Taking the photos is 80 percent of the nature photography experience. That said; us weekend photographers know very well how much we love to share the end result.
What fun is there if you don’t share that perfect image of the blue crashing seashore or that new, just hatched, yellow duckling? Thank goodness for the internet. The internet opened a giant door for us weekend photographers to do just that. Thousands of photography web pages are currently posted in the web. From low end “this is what I ate today” to classy “model next door” galleries. If you are here you too are looking into sharing your photography master pieces.
So you want to build a photography web site? Let me tell you out front it takes time, patience and persistence to get it right. You plunk in $30 in some software and later find out it’s not what you expected, or it lacks some functionality that you saw somewhere else. You fix something and two days later you find out you broke something along the way. You spend hours tweaking and tweaking to get that web page to look as professional as you can and then you see another site and you feel like yours looks like yesterday’s pizza. Or worst; you have a cool looking photography site, but your photos look shabby. No one in your family understands why you are stuck in front of that computer! I can’t help you much with your photographs, but this blog series can help you start in the right direction as you build your own site. That said I will take you along what worked and what didn’t during the design of my site.
Disclaimer: I am no web page expert or guru, but I have created three web sites and had some sort of success with these. I am in no way telling you to buy any product; I will let you know what worked at my site.
So let’s start at the beginning… to start off you need to ask yourself the following philosophical question “If I were to search for sites that have the photos I want to see; how would I text this into the search engine? In my case I figured this after the fact, not a good start. So start out right and have a good idea and then make it unique. This will be your focus keywords, for example my site is about Nature Photography, so “Nature Photography” is what I would text in the search engine field. Now; if I did text “Nature Photography” in Google I would find thousands of sites that fit that description. You do not want to compete against National Geographic or all those high profile sites.
So again; in my case I added “Puerto Rico” to my Nature Photography focus keywords. Now the Google search result list was a lot smaller. Choosing “Puerto Rico Nature Photography” made the search for my site kind of unique, I was lucky in this case. You need to play with this until you find uniqueness in your site’s planned search criteria. The end result will be the site’s focus keywords. This is important if you want to later be ranked high within search engine results. Following these guidelines does not assure you instant top ranking specially now that Google can just decide to put you anywhere it thinks convenient, but it does give you a solid base. Although Bing and Yahoo have me on the first page Google decided to add my domain name “wildatpalmas” before my keywords, not very good because it does not consider me primarily a “Puerto Rico Nature Photography” page instead it tries to list me in as “wildatpalmas Puerto Rico Nature…” page. To make it simple to understand if you sort these two titles which would you put at the end? But what can you do; that’s Google.
Once you decipher what your site is all about you need to decide on its unique name (domain name). Domain.com was where I purchased mine. Note that you can also opt to buy a domain name when you purchase your hosting site. Now the name is very important, but not as important as the focus keywords above. (This is only my opinion). For example I named my site wildatpalmas.com …not exactly “Puerto Rico Nature Photography”. Which do you think users that don’t know about my site will use? Certainly not wildatpalmas! Now what I should have used as my domain name was something like “pr-nature-photography”. Actually that is a pretty long name. But I named my baby (wildatpalmas) out of pure inspiration and now I will have to live with it. Hey who knows? Maybe someday it will be as common as walmart.com. The name that you choose should be unique, related to your focus keywords and avoid hyphens (if possible) and numbers.
The domain name should be easy to type, easy to remember and as short as possible. By the way make sure you select a “.com” extension for your domain. People seem to infer that these are more professional sites, again just my opinion. That is it for today; on the next post I will go over the hosting and web page platform. Can’t wait for next post and need the whole document now? Email me.