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How to Build Your Own Photography Website
Instead of putting your photos on some company’s web site, you can put them on your web site. This takes more work and requires more knowledge of programming and software, but the result is more individual and professional.
First you’ll need somewhere to store (or “host”) your site. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) may offer this, or you can sign up for a paid account with a hosting company. I pay about $25 a month to host my PhotoSecrets.com site.
The primary part of an Internet address is called the “domain name” and is relatively cheap. I pay about $10 a year for the domain name “photosecrets.com” which, considering it’s such a significant element of my business, is a great deal. However, the hard part is not paying for a name but finding one.
Domain names are available on a first-come-first-served basis, and many of the good ones have already been taken. Your chosen hosting company likely allows you to search for domain names. If not, try GoDaddy. I couldn’t resist getting AndrewHudson.com.
Once you have a site, you’ll need to design some pages. Apple users can build web pages with iWeb. Adobe provides sophisticated web-page design programs such as Adobe Dreamweaver. Or you can “code” a page using “HTML” (Hyper-Text Markup Language), which is what I do.
Design and test the pages on your computer, then “upload” them to the “host” and instantly your photos are available on the Internet.
What to Include
Make sure to add text to describe the pictures so your site will get found on search engines such as Google. Include an email address and/or phone number so you can be reached. You can include copyright info if you like (e.g. Copyright Jane Doe 2011). Don’t fret about people stealing your images — magazines and other companies respect copyright rules and besides, an image on the Internet is usually too poor quality to be printed properly.
Which Approach Should I Take?
In order of difficulty, these are the three ways I’d recommend you approach selling your images online:
- Easy and Simple: Submit your photos to a stock agency, such as a Microstock site;
- Simple and Stylish: Sign up for a photo store (which is similar to a photo-sharing site but designed for income);
- Difficult but Unique: Build your own Web site.
Of course, I selected option #3 — Difficult but Unique. Perhaps because that’s how I defend myself to my wife. Or because I’m lazy and just haven’t yet branched out from using basic HTML code. Either way, if you too want to build your own Web page to offer your pictures for sale, this is how to do it.