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Thread: Web Site Packages

  1. #1
    alec4444's Avatar
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    Arrow Web Site Packages

    Hey Guys,

    I've owned my own domain for a real long time, and I've been working in the internet industry for over ten years. I know how to code, and I've got a decent handle on Flash and Photoshop and whatnot. I have absolutely no excuse for having a crappy website. On the other hand, redoing it has been on my "to do" list for way too long, and I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that I will never really get around to redoing it.

    So I'm looking at various web site "packages"...those various sites that have a rather formulaic design to them with the ability to "customize it" within certain parameters. The other way of handling it would be to outright hire someone to do it, but that requires management of the design & tech team, and we're back to the "never gonna happen" scenario. I've seen a lot of people here using various packaged solutions...what are they, and are you happy with them? Here are my basic requirements:

    • Must be able to be hosted on my domain...without me changing service providers.
    • Must allow me to customize the design...the more I can customize the better.
    • Should allow me some way to easily make updates.
    • Should be scalable and allow me to add images without having to custom make and upload 5 various sizes.
    • Must be able to support eCommerce...a built-in shopping cart system is a plus.
    • I want to be able to pay for this as a one-time fee...none of this "monthly maitenance" nonsense.


    An example might be Kevin Saitta's Artsoft application. I didn't check if it met all of the criteria I specified above, but I wanted to better illustrate the concept I'm looking for.

    You ideas and feedback will really help...thanks!

    --A

  2. #2
    SatinSnow
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    Re: Web Site Packages

    Well as a person that has a wife that runs a very successful website company with hundreds of customer, alls I can say is good luck, especially on the monthly "maintenance nonsense" as that is the way web designers and hosting companies make their money. As far as what I have seen, Kevin's solution is as close as your probably going to get to you requirements.

    Again, Good luck.

    Dave

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Web Site Packages

    Go in and look at Jorge Gasteazorro's web site. It runs on Kevin's software and I plan to do likewise with my VERY amateurish web site very soon. Kevin is one of the good guys. A tireless promoter and very hard worker.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  4. #4
    alec4444's Avatar
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    Re: Web Site Packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Parker View Post
    ...alls I can say is good luck, especially on the monthly "maintenance nonsense" as that is the way web designers and hosting companies make their money.
    I should clarify: I do plan on paying my hosting company (as I have been) for the service of hosting the site. I also have no problem paying a maintenance fee if someone is going in to make edits to my site. What bugs me is the usually steeper monthly licensing fees (couched as "maintenance fees") that (as you point out) are typical to the industry....you pay a one-time setup fee and then pay this additional fee for life. That may work for Microsoft, but this is alec.com.... =)

    If such an option isn't available to me, I'll go with hiring a team.... But enough about business models already...any ideas?

    --A

  5. #5
    alec4444's Avatar
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    Re: Web Site Packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Go in and look at Jorge Gasteazorro's web site. It runs on Kevin's software and I plan to do likewise with my VERY amateurish web site very soon. Kevin is one of the good guys. A tireless promoter and very hard worker.
    Indeed, I just took a look at the site and the pricing structure, this is a leading candidate. It was certainly the first one that came to mind when I was toying with this. I know there's a few others too, but I don't recall what they were. I'd really like to have a few to compare.

    I kinda like your site, Jim. You've got some great content and I think you present it in a fanciful kinda style.

    --A

  6. #6
    SatinSnow
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    Re: Web Site Packages

    You might want to get a hold of my wife, she does a very good job for her customers, ans works with custom design and does have some options available for you doing work as well and not allowing things to get screwed up, there is a big difference between "hosting fees" and "Maintenance fees" As I said, she has done lots of websites and worked with people on virtually most things you can think of, she does not do flash at all, and I don't blame her, I won't spend 30 seconds on a flash site, due to the way most of them are designed. Her normal method of working is quoting you a figure to design and set the system up and then if hosting with us, you have a monthly hosting fee based on what your anticipated updates are that stays static, you would know the hosting fee up front, but she also works with customers who are hosted on other servers, although, I think you would be hard pressed to beat her prices, her average customer has been with her for 7+ years.

    If your interested in talking to her, just send me a note with your information and I will pass it on to her, or send you her information so you can call her, and one big benefit, she has lived with a photographer for 20 years now and is a photographer herself, so understands many of the ins and outs of the business.

    Also as has been stated, Kevin's package is very good, he is a programmer and is very responsive to his customers, he is a hard worker and a photographer as well, so knows the business in and out as well.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Eric Biggerstaff
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    Re: Web Site Packages

    Check out Verve Labs, they do several sites including Huntington Witherell and John Wimberly. Not sure if they have everything you are looking for but I have been happy. They are very easy to work with and very responsive to questions, concerns, needs, etc.
    Eric Biggerstaff

    www.ericbiggerstaff.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Web Site Packages

    Quote Originally Posted by alec4444 View Post
    I kinda like your site, Jim. You've got some great content and I think you present it in a fanciful kinda style.

    --A
    Thanks Alec. It's getting to be different if nothing else. Simplicity itself, I type out what I want to say in the old Netscape Composer program that tagged along with Netscape 4.8, then I know just enough html to open it up in word pad and put the pictures between the paragraphs. Looks kind of amaturish now but gets the job done at my favorite price... = 0.00.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  9. #9

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    Re: Web Site Packages

    I was in exactly the same boat as you, Alec... so I just decided to give up my pride and NOT code it by hand - but use Dreamweaver... it's WAY easy, cheaper than almost all of the website 'packages', looks better - and by the time you've customized the package deal... you've probably spent less time as well. It's not all that bad... and besides...you can always hand tweak things that bug you.

  10. #10

    Re: Web Site Packages

    Quote Originally Posted by alec4444 View Post
    Hey Guys,

    Here are my basic requirements:

    • Must be able to be hosted on my domain...without me changing service providers.
    • Must allow me to customize the design...the more I can customize the better.
    • Should allow me some way to easily make updates.
    • Should be scalable and allow me to add images without having to custom make and upload 5 various sizes.
    • Must be able to support eCommerce...a built-in shopping cart system is a plus.
    • I want to be able to pay for this as a one-time fee...none of this "monthly maitenance" nonsense.


    An example might be Kevin Saitta's Artsoft application. I didn't check if it met all of the criteria I specified above, but I wanted to better illustrate the concept I'm looking for.

    You ideas and feedback will really help...thanks!

    --A
    Hello Alec,

    It does do what you are looking for.

    Jut a little background in case you want to know about me and my experience in the programming and design world. With that said, I have 20+ years in the software design world with emphasis on database design and full life cycle development. The software was written from the ground up, and to date I have over 4 years of development and time in this system, which I also use personally every day to handle all my artwork. Which means, I am not just someone that wrote it to sell it, I am a person that believes in it so much that I use it for my own personal website everyday.

    How this came to pass, was that after I exhausted all my options in trying to find a software that was written for artist by artist and not just programmers, I ended up writing this for my own personal use. After a few artist friends looked at it they said you should offer this to others and hence, Artsoft came to life.


    To answer some of your questions:

    *Must be able to be hosted on my domain...without me changing service providers.

    This is not an issue as long as your provider supports PHP and mySQL.

    *Must allow me to customize the design...the more I can customize the better.
    Within the parameters you can.

    *Should allow me some way to easily make updates.
    The system is completely dynamic and no HTML is required unless you want to use it.

    *Should be scalable and allow me to add images without having to custom make and upload 5 various sizes.
    The system is automated and you only have to upload 1 image, your max size.

    *Must be able to support eCommerce...a built-in shopping cart system is a plus.
    Shopping cart is integrated if you wish to turn it on. PayPal is built in.

    *I want to be able to pay for this as a one-time fee...none of this "monthly maitenance" nonsense.
    I have three types of self hosted options available. One time fee and you receive the current version. The first 30 days I offer free support and help you in any way necessary to get you up and running smoothly. If you are in the US no matter which state you live I will also call and talk you though the program as well if needed.

    The system is based on a template, but within the parameters it is configurable. I am also enhancing the system all the time when I am not out shooting. The system was designed with the working artist in mind to be able to show and sell work in a professional manner.

    This system is not a web page or pages, but a complete system that is completely dynamic and automated to make changing any data on the site a snap and automatic, real time. It also includes a very extensive configuration and administration module.

    If you go to the testimonials page or the page about other artist that use the system, feel free to contact them and ask them first hand what they think about the system as well as the maintenance program I offer which is unlike others. I really urge you to contact the users of the software and really ask them what they think of the system as a whole, their likes and dislikes to see if this will fit your needs.

    As far as maintenance program, the way I offer it is completely different than others. I have been known to update and add new features multiple times a month. And I am not just talking simple changes, I am talking huge advancements, different version numbers in some cases. So it is not just simple edit or updates, if you are enrolled in the monthly subscription, any and all new additional upgrades or enhancements I make, you receive them. You also have the option to request new features, and if they are good ones I add them no question asked. I try to add features that will benefit the entire ArtSoft community of artist, but there are times when someone needs something special, and I add it if possible.

    I try extremely hard to work with everyone and answer question in a fast and timely manner, and if you ever need support and are in the US I will call to help. I am always available via email when enrolled in the program.

    If you have any question at all please feel free to contact me at any time.

    Thank you again for your interest,

    Kevin

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