Advice Required - Website....sorry :-(

Inland paddling
User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Advice Required - Website....sorry :-(

Post by SwamP »

Sorry this is a big ask buuuuut.

My (sadly now part-time) photography business is taking a new direction, specialising in subjects that I have more of a passion for i.e. people, sports and documentary and as such it will no longer be appropriate to use www.ryanpaschke.com as it’s too personal; fine for weddings and corporate commissions but not for my long term goal.

My question to the many fountains of knowledge who know far more on this subject than I is...for a photo-heavy website where style and appearance is everything. What is the best ‘thingy’ to go with?

I’ve looked at Flash, CSS and these http://www.easykiss123.com/tutorials/picasa/index.html picasa based ‘thingies’ but I’m not sure which would best show case my work.
I’ve bought the domain name and now have it hosted to 3Gb (hoping that’s enough for 500+ photos)

Clearly my knowledge isn’t great but I’m sure once I know which is the best route to go down my learning curve will steepen.

Any and all advice welcomed!

Cheers,
Technophobe Paschke
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

User avatar
Strad
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:27 am
Location: The Beautiful Borders of Scotland
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Post by Strad »

I use CSS and home built PHP so I can control what I want, but some of the pre-built albums are great, need to be careful of the license on those being for commercial use.

Flash ships with a photo gallery demo, but you have to rebuild the flash applet each time you add a photo (or at least in the version I have you do, might have changed as I'm using MX - a few years old).

I have a feeling coffee cup has a gallery builder too?
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

User avatar
justin-g
Posts: 2085
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:58 pm
Location: Brizzle

Post by justin-g »

This may sound boring - but from my perspective you must optimise for search as a starting point. This may mean buying a templated gallery sytem to embed into your own site. Then you will need to come up with a strong naming convention for your images so they start to get indexed by google for image and universial search.

From there i would use google trends to keyword research the areas here people research online and start developing content and expertise areas (such as blogs) around these area's.

Can walk you throughh it more in Scotland in a couple of weeks.

J
White water "rider"

User avatar
jon a
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:42 am
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Post by jon a »

I use hand crafted xHTML, CSS and JQuery (a JavaScript Framework). I try to do everything visual with CSS and as much as possible avoid anything that causes accessibility issues. I use JQuery to do things that are often done using flash.

Depends how much time you have on your hands really.

J
You learn something new every day, most times it is that what you learnt yesterday was in fact wrong!

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Post by SwamP »

jon a wrote:
Depends how much time you have on your hands really.
My time is spent mostly sorting out the logistics of various projects and then selling them.

A friend set up my website and as you can see I haven't updated it since it went live...this is what I aim to avoid with my new site. So in answer to your question, as easily updateable as possible without compromising on the appearance of my images.

Cheers so far....it really is a different bloody language huh!
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

VirtBlue
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:19 pm

Post by VirtBlue »

Both coppermine and gallery work very well and there are alot of skins/themes out and about. Though you might want to go with a flash based solution stops photo theft to an extent, you cant stop a screen cap, so you don't have to watermark.

I found this the other day its quite nifty, its for picasa but you could modify it.
http://www.paulvanroekel.nl/picasa/polaroiddemo/
http://www.paulvanroekel.nl/picasa/

User avatar
jimkennedy
Posts: 182
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Dublin
Contact:

Death to Flash!

Post by jimkennedy »

The only good Flash is Mr. Gordon, and I'm talking about the old black-and-white TV program...

As a punter who spends way too much time on t'interweb, please, please don't go the Flash route. It does, as the last poster says, stops theft, but by locking out everyone. Awful, unusable format that drives people away from your work. If I see Flash starting to load, I click away somewhere else. A case in point is stevefisher's new site. Great boater, lots to say for himself, but a Flash site doesn't allow for speed, cut-and-paste, emailing links, ease of navigation.

Also, I'd imagine if you're a self-proclaimed technophobe, then Flash is probably difficult to use from your end. Probably grand if you want to upload once and walk away, but not exactly easy to edit and change stuff.

My uninformed, slightly ranty, no breakfast or lunch two cents.

Jim.

User avatar
Strad
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:27 am
Location: The Beautiful Borders of Scotland
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Post by Strad »

Very good points Jim, I only use flash for internal training vids in the company I work for!

Another thing I would mention though related to stopping image theft - don't put a no right click script on your site - all they do is p$$$ people off without actually securing your images which will be readily available in a persons internet files folder....
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Post by SwamP »

With regard to image theft my idea was to have an unwatermarked thumbnail, but a second watermarked larger image thus discouraging theft.

By the sounds of it I need to do some youtube tutorials or go on a course :-(
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

TomWardill
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:37 pm
Location: Doncaster / York
Contact:

Post by TomWardill »

What are you trying to acheive with the website?

Search optimization isn't really needed unless you want to try and open the site to people randomly finding it. If you're just using it as a publicity tool (like to have an email address and url on your buiness cards, with a portfolio etc), then it's not so important.

The easiest way is to find someone who's good and bribe them with alcohol to get them to do it, but to build it on a system like gallery/joomla to make it updateable for you.

My favoured would be a custom wordpress template, with a flickr plugin/page for the gallery.
Or talk to Tom Laws and ask how he does his.

Digital Photography School (google it) has a very good forum with people who do the website photography thing for a living, and they're pretty happy to share ideas and help out, very worth a look.
Tom Wardill

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Post by SwamP »

Think you're spot on...

Not looking for search optimisation for this site, email, portfolio should suffice for now and will expand in due course.

I'm a big fan of Tom L's photos. I like his shot selection, editing and angles. Easy to see the chap knows what he's doing.

That said his site is very personal and equally very approachable whereas my new one is looking to be less about wording and left more to the photos with a very brief synopsis on each image.

I'm going to look in more detail at the picass templates but for ease of use they may be my short term solution.

Problem is these ones look so nice and shiny! http://www.templatemonster.com/category ... m=2&cat=40
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

User avatar
jon a
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:42 am
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Post by jon a »

Bear in mind anything that you put online can be stolen, whether it is flash, 'protected' by javascript or any other method. Watermarking it in a way that doesn't spoil the image but is hard to remove is the best your can really do (and preferably in a way that is easy and not time consuming to do) then only put up lower resolution copies of the images, therefore reducing their worth anyway (high enough resolution to show you are good, but not good enough for it to be worth knicking) if someone is interested they can get in touch and you can send them higher resolution work if you trust them.

The way I see it is this...Keep the site simple and rely on your photos to sell your skills rather than some spangley animated flash site (I use spangley in the loosest sense as I also hate flash sites and usually go elsewhere when I see the loading... thing come up!). I can normally spot a bought template, and would much rather see something personal and tailored to the content and the business / photographer. If you are not skilled on web development then a template is an easy starting point though and can always be changed. I am a very good technical coder but have always struggled with the visual design thing so can understand why templates are so prevalent.

J
You learn something new every day, most times it is that what you learnt yesterday was in fact wrong!

kernel
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:14 pm

Post by kernel »

Employ a professional.

What would you think of someone taking their wedding snaps with a disposable, cardboard camera with their finger stuck halfway over the lense?
Ross Lynch

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13975
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Post by Jim »

Big P wrote:With regard to image theft my idea was to have an unwatermarked thumbnail, but a second watermarked larger image thus discouraging theft.

By the sounds of it I need to do some youtube tutorials or go on a course :-(
That's probably about the best way, like Strad says, if you can see it on-screen, you can find it in your temporary folder if you know how to look. I guess extracting images from flash presentations is a bit harder but having seen screwed up installations that wouldn't let flash install I would agree it's maybe not the best option for ease of use.

Are you intending to have online ordering? If so you will probably need an e-commerce hosting solution with things like SSL certificates so you can encrypt transfers of banking data, or use paypal - you will quite soon need to upgrade to a business account and then they take a % of your incoming payments so make sure the price allows for that. Of course what you need depends on the back end, if it all relies on you checking the orders each evening and printing and mailing the goods by hand, you don't want large numbers of orders so won't need a large scale handling system - it is something to consider if you get successful at it though.

I have often sort of considered creating some sort of photo website myself (probably not got nearly as many worthy photos as you or Tom) - I have wondered if it is possible to set something up with an online photo printing firm whereby you could take orders on your website and automagically forward the file and details on the buyer to theirs so you don't even have to be manually involved in the printing and mailing step? There are plenty of places that offer internet printing of digital photos and mail your photos out, it may simply be a case of finding one that offers a reseller type interface for semi-pro photographers? Obviously it is important that they do not require transfer of copyright to them...

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Post by SwamP »

Cheers Jim, etc.

I'm not going to go down the route of selling mass photographs. I had thought of it but quickly realised that too mant photographers chase every penny they can and soon lose the passion they had for specific categories, such as sport for example.

In my first year I did this and ended up shooting advertising, sport, weddings, christenings, corporate, documentaries christ the list goes on and in the end up you become ok at everything but a master of hee haw(Scottish for nuffink).

Jim for high end printing I use Loxely Colour as they are very client focussed and produce a high standard of quality. For high quality printing but less client care I use Pyramid Imaging who are still very good and friendly but wouldn't be interested in being a middleman for your sales.

PlanetPaddler.com has a link to another printing company who I here are good but i haven't used them so far so can't comment to the services they offer.

Back to webdesign, I have the full CS3 dreamweaver thingy so I'll practice making up my own pages over the weekend whist at the same time looking at/stealing templates in hopes to try and get what I want....whatever that is (too many ideas!)
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

Will
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 1:46 pm
Location: Birmingham

Post by Will »

Big P wrote:it will no longer be appropriate to use www.ryanpaschke.com as it’s too personal
Big P wrote:That said his site is very personal and equally very approachable whereas my new one is looking to be less about wording and left more to the photos with a very brief synopsis on each image.
Ryan,

I don't know you, but I've looked at your photos and I like them. Reading your posts, you're clearly passionate about taking photos. If I wanted to pay somebody to take photos these are the two things I would be looking for.

I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve by making your site 'non-personal'... I can understand the need to look professional - something I think your current site achieves, but how corporate do you need to be? Don't forget, customers are people, and they want to deal with somebody they can trust. If you are working for yourself, you need to sell yourself - not just your pictures.

Just my opinion - good luck!

Will

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

Having taken a quick look at your sites I would say you're not that much in need of advice! Very nice work.

To improve the gallery on your own web site you could do worse than to take a look at Slide Show Pro - well worth the $29 I would say but there's a free trial so you can decide for yourself. Yes it's Flash, but Flash is fine when used in that way to embed a gallery - it's the Flash-only web sites which are a PITA.
Steve Balcombe

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Post by SwamP »

Will wrote:I don't know you,
That's doesn't matter mate we're all in the same boat......BNIAGW

So I can embed a cool looking flash slideshow thingy into my current website huh? hmmm that would be ok....but I've just spent £60 on liquidimpact.co.uk and hosting hahaha bugger!

The reason for having a second website which is not as personal is to open up my documentography side of things; examples of current projects are Homeless Scotland, Drookit (our rainy country), Extreme Sacrifice (for the love of the sport) and many others still to come. I agree with your point on to sell you must relate to the person...but I also want them to ignore the person and to relate to the subjects and photographs.

With this in mind the main concern on wanting a new site is to be able to put more photos on it i.e. more than the 9 currently, on each page and update then easily and frequently. I'm not sure if this is possible with my current site.

I'd love to have almost all the photos in the link below on the site as a general slideshow page but to also to have an individual page for each project I complete.

Plus no bugger can spell Paschke so LiquidImpact is a lot easier to remember.

Sorry for asking all this advice....to give some back; don't pour 2/3 of red wine in your spag bol, don't use 3 cloves of garlic, don't eat 500g of mince to yourself ..............and do not pull the covers over your girlfriends head when you chuff



I feel sick! :-(
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Post by SwamP »

www.stockclimbingphotos.com

Would folk think this is an ok template?

It's taken from this site http://www.ifp3.com/photography/examples.cfm
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

MattC
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 8:03 pm

Post by MattC »

Hi Ryan,

I've had a dabble with this:

http://www.zenphoto.org

It's got lots of different themes and is pretty easy to set up with a separate admin area for managing everything. I've been using it on my site (http://www.corkysphotos.co.uk - still a work in progress!) and it does the job pretty nicely.

Matt

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 5809
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Sheffield

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Flash won't reach as many people;
If working with HTML/CSS/PHP/ASP etc, make sure it displays in FF and IE equally well.
If hiring someone to do it for you, make sure it displays in FF/IE equally for yourself.
ONE BLADE, ONE LOVE, [TOO] MANY PIES


Joshua Kelly

porlhews
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 12:15 am
Location: North East England and (coming soon) Cumbria!
Contact:

Post by porlhews »

Hey guys,

Flash is good, but wont work with those people out there who are using older software. If you want to use flash then I'd recommend including a html version too.

Html is easier to write too.

I made Ken Hughes' site (www.kenhughescourses.com). There's still work to be done, but it might give you some ideas. I'm not a professional website designer, I do it in my spare time - but if you want some pointers then feel free to ask and I'll do my best.....

porl:D

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Flash won't reach as many people;
porlhews wrote:Flash is good, but wont work with those people out there who are using older software.
I think you guys have been reading some very old advice. Flash has worked on every major browser for years now.
Steve Balcombe

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 5809
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Sheffield

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Steve B wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:Flash won't reach as many people;
porlhews wrote:Flash is good, but wont work with those people out there who are using older software.
I think you guys have been reading some very old advice. Flash has worked on every major browser for years now.
No, I'm working on the basis that for me flash means no back button, long loading times, and a fixed screen size (I didn't buy a 1920*1440 screen, to view a 640*400 rectangle in the middle).
Last edited by TheKrikkitWars on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
ONE BLADE, ONE LOVE, [TOO] MANY PIES


Joshua Kelly

User avatar
Pyro
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 4:32 pm
Location: Leeds
Contact:

Post by Pyro »

Steve B wrote: I think you guys have been reading some very old advice. Flash has worked on every major browser for years now.
But not, sadly, for those of us viewing stuff on company networks, where anything that needs updating regularly (Flash, Shockwave etc) are blocked for downloading 'because I don't have an admin login'.
-------
Pyro's Yard - Random Wafflings

User avatar
jimkennedy
Posts: 182
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Dublin
Contact:

Post by jimkennedy »

<rant>I'm with these guys - Flash sucks, sucks, sucks, and it's got nothing to do with 'older software' issues. From a control-freak designer point-of-view with a fixation on anti-theft measures, it's probably great, but offering stuff on the web for sale, as the original poster intends to do, is all about the viewer, not the designer.

Slow, long-loading times, no interactivity, no navigation. It's like the opposite of web 2.0. Don't put Flash on your website unless you're happy to lose a portion of your potential audience automatically. Lots of us simply won't stay on a website if we see Flash starting to load.</rant>

Note to self: Coffee first, then message board.

Jim.

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:No, I'm working on the basis that for me flash means no back button, long loading times, and a fixed screen size (I didn't buy a 1920*1440 screen, to view a 640*400 rectangle in the middle).
That is not what you said - unless my mind is playing tricks on me you said "Flash won't reach as many people".

But in any case, does a 640 x 400 image display better in html than in Flash?

"If you read what I wrote", to use the time-honoured phrase, I didn't suggest that anyone should design an entire site using Flash, quite the opposite in fact. I suggested using a Flash object to display the photos, as one option to consider. It's ideal for some galleries, depending how you want to present them.
Steve Balcombe

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 5809
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Sheffield

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Steve B wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:No, I'm working on the basis that for me flash means no back button, long loading times, and a fixed screen size (I didn't buy a 1920*1440 screen, to view a 640*400 rectangle in the middle).
That is not what you said - unless my mind is playing tricks on me you said "Flash won't reach as many people".

But in any case, does a 640 x 400 image display better in html than in Flash?

"If you read what I wrote", to use the time-honoured phrase, I didn't suggest that anyone should design an entire site using Flash, quite the opposite in fact. I suggested using a Flash object to display the photos, as one option to consider. It's ideal for some galleries, depending how you want to present them.
Steve, Flash will deter a significant amount of people like myself, and essentially bar those people accessing from networked PC's that are not their own (something which is a far more serious problem than offending the foibles of a few hardened geeks, considering the amount of people who search for this sort of thing in works time or during breaks.)
ONE BLADE, ONE LOVE, [TOO] MANY PIES


Joshua Kelly

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

jimkennedy wrote:From a control-freak designer point-of-view with a fixation on anti-theft measures, it's probably great,
Flash only prevents the most casual of 'right click' image copying, nobody would suggest it as a serious anti-theft measure.
Don't put Flash on your website unless you're happy to lose a portion of your potential audience automatically.
If I see an entire Flash site starting to load, I'm one of the audience it may well lose. But Flash elements on a page can be very useful and to point-blank refuse to use them is ridiculous. Have you even noticed that some of the ads on this site are Flash?

Flash is the tool you love to hate, especially amongst a certain breed of web site developer (nb I didn't say 'designer') who can quote the entire contents of the w3c web site and the O'Reilly catalogue from memory.
Steve Balcombe

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Flash will deter a significant amount of people like myself, and essentially bar those people accessing from networked PC's that are not their own (something which is a far more serious problem than offending the foibles of a few hardened geeks, considering the amount of people who search for this sort of thing in works time or during breaks.)
Josh, you are being ridiculous. Flash is available on the vast majority of machines, and that doesn't exclude office networks. According to Adobe, penetration is now 99% with Flash Player 7 or later, and 97.7% for Flash Player 9.

I'm willing to lose the one or two percent with the lowest spec machines, as well as the odd geek.
Steve Balcombe

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”