Website Design; The Web Page Journal; Working With liveBooks On A Photographic Website

Google “photographer” and you get, as of this writing, about 140 million (!) possible URLs; do the same for “photographer web pages” and you get over 25 million! The motivation for creating a web page with your photographs is legion: it can be used to display your work to a worldwide audience; showcase work to potential clients; license images for sale in publications and other sites; sell fine art prints; promote events and clubs; and display work shot at events for additional sales beyond paper proofs (although the paper proof route is almost extinct these days). For those who simply want to share work there are also community sites that take loads of uploads at once and offer e-mail notifications for sharing or creating public galleries for all to see. Plus there are traveler sites, weather sites, and even sites for just plain old goofing around.

The heart of your interaction and site build is liveBook’s editSuite, shown here with a work-in-progress Portfolio and Libraries. This allows you to change images, build progressions, and generally control and add images to your site.

Those with more commercial or serious intent can engage a number of designer/host companies to aid in the task of creating a more professional look with useful features. These involve a design fee, a layout fee, and often a yearly subscription rate for keeping things fresh and lively.

Uploading images is an easy task that works with the file directory on your drive. You simply select the images that you want added and then upload them. It is wise to custom size your images beforehand, but you can also have liveBooks re-size them for you.

I recently worked with one such company, liveBooks, to see how involved the process can become, and to take advantage of all the features such sites offer. I was attracted to the company because of the many sites called to my attention in Joe Farace’s “Web Profiles” column that used liveBooks as their partner. (You can see samples of the company’s work at www.liveBooks.com.) I soon found that building a site involves more than the desire to do so—it takes a good deal of engagement with the designers and dedication to making decisions along the way. I also learned that the flexibility offered in the process, and the ability to refresh images and ideas is all part of making the process work after the initial blush of success. After all, a website has to be kept up-to-date to maintain its vitality. As a frequent visitor to many photographic websites I understand how being able to change with the times, and constantly refresh images, can make or break the visitor’s experience.

Part of maintaining a website is getting stats on visitors; shown here is a comprehensive stat sheet form in a screen shot the day after launch.
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