Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Your Home On The Web, Part 1
Making a polished and professional-looking website doesn't have to be an all-consuming endeavor. A number of companies can have you up and running at a low cost and with a minimum of hassle.
Picaholic offers a number of Flash-based templates that can be customized with fonts, logos, colors and menus. There's no limit on the number of pages your site can have, and the basic costs include up to 250 MB of online storage. The customization options are abundant, but the process is slow. Galleries are easily created and include an automatic slideshow feature. The cost is hard to beat and should put Picaholic high on the list of anyone who's working with a tight budget. For just $15 per month, you can maintain a professional-looking website that's easy to update and maintain. Picaholic supports using your own domain name.
SiteDesignWorks takes an à la carte approach to web packages. This is ideal for photographers who want to customize what services they offer online, but can quickly add up to an expensive annual fee for a completely featured solution.
SiteDesignWorks offers a number of high-quality templates in three different packages, as well as custom work to create a unique site. All options such as e-mail, reporting, online orders and individual portfolios are additional charges, but you only pay for what you need, making your site easy to grow into as business grows.
So which is the best option? Like anything else, it depends on your needs and what you want to offer the world. For general photography businesses, all of the companies listed here give you a professional presence on the web and should be selected based on the services offered and the templates available.
Going online with your business has never been easier or more profitable. If you're not online yet, it's time to rethink your strategy!
|Online Website Services|
|BIG Folio||Yes||750 MB / Prem |
250 MB / Pro
100 MB/ Starter
|$35/mo. + $599 setup / Prem|
$30/mo. + $299 setup / Pro
$25/mo. + $149 setup / Starter
|ClickImage||Yes||$4.95/5 GB to $59.95/200 GB||Yes||HTML||None|
|liveBooks||Yes||1x64 portfolio / Folio|
3x64 portfolio + 1,000 storage / Lite
4x64 portfolio + 1,000 storage / Pro
|Yes||Flash||$950 / Folio; $1,900 / Lite|
$3,900 / Pro (one-time fees)
$90 annual hosting
|Picaholic||Yes||250 MB||No||Flash||$15/mo. + $50 setup|
|SiteDesignWorks||Yes; $22/mo.||Yes; $275/year||Yes; $5/mo.||Flash/HTML; Multiple; |
|$475; $50 custom work|
Jon Canfield is the author of several books on digital imaging, including Photo Finish: The Digital Photographer's Guide to Printing, Showing, and Selling Images and RAW 101. Visit his website at www.joncanfield.com.
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