Author Topic: Give me new website ideas  (Read 287 times)

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Offline Todd Muskopf

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Give me new website ideas
« on: June 21, 2017, 06:08:17 AM »
Cruising for new ideas for creating a cool web site.

Post some examples of sites you like, preferably with some indication of how they're created (which template, etc.).


Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 10:19:47 AM »
I have a very, very good Wordpress designer who works hand in glove with the people at ProPhoto website templates.  Jessica Shepard jessicashepard@gmail.com   

My older ProPhoto template was out of date according to Google's more recent search parameters, which was hurting me, despite the use of paid SEO with Network Solutions/Web.com

After paying ProPhoto to install the new template for v6, I was very disappointed in their effort and asked some friends in the greater DC area "Who ya gonna call?" in order to fix what I was struggling with.  Universally they replied Jessica Shepard. 

Once Jessica got the test site up and running, completely integrated with my existing Zenfolio gallery and sales site, she suggested that I also leave NetSol as the host, because they were forcing so much shared throughput that that same host, who I paid for SEO, was actually strangling search-ability and load time.  Sometimes loading ran 30-80 seconds!!  Killing me!  She moved my site over to her recommended host, Flywheel, early this past spring.  Since moving, searches are finding me all the time without additional SEO.  I don't know yet whether that's sustainable, but it's working better than ever right now.

ProPhoto 6, Design: Resurrection.  Heavily customized by me and then Jessica.  Tied in to Zenfolio as the main gallery and portfolio.

Offline Duck

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 03:04:35 PM »
Mine is built on Smugmug, but I am relatively low volume and my needs are far less than yours. I don't think mine would even be a contender for your needs.

Wordpress is a very popular platform to build on since, as Jeff mentioned, highly customizeable with templates, third party add ons and integration with just about anything on the net.

The other platform I seen getting a lot of favoritism is Squarespace. I have no experience with them other than they are being promoted all over the place.
My name is Charles Unitas but friends call me Duck

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Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 03:57:51 PM »
 I think our own TPPF member Theresa Fernandez used Squarespace when she redesigned her website a little over a year ago.  Her growth as a food photographer in such a short time is amazing, and her site shows her work beautifully.  Certainly, to her advantage.  Frankly her work makes the web designer look good.  https://www.theresafernandezphoto.com

I have a ton of images stored online at Zenfolio, my combination gallery and online backup, or I might be tempted by Squarespace.

Offline Todd Muskopf

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 09:18:40 AM »
I installed WP and a theme.  I haven't done anything with it yet, and really have no idea what I'm doing yet.

I'll poke around in it and see.

Anyone have good tutorials or tips for using WP?

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 09:38:50 AM »
Frankly, after having done WP both ways - by myself for 7 years, and hiring someone following too much frustration as the needs of the 'net changed vis a vis search - save yourself the headache.  Hire a WP specialist.  As busy as you are, that'll be more effective in meeting your goals.

However, if you go to the Wordpress home site, they do offer tutorials, or at least they used to. 

Offline Duck

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 11:16:23 AM »
I agree with Jeff. If you have prior experience with content managers and WP in particular you can probably make your way through it. If you don't know anything about WP there is a strong learning curve. Yes, the basics are easy to pick up but it knowing what plugins and how to integrate them that's more difficult.
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Offline Sbuchanan

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 08:52:22 PM »
Wordpress is a very robust CMS and if you, or your hire, have got the chops, can work very well for you.  Also consider photoshelter, (what I use) Livebooks, and aphotofolio.com  All 3 of which are designed with photographers in mind. I've also used squarespace, and it sits somewhere between WP and Livebooks.  For the money, Squarespace is really great and they have a ton of pre-made templates.  If you're regularly delivering digital files, or keeping image libraries for multiple clients, photoshelter cant' be beat.


Offline Duck

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 09:19:26 PM »
[...] If you're regularly delivering digital files, or keeping image libraries for multiple clients, photoshelter cant' be beat.
Early on I tried Photoshelter and found it awkward to use but to be fair, I probably didn't invest in the time needed to get used to it. I ended up going with Smugmug as it does everything I need... for now. The downside (if it can be considered such) is in order to get the most from Smugmug you need to invest in their top tier package.
My name is Charles Unitas but friends call me Duck

"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."

Offline Duck

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 03:33:40 PM »
One technique that I learned years ago was to 'map out' the site to visually track all the relationships and make sure the visitor flow progression (funneling) is directed to a call to action.

I took the liberty of doing a rudimentary flow of your site in the way I would approach it if I were tasked with its redesign. Obviously I do not have access to the intricacies and there may be areas you will need to elaborate on, but this may give you an idea or a starting point, or something...

The top section would be the top menu and the bottom section the bottom menu (obviously). You can see that all the links are created to bring a visitor through a natural progression through your site's content to a final call to action. Keep in mind that this is a flowchart and the funneling will be done with actual page content and link buttons (i.e. each portfolio page will have a link to "pricing info/package deals" and that page will have a link to a "booking/call to action" page.)

Most of today's templates allow you to create multiple menus that can be placed in separate areas of the template so you don't need to create one, all-inclusive menu. I also suggest avoiding one page serves many as this gets cluttered very easily. As a visitor I shouldn't be forced to sift through 'Senior' info when I'm only interested in 'Headshot' info, even if they share same information about hair, makeup and clothing or some such. Tailor each section specifically to that section. In the 'Seniors' section talk to the seniors and their parents and in the 'Headshot' section use a more businesslike tone as that is your audience there. Images should be tailored as well, not just language and info.

The last point is consistency. I find this one of those subliminal 'breakers' in many sites where there is an inconsistent shift in the look from one page to another (i.e. carousel image display on the headshots but masonry display in the models, for example.) Oh, and I used the title of INFO for lack of a better title. You should change it to what makes sense for you (i.e. Pricing, Packages, Booking Info...)

Anyhow, I'm just tossing this out there for anyone needing the info and thought maybe the flowchart could be useful.
Just my two bits.
My name is Charles Unitas but friends call me Duck

"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2017, 08:54:33 AM »
Much nicer than my scribbled boxes on yellow tablet paper, Duck!!

Offline Joe Federer

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 11:33:54 PM »
Thereas's site appears to be using AgileCRM.   A DIY copy of hers would be tough unless you have programming experience and lots of time to putz.   I like the nice clean look -- and it reminds me that my temporary "wrote it in an hour after getting hacked 4 years ago" site needs to actually get updated sometime. 

Offline Jon Tinkler

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Re: Give me new website ideas
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2017, 07:37:30 PM »
I installed WP and a theme.  I haven't done anything with it yet, and really have no idea what I'm doing yet.

I'll poke around in it and see.

Anyone have good tutorials or tips for using WP?

Hi Todd - Yoast SEO is great if you're looking to rank the site (not sure whether you are or not).