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Tag Archives: photocrati
I am frequently asked by other photographers about what they should do for a website. By day I build websites, so I am assumed to be somewhat of an expert, and I suppose I am.
Recently a colleague expressed dissatisfaction with his current website. From a visual standpoint, the site looks really good, but it is 99% Flash based. The only part of his site that doesn’t have Flash is his blog. I told him again – as I’ve told him before – that Flash is nice for showing your work, but it is not a good way to design content rich sites that search engines visit and index – unless you are skillful with back-end Flash programming and HTML. Most photographers are neither.
Graphic designs (such as Flash) should be used to deliver graphics. HTML and creative styling (CSS) should be used to deliver words and text. Simple as that. If you are looking at a website design built entirely with Flash and you are not hiring someone to manage your content for you, turn away and look for better alternatives (and they are many!).
I also was recently contacted by a new photographer in a town even more remote than where I live in Ball Ground, GA. He asked me for some advice about finding models to shoot, and he directed me to his website. My immediate response from his site was where is he, what is his phone number, how do I email him? That information was in his site, but it wasn’t obvious. I am a vocal advocate of providing obvious contact information on websites. Don’t hide!
He had a navigational tab on his site called “About Me” where he could have easily put a phone number, an address (or at least a town name), and email, but none of that was there. His “about me” was a description of the content of his website.
So a few answers to my rants:
For photographer website designs and templates that offer high search engine visibility and the tools you need to easily customize and modify content without having to learn an archaic programming language, I suggest WordPress. It is free, powerful, robust, and supported by every web hosting company I’ve seen. There is also a large community of developers that have created free and low-cost design templates that give your site a polished and professional look, and some powerful tools to help you manage your search engine content and integrate such social media trends as Facebook and Twitter right into your website.
FWIW, my WordPress theme comes from Photocrati. Give them a look!
For content – make sure EVERY page has a way to contact you, whether it is a link to a page or the information is part of your footer. No potential client (or model) should have to dig around your site to find a way to tell you they want to work with you.
I have spent more than six months coming up with a design, style, and layout for my website, and in those months I have second-guessed myself and rewritten and redesigned my site more times than I can count. Each revision ended up being more complicated than the one before, and the content management less efficient.
While looking at solutions for my real day-job website, I came across Word Press and decided to give it a second look. Boy howdy was I impressed! After some initial growing pains and technical issues on the hosting side (a few have yet to be resolved), I started putting together what you see here.
This is the new eselby.com!
There are more enhancements to be done, more tweaking and polishing, but so far I am very pleased with Word Press and Photocrati who had a Word Press theme that looked and behaved exactly as I had envisioned my website all along.
Thank you for your patience during this growth, and I look forward to working with you on your portrait and event photography needs.
This has been a taxing journey to say the least.
In January of 2009 I resolved to re-do my website. Now here it is December of 2009, and I’m finally getting it done.