Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Set Up a Photography Web Site and WordPress Photo Blog

There are many free photography sites on the Internet you can participate on to interact with other photographers.  Perhaps you'd like to start a blog, where you can consolidate your images and stories in one place.  It's pretty easy to determine that WordPress is the standard for most blogs these days, and there are even free third party applications you can add to use your existing content on those popular photography sites.  You can set up a blog on WordPress.org for free, but when you try that, you quickly find out that they don't allow the installation of those useful third party tools you've read about.

Perhaps you'd also like to create a more comprehensive Web site as a place you can design and control to represent yourself.  But many Web site hosting companies impose storage limits and bandwidth limits.  Will they shut you down and demand more money if you upload too many photos, or your Web site is actually successful and starts to develop visitor traffic?

You can have both: a hosted WordPress blog and your own Web site with custom domain name.  You certainly don't need to buy two domain names and pay to host them separately.  But even if you already bought a hosted site to install a WordPress blog to, you probably installed it in the default way, which could make building a Web site around it unnecessarily awkward.  After trying WordPress.org then buying my own custom domain name www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com and installing WordPress, moving my Blogger blog over and setting up Google+ post to make blog posts over on my WordPress blog, I looked into adding a Web site as well.  At that point I finally figured out how I should have done it the first time, and I deleted and re-installed WordPress.

If you're considering what to to regarding a blog and/or Web site, over on wordpress.org they recommend three hosting companies.  The least expensive one, Bluehost, has a sale underway at $4.95/mo. for hosting unlimited domains, content and bandwidth.  Read some reviews of their service, use this link to check them out:
http://www.bluehost.com/track/jeffsullivanapproved
Disclosure: if you sign up through that link, I'll get a small "affiliate" credit (I have to buy gas and lenses somehow, the rocks and trees don't pay me).  I can do you a big favor in return, and save you the days I spent doing it all wrong, re-doing it, then re-doing it again.  Send me a message to let me know you signed up through my link, and I'll tell you what I learned about installing WordPress... the third time I installed it after trying and rejecting both the free WordPress.org version and a default hosted installation.  I can refer to you many useful add-on applications for photographers, which can help you move content over from Blogger, Google+, and so on.

I'm currently going through the toy box of third party tools, testing them and researching ways to integrate my content from SmugMug and other sites.  Stay tuned, I hope to have something worth showing soon, after Thanksgiving week if not sooner.