has a different site for his other photography.

    And I probably should have lead with this: do you want to make something yourself, find a turnkey package, higher a team of developers and designers...? Some folks like to use SmugMug or Zenfolio, but I like to tinker on my own.
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 21st October 2009 at 18:28.

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    Re: Lets talk websites

    Okay, I've revisited Jono's site and now visited Woody's. I've blathered a lot in the above post and don't want to ramble on, but both sites that you mention are not using anything complicated to present the content. In Woody's case the site is a WordPress site. WordPress is a great blogging tool, it supports many, many themes, and there are now gallery tools which help to extend its functionality beyond just blogging. One can install WordPress on their own server, or have a site hosted by WordPress. (www.wordpress.com)

    Jono's site looks to be mostly simple HTML markup, so you could take it in any direction you'd like.

    If I were in your place (and I often am ) I would list specific features you need, trying to picture them as pages in a book. This will help you to define the scope of your site and necessary tools.

    I hope that this rambling blather is of some help. If I can be of any help at all, please feel free to ask questions. Others likely have their input as well. I'll shut up now.

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Lets talk websites

    Dale I like your site..nice work
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: Lets talk websites

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Dale I like your site..nice work
    Thank you, Mike. It hasn't much content yet. I need to upload more, but just haven't had enough time.

    There are a few cross-browser quirks, but it's coded with what is referred to as "valid code" so that any W3C compliant browsers should render it correctly. Browser variations are always a hassle to deal with.

    Oh, and I do have a "hidden" client area. It requires a log-in.

  8. #8
    rbs100
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    Re: Lets talk websites

    my wife did this one from scratch--wrote the code

    www.patriciamcclung.com

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    Senior Member back alley's Avatar
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    Re: Lets talk websites

    as anyone here tried using the site builder software from 'intuit'?

    looks easy.

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    Re: Lets talk websites

    Quote Originally Posted by rbs100 View Post
    my wife did this one from scratch--wrote the code

    www.patriciamcclung.com
    Nicely done, rbs100.

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