This Linkedin Post, Is everyone tired of Livebooks website format ? on the APA Group reminded me of a discussion a while back of photographers websites. After the dust has setteled from graduation, I have been thinking a lot lately about my website, my blog and how to promote myself as a photographer and artist in a sustainable way. Recently, I have began a newsletter (sign up here) and have updated the website more regularly.
I built this site myself, with a lot of help and advise from too many friends to list. Sometimes I think I should revamp the whole thing and begin from scratch again. I think building the SVA MFA Thesis site made me start reconsidering my own site but a major overhaul will have to wait for now.
If I were to hire it out I would surly not be with Livebooks. I think Livebooks is overpriced, not as functional as a website should be and the templates I have seen look cheesy. There are too many almost free ways to make a site better looking then Livebooks. I would recommend avoiding flash sites. Unless you know what you are dong, or you hair an expert. When I originally build my site I considered flash but since I wasn't that good at it I (thankfully) went for simple HTML. Many of the rules I followed came from the advise and philosophy of you Daniel Eatock and indexhibit. Some of the many rules I believe portfolio websites should follow are:
1. clean easy to navigate design.
2. Direct links to each area and image on the site.
3. clear contact information, artist's bio, and client, exhibition or CV.
4. large images without watermarks. and lastly, build a site you can view on a phone. I think phone portfolio viewing will become more and more normal as people move from their old phones to 3 and 4g smartphones like iPhones and Blackberrys.
Another free option I have heard good things about is http://artlog.com/ anyone out there tried that one? Let me know if you like it. If you want to spent some money on a site I would recommend hiring a company like my friends over at Wegee Design who can custom make you a site that best fits your vision in a clean design that will likely still be cheeper then Livebooks.
I just wanted to add this old commentary on web design from the a visual society blog:
2. Livebooks. It seems to be popular. Popular to the extent that if I visit a website and see the familiar name scroll across the top and familiar double thumbnails start loading down the right hand side a feeling of dread comes over me... I don't know what Livebooks cost, from what I have heard it's not the cheapest. Give your web designer buddy the cash instead and have him design a real site for you.