My new website design is gradually springing into life over the next ten days with several changes to make it easier for people to see what I do and also several exciting developments to help make it more future proof. Anyone who knows me will know that I regularly design websites for a wide variety of clients, so when it came to my own website, how come I didn’t design my own?
Several reasons, really, so if you’re a photographer / writer out there full of indecision on which way to jump with your website design, my thoughts below will hopefully be useful.
Firstly, as I started looking through my back catalogue of images, I realised that I was actually just scratching the surface of the material I have available and I wasn’t making the best of it. I regularly receive requests for stock images that I nearly always answer and deal with manually. But I knew I was missing business as buyers want to licence and download images immediately. I needed a way to market my work direct to buyers.
Secondly, I’ve been writing features since 2002 and I retain copyright to everything I create. I have an archive of interesting features sitting there. I wanted to showcase more of my writing and syndicate content in an effective way.
So the cunning plan was forming. I’d opened an account with Photoshelter a while ago, but only used it for password protected client areas. I was missing a trick here, as it’s a very powerful tool (The Photoshelter blog is full of really really useful information on both photography marketing and SEO tips, I’d urge you to read it). Photoshelter also have several partners they’ve teamed up with and their partner Graph Paper Press impressed me right away with their WordPress templates.They allow you to create a photographer’s portfolio website out of a WordPress install. You can read over on my web design blog how I made all this come together, but I’m blown away by their designs and the technical support they offer.
I was also thinking of moving this blog across from it’s own sub-domain and incorporate it into the main domain name, but for now, I’ve decided against this. There’s no right or wrong answer on this one, I don’t think, so for now it’s staying here.
There’s a whole range of other things I’ll be discussing on this blog over the next few months concerning photography & video, writing, driver coaching and the thorny issue of self publishing. First, though, I’ve got to finish off that Photoshelter / WordPress integration…… My head hurts.’