Throughout our second semester we will be developing a website that uses the branding we created in the first semester.
The first step is to research which tools are available to help me create my portfolio website. I don’t have any coding skills so I need to look at any templates and programmes that can help me create something professional.
This far I have been using a free WordPress.com website that allows me to create pages of static information as well as this blog. I like writing this blog and would like to be able to incorporate it into my new website. The only problem I have is that it is not easy to include my new branding in the WordPress templates.
WordPress.org offers a lot more flexibility, templates and plug-ins but is a little more tricky and expensive to set up.
There are a number of great web builder programmes available on the Internet like Wix, Moonfruit, Go Daddy and Weebly. These are online programmes that include a wide range of templates that can be customised easily using drag and drop software. Most have a free plan and include email services, an online shop and easy purchase of domain names.
I have created websites in Moonfruit before and have found it to be easy to use. The help section was comprehensive and there is a range of plug-in programmes that can be used with it to expand the functionality of the web pages. The online shop is easy to set up and is great for individual items but not quite so straightforward if you are selling prints of various sizes. I haven’t found a way, as yet, to automatically send purchases straight to the print company.
Photographic Website Builders
Most photographic website builders have a free plan or are completely free. They either print photos themselves or have links to professional photographic printers and they handle all of the online ordering automatically. Again they use templates that you can personalise but I haven’t found them to have has much flexibility as the general website builders.
Defrozo is worth a particular mention here, although still in Beta form at the moment it describes itself as the ultimate marketing platform for photographers. Functionality is limited at the moment but is developing all the time and promises to include a CRM system and client websites.
Photographic and Art Communities
At the moment I have no strong feelings as to which tool I will use. Once I have decided everything that I want to include in my website I can come and make a final choice.