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I have started a new photographic project that is related to my normal photography but also totally separate. For these reasons I want to place this project on its own website (not part of amustard.com).

 

I do not have any website building software, I am no programmer and never tried using one of those templates for websites you can get. I do my own website, but that it just adding to a template in PHP that one friend of my wrote for me in exchange for a scanner I won in a competition (years ago). So I am open for suggestions.

 

The project means starting (a fairly basic website) from scratch. The main purpose of the website is to showcase the images from the project, hopefully in a more interesting/artistic way than just typical thumbnail galleries (but not fussy). As the project stands the website will be the main/only place where the images can be viewed- so this is important that the experience of viewing them is more enjoyable than clicking on little thumbnails. At this stage I am not planning on publishing them.

 

I also want the ability to write some text on the site (introducing the motivation behind the project, the different collections and shoots) - and possibly an infrequent blog of the shoots (to give a bit more of a human side). But ultimately this will be a very simple website.

 

I have not got any sponsors for this project. I am yet to decide if I want any, my idea is that this is a totally uncompromised artistic endeavour. So budget for web-development has to be small-ish. I do not have much disposable income (e.g. I can't afford an iPhone, let alone an iPad)!

 

So any suggestions on good solutions - software, ready built templates - gratefully received.

 

Many thanks

 

Alex

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Hey Alex,

 

Not sure if you have ilife for your mac but if so give iweb a try. I have used it to build several sites.

 

 

Jamie

Edited by kramer92911

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Have you looked at using Wordpress. It is free and highly customisable. There are tons of free templates and lots of plugins to give the functionality you may need. If the theme is not exactly to your liking it is fairly easy to tweak the theme.

 

Did a quick search and found a couple of articles

gallery on wordpress

wordpress gallery 2

 

All you need is somewhere to host it.

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Hi Alex,

 

My vote would be for Smugmug. It isn't free, but the ease of setting it up and customizing it is worth the fee I think. There is a free trial available. "Power" level allows you to brand the site without smugmug logos etc.

 

The fees are not far off what it costs to host a site for a year anyway!

 

I find it so easy to just export my images straight out of Lightroom straight onto my site.

 

You can set up all sorts of gallery styles etc.

 

Adam

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Hi Alex,

If you have a Mac, you can easily build a decent website with iWeb. I designed my website completely on iWeb except the photo gallery, which I am currently redesigning with Simple Viewer Pro. Simple Viewer is a free and basic program, but the pro version allows a lot more creativity with music, layout, etc. and can be downloaded for $45US. You can view the albums as a slideshow with music, or stop and start the images at any time or click on a particular thumbnail to view a specific image, view in full screen mode, mute music, etc. You can also add captions for each image, which I haven't done on my page. It seems a little nicer than clicking through basic thumbnail viewing and is Flash based. You can export photos straight from Lightroom. It is not the easiest software to use and I'm not anywhere close to being a web developer, but with a little time, you can create some nice photo galleries. I have just started redesigning the photo page, but have a couple albums you can see here. My Website

Edited by indoreef

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Hi Alex,

 

My vote would be for Smugmug. It isn't free, but the ease of setting it up and customizing it is worth the fee I think. There is a free trial available. "Power" level allows you to brand the site without smugmug logos etc.

 

The fees are not far off what it costs to host a site for a year anyway!

 

I find it so easy to just export my images straight out of Lightroom straight onto my site.

 

You can set up all sorts of gallery styles etc.

 

Adam

 

Second vote for the SmugMug suggestion. The site is a lot more customizable than the standard gallery pages, if you select the "Journal" style for a page, you can add a pile of text along with the images.

 

The real reason I like them is that the images just look better there. They apply a carefully worked out set of sharpening etc by default (which you can adjust or switch it off), and it really helps the way the images look online.

 

I uploaded the same set of pictures to SmugMug, Flickr, MobileMe, A wordpress blog, a blogger blog, Posterous, Tumblr and an Apache web server running on my mac to compare them all. The images on the SmugMug site simply looked better.

 

James.

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Hey Alex,

After literally years of trying different options; I came back to SmugMug. I prefer the speed and gallery options and versatility to iWeb etc. I then incorporated a Wordpress blog (which I am too lazy to update). A slightly simpler option for a blog is to use Blogger. Most of the info you need to increasingly customize the site is available through the site support which is fantastic and the SmugMug user group stuff.

If you need more help I can give you the name of someone who helped me make the incorporation of my Wordpress blog more seamless.

I think for a photo gallery site smugmug is hard to beat. Allows sale options etc, etc. If it is more a writing based site then maybe iWeb is an option but thye gallery versatility even with plug-ins like simple viewer etc are not nearly as versatile in my opinion.

Rates are very reasonable from 39.95 a year with the ability to upgrade to pro version for 149.95 a year.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/photo-sharing-sites-compared/

 

My site you've seen is waterworldimages.com

Edited by loftus

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