How to make your photography website more accessible.

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Aaron, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    I'm a "web application developer" and freelance web designer by day,
    and I get asked a lot of questions about building websites, sometimes
    by photographers. I have found that a lot of photographers out there
    take matters into their own hands or hire a third party (purchase
    gallery hosting space, etc.) without knowing some important things to
    look out for.

    I've just written an article going over some "best practices" for web
    development that particularly apply to photographers, which might help
    steer you in the right direction.

    I've submitted the article to PhotographyVoter.com, it's a new site,
    not a ton of traffic yet, but you might think about signing up for it
    and helping them out. If you do, vote for me! Some really nice
    articles show up there on a regular basis but I sense that they need
    more voting participation to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    http://photographyvoter.com/story.php?title=Website-Rules-Photographers

    Here's the direct link if you're completely not interested in PV:

    http://www.singleservingphoto.com/2007/06/20/web-rules-for-photographers/

    Cheers!
     
    Aaron, Jun 22, 2007
    #1
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  2. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    I covered both of those topics in previous articles, lazy. I will take
    your advice and link to them from that article, though, now that you
    mention it. Cheers.
     
    Aaron, Jun 23, 2007
    #2
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  3. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    Good catch on the grammar mistake there, I just fixed it.

    What I perhaps should have added is something about how your web
    server can be configured not to serve your images via direct links
    when they are placed on other sites. I had that happen once with an
    Apple logo that I had on my site simply as a visual aid for an article
    about logos. Some kid placed it in a forum post (ironically flaming
    Apple), so I started blocking outside referrers on image file
    requests.

    I track my site's traffic closely using AWStats (.org) and at the
    moment my bandwidth is not being stressed so I am not blocking outside
    image referrers; I figure it's "free" publicity, the only price I'm
    paying is a bit of bandwidth.

    When I started writing this latest article, being a web developer
    myself, I found myself slipping deeper and deeper into technical
    issues that I'm not sure would be helpful to a casual photographer. I
    could outline, in great detail, how Apache's mod_rewrite can be
    configured to block outside sites from snagging your images, but I
    haven't met many photographers who are also server administrators and
    I wonder how helpful that would be. Still, I suppose it bears
    mentioning.

    I've written a bunch of articles in the past few months and most of
    them have been very well received, but I have also found that the more
    technical they get (not related to photography, but rather
    programming, server configuration, etc.) the less my readers seem to
    care, so I tend to shy away from being too nerdy outside of the
    photography realm. There is definitely a geek threshold.
     
    Aaron, Jun 23, 2007
    #3
  4. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    In my experience, based on years of geekery, the Internet is generally
    altruistic. Unfortunately, the nature of the Internet makes it easy
    for a small number of malicious people to affect a large number of
    non-malicious people. That said, I tend to be more defensive than
    offensive and cross my bridges as I come to them.

    I've never used cpanel, having jumped straight into manual
    configuration since day one, but if cpanel is something that web hosts
    offer, it would be worth investigating for the sake of people with
    access to it.

    The web hosts I had who offered control panel interfaces pretty much
    rolled their own, I think. I used apollohosting.com for a while and
    also phpwebhosting.com, both of whom developed their own stuff. In the
    end, I wound up switching to a Linux-based virtual hosting setup where
    I basically get SSH and root account access to a virtual machine with
    nothing but a barebones Linux distribution on it and I can just go
    wild. It's both challenging as well as satisfying to have that level
    of control.

    At least with mod_rewrite you can often place the directives in your
    own .htaccess file, but that seems way over the heads of the people I
    generally write for. I have a more technical/personal blog where I
    write about crazy stuff I do at work like editing VIM syntax files,
    word stemming in JavaScript, and that sort of thing, but I don't think
    it interests photographers too much.
     
    Aaron, Jun 23, 2007
    #4
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