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is creating a website with Wordpress worth it?

jahernjahern Member
edited October 2012 in business & marketing
I'm looking at creating a website, mainly for the wedding photography I started doing in the last year, but also to showcase the various landscape and wildlife stuff I do.
I tried clikpic who are based in the UK (I'm based in Ireland), but the limit of 2000 photos killed it as I normally have around 500 proofs from a wedding I want host on-line for the clients to go through.
I looked at Smugmug, liked the full size slideshows, hosting of full size images, and the upload feature from Lightroom, but they have no set up for printing in Europe and learning the CSS/HTML to customize the site would take some time.

I like the look of Wordpress sites and would like to have a Wordpress blog, when I met Neil in Ireland he was full of praise for Wordpress. I like the idea of having full control and not being limited to templates. I could also add a Zenfolia account down the line if I want to have the option of allowing clients to order prints (I've looked at Zenfolia but I would not be able to customize it enough). The only problem is having to learn Wordpress, and not sure if I'm going to be limited by using Wordpress in the long time.

I've come across a company in the UK (http://www.photographers-portfolio.co.uk/) which help build a website using a combination of themes, and customize it further without have to learn any code, they can also set up wordpress blog. There is the access of allowing people to order prints on-line but you have to fulfill the order yourself.

So do I take the time to learn Wordpress and create the site myself, is it worth the effort, or take the quicker solution and use one of the many companies that can help me create one without having to learn any skills?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

John

Comments

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    John, since we met, I have changed my entire website over to a series of Wordpress blogs.

    The neilvn.com website, as you see it here, are actually three separate Wordpress installations.
    neilvn.com
    neilvn.com/tangents/
    oneperfectmoment.com/blog ... which will seen be updated to another blog hosted on neilvn.com

    My main consideration was to get rid of Flash-based elements in my previous website. I want every potential client who looks at my website on an iPad and iPhone, be able to see all my galleries.

    Also, it helps wonderfully for SEO, compared to Flash sites.

    The guy who did changed my website over to Wordpress installations, is Robert Gordon who is on this forum as well. (He has to be, since he installed this forum for me.) ... I'll let him contact you if you're interested in more info or help.
  • John, I have been using wordpress to set up a site (it will be up soon I hope) and you can make a nice site out of it but I found I had to change quite a bit of code in the style sheets to get it how I wanted it. In the end I sought the help of a friend with some features I couldnt add myself, the style sheets dont have many comments, so you need to do a lot of trial and error. I think some of those templates you buy are commented in the code quite extensively which would help a lot.

    Once its all set up to your liking its easy, you just need to ask yourself how much time you want to spend learning how to do it. I know I dont want to learn how to design and build a camera before I get to take any pictures, just a thought.


  • Thanks guys, I'm testing out Zenfolio and Wordpress at the moment, looks promising and the combination has come the closest to ticking all the boxes. I am having a demo site put together by the company in the UK, but my initial fear is I would still require a Zenfolio and hence the additional costs, and I think they use flash so that would kill it for showing off on the iPad!!

    John
  • k8etk8et Member, Moderator
    I didn't know Zenfolio used flash - I am checking my site now from my iphone (as I usually use the app, not the browser.)

    It shows up fine however I get a static image (the first one) rather than the slideshow on my main page. The gallery works fine, but obviously missing some of the right click menus (unless there's a way I don't know to replicate that).

    I hope that helps! I don't know if your concern is customers viewing the site from i-products, or using the iPad to show your portfolio - if the latter, I would put the images on the iPad to avoid delayed loading times when slow/no wifi, or load the Zenfolio app for faster performance.
  • The use of Flash was not in reference to Zenfolia but the site bing put together by the company in the UK.
  • Jahern,
    I use Zenfolio to host just my customer galleries and I will ditto what k8et said about the static image on the homepage.
    I also have a WordPress blog in which I installed a ProPhoto theme for photographers. ProPhoto has tutorials on their website on how to create a homepage for your blog which gives it the appearance of a website. I have played with the inner workings and it doesn't seem all that difficult.
  • CedCed Member
    edited January 2011
    One month ago I had the idea to create a small website to post my pictures. One month ago plus 2 hours I discovered Wordpress, and I understood why there are so many cool blogs on the web: it is so easy with so many plugins: contaƧt form, social network, etc... 2 evenings later my website was ready. Note it is just a personnal photo blog nothing for professional use, but I think it is worth the effort. The only bad surprise I got was security, one has to be carefull with this: directories are per defaults accessible by anybody knowing the path. Ex: bla.com/wp-plugin/content/ (just an example) is accessible. That's maybe were people running a buisness should be carefull with ! Because it means pictures you don't want on the public domain could be there by mistake.That's maybe where a pro would need pro's advise.
  • Thought I would update my post on this one. I spent quite a bit of time working with code trying to get wordpress to do what I wanted and was pretty happy with what I had managed but it took me a couple of weeks evenings. But the final straw was trying to get wordpress to display images full size in a page or post, I tried everything and looked up other people's code and tips, broke my blog a few times in the process and finally gave in and paid for 'prophoto' for wordpress.

    It was the best $200 I have spent in a while, everything is cutomizable and you don't have to go into a single piece of code, it has an interface that lets you click checkboxes and move sliders to adjust everything. I already had wordpress installed so it took me about 3 minutes from the time I paid for it to when I started customising my webpage. I only wish I bought it a couple of weeks ago, it would have saved me so much time. It comes with a flash gallery and lightbox galleries that are really nice and very customizable too. I would reccomend it to anyone who wants to design their own website/blog and doesn't want to mess with code.

    BTW its got tons of SEO stuff built in and if you insert a flash based gallery you can choose alternatives to be displayed to ipad users just by checking a box. It's late here so I am going to wait until the morning to finish adding password protected client galleries and then release it on the world ;)
  • Sorry for coming late to the game. Using a Wordpress template and making adjustments to it, can be made much easier often times if you'll use a Web Developer. The WebDev as it's known is a Plug-in that allows you to adjust CSS within your browser's window and once the changes are what you'd like. You simply copy and paste the entire CSS into your WP blog's CSS. Combining Some simple reading and exercises about CSS along with the WebDev program, can really help you move forward with a unique site.

    My Browser is Mozilla~

    Cheers,

    tw
  • Hi John,
    Just wondering if you decided on the Wordpress option for your site.?

    I am thinking about Wordpress, but there are many options to consider. Looked at Joomla also but Wordpress seems to be the best choice. The problem is to judge the time needed to get to understand how to build a good site.

    I am also based in Ireland.
    Regards
    Solotrader
  • wcowanwcowan Member
    G'day John

    I've just gone though this process myself. I used a theme from Graph Paper Press that made the job a lot easier. Total time spent was somewhere between 50 and 100 Hours. Was it worth it? You see for yourself.

    http://www.radiantphotograph.com

    I'm more than happy with how it looks, and adding new content is fast and easy. I have another webpage in straight HTML which is very time consuming to update.

    Cheers

    William Cowan
  • rtcaryrtcary Member
    Though I have not used them, some of my fellow software engineers give www.squarespace.com high ratings when it comes to getting a site up quickly.

    Todd
  • I absolutely praise wordpress for its ease of use, free templates (Im a photographer not a web designer) and the quick setup! They are fan freakin tastic. Highly recommended. I also love to insert galleries on portfolio pages. Non flash based too!

    Joshua Westbrook
    Pixelus Photography
  • I use wordpress for both my sites. But what I have noticed on one of my sites is the fact it takes a while to load up even though I dont use flash. Not sure why this is, maybe my host? www.chesterphotography.co.uk
  • If your interested in integrating wordpress and zenfolio sales galleries I have just launched a plugin for that purpose - can be seen at http://www.driverphotography.co.uk/wordpress-plugins

    Thanks
    Tim
  • Thanks to everybody who has responded. I've gone around in circles with this, looking at Wordpress with themes, using Adobe Muse as I have a Creative Cloud subscription. To be honest other parts of the business have taken priority and in the end I still don't have a website. I will have some time in Jan so I'm now going to just get a basic website set up using Zenfolia, the recent features they added through the year means I can get 80-90% of what I want done with them, and it is very straight forward to upload images from Lightroom and then use them in various custom pages, galleries etc.
    I have all my client galleries up there so it will integrate easily.
    Once this is up and running I can have another look at Wordpress/Muse to see if it is worth the effort.
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