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Author Topic: What are the best Web Hosting /blogger tools for photogrpahy website  (Read 12927 times)
Bullfrog
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« on: September 08, 2013, 11:32:03 AM »
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I'm looking for website hosting services that can provide me with basic photography site requirements.  I print my own prints so I don't require a web service that offers fulfillment.

I'm wondering if a simple WordPress website would be enough. 

Beyond uploading images for display in galleries I think the basic feature I require is to prevent right-click save of files (yes I know people can scan your image anyway but at least it doesn't make it so easy to steal) - this is the one feature of word-press that I thought was unavailable.

I found these web hosters and would appreciate if anyone has experience with them and/or opinions on them.  If there are other options out there that people recommend, I would be happy to know.

Bluehost
http://www.bluehost.com/

Sitewelder

http://www.sitewelder.com/

Zenfolio  (I know it has a back-end fulfillment option but I believe you can use the web service without using their fulfillment partners)

http://www.zenfolio.com/

Yola
https://www.yola.com/


Here's a photographer's website that I quite like - no idea what they used as a solution but offer as an example of something that I think works well

http://bobshullphotography.com/
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ftbt
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 02:28:38 PM »
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You may want to look at Photocrati. They basically have themes or templates geared to photo professionals. The themes or templates are canned graphical users interfaces that ride on top of Word Press. There is room for customization and a built in shopping cart that uses PayPal. With all of that said, you will have to find your own hosting. Photocrati has several recommendations for hosting. I used Photocrati to build a little site for an exhibition that I am having at the end of the month in Italy. Here is the link.

www.visionsfromlamorra.com

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Bullfrog
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 07:15:05 AM »
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Thanks for your reply.  That is an option with Blue Host and one worth exploring. 
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kaelaria
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 07:29:22 AM »
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Wordpress can be anything you want it to be, it's just a framework.  Use what theme and plugins you wish to create your site.  There is ZERO point to try and protect any content right click or not.  Yes there are plugins for it but it's still 100% pointless.  If you really don't want something stolen, don't put it online PERIOD.

bobshull uses wordpress just FYI alone with many others.  So do I and I love the platform, I have made dozens of sites with it for myself and clients.
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 07:55:24 AM »
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There is ZERO point to try and protect any content right click or not.  Yes there are plugins for it but it's still 100% pointless.  If you really don't want something stolen, don't put it online PERIOD.
I dunno.  Isn't it like saying don't lock a door because anyone can break in so you might as well leave it open.
 
Anyway, I am coming round to the idea that Wordpress is all I need and have been on their site exploring their formats.  I see they have quite a choice and wonder why pay more (Sitewelder is for example very expensive in comparison)  I actually have to devote some time to watching their demos because a few of the templates charge a nominal fee ($80) which I hope is just a one time charge and you don't get to test drive these things.

Thanks for your post.  PS: Bob Shull has prevented right-click enablement on his site.   Wink
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 07:57:15 AM by Bullfrog » Logged
kaelaria
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 08:07:19 AM »
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You don't get it at all.

Right click on his background.  View page source.  OH LOOK, all his pics.  That's just one quick way of grabbing anything.  100% pointless.  Anyone that wants something and is going to copy it knows how to get it.  It takes no effort.

Also you are confusing wordpress.com - the basic, crappy hosted option, with using wordpress.org software - and doing it yourself.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 09:00:33 AM »
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I agree with the point about the futility of interfering with right click. Don't post images so large that it's worth saving them, and add a watermark big enough to deter anyone, while not so big that you look paranoid.

How much do you want to do/learn yourself? WordPress means lower cost, more control, but more effort and more for you to understand. Services like LiveBooks or ZenFolio are more costly, but take away much of the need to know what you're doing.
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afx
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 10:13:27 AM »
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I use http://smugmug.com for image hosting (the power user version with a custom domain link).
If you mainly need galleries, this is easier than anything wordpress based.
But if you want it more blog like, then this is probably not the right way of doing it.

cheers
afx

(If you like it, you might want to use this discount code:  otXC5kHuzE0bw).
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 12:52:56 PM »
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I agree with the point about the futility of interfering with right click. Don't post images so large that it's worth saving them, and add a watermark big enough to deter anyone, while not so big that you look paranoid.

How much do you want to do/learn yourself? WordPress means lower cost, more control, but more effort and more for you to understand. Services like LiveBooks or ZenFolio are more costly, but take away much of the need to know what you're doing.

I don't want to code.  I don't want to develop in CSS.  I don't need fulfilment partners but yes, I understand you have to pay for features you may not need because its a package deal.  So ZenFolio is one option I have heard of, (Live books is new to me).  

At this point I do not want a website where the user can easily access the back-door (ie view code) which is an increased exposure not only because the person can take your files, but a hacker can add malicious content and actually take control of your site .  When I clicked on Bob Shulls site (which btw, I thought was very well done, and great images so apologies for calling him out as an example) - anyway, as the person has now pointed out to me, the entire debugging code and code editor is available .

Putting everything else that is positive about this set-up aside, this is not something I want.    

If this applies to both word press "crappy" or word press.org - I'll pass.  It would be helpful if someone can be specific and post a specific template or site if they know if a template within word press which affords a better front end.

It goes without saying I'm "confused" on what word press options are available, because if I knew, I wouldn't be asking.

As far as right click enablement (I'm specifically referring to the ability to right click on an image and save it to your desktop):  I tend to view right click enablement as intent:  while anyone determined to take your image can, giving people the choice to save and download is saying "take me, I'm yours" .   Its my analogy on the door of the house: while anyone can break in if they are really determined, leaving the door open because you have a fatalist approach that you will be invaded anyway, so why bother, is inviting problems.  

When I stated I didn't want right click enablement, I assumed that this would be in addition to having a platform where back-door access would not be so easily accessed.  

The question I have is:  what will it cost to get these things and who provides it.  I THINK Sitewelder does.  I THINK Zen Folio does.  I'm now working on the understanding that Wordpress (org or crap) does not.  I'm not sure about others.

So, accepting these are my requirements, again, does anyone have any recommendations.  Thanks

Last add: I would rather have a site where the platform host is not advertised, ie "powered by ...."  which is my 3rd requirement.  
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 01:08:26 PM by Bullfrog » Logged
john beardsworth
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 01:26:35 PM »
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OK, from all you say, I would recommend you don't think any more about WordPress and focus your energy on deciding which service works best for you. ZenFolio would be a good start - they let you use your own domain name and aren't too pricey.

John
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 02:22:58 PM »
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OK, from all you say, I would recommend you don't think any more about WordPress and focus your energy on deciding which service works best for you. ZenFolio would be a good start - they let you use your own domain name and aren't too pricey.

John

Thanks for clearing that up.  I will investigate ZenFolio to see what they offer and what it costs.

Here's a website from Sitewelder which I think is exceptional.  Not only images, but design, format and presentation.  In my view first class.

http://www.aaronshipper.com/index.html

Also, after reading a thousand different "about" pages, I gotta say, this one really made me smile .  Here it is for those who are like me, (right click inhibited :-)

Quote: Aaron Shipper lives in New Orleans. His diverse photographs are part of the permanent collection on exhibit throughout his home. His photographs have been praised by his father, among others.

 Smiley

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kaelaria
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 08:43:20 PM »
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Honestly, you are SO confused on basic fundamentals of WHAT the internet is, how webpages and browsers even work...just pay a web developer to make you a simple site, it should only run you a couple hundred bucks. 

"At this point I do not want a website where the user can easily access the back-door (ie view code) " is a good example...just...not even in left field, out of the ballpark and in the next county.

EVERY webpage is based on the same html code.  EVERY page can be viewed as source, that's HOW it gets transmitted and displayed by your browser.  It's not a back door, it's nothing nefarious, it's just the way things work.  That's like complaining about not wanting air in tires.  Even flash, which is like code baked in to a jpg, can be easily reveresed.  There is ZERO point trying to hide or protect ANYTHING.  I said it already, DON'T put it online if you absolutely need it protected.

That being said, lighten up, just don't put up huge images that are of any use to anyone and don't pretend like your images are so great everyone else will get rich off them Wink
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 09:36:45 PM »
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I second the rec of Zenfolio for you.  But don't think anything is easy.  Building and maintaining any custom site is laborious.

As for security: if I can see it on my computer, I have _already_ downloaded it.  This is true for everyone.  The minute you put something online, you give it away.  As stated: if you don't want to give it away, don't put it on-line.
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MarkM
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 10:21:51 PM »
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kaelaria is right on all counts.

Disabling right clicks only annoys honest users. I right click to open links in a new tab constantly. If I get a nagging popup every time I do it I just leave the site. All of Aaron Shipper's images are trivial to download. The Safari web inspector will show them in a convenient list where you can just copy them. Alternatively if you disable javascript, all the links on his site open the image file in the raw where you can just drag it to the desktop. All the inconvenience of security without any of the actual protection.

Having said that, sitewelder looks pretty nice, but it's a bit expensive in my opinion. If I am going to pay that much for hosting, I would bite the bullet and use http://aphotofolio.com which is a favorite among professional photographers. The setup fee is steep, but the customer service is world class.

If you don't want to spend that much, Squarespace has some nice templates for photographers these days: http://www.squarespace.com/tour/photographers/

In my experience, people who don't want to look at code often get frustrated with wordpress. Although installing templates is not difficult, making trivial changes sometimes requires understanding not just css and html, but also wordpress and the template internals as well. If you can find an off-the-shelf template that's perfect, it *might* be a good solution, but in my experience running a wordpress site requires an investment of time and the desire to get your hands dirty.

I've used Zenfolio for delivering photoshoots edits and it works pretty well, but I've never felt like I could make a convincing website design without a lot of work. I've seen a lot of them that all look the same. This suggests to me that it's not really easy to make a great looking zenfolio site.
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2013, 07:04:49 AM »
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I appreciate all the feedback.   Keep it coming!

Since this keeps coming up, I feel I need to restate one more time in the event anyone is confused about my expectations:   I'm FULLY AWARE that ANYONE can steal ANYTHING if they want to.

I agree that pop up message is annoying (On Sitewelder) but you can opt to disable it - or I presume tell the hosting service to ensure it isn't (they offer set-up).   I agree Sitewelder is more expensive which is what is keeping me from just hopping on board without looking further.

I just don't want the work of Wordpress.  So at this stage, that is my last alternative.

However, these alternative hosting solutions are really appreciated.  

I tend to think a website should be simple - and the more it prevents a user from making a mistake, the better. Whether that is possible - I don't know.  

 I am just hoping to get input from people on what WEB HOSTING services are available, so that I can explore them myself and also, if people are using them, what they like and dislike about them.  

I don't wish to build from scratch.  

And yes, I have found costs are all over the place, so now I'm trying to figure out if I can afford it and whether its worth it based on feature /benefit comparisons.  

I have investigated a custom solution and its very expensive, so at this point, I'm somewhere in between using a free template like Wordpress or Yola and having something customized.
Thanks


ETA:  Quote:  Having said that, sitewelder looks pretty nice, but it's a bit expensive in my opinion. If I am going to pay that much for hosting, I would bite the bullet and use http://aphotofolio.com which is a favorite among professional photographers. The setup fee is steep, but the customer service is world class.  Unquote

This is really helpful.  Now I have some means to compare services and costs.  Yes, that site looks very expensive to set up - not sure I can do it this year.  But its really helpful to have these options provided because it provides a range of services and their costs which I can then inquire about .
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 07:58:01 AM by Bullfrog » Logged
Bullfrog
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2013, 08:00:06 AM »
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In my experience, people who don't want to look at code often get frustrated with wordpress. Although installing templates is not difficult, making trivial changes sometimes requires understanding not just css and html, but also wordpress and the template internals as well. If you can find an off-the-shelf template that's perfect, it *might* be a good solution, but in my experience running a wordpress site requires an investment of time and the desire to get your hands dirty.

I've used Zenfolio for delivering photoshoots edits and it works pretty well, but I've never felt like I could make a convincing website design without a lot of work. I've seen a lot of them that all look the same. This suggests to me that it's not really easy to make a great looking zenfolio site.


This is very helpful.  Thanks.  I'm realizing paying more = less work for me which is really the trade off I have to consider.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 08:02:07 AM by Bullfrog » Logged
Bullfrog
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2013, 08:21:59 AM »
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Disabling right clicks only annoys honest users. I right click to open links in a new tab constantly. If I get a nagging popup every time I do it I just leave the site. All of Aaron Shipper's images are trivial to download. The Safari web inspector will show them in a convenient list where you can just copy them. Alternatively if you disable javascript, all the links on his site open the image file in the raw where you can just drag it to the desktop. All the inconvenience of security without any of the actual protection.


This is good to know.  Nagging pop-ups and superficial security aside, its still a visually and functionally impressive site in my opinion.
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markadams99
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 05:35:08 PM »
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MarkM's summary is excellent.

Forget Wordpress - fun, admirable, but geeky and high maintenance to deal with separate hosting for wordpress.org + hackability + poorly maintained plug-ins + constant updates + temptation to customize themes which leads to maintenance overhead and incompatibilities.

Options are Zenfolio, Smugmug and Squarespace.

I use Zenfolio - thelightcavalry.zenfolio.com - and am satisfied. It's rather customizable, has an integrated blog, takes videos, and is pending a serious update in the next few weeks.

Smugmug has just been updated with attractive themes and has somewhat leapfrogged Zenfolio, but that may be very temporary. No integrated blog.

Squarespace is decent, but not as intuitive as they think it is and surprisingly constraining in its gallery templates. Still if you like their layouts, it's worth a good look. Matt Kloskowski is a fan.

Honestly the money involved for Zenfolio, Smugmug or Squarespace is trivial compared to the time and frustration of getting involved with something complex but unsuitable. I see no reason to host your galleries separately.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 11:18:19 PM by markadams99 » Logged

Bullfrog
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2013, 05:43:02 PM »
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Thanks. I liked Mark's summary very much and your comments solidify .  I don't want a Word Press - its just not for me.
I need to reflect on your other ideas and Marks.  I did some research yesterday and I'm starting to realize the options (feature/benefits) are really similar at the same price point - so it comes down to what I am prepared to spend and then once I've made that decision, narrowing the field.

I don't want that high end product (the one for $1000 set up fee) - its too much money for me - but its nice to look through for ideas and always learn something.

Thank you for posting.
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markadams99
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2013, 05:52:43 PM »
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I forgot to mention Weebly. Simple, elegant, free, fit for most purposes.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 05:54:15 PM by markadams99 » Logged

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