Do you want to display your images on the Internet?
Most photographers, regardless of the type of photography, would like to have a website to display their images.
And the possibilities are endless.
There are a number of sites that offer you your own piece of the Internet. Some are relatively inexpensive, others, well let's just say the sky is the limit on what you can end up spending.
What you should know
Anytime you grab space on the Internet, you need to know who the real owner is. I know that sounds a little weird, but let me explain.
You could, for example, set up something on Facebook. It's free and even easy to set up. The problem is, it's not really flexible, and Facebook can (and does) often change the rules such that what you did yesterday is no longer available today. In other words, Facebook really owns your photo space and you adjust to their wishes. Additionally, if they don't like you or what you stand for, they can and do, impact you.
Same with a number of preset websites like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. In exchange for simplicity, you have limited options and a monthly subscription fee. Finally, it's not really yours (you're renting).
So what's the solution?
Set up a WordPress site with your own domain on your own hosting site.
Here are the benefits:
- domains are really cheap – $8 to $10 a year,
- hosting is equally inexpensive, depending on your needs, amount of traffic etc.,
- WordPress powers the majority of websites on the Internet,
- WordPress offers almost unlimited themes and plugins to create any type of site you wish,
- most of these themes and plugins are free and even pro versions, which offer additional options, are usually very inexpensive,
- you are your own kingdom and no one has any authority over you or will inhibit what you do on your website
Okay, so let's begin
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Choose a domain name – I've written an article on how to choose a name here and the Blog Resource page addresses which Domain Provider to use – NameCheap.
- Set up a hosting site – Again, the Blog Resource page addresses this, so refer to that page.
- Set up your website with a free theme – Astra, and a free page builder – Elementor.
- You can decide later to go for the paid versions but even the free versions will get you up and running.
Alternatively, you can download the free desktop server, Local by Flywheel and before choosing and paying for a domain name or hosting site, you can completely set up your web on your desktop and subsequently transfer to the hosting site later on.
Let me elaborate on this. WordPress is nothing more than an application that runs on a server. Local by Flywheel essentially recreates the same application on your own desktop computer and acts as host so you don't have to, at least initially, go out and buy hosting and a domain name. It allows you to create a website without the complications and then you can facilitate transferring your creation to a real-life setting later on. There are a number of applications that charge for this but Local is free and it's easy. It also allows you to get everything up and running quickly.
Let's create a photo website
Here are your steps:
- Either buy a domain and hosting and go live or just use Local and start creating the site.
- Download the free versions of Astra theme (Appearance, Themes, Add theme, Astra, Activate) and Elementor plugin (Plugins, Add New, Elementor and Premium Addons for Elementor, Activate) directly from your WordPress admin panel.
- Go to Pages, Add New and type in the name of your new site and publish.
- Select Edit with Elementor, Add New Section and slide the Slides into the section. Go to the options and add one or more images into the media option.
- Again, go to Pages, Add New and type “Gallery”. Hit publish, go back to the options and add the portfolio option and again add one or more images to complete your gallery.
That's essentially it. You can add more pages for “about you” and “privacy” etc., and even create a blog to discuss your images, but you're there.
You now have a site and have claimed your part of the Internet that is completely your own.
You have the Blog Resources page which you can review and select what you need. Also, you have the recommendations on plugins which will be helpful. Also, I've linked the article on selecting a domain name above, which includes some free web apps that will help you make your selection.
I'll continue to put more resources on this site as soon as I can.
Don't let anything hold you back. Claiming your own space on the Internet is easier now than it's ever been.