Earlier this year I spent a lot of time researching "website sites" trying to decide which one was best for my business, Inspired by christy. There's sooooo many good ones and I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of sites tailored just for photographers.
I had already set up a site on Wix.com that was free, then upgraded to the $10 per month option to get the white branding bar off my site. The Wix site was perfect for an inexpensive option but I just couldn't set it up like I wanted. The interface was confusing to me but if you can figure it out I think it's an excellent option to start a website without a large financial commitment.
I ended up choosing Creative Motion Design for my new site and so far I really love it. If you're in need of a new site I highly recommend this company. I'll tell what I like the best about CMD...
I'm working on a budget. And although CMD isn't the cheapest, the price was reasonable for what I get with my site. They often have 25% off selected templates and I bought the Armande template when it was on sale. The hosting is $100 per year so I spent $321 total for the site and one year of hosting. I think they have several of their templates on sale now if you want to take a look~
I really wanted a professional proofing cart that was attached to my site. This not only gets my clients on the site again but also most people will tell their friends and family to take a look at their proofs.
You know how women are...gotta call up their girlfriends and their mommas to check out their new pics!
I also like the proofing cart because I'm in control of the size they're viewing their images at for the first time. You can also have clients order prints and pay thru the proofing cart but I haven't set that up yet. For now, I'd rather speak to them personally and give my recommendations for prints rather than leave them on their own.
The main page opens to one single photo of my choice then they click thru to their gallery. It looks like this...
Once the client is here they click the first thumbnail to see each image at the size I've put it to. It's pretty easy for people to understand and I hear they're updating their proofing gallery soon to include lots more perks....can't wait!
Before I committed to this site I downloaded the FREE 10 day trial...this is a great feature! I was so surprised at how simple the site is to work in. Here's a screenshot of the main page of my interface...
Seriously....it's soooo simple....and all updates are immediately active just like a blog. There's no obligation if you do the trial but if you do decide to purchase the template all your trial info is saved and you don't have to start over. Cool~
I've admitted before, I'm a stalker. These tendencies also carry over in the customer service realms of my world ~ if I have a question I will do the live chat while dialing the 800 # and emailing tech support all at the same time!
CMD was *fabulous* in quickly responding to my emails and were very helpful on the phone. They even extended my trial period when I had more questions for them. I've read several reviews on all the template sites and there was good and bad about all of them. But my experience with CMD has been superior thru the whole process and I can't say enough good things.
There's plenty more to rave about but I'm sure you get the point by now~ A few things I don't like are the small logo placement and the black text screens. The text screen color can be changed for a small fee but it's not a priority for me right now.
Now, as usual, I would like your help with a few finishing touches on my site...here's my dilemmas ~
1. Music or no music? ...I just can't decide...I picked some pretty radical music to add but not sure it's jivin' with me...your opinion is welcome!
2. I'm going to add a page that shows photos of a few of the specialty products I offer such as Accordion Brag Books, Albums, Metal Prints...should I add pricing info for the products or save that for interested parties only?
Check out my site at inspiredbychristy.com and then share with me your opinions...good or bad...I can take it!