I'm very new to website creation and have no knowledge of html, design, or wordpress. I recently started my business photography website (www.lesleysobeckgallery.com) through Zenfolio.com. This has been working great to display photos, and set up options for ordering and lab fulfillment. But there are limitations as to adding other products to sell and further personalization design.
I'm thinking about creating a secondary website (url would be just my name, ex: www.lesleysobeck.com) where I could have more creative freedom and display other products for sale outside of printed images from the lab partners through zenfolio. I would have a page on this website which would direct traffic to my zenfolio site for print orders.
1. Is wordpress a good platform to create something like this? I would need a place for blogging/writings, biography, a place to direct traffic to zenfolio, a place to sign up for e-mail newsletters, a shopping cart for other product orderings which includes accepting payment, a page for affiliate marketing links, etc.
2. If wordpress is a good option, is it expensive to do what I'm laying out above? I'm working on a very limited business budget. Also, it is easy to learn and set up? How do I learn where to start and what to do?
3. If wordpress is not a good option, what would be a good way to get this going without breaking the bank? What other sites are out there to use?
Thanks for all your feedback and assistance!
Wordpress is a fantastic option for what you need, and a Wordpress site will do everything you need. A good basic sample of a Wordpress site is my blog - artistssuitcase.com. I set it up over the past few weeks and have done a lot of tweaks, but it's still not quite where I want it to be. I am using the Standard theme, but there are tons of great themes available.
I have a self-hosted blog set up through BlueHost - I think it's around $6.95/month. To set up my blog, I followed the tutorial available from Michael Hyatt - http://michaelhyatt.com/ez-wordpress-setup.html. It is very simple to do. I also purchased the Standard theme (I think it was around $60 or something like that). I purchased this theme instead of using a free one because it lets you adjust a lot more things.
It also cost around $12 to purchase my domain name. These were the basic expenses of setting all this up. The hardest part for me was learning some CSS code that allows you to adjust almost every element of your theme. I'm an endless "tweaker" and it was a good learning experience.
I think you would be very happy with BlueHost and Wordpress. I am planning on using aWeber for my newsletter subscription list, but I haven't set that up yet.
Wordpress is a GREAT option. I built a site for a friend of mine called Plant Cover Crops with a free theme using Wordpress as my platform, Godaddy to buy my domain, and Hostgator as my host. I'm currently building other sites with it, but have since purchased the Canvas theme from Woo Themes.
Another option would be Squarespace. I built Bill Pattison Studio using that platform. It's about $20.00 per month but the support is excellent and it's fairly easy to work with. I also build Legacy Seeds and Legacy Forage with Squarespace.
For my mail list, I use Aweber. They are awesome. You can use Aweber with Wordpress or Squarespace.
Thanks for joining the group and asking these questions.
1. WordPress is a great way to accomplish all your needs (blogging, email newsletters, shopping cart, etc). You could even move everything to your WordPress website, so you don't have 2 separate websites.
2. WordPress has many levels of cost and complexity. It all depends what you want to do with it. It's easy to get it up and running, but may take some time to modify it if you are new to web design and css. You can have a shopping cart, paid theme and other add-ons, or you can keep it simple with free or cheap options. But, keep in mind, the paid options are generally better for the long term. You can always pay a web designer to do everything for you so you'll get up and running quickly. I'd be happy to talk with you about the details and pricing to design your website for you.
There are a lot of great photography/portfolio themes around. I would highly recommend Studiopress.com or ProPhoto as they have several options for photographers. If you want to learn WordPress for photographers, I created a video training course that walks you through every step of the way, from buying a domain name, to setting up your WordPress website and modifying it. You can check it out here
You came to the right place. I started my site knowing nothing. Every time I am totally baffled someone from this community saves my bacon. 6 months from now you will be answering questions as you learn how to apply Wordpress to your application.
If you google bluehost coupons you can get 2 years of hosting plus a free domain name for 94 bucks. Great deal.
Thanks to everyone for your replies! I'm for sure going to look further into starting something on Wordpress, and I'm sure I'll be back with a billion more questions once I get started. :)
Thanks for posting your questions. I'm glad you got such a great response. I created this group for people who are just getting started and have questions like the ones you asked. Thanks for posting your questions!