Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Building Your Perfect Website
As a professional photographer, you need to have a professional-looking website. What used to be a difficult process of design and coding now can be achieved simply, with minimal leffort and maximum effectiveness.
|When you choose DIY website creation, learning to use the Slice tool is key, but it’s relatively straightforward with Photoshop.|
While there are many great resources for having your site built by others (with the ability to customize the result yourself in some cases), you can save money and exercise direct control over the result by taking the do-it-yourself approach. Chances are you’re already well-equipped to design and create your website yourself. As a photographer, you surely have creativity on your side, and you can leverage the skills you acquired for optimizing your photographs in Photoshop to create the elements of your site.
You can start turning the sketches you created during the planning process into reality by creating a blank document in Photoshop at a size appropriate for web browsing. I generally recommend dimensions of about 800x600 pixels as a starting point, as this accommodates the resolution of the vast majority of users while still allowing room for the browser window elements and the possibility of a browser window that isn’t maximized.
Then you can set about using your photographic images, text and other tools in Photoshop to create a look you’re happy with. Use a consistent font (perhaps two at the most), utilize colors found in the key images you’ll display for text and other elements, and apply layer styles with restraint. Continue fine-tuning until you’ve created the site as you want it to be experienced by visitors.
At this point, your website is really just a single image. You then can use the Slice tool in Photoshop to divide this image into smaller pieces, which enables you to use areas of the overall image as links to other pages. Simply drag with the tool to draw boxes that divide the image into the individual pieces you need to enable individual areas to be used as links to other pages. Use the Save For Web & Devices option on the File menu to save the sliced result as an HTML document and individual images. Open the HTML in an editor such as Adobe Dreamweaver and create additional pages, add links to the various pages of your site and type text to populate all pages with the information you want to share. All files related to the site then can be uploaded to the server so they will be available online.
Tim Grey has authored more than a dozen books on digital photography and imaging for photographers, and publishes the Digital Darkroom Quarterly newsletter. Visit www.timgrey.com.
Page 3 of 3