The goal of Get Your Photography On The Web is to solve one very specific problem — to show you how to build a website from start to finish so that you can display your photographs on the Web and perhaps even sell some. Many people have probably worked with sites like Flickr and Facebook, but are too intimidated to actually set up their own website.
Get Your Photography On The Web is set up in a recipe format and is intended to go from start to finish. It details everything that you need to get a website up fast and as cheaply as possible. Keep in mind that through this book, the author will specifically mention company names. He does that because they are the ones he uses and that way he can be specific with his instructions to accomplish the task at hand. Get Your Photography On The Web is 240 pages in length and is contained in 11 chapters.
Chapter One, “Domains & Space: You Need These First,” begins with the first two components that you need before you can even get started — a domain name and some space to host your site. You will learn about how to choose an appropriate domain name, traps not to fall for, and things to look for when finding your hosting site. The rest of the chapter deals with instructions on registering your domain name and pointing it back to the hosting site.
Chapter Two, “Getting Your Images Ready,” is necessary because the images that look good on your monitor probably will not look the same on the web. In this chapter you will learn about choosing the right color space, sharpening your images, choosing the right size to display, imbedding metadata, and how to watermark your images. There is also information on using Google Voice for your phone number, Digimarc for copy protection, and how to submit your images to the copyright office to help insure that your rights are secure.
Chapter Three, “Using WordPress for Your Website,” starts off with a brief overview of what WordPress is and the history behind it. Next it goes into the reasons why you will want to use it for your website — primarily portability and customizability. From there you will see how to install it, gain access the administration area, and get everything ready to use.
Chapter Four, “Adding Content to Your Website,” looks at what you will want to add to your website. This begins with the determination of whether you are also going to blog. If done right, blogging adds interest to your site. It makes it come alive and more entertaining. Here you will learn about adding content to keep people coming back, how to organize the site, how to add filler text, photos, how to categorize your content, how to add a slideshow, and other tricks to make your site more interesting.
Chapter Five, “Plug-ins and Menus to the Rescue,” examines plug-ins and what they can do to enhance your WordPress site. In this chapter you will begin by looking at how to create menus — which was much harder in prior versions of WordPress. Then you will see how to install a plug-in, how to open an image in a shadowbox, install a contact form, and install Google analytics to your site.
Chapter Six, “HTML Tips & Tricks,” will help you to correct things, when problems arise on your site. To now you have been working in the visual tab, here you will learn how to work in the HTML tab so that you can see what is really going on in your page. You will see how to have a link appear in a new window, get rid of weird spacing, aligning stuff on the page, move text around images, and more.
Chapter Seven, “Make Your Website Pop with a Theme,” takes your site to a new level through the use of a template. Templates will give your site a new look and feel without you having to design or code the look. You will see where to get some free templates, how to download and install them and modify them. Then you will see some alternatives for themes for purchase as well.
Chapter Eight, “Printing Your Images Online,” gives you three alternatives to having your images available for purchase and printing — Mpix, Artistic Photo Canvas, and Photomoto. Each has different capabilities and you are shown how to work with all three.
Chapter Nine, “Creating a Flash-Based Portfolio,” tells you how to make a very good presentation for your portfolio, but the use of Flash is hard. Through the use of Flash components, this can be made much easier to do. First you will see where you can get these components, then you will see how you can incorporate them into your site.
Chapter Ten, “Using Social Media,” describes a way to communicate to your followers that will let you get the word out. Best of all, it’s free. Through Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, you have many ways to communicate to the outside world. Here you will learn how best to set up and use all three. Then you will see how to set up and use affiliate accounts with Amazon and B&H so you can profit from your site.
Chapter 11, “Adding Web Galleries with FTP,” shows you how to use an FTP client to upload images to your website into a one-off gallery that you don’t want people to see on your blog. Then you will learn how to use an FTP client, how to create a web gallery using both Adobe Bridge and Adobe Lightroom. Next you will see how to upload your web gallery. Finally there are several case studies on various websites that illustrate problems that had to be dealt with and their solutions.
Get Your Photography On The Web is laid out in a very easy to read and follow along with style. Each chapter starts off with an introduction and various aspects of the topic at hand. Then you follow into the recipes that take you step-by-step into how to handle each situation.
I also like the fact that the author does give recommendations on the products and services that he uses. In a world of so many choices, many people — especially those who are totally foreign to setting up a website — could get lost along the way. By giving specific examples, it takes away the mystery. If you have a better solution for a specific item, you can still just choose to use the one you like.
In between several chapters is a section called “Along the Way” which highlights popular websites including Strobist.com, JoeMcnally.com, and Shooterthemes.com. Here they provide discussions about the sites and what they do. All-in-all Get Your Photography On The Web is a very good read with a lot of valuable information. If you are a photographer — or anyone who works with creative digital media — and you want to get it online for not a lot of cost, then I very highly recommend Get Your Photography On The Web.