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    website or online gallery?

    Hi all......
    I have started to get a little work with my stuff but I want to make it grow. One of my follow ups asked if I had a website........ I am halfway through a freebie on wix........I havent hit the publish button yet.

    It has an intro, gallery, price list and a contact page.

    So my next thought is.... if I do some email marketing.........giving the contact the url to the gallery...... is that all I need? Do I need to have all the googleadd word stuff? ( or what ever it is called) I doubt my website would be something many people would actually look for ...it is more me marketing to my contacts........facebook can only go so far

    Can you tell I am a bit over my head on this stuff?
    Oh yeah.......dont have the budget to spend either......
    cheers
    Jan

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    What is your niche? The target market is what you need to think about. I do portraiture, so I aim to own my local area as much as possible. I use school events, fetes, formals to market my services and rely on word of mouth to drive referrals. This model would be very different to some one marketing landscapes for example. They might use local cafes, galleries, high traffic areas etc to exhibit their work as a marketing tool.

    I would not look at adwords etc until you are well established, myself.

    One of the site sponsors (who I have my site with) offers a flash based website and gallery service that is reasonably priced and may be what you are looking for initially. The basic version is free and it is easy to use.

    http://www.onlinegalleries.com.au/pricing-plans.php

    Cheers

    Shane

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    thanks Shane
    I was just looking at this site as well.......
    The flash or not flash thing has me a bit jiggered.........wix is flash based......not sure I really understand it.
    I do real estate so aim ( eventually) to own my local area as well but I need to have a fairly wide base as the "local" area is small though not small geographically......mostly direct marketing to agents.
    And the accountant tells me it should be AU based?? for tax purposes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricstew View Post
    thanks Shane
    I was just looking at this site as well.......
    The flash or not flash thing has me a bit jiggered.........wix is flash based......not sure I really understand it.
    I do real estate so aim ( eventually) to own my local area as well but I need to have a fairly wide base as the "local" area is small though not small geographically......mostly direct marketing to agents.
    And the accountant tells me it should be AU based?? for tax purposes?
    From personal experience i would stay away from flash! More trouble than its worth!

    I would suggest buying your own domain and linking it to one of the online gallery places
    Cheers, Brad




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    Sign up with Hostgator if you're after a website.
    I pay $16USD a month for mine, I host 7 domains and with unlimited space I upload most of my "a-grade" photos

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    mercho...why do you say stay away from flash? I have looked at domains and really have no idea.......buy a domain and link up to where tho? Everything seems to be flash and I am not up to writing html. I do have a copy of front page that I used to use for ebay stuff......but that was as far as it went lol

    Dowden I dont think I need 7 domains........I am not selling the pictures persay....I just need to show what I can do and for people to contact me........make enquiries and such.......a url I can put in emails for the agent to go look at.

    cheers
    Jan

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    Just saying that Hostgator offers unlimited space and domains if you need them and for a great price, I think they start at $4.95USD a month.

    I say stay away from flickr, redbubble & smug mug if you are trying to get more business.
    These sites anyone can say they're a pro photographer and then forwarding someone to a hosted site doesn't look good.
    Sure you can tell people about your flickr account, but it looks much better if you have your own hosted site at your own domain.

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    ok I am not really sure I understand this .......so here's my take on it.......please tell me if I have this wrong!
    I buy a domain ( that gives me www.name goes here.com.au )
    Find a free ( or very cheap) online gallery and link the two........( can this be done to get www.name goes here.com.au?)
    Using a hosted gallery ( like wix or smugmug ) will get me www.hostname/myname/gallery.com.....and thats an issue 'cause it doesnt look professional?
    Hmmm..... is that going to be an issue around here where mostly people have trouble coming to terms with the fax machine
    and what's wrong with flash?
    cheers
    Jan

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    Hi Ric

    The major issue with flash is that it not supported on apple mobile products such as iphone or ipad. Apple are pushing hard for html5 as a standard but it is not quite there yet as a standard (but probably will be over time given support by Microsoft as well). Given that more and more devices are web enabled and becoming more prevalent, this may eventually require you to move from a flash based site to a html5 based site. A stat I read recently stated that 98% of all photography sites use flash in some form or another.....

    If you are doing it yourself then a flash based template site would be a relatively easy option at this time. Vendors such as online galleries amongst many others, offer email addresses, ecommerce, hosting and templates which would address some of the issues you have identified. I am sure that if html5 becomes a dominant platform that most vendors will migrate in that direction (or become redundant).

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Shane

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    Hi Jan,

    I would suggest that you get a domain name, get some (decent) hosting and create a website.
    In the long run, you will be better off.

    In order to get a domain name (a .com.au one), you need an ABN. And if you want your domain name to be something other than your own name, you will need to comply with the AU domain regulations. Check www.ausregistry.com.au for more info. You can also check out www.whatsinaname.com.au for the latest prices for domain names in Australia, and which company provides them.

    There are loads of free image gallery applications available, which will also support creating content pages as well. By the sounds of it, you probably only need a few content pages, and the rest will be sample images. Many of these will also allow you to provide images for clients to view using a password.

    I use zenphoto (http://www.zenphoto.org/), for myself and also for my web development clients. It's a simple to use system, but provides great results with only a minimum of customisation.

    Having your own site means you end up with better search engine rankings, so clients can find you easier. You get no ads/stupid sub domains. You get email at your domain name. And for the reletively low cost, it just looks more professional.

    When it comes to hosting, i would seriously suggest looking for a company that is Australian based. You will get better (eg: Phone) support, and it will be generally quicker than overseas based hosting. Some people may not pay much attention to this, but believe me when something goes wrong it is nice to be able to phone someone and get support. I can make some recommendations if you send me a PM.

    Like the guys above have stated, i also tend to steer clear of flash websites. Some corporate clients have older versions and I.T. restrictions prevent them getting new versions of flash, so they just can't see your stuff. Flash is cool if it's used sparingly to compliment the websiite, but not when it provides the entire website content. Forget about whether it's supported on Apple products or not, I doubt you will find too many real estate agents in the Central West of NSW who are browsing for phototgraphers on their iphone.

    For your first website, i would focus on getting it looking clean and professional. Not on having things flashing and playing music and other stuff like that.

    Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.

    Cheers.
    Brett
    Nikon D700 + D90 - Nikon 50mm f1.4, Sigma 24-70 f2.8, Nikon 70-200 f2.8VR, Sigma 18-200mm,

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    Re: website or online gallery?

    I use www.servage.net, an Aussie one stop shop

    Register your website
    Build webpages really quickly
    Install apps like blogs and galleries fir free and easy

    Seriously, you could be up and running in a matter of a few hours

    I pay 6.35 per month


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
    Please support Precious Hearts
    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    wow my head is swimming...
    I already have an abn....at least that was simple.
    So I register a domain in my own name ( which was the game plan )and then build a website (I looked at zenphoto but doubt I am up to writing the codes......) and then find somewhere to host it.......is that how it works?
    So the one stop shop variety ( Servage? ) is looking the way to go for me? There must be wysiwyg types? or else I will take a million years to get it done!
    As for flash......I knew it could be a problem with apple but didnt realize about older eqiupment.
    Nope not too many agents ( or anyone else! ) hanging off their iphone out here!
    I just want something plain and simple with maybe 2 pages and no singing/music sparkling stuff....
    I really want to make this work!
    Off to do yet more research ( bugger and go to work )
    cheers
    Jan

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    The pre-formed website is not a bad way to go, if you do not have the skills to build and maintain one. Places like www.estyles.com.au and www.onlinegalleries.com.au have a good range of 'styles', so you just pick one and away you go. Companies like this can also offer your entire solution, allowing you to choose a domain name and they do all the work registering it for you as well.

    I think with the limited website management experience you state in your posts above, a preformed concept is probably the best way to go at this time. Remember, down the track you can always learn how to build a website, or use some funds to pay to have a custom one made, at that time.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Quote Originally Posted by dowden photography View Post

    I say stay away from flickr, redbubble & smug mug if you are trying to get more business.
    These sites anyone can say they're a pro photographer and then forwarding someone to a hosted site doesn't look good.
    In regards to smugmug, the information provided in the above quote is incorrect. You can have our own hostname and branding with smugmug even down to your shopping cart emails to buyers etc!! This is dependent on the level of service you pay for (ie. the cheaper options don't let you remove all connections with smugmug), but for $150 USD per year you get unlimited storage, bandwidth and complete control of branding (even down to shopping cart etc)...

    If you don't want to do customisation yourself, you can outsource it through various smugmug design companies or even use smugmug as the "backend image database" for sites created with ShowIt...
    Last edited by campo; 05-05-2010 at 11:38am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campo View Post
    In regards to smugmug, the information provided in the above quote is incorrect. You can have our own hostname and branding with smugmug even down to your shopping cart emails to buyers etc!! This is dependent on the level of service you pay for (ie. the cheaper options don't let you remove all connections with smugmug), but for $150 USD per year you get unlimited storage, bandwidth and complete control of branding (even down to shopping cart etc)...

    If you don't want to do customisation yourself, you can outsource it through various smugmug design companies or even use smugmug as the "backend image database" for sites created with ShowIt...
    But with Smug Mug you lose control of printing.
    If you set up a store on your own domain using something like Gallery you can get all the images printed yourself.
    I got 2 1.5m long images printed last year at the colour factory for $80, they sold for $500 each. Smug Mug and sites like Red Bubble charge at least 20% in most cases of sales.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dowden photography View Post
    But with Smug Mug you lose control of printing.
    Incorrect! I have full control of my printing...

    Quote Originally Posted by dowden photography View Post
    Smug Mug and sites like Red Bubble charge at least 20% in most cases of sales...
    Yes, there's a margin for such services if you chose to use them. For the record, Smugmug's margin is less then 20%!!

    Obviously Smugmug doesn't work for your business but it works for plenty of others. The bottom line is that one should chose a process/model/supplier that works best for their own situation.
    Last edited by campo; 05-05-2010 at 12:36pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campo View Post
    Incorrect! I have full control of my printing...



    Yes, there's a margin for such services if you chose to use them. For the record, Smugmug's margin is less then 20%!!

    Obviously Smugmug doesn't work for your business but it works for plenty of others. The bottom line is that one should chose a process/model/supplier that works best for their own situation.
    Sorry only going off what I've been told.
    Smugmug is not for me as you've stated.

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    Thanks Rick........I have a fair idea of how to actually build a website with a program like front page or dreamweaver......I can build pages..and tables and import piccies....did that for Ebay....so I can probaby work my way around the program...but I cant write the actual codes....
    Servage looked good till I went to the FB page and saw all the negative stuff.......so will check out the ones you have linked to.
    cheers
    Jan

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    Quote Originally Posted by campo View Post
    Incorrect! I have full control of my printing...



    Yes, there's a margin for such services if you chose to use them. For the record, Smugmug's margin is less then 20%!!

    Obviously Smugmug doesn't work for your business but it works for plenty of others. The bottom line is that one should chose a process/model/supplier that works best for their own situation.
    I agree with Campo, I have a pro user account and Smug take 15% of sales, and their US based labs are very good and quite well priced compared to locals, as long as you buy a number of images or a higher priced image to make the $5 or so shipping worthwhile. It would be great if they could team up with a local quality lab of course, and hopefully it will happen soon.

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    Jan,

    I host all my sites at www.envisageau.net
    I have found them very reliable, and their support team are great!

    They also use cPanel as their hosting control panel which includes fantastico so you can one click install many CMS/gallery applications. This will give you a default website which you can configure without ever touching any code, much like smugmug (i shudder everytime i read their name) or the site sponsor offerings.

    By the sound of it, people's arguments about print ordering will not be relevant to you, especially if you are dealing with real estate agents, who will use your photos online (realestate.com.au etc) or in their window (printed on a color laser printer from their office).

    cheers.
    Brett

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