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Author Topic: Website Newb  (Read 5839 times)
MichaelAmira
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« on: November 18, 2009, 09:40:56 AM »
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Hello everybody,

To get to the point, I think it's time for myself to finally make a website, but as I'm sure many of you know, it is far more complex than anyone could possibly foresee.
I purchased the adobe suite for web, as well as a subscription for Lynda.com (amazing site btw) which is an in depth tutorial into the Dreameweaver program and basically all other creative applications. Man I'm in over my head.

Lynda pretty much covers all there is into the process of making a website. I purchased a template online so I'm sure I could get things running, but my question is as follows:

I want my readers to have the ability to log in and post their own stories about photography, and I want members to have the ability to comment on these stories directly bellow the story. Just to be clear: I want a section of the website devoted to this. Not on a forum. Is there an application I could add to my site to have this ability?  or do I have to create this ability in Dreameweaver.

I know I'm asking a lot, but what I have read from many members on this forum, I know I am asking some of the most knowledgeable people in the field of photography and related businesses.

Thanks in advance,
Michael
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2009, 12:22:20 PM »
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That is indeed quite involved, and a very ambitious project for a first website. I've never done something like that but this is the little that I do know:

There are numerous blogging packages available, many of them free, but they are geared towards one, or just a few contributors. Some of them might have the feature set you require, but you'd have to check that yourself.

If you'd like to enable posting stories for everyone logged in, another option would be something like the open source slashcode - but that gets even more involved but the results can be pretty impressive.

I'm sure you could learn and write your own code in Dreamweaver, but then you won't have time to do any photography for months

In light of the above, I'd recommend setting up the site as a photography blog first, and then expanding as you go and feel necessary.
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2009, 02:51:18 PM »
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If you have a template with a psd file you can import it into the software Artisteer to generate a template for Blogger or Wordpress.
http://www.artisteer.com/?p=blogger_templates
http://www.artisteer.com/?p=wordpress_themes
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MichaelAmira
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2009, 04:29:46 PM »
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Quote from: feppe
That is indeed quite involved, and a very ambitious project for a first website. I've never done something like that but this is the little that I do know:

There are numerous blogging packages available, many of them free, but they are geared towards one, or just a few contributors. Some of them might have the feature set you require, but you'd have to check that yourself.

If you'd like to enable posting stories for everyone logged in, another option would be something like the open source slashcode - but that gets even more involved but the results can be pretty impressive.

I'm sure you could learn and write your own code in Dreamweaver, but then you won't have time to do any photography for months

In light of the above, I'd recommend setting up the site as a photography blog first, and then expanding as you go and feel necessary.

Thanks Feppe. I'm going to have to look through your first link in detail when I know what the heck I'm looking at. The second link is very well designed and is in fact very impressive. It's always great to see other pages for ideas

Quote from: ThomasK
If you have a template with a psd file you can import it into the software Artisteer to generate a template for Blogger or Wordpress.
http://www.artisteer.com/?p=blogger_templates
http://www.artisteer.com/?p=wordpress_themes

Thomas, both Blogger and Wordpress are awesome sites, but I believe they are more tuned towards the casual user. The users URL for those pages will be something like www.domainname.blogger.com, same for wordpress I believe. On top of this, Blogger and Wordpress make their money off the advertising on their page, something I want to be making a profit off! I want to base my business of this webpage, so professionalism is key  

If anybody wishes to contribute their knowledge I would be forever grateful!

Thank you
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2009, 05:38:59 PM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
The users URL for those pages will be something like www.domainname.blogger.com, same for wordpress I believe. On top of this, Blogger and Wordpress make their money off the advertising on their page, something I want to be making a profit off! I want to base my business of this webpage, so professionalism is key

Blogger lets you use your own domain and doesn't force any advertising on your blog.

Wordpress is a software platform.

I think you've got some good old fashioned learnin' to do if this is going to be the basis of your business ...

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MichaelAmira
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 12:16:00 AM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
I think you've got some good old fashioned learnin' to do if this is going to be the basis of your business ...

Aint' that the truth...

When I first started learning Photoshop I felt as though I was walking through a jungle, while now the program is a breeze. I am hoping this experience will be the same. I can't stress enough to my fellow forumers just how amazing lynda.com is though! I now feel like i'm held back by a thousand pound weight, and not a million pound one.

I want to have complete control over all aspects of this website, and from experience, the more middle men you take out of the equation the better.

Again, if anybody has some advice... share!

Michael
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EduPerez
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 02:52:00 AM »
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I think there is something you are missing in your project: neither Dreamware nor any other web page creator can handle the features you are asking for; those are aimed to static pages, not the type of dynamic content you need. Honestly, I think you are aiming to high, considering the knowledge implied by your post. I would advise not to try the DIY path on this, at least until you gain some expertise; start with Blogger, Wordpress or something similar and then move to something more personalized. After all, do you consider yourself a photographer or a developer?

And about Blogger: you can use your own domain, and you get the full benefits from the advertising (if you happen to want it); as an example, you can see my blog at http://photoblog.edu-perez.com. I cannot comment on Wordpress, as I never used it.
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 04:36:29 AM »
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Wordpress.com (i.e. hosted rather than DIY Wordpress) has paid-for options to use your domain and suppress their ads, amongst several other options - for example, extra users or complete control over the design. It has the advantage of allowing pages as well as posts, so you can do the static web site pages in the same package. I have found the site terribly slow once the USA wakes up and gets blogging though!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 04:44:17 AM by LoisWakeman » Logged
LoisWakeman
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 04:43:47 AM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
I want to have complete control over all aspects of this website, and from experience, the more middle men you take out of the equation the better.
I can empathise with that aspiration - taking control of your web site is an extremely important thing, and gives you ownership and an incentive to keep it up to date.

However, on the downside, I've been involved in web design (especially usability, accessibility and content) for an embarrassingly large number of years, and am still learning how to do it better even now, so you have a huge task on your plate if you want to do all the things you say from scratch. I would recommend starting with a hosted blogging system while you find your feet, as most of the hard work of coding has been done for you.

Once you are happy with that and have the content you want designed and organised, you might consider moving to a DIY solution where you host it yourself for extra flexibility. But then you are responsible for keeping the software up to date, or you risk being hacked.

Good luck whatever you decide, and I'm glad you enjoyed Lynda.com - I had some of her books years ago and they were a good aid to the graphical aspects of design.
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MichaelAmira
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2009, 09:10:54 AM »
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Quote from: EduPerez
I think there is something you are missing in your project: neither Dreamware nor any other web page creator can handle the features you are asking for; those are aimed to static pages, not the type of dynamic content you need. Honestly, I think you are aiming to high, considering the knowledge implied by your post. I would advise not to try the DIY path on this, at least until you gain some expertise; start with Blogger, Wordpress or something similar and then move to something more personalized. After all, do you consider yourself a photographer or a developer?

And about Blogger: you can use your own domain, and you get the full benefits from the advertising (if you happen to want it); as an example, you can see my blog at http://photoblog.edu-perez.com. I cannot comment on Wordpress, as I never used it.

Thanks for the reply Edu. Good to know that Dreamweaver can't add these features. This is why I asked! I looked at your blog (very nice by the way) I noticed you have AdSense on your page. If you don't mind me asking, is it Blogger implementing the adds or you?.
I know I am aiming high, but the higher one aims the higher one goes.


Quote from: LoisWakeman
I can empathise with that aspiration - taking control of your web site is an extremely important thing, and gives you ownership and an incentive to keep it up to date.

However, on the downside, I've been involved in web design (especially usability, accessibility and content) for an embarrassingly large number of years, and am still learning how to do it better even now, so you have a huge task on your plate if you want to do all the things you say from scratch. I would recommend starting with a hosted blogging system while you find your feet, as most of the hard work of coding has been done for you.

Once you are happy with that and have the content you want designed and organised, you might consider moving to a DIY solution where you host it yourself for extra flexibility. But then you are responsible for keeping the software up to date, or you risk being hacked.

Good luck whatever you decide, and I'm glad you enjoyed Lynda.com - I had some of her books years ago and they were a good aid to the graphical aspects of design.

Thanks for the replies Lois. Small steps probably would be the smart choice... but from looking at my past, my style seems to be jump in head first and feel the pain.

I know I'm in beyond my means, but that is why I have come to this forum. The wealth of knowledge that I know you all have is endless. I believe I read Mr Reichman say there are hundreds of thousands of memebers on this forum. Surely someone could point me in the direction I need to go.

Thanks!
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2009, 10:30:42 AM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
Surely someone could point me in the direction I need to go.

I think if you are serious about using this new web-presence as the foundation of your business, you should work with a professional.

This isn't what you do and you sound like you don't really know what you are doing ...

Best advice in business is to stick to your knitting and outsource the rest.
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EduPerez
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 10:44:23 AM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
Thanks for the reply Edu. Good to know that Dreamweaver can't add these features. This is why I asked! I looked at your blog (very nice by the way) I noticed you have AdSense on your page. If you don't mind me asking, is it Blogger implementing the adds or you?.

I put those AdSense ads myself: Blogger provided a pre-made template, and I changed the HTML code; Blogger has now a new feature to put those ads automatically, but the result is the same. In both cases, the money flows from AdSense (or whatever other ad provider you may choose) to you, Blogger gets nothing.

Quote from: MichaelAmira
I know I am aiming high, but the higher one aims the higher one goes.

So true... and I will not try to discourage you; it is just the path that you are following what seems wrong to me, not the target. You could have your first site ready in a couple of hours. From there you can go step by step, learning and gaining experience. Later, you can move to something more flexible and adapt it to your needs. Just my two cents.
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MichaelAmira
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 10:46:27 AM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Best advice in business is to stick to your knitting and outsource the rest.

While in most cases you are in fact right, such as in the fields of that require degrees. I'm not about to go out and do my own accounting and defend my own law suits, but the more is able do on their own the better. This isn't a project I'm hoping to pop out overnight, obviously hard work and strong learning is required.

All replies are extremely appreciated, but please, answer the questions I am asking if you wish to contribute. I require the technical information and know how to accomplish my goal.

Thank you
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2009, 12:38:25 PM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
While in most cases you are in fact right, such as in the fields of that require degrees. I'm not about to go out and do my own accounting and defend my own law suits, but the more is able do on their own the better. This isn't a project I'm hoping to pop out overnight, obviously hard work and strong learning is required.

All replies are extremely appreciated, but please, answer the questions I am asking if you wish to contribute. I require the technical information and know how to accomplish my goal.

Thank you

I think you are selling short how hard it is ... but good luck!
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Bradley Proctor
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2009, 07:25:20 PM »
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I would highly recommend trying out WordPress.  You don't need to have one of their accounts to use it.  Don't go to wordpress.com, go to wordpress.org and you can download it and install it on your own web host and with your own domain (ex. http://www.example.com/).  As an example, my website uses wordpress.

Once installed, to setup what you are asking where people can contribute stories, You'll want to go into the admin section and Settings -> General -> New User Default Role  and set this to "Contributor".

Ability to comment on stories is built in and there are tons of plugins that will give you all kinds of functionality.
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EduPerez
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2009, 02:32:08 AM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
[...]
All replies are extremely appreciated, but please, answer the questions I am asking if you wish to contribute. I require the technical information and know how to accomplish my goal.
[...]

I see you have set your mind; if you have concrete technical questions, I will be willing to help.
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Bradley Proctor
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2009, 07:53:34 AM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
While in most cases you are in fact right, such as in the fields of that require degrees. I'm not about to go out and do my own accounting and defend my own law suits, but the more is able do on their own the better. This isn't a project I'm hoping to pop out overnight, obviously hard work and strong learning is required.

All replies are extremely appreciated, but please, answer the questions I am asking if you wish to contribute. I require the technical information and know how to accomplish my goal.

Thank you

You mean I wasted 4 years of my life getting my degree?
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MichaelAmira
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2009, 08:59:35 AM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
I think you are selling short how hard it is ... but good luck!

I'm not short selling it. I now know why people get payed the big dollars. Thank you!

Quote from: bproctor
I would highly recommend trying out WordPress.  You don't need to have one of their accounts to use it.  Don't go to wordpress.com, go to wordpress.org and you can download it and install it on your own web host and with your own domain (ex. http://www.example.com/).  As an example, my website uses wordpress.

Once installed, to setup what you are asking where people can contribute stories, You'll want to go into the admin section and Settings -> General -> New User Default Role  and set this to "Contributor".

Ability to comment on stories is built in and there are tons of plugins that will give you all kinds of functionality.

Thank you so much, that seems great and easy. I would like to know If I would be able to put advertising at my discretion, and recieve the revenue from them, or is that going to go to WordPress.

I will definitely ask you questions when the times come. I have your name written down. Thank you very much

Quote from: bproctor
You mean I wasted 4 years of my life getting my degree?

What you could do in a minute will probably take me a couple days. Enough said.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2009, 09:01:34 AM »
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Quote from: MichaelAmira
I want my readers to have the ability to log in and post their own stories about photography, and I want members to have the ability to comment on these stories directly bellow the story. Just to be clear: I want a section of the website devoted to this. Not on a forum.

Can you explain WHY you want "members to have the ability to comment on these stories directly bellow the story"? And WHY you do not want a forum?

While your scheme may work better interactively WHILE leaving the comments, you may be giving up something. For example, have you considered how the comments will be displayed (i.e. nested, threaded?), how they will be archived, and how they can be easily searched by others, months and years later (all of the above are well implemented in forums such as LL)? If the comments are of interest, they deserve to be preserved for easy access by others in the future. If not, your scheme for instant gratification would be fine.

As I posted in another thread, forums have many such features built in, which are familiar to and appreciated by many surfers.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....amp;mode=linear

I have never quite figured out what makes blogs so special. For me, forums such as LL's have many advantages not found in most blogs.

- Forums are much better organized by topics, and posts are better threaded to follow.

- Each forum topic category or thread can be viwed individually, making the page short and concise.

- You can pinpoint seach forum archives by keywords, authors and dates, etc.


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MichaelAmira
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2009, 09:28:18 AM »
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Quote from: bproctor
I would highly recommend trying out WordPress.  You don't need to have one of their accounts to use it.  Don't go to wordpress.com, go to wordpress.org and you can download it and install it on your own web host and with your own domain (ex. http://www.example.com/).  As an example, my website uses wordpress.

Once installed, to setup what you are asking where people can contribute stories, You'll want to go into the admin section and Settings -> General -> New User Default Role  and set this to "Contributor".

Ability to comment on stories is built in and there are tons of plugins that will give you all kinds of functionality.

Hello again BProctor,

I just downloaded the wordpress.org software, this seems like it will be my solution. Thank you! Do I take their files they have given me and upload it to a webhost, thus enabling me to make the changes you speak speak of? You say I'll have an admin section, but the folder they have given me is a lot of php files. From what I've learned so far, this seems like the basis of a webpage.

Quote from: Chris_T
Can you explain WHY you want "members to have the ability to comment on these stories directly bellow the story"? And WHY you do not want a forum?

While your scheme may work better interactively WHILE leaving the comments, you may be giving up something. For example, have you considered how the comments will be displayed (i.e. nested, threaded?), how they will be archived, and how they can be easily searched by others, months and years later (all of the above are well implemented in forums such as LL)? If the comments are of interest, they deserve to be preserved for easy access by others in the future. If not, your scheme for instant gratification would be fine.

As I posted in another thread, forums have many such features built in, which are familiar to and appreciated by many surfers.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....amp;mode=linear

I have never quite figured out what makes blogs so special. For me, forums such as LL's have many advantages not found in most blogs.

- Forums are much better organized by topics, and posts are better threaded to follow.

- Each forum topic category or thread can be viwed individually, making the page short and concise.

- You can pinpoint seach forum archives by keywords, authors and dates, etc.

No explanation required. I have my vision.
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