Some Alternatives for Photographer or Studio Websites
by Jeffrey Sward
 
Plan A: Hold Your Own
 
  • Site management software such as Dreamweaver is essential
  • Obtain the url directly from an independent url supplier such as Network Solutions
  • Find an independent hosting company. Contact the url supplier to change the master dns record
  • Advantages: Complete control. Low cost.
  • Disadvantages: Most work. Complexity.
 
Plan B: Professional Design Followed by Self Managed
 
  • Select a design company with some grasp of the elements of design, such as Orange County Web Design
  • Upon receipt of the initial design, revert to Plan A
  • Advantages: Professional design for those without a graphic design background
  • Disadvantages: Initial cost. Final design might not appeal.
 
Plan C: Self managed with Proprietary Vendor Tool.
 
  • The photographer designs and maintains the site, typically with vendor supplied proprietary tools. There are varying degrees of vendor-supplied canned templates, galleries, and/or retail pages. Some examples:
  • Advantages: Proprietary tools often simpler than full tool such as Dreamweaver. Vendor often supplied canned templates. Second lowest cost after Plan A.
  • Disadvantages: Proprietary tools often lack flexibility
 
Plan D: Turnkey
 
  • Turn over all url acquisition, design, maintenance, and hosting to a single third party.
  • Advantages: One stop shopping and simplicity. Godaddy is such a vendor.
  • Disadvantages: Cost. Catastrophic consequences if single vendor stops performing, goes out of business, or raises prices.
 
Plan E: Use Only an Integrated Image Hosting, Sales and Services Vendor
 
  • Forget the individual web site and use only an integrated image hosting, sales and services vendor. These vendors typically post portfolios for customer review and provide print services. The most notable of these vendors is Pictage.
  • Advantages: Little to no maintenance. Sales and lab assistance. Web presence a profit center, not a cost center.
  • Disadvantages: What web site?
 

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