When we start to search a host for our photography website or to build it, for personal or professional reasons, we got so many options in this jungle of the hosting and website builders to the point that we can get lost by too many choices.
So, when i started to search a website to host my photos, i put down all my needs for my photography blog.
And i needed:
- A gallery photos.
- A blog to keep the website alive.
- Possibility for people to comment.
- Free for a long period to have the time to see if the search engine will like it!
- Possibilities to put pictures within the text, with the "click to enlarge" the picture.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) possibilities to access to the code source or at least a part of it.
- NO flash photo website (website entirely made with flash are Search Engine Optimization killer, because Google cannot read properly the content inside).
- And the most important... Simplicity, very user friendly! because i do not want to spend time learning complex tools or be overwhelmed by an user interface with too much tools and choices.
Before to find Jimdo.com, i tried many photo builder websites and hosts, 90% of them offer just a trial for 10 to 15 days... at the end, even if the website was very beautiful, with very nice photo galleries, i didn't get enough time to see if the search engine will like it, because it take many months to know that.
Some of the photo website builder and hosting for photographic purpose, do not have the blog part... which is important to show that your website is alive, for your visitors and for the search engines (by adding texts and image often and regularly, search engine know that it's not just few static pages dropped on internet without regular update).
Also some of those hosting photography website have a so complicated user interface with too much options, that was just discouraging to work with.
I know that some photographers want full access of the design of their website, but in this case just buy Dreamweaver and built your photographic website from scratch!
Most of those host and photography website builders give you only 10 to 15 days trial... in my opinion it make no sense to have only 15 days trials with too often an user interface where you need at least one week to master it. If it take time to master the tools offered by a photo website builder, it is better to get Dreamweaver to do your website and host it for a lot cheaper on a mutualised server.
So at the end, i was very happy to find Jimdo.com!
Pros : Jimdo is simple to understand... very simple, it is not overwhelmed with too much
options like smugmug, weebly or Wix for example.
- 500 MB hosting space for the free version, yes nowadays it's a bit quite short, but it's good enough to see many things coming and it's free, and Jimdo let you test your photography website for the amount of time you need, if in 1 year you are happy, pay the upgrade and got more space.
- User friendly, it takes only a few minutes to figure out how to add and manipulate elements in Jimdo, there is plenty of tutorial video to learn to master the Jimdo user interface for the people who have never touched a computer.
- Let you the time to test your website! Sorry but it is not in 15 days that you can see if your website is OK and if google will like it (and your host) etc ... having an unlimited time free hosting is important and whatever you can say, i am sure that googlebot was not aware about your website existence and you never knew, ever what can happen with the search engine, but you have already paid so you're stuck.
- With Jimdo you got all the time you need to see the things happening or not!
- Huge online help, and people from Jimdo are really awesome and quick to answer your email.
- Cons : No SEO for the free version, it make no sense, in my opinion it is even counter productive for Jimdo.
I cannot understand why they do that (and they are the only one!) for example with WIX you have full access to the header.
If there is a full SEO access for people who use the the free Jimdo, it mean better reference in google for example, so the free photo website will appear more often in first page of a search engine, and the Jimdo's logo and the "do the same website" will be shown more often, so more "free" advertising and appearance for Jimdo.
But by blocking the SEO they are doing the opposite, people cannot
optimize their personal website as they would like, so they are at the end of hundreds page search, nobody click on it because it is not seen, nobody see Jimdo >> it is totally counter productive, and... they are German, which make no sense, because
German do nice cars like Mercedes and Porsche ... even WIX was very smart about that and what happen?
- WIX got a ton more customers than Jimdo!
But SEO is not the end of the world, if you know how a search engine work, you can get over it and have your photography blog nicely referenced using the names and the titles that you give to your pages for example.
So if you want a simple to understand user interface for your photography website, wonderful people behind ready to help you, and a ton of many other good things, there is only one website builder : www.jimdo.com !
See you next week for a very special blogpost about photography and how to get easily stunning photos in post production.
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