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 Post subject: Establishing a website
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:49 pm 
I've been trying to get a good website up and running to promote myself. I've found a server and domain but am having trouble finding a design or creating a design of my own. I really want a flash based site that really makes an impression on my customers. When I say flash website I mean full flash. I've tried wix.com but it doesn't quite make the impression I've been after. Here are a few examples of some other photographers sites that I love.

http://www.manifestophotography.com/

or

http://www.five1nine.com

I even have the adobe flash but have had a lot of trouble and no time to learn and create it on my own.

Has anyone faced this problem and does anyone know of any resources I can utilize?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:34 pm 
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If you're willing to pay for a month, Squarespace is the way to go. I have some promo codes so you can get 10% off of the life of your subscription?

(it also has a 30 day free trial)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:21 pm 
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I'm moving this into the going pro section...

PS - it's an entirely personal choice whether to use flash or not, but I have to say I dislike sites which over-use it - I'll close the page and go elsewhere if I can't get the information I wnat straightaway. Just my own opinion though, and of course you may be aiming at customers who love, or even expect flash-heavy sites.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:31 pm 
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To elaborate on Gordon: If I have to wait 20 seconds for a flash intro to load, I'm gone 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:57 pm 
I'm new here as some of you may notice. But I'd thought I'd air my thoughts on website designs, having had some very limited experience in it and having had friends who have web businesses.

The simpler to use the better. You can have all sorts of fancy menus and flashing gizmos but if there's a risk it'll confuse the user, then they're bad. Both of the examples in the first post are what I'd consider not very user friendly. Not everyone is able to navigate a website easily, in fact for instance my mother struggles with Amazon even.

In my opinion a clean simplistic setup is the best to go. It's also likely the easiest of them all to code - meaning cheaper to develop and keep running. They're also less bandwith intensive.

This is an example of what I mean. (By the way, I just picked that from a google search on photographers :lol: )

I hope my thoughts help you a bit. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:40 am 
Don't make websites exclusively in Flash. Just don't do it. Ever.

They are:

Difficult to navigate (back button doesn't work)
Difficult to send links to specific pages (hey look at this photo. Oh wait! No URL)
Inaccessible (screen readers, custom CSS, etc)
Slow
Difficult to search

Flash does make an impression on customers: They cringe at the inevitable loading screen, get frustrated at the confusing navigation, and are ready to throw their keyboard at the screen from the autoplaying background music. Most things nowadays that you want Flash for (fading, animations, etc) you can do in a much cleaner way with Javascript.

Don't get me wrong, Flash is good when it is the right tool for the job, but for the bulk of websites, it is not.

RANT OVER. (sorry about that)

As for the design. Stay away from Flash to start with. Decide on the structure of the website with pen and paper. Using Flash is slow, so you are less likely to experiment with the design. Then, move into InDesign, Photoshop, or any other tool you are comfortable with to work on the visuals. From there you either move into html or whatever.

If designing isn't really your thing, then the best way to go is to simply hire a designer/developer to do the job for you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:01 am 
@ Gordon - - Sorry for the topic placement.

You know you guys are really making a lot of sense. Why spend the money on a high tech site when it is not really necessary. Especially since im making little money on the sessions im currently doing. I already know HTML and have made several site's over the years, why not stick to what I know and design it myself or at least try to expand on some Java. I can also still have a somewhat flash part by using this free product called viewer.

http://www.simpleviewer.net/products/

This will bring that flash element that I like so much into a simplified and easily navigated site.

Thank you all for helping me see the light. I'll post the site when it is completed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:33 am 
If you are looking for animations, fades, and other Web 2.0 effects, have a look at jQuery, and the various plugins that are built on top of it.

It really does take the pain out of javascript

http://jquery.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:07 am 
Sweet thanks I'll look into that!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:11 pm 
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Same here. I want to build a flash website but Adobe Flash software has too steep a learning curve to even get started in between all the uni homework I have to do. However, I just learned about Adobe Flash Catalyst. Not quite sure what it'll do yet, but it will allow you to design a page in Photoshop (using lots of layers) and import those files into the software to make it interactive and basically like a fully-featured flash application/website.
So far, there's only a beta-version (free and legal!) for download on the Adobe website, which I'm installing now. I'll let you know whether I can figure this software out!

- Bjorn -

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