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How to make your photography website more accessible.

 
 
Aaron
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      06-22-2007
I'm a "web application developer" and freelance web designer by day,
and I get asked a lot of questions about building websites, sometimes
by photographers. I have found that a lot of photographers out there
take matters into their own hands or hire a third party (purchase
gallery hosting space, etc.) without knowing some important things to
look out for.

I've just written an article going over some "best practices" for web
development that particularly apply to photographers, which might help
steer you in the right direction.

I've submitted the article to PhotographyVoter.com, it's a new site,
not a ton of traffic yet, but you might think about signing up for it
and helping them out. If you do, vote for me! Some really nice
articles show up there on a regular basis but I sense that they need
more voting participation to separate the wheat from the chaff.

http://photographyvoter.com/story.ph...-Photographers

Here's the direct link if you're completely not interested in PV:

http://www.singleservingphoto.com/20...photographers/

Cheers!

--
Aaron
http://www.fisheyegallery.com
http://www.singleservingphoto.com

 
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DOCJohnson
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      06-22-2007
On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 12:19:40 GMT, Aaron <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I'm a "web application developer" and freelance web designer by day,
>and I get asked a lot of questions about building websites, sometimes
>by photographers. I have found that a lot of photographers out there
>take matters into their own hands or hire a third party (purchase
>gallery hosting space, etc.) without knowing some important things to
>look out for.
>
>I've just written an article going over some "best practices" for web
>development that particularly apply to photographers, which might help
>steer you in the right direction.
>


Quite a ****-poor attempt to bring traffic to your site just to sell your crap.
You didn't even cover things like the uselessness of watermarks, the best way to
protect images (low resolution and high jpg compression), etc.

Take a hike spammer.

 
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Frank ess
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      06-22-2007


DOCJohnson wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 12:19:40 GMT, Aaron <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> I'm a "web application developer" and freelance web designer by
>> day,
>> and I get asked a lot of questions about building websites,
>> sometimes
>> by photographers. I have found that a lot of photographers out
>> there
>> take matters into their own hands or hire a third party (purchase
>> gallery hosting space, etc.) without knowing some important things
>> to
>> look out for.
>>
>> I've just written an article going over some "best practices" for
>> web
>> development that particularly apply to photographers, which might
>> help steer you in the right direction.
>>

>
> Quite a ****-poor attempt to bring traffic to your site just to sell
> your crap. You didn't even cover things like the uselessness of
> watermarks, the best way to protect images (low resolution and high
> jpg compression), etc.
>
> Take a hike spammer.


I think Mr DOCJohnson is hypercritical.

I looked at the blog-like page and found it included some good
information. It seemed to me there would be nothing of much use to me
behind the other links, so I didn't follow them.

I would recommend to Aaron that he reconsider editing "Entire sites
such as YouTube, digg, del.icio.us, and the brand new
PhotographyVoter.com is based on this principle." "sites ... is" seems
not-too-pretty-good to me.

--
Frank ess

 
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-hh
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      06-22-2007
"Frank ess" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I think Mr DOCJohnson is hypercritical.


YMMV.


> I looked at the blog-like page and found it included some good
> information. It seemed to me there would be nothing of much use to me
> behind the other links, so I didn't follow them.


You got more out of it than I did.


> I would recommend to Aaron that he reconsider editing "Entire sites
> such as YouTube, digg, del.icio.us, and the brand new
> PhotographyVoter.com is based on this principle." "sites ... is" seems
> not-too-pretty-good to me.


That's merely grammar. I'm more concerned about the key points that
were missed, namely that while the whole 'sharing is caring' has a
point, and while it can be beneficial, the act of directly revealing
your image's URL just makes it all the easier to be misused, such as
copied (theft) or hotlinked to (appropriation of your bandwidth & your
storage that they're not paying for).

I've been debating on if to switch over to .PDFs as a means to disrupt
the casual 'borrower' of my copyrighted stuff. I have a couple of
trial balloons running now; will see what their hit rate looks like in
the logs in 2-3 months.


-hh

 
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Aaron
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      06-23-2007
And lo, DOCJohnson <(E-Mail Removed)> emerged from the ether
and spake thus:
> On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 12:19:40 GMT, Aaron <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>I'm a "web application developer" and freelance web designer by day,
>>and I get asked a lot of questions about building websites, sometimes
>>by photographers. I have found that a lot of photographers out there
>>take matters into their own hands or hire a third party (purchase
>>gallery hosting space, etc.) without knowing some important things to
>>look out for.
>>
>>I've just written an article going over some "best practices" for web
>>development that particularly apply to photographers, which might help
>>steer you in the right direction.
>>

>
> Quite a ****-poor attempt to bring traffic to your site just to sell your crap.
> You didn't even cover things like the uselessness of watermarks, the best way to
> protect images (low resolution and high jpg compression), etc.
>
> Take a hike spammer.
>


I covered both of those topics in previous articles, lazy. I will take
your advice and link to them from that article, though, now that you
mention it. Cheers.

--
Aaron
http://www.fisheyegallery.com
http://www.singleservingphoto.com

 
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Aaron
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      06-23-2007
And lo, -hh <(E-Mail Removed)> emerged from the ether
and spake thus:
> "Frank ess" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> I think Mr DOCJohnson is hypercritical.

>
> YMMV.
>
>
>> I looked at the blog-like page and found it included some good
>> information. It seemed to me there would be nothing of much use to me
>> behind the other links, so I didn't follow them.

>
> You got more out of it than I did.
>
>
>> I would recommend to Aaron that he reconsider editing "Entire sites
>> such as YouTube, digg, del.icio.us, and the brand new
>> PhotographyVoter.com is based on this principle." "sites ... is" seems
>> not-too-pretty-good to me.

>
> That's merely grammar. I'm more concerned about the key points that
> were missed, namely that while the whole 'sharing is caring' has a
> point, and while it can be beneficial, the act of directly revealing
> your image's URL just makes it all the easier to be misused, such as
> copied (theft) or hotlinked to (appropriation of your bandwidth & your
> storage that they're not paying for).
>
> I've been debating on if to switch over to .PDFs as a means to disrupt
> the casual 'borrower' of my copyrighted stuff. I have a couple of
> trial balloons running now; will see what their hit rate looks like in
> the logs in 2-3 months.
>
>
> -hh
>


Good catch on the grammar mistake there, I just fixed it.

What I perhaps should have added is something about how your web
server can be configured not to serve your images via direct links
when they are placed on other sites. I had that happen once with an
Apple logo that I had on my site simply as a visual aid for an article
about logos. Some kid placed it in a forum post (ironically flaming
Apple), so I started blocking outside referrers on image file
requests.

I track my site's traffic closely using AWStats (.org) and at the
moment my bandwidth is not being stressed so I am not blocking outside
image referrers; I figure it's "free" publicity, the only price I'm
paying is a bit of bandwidth.

When I started writing this latest article, being a web developer
myself, I found myself slipping deeper and deeper into technical
issues that I'm not sure would be helpful to a casual photographer. I
could outline, in great detail, how Apache's mod_rewrite can be
configured to block outside sites from snagging your images, but I
haven't met many photographers who are also server administrators and
I wonder how helpful that would be. Still, I suppose it bears
mentioning.

I've written a bunch of articles in the past few months and most of
them have been very well received, but I have also found that the more
technical they get (not related to photography, but rather
programming, server configuration, etc.) the less my readers seem to
care, so I tend to shy away from being too nerdy outside of the
photography realm. There is definitely a geek threshold.

--
Aaron
http://www.fisheyegallery.com
http://www.singleservingphoto.com

 
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-hh
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-23-2007
Aaron <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> What I perhaps should have added is something about how your web
> server can be configured not to serve your images via direct links
> when they are placed on other sites.


That would be useful, although it would have also necessitated
mentioning the 'darker'side of the web that's less altruistic.


> I could outline, in great detail, how Apache's mod_rewrite can be
> configured to block outside sites from snagging your images, but I
> haven't met many photographers who are also server administrators and
> I wonder how helpful that would be. Still, I suppose it bears
> mentioning.


You could be helpful by talking about the pros/cons of various
blocking options within the Apache cpanel web interface, as that's an
easy enough tool for general use.


-hh

 
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Aaron
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-23-2007
And lo, -hh <(E-Mail Removed)> emerged from the ether
and spake thus:
> Aaron <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>> What I perhaps should have added is something about how your web
>> server can be configured not to serve your images via direct links
>> when they are placed on other sites.

>
> That would be useful, although it would have also necessitated
> mentioning the 'darker'side of the web that's less altruistic.
>
>
>> I could outline, in great detail, how Apache's mod_rewrite can be
>> configured to block outside sites from snagging your images, but I
>> haven't met many photographers who are also server administrators and
>> I wonder how helpful that would be. Still, I suppose it bears
>> mentioning.

>
> You could be helpful by talking about the pros/cons of various
> blocking options within the Apache cpanel web interface, as that's an
> easy enough tool for general use.
>
>
> -hh


In my experience, based on years of geekery, the Internet is generally
altruistic. Unfortunately, the nature of the Internet makes it easy
for a small number of malicious people to affect a large number of
non-malicious people. That said, I tend to be more defensive than
offensive and cross my bridges as I come to them.

I've never used cpanel, having jumped straight into manual
configuration since day one, but if cpanel is something that web hosts
offer, it would be worth investigating for the sake of people with
access to it.

The web hosts I had who offered control panel interfaces pretty much
rolled their own, I think. I used apollohosting.com for a while and
also phpwebhosting.com, both of whom developed their own stuff. In the
end, I wound up switching to a Linux-based virtual hosting setup where
I basically get SSH and root account access to a virtual machine with
nothing but a barebones Linux distribution on it and I can just go
wild. It's both challenging as well as satisfying to have that level
of control.

At least with mod_rewrite you can often place the directives in your
own .htaccess file, but that seems way over the heads of the people I
generally write for. I have a more technical/personal blog where I
write about crazy stuff I do at work like editing VIM syntax files,
word stemming in JavaScript, and that sort of thing, but I don't think
it interests photographers too much.

--
Aaron
http://www.fisheyegallery.com
http://www.singleservingphoto.com

 
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-hh
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      06-23-2007
Aaron <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> In my experience, based on years of geekery, the Internet is generally
> altruistic. Unfortunately, the nature of the Internet makes it easy
> for a small number of malicious people to affect a large number of
> non-malicious people.


That is the basic problem: the .01%'ers that can really screw things
up. The problem is that there's not just 50,000 of us on the web
anymore, so .01% of a hundred million ends up being a lot of folks
(its the statisics of large numbers).

Just within the past ~6 months, I've had around 3 known instances of
copyright theft (a highly relevant topic in a photo group) and within
the past month, I had a script kiddie attack successfully hack a
password onto an Apache system, which to be safe required it to be
completely wiped and restored from backup.


>
> I've never used cpanel, having jumped straight into manual
> configuration since day one, but if cpanel is something that web hosts
> offer, it would be worth investigating for the sake of people with
> access to it.


Some hosts do offer it and for end-users looking for Admin tools with
a low bullshit quotient, it is quite useful. Awstats is offered, as
are also IP Deny and Hotlink Deny modules. I suspect that it probably
does most of what you think people need, with no need to get mired
down in the detailed line code.


-hh

 
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