Wildly popular for his irreverent commentary during his stint as a salaried employee at Mens Journal as a Photo Editor for his no-holds-barred opinions about photographers, photography, and the business in general, the formerly anonymous APhotoEditor has launched a website design service - APhotoFolio - and he makes some insightful points about just how important having a top-quality website is, and he details what he offers:
4 Things Every Client Wants - "I’ve spent enough time as a Photography Director hunting for a phone number or “gadzeeks” even the link to the portfolio to know these things need to be available the second a client visits your website."
The Window of Opportunity - "How much time will a potential client spend on your website? I’ll bet the average is around 20 seconds, but I’ve spent as little as 1 second and as long as 10 minutes on a site. The first impression is critical (that’s where the 1 second comes in) because if the design, logo and the first image I see don’t add up to a certain taste level, then I’m probably wasting my time."
Why Our Control Panel Kicks Ass - One commenter wrote - "in my eyes, the control panels and administrative interfaces are what make or break an application for me. A product can have a beautiful design, but if I have to do too many manual steps to get work done, the work won’t get done."
10 Reasons Photo Editors Will Love These Designs - Among them - 3. Email a photo option - If the Photo Editor sees the perfect shot and wants to send it to the Creative Director, they can click the email a photo link and it’s done; and 9. iPhone and html ready Ever visited a flash website on your phone. It’s like it doesn’t exist. Our websites automatically create html and iPhone mirror sites that load when they need to.
10 Reasons Photographers Will Love Our Websites - among them - 2. Switch once for Free and $100 each time thereafter. - If you get tired of your design no worries just switch. How’s this for a sweet deal: after a year you want to freshen up your look, switch for free and only keep paying the $17/month hosting fee. We will have at least 4 more to choose from a year from now, if not more; and 5. Wordpress Blog included - You don’t have to get one when you start either, we’ll add it whenever you ask. Having a blog on your url http://www.mysite.com/blog is an excellent way to get seen in google searches.
Rob's service, with a $1,000 one-time set-up fee and $17/mo has a higher initial cost than, say, SiteWelder, but is less expensive over time on the annualized costs; and then there's the cheap (and it shows) route of BluDomain, with their $100 and $400 sites.
One question I know Rob will get (and I've addressed the importance of - It's Google's World, You're Just A Small Part of It, 11/28/07; and SEO - Wild Wild West or Reason & Logic?, 3/4/08) will be how do his sites handle SEO and crawl-ability, and thus, how do they rank on the search engines? How they're designed (i.e. how they look to Google's spiders) is one thing that can be learned in short order, the other - ranking, will be something that we can learn over time. From a design standpoint - I think they look awesome, and are worth a look.
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