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Old November 20th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #1
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Help with website ideas!! what to do?

Hey everyone,

I'm wanting to put together a website to showcase video, audio and photo content for a media conglomerate and production co. that I'm trying to put together.

there are a couple different routes that I am considering:
1) The Free Route: Although I'm trying to stay away from another MySpace page, I'm conisdering doing a BlogSpot or GoogleSite, something that will feel a bit more professional, but I would like it to be segmented for each form of media encompassed. I guess if anyone has experience with these and could give some suggestions, or you know of any other free sites, that would be great. I have a vimeo site already and could embed those videos anywhere.

2)The Legit way: I am pretty dumb when it comes to the actual process of setting up a legit .com website. I can deal with the whole design aspect, but am not sure about how to go about publishing. I considered doing a .mac account and doing an iWeb page, seemed kind of pricey for the amount of storage, but seems simple enough to get a decent webpage up and running quickly.

I also have a copy of Adobe GoLive CS2 that I have messed with and am pretty confident that I can design a decent page in that program, and have more flexibility as far as layout and such, but I'm just kind of in the clouds as far as what service to use for hosting, where to buy a domain name, etc.

any suggestions or wisdom from those who have experience with this animal would be GREATLY appreciated!! if you know of any good resources to simplify the whole process, please advise!!!

thanks so much,
Brendan
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Old November 20th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #2
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Brendan,

I can't answer all your questions but you might like to consider the following:

1. Most hosting companies will steer you (automatically) through the process of setting up your domain and your hosting account so you probably don't need to worry about the technical side too much.

2. Check this site for indepndent reviews (by customers) of hosting services: Web Hosting Reviews - User Reviews on Web Hosting Jury

3. Consider using a content management system like Joomla or WordPress or Drupal to build your site. I set up my site quite quickly in Joomla and have been very happy with it.

Good luck.

Ian . . .
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Old November 20th, 2008, 06:26 PM   #3
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I agree with Ian. I think you will be surprise how easy it is to set up a website using a content management system.

Here is some help to clarify some basic information that you probably are asking, but don't know.

1) You need to purchase a domain name and a hosting account. Domain names are usually $8-$20, while a hosting account is usually around $100ish per year.
2) Becuase this is your first time, i suggest to buy the domain name at the same place you are going to host the account. (As a more advance user, i purchase domain names from godaddy, and host them somewhere else. I suggest keeping everything at one place)
3) Use wordpress or joomla for your first Content management system
4) I would also look into installing XAMPP on your computer (which includes apache & mysql), which allows you to test different CMS on your machine without having to upload everything to your server.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 09:12 AM   #4
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Is there a recommended site or easy way to get a paypal store/web page?
I only have a Mac (powerpc) computer, and I am worried that most of these sites are either only compatible with PCs or there tutorials are only offered in PC jibberish.
I know I could probably use any of them, but as a beginner I would like a mac friendly interface and support.

I plan to make the page in flash and have another page that is a paypal store.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 09:19 AM   #5
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thanks guys!
awesome feedback so far, just the type of advice I'm looking for as someone new to web design. Great sites btw. Question:

1) If I went the Joomla route, or any CMS for that matter, can i use designs/logos, etc. created in photoshop for the site, or how much flexibility will I have with actually editing the layout?

guess I just need to jump in and test for myself and do as much research as I can, but thanks for the starting points and advice!!

any other advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated too, keep em' comin!

~brendan
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Old November 21st, 2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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Aric, sorry I can only offer pc jibberish! I'm sure there are plenty of Mac users that talk your language and can offer better advice.

Brendan, yes, Joomla is very customisable - if you know a little html and aren't afraid to jump in feet first with some php tinkering then you'll be able to do a lot. I have no skills in either department but a bit of messing around coupled with some common sense and I managed to customise the default template to meet my needs. I played with the graphics that make up the template, added my own logos etc and I guess I spent about two or three days in total.

Joomla is not without its restrictions but it is the easiest tool I have found so far.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 09:32 AM   #7
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Rapidweaver for Mac

For Mac I'd recommend getting Rapidweaver as good website creation software. It's cheap and very easy to use (it is the same company that made iWeb for Macs/Apple - but that's way too limiting). Much simpler than the pro level Dreamweaver but plenty of complexity (beneath the user friendly surface) for those that know how to use it and want it there. It'll get you up and running with a website super fast as the interface is so simple and intuitive for any Mac user. It'll let you set up QT videos but you'll then soon want to get Flash capability added (e.g. JW Player). My website was built with it in just a few days about 5 weeks ago and has been "tweaked" almost daily since. Still not where I want it but it's starting to get me business and enquiries already!

Later on as your skills grow look at some of the more sophisticated options. By then you'll know a lot more about what you want and can make better informed choices for your needs with some initial hands on webmaster knowledge under your belt. Good luck!
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Old November 21st, 2008, 10:46 AM   #8
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thanks Ian, I am familiar with some basic HTML coding, so I think I can pull that off, but in reference to the Mac/PC question, does Joomla play well with OSX?? Mac is my primary machine, so I definitely need OSX compatability, should have brought that up from the get-go.

please advise

Andy, I will look into rapidweaver as well as a Mac option, thanks
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Old November 21st, 2008, 10:50 AM   #9
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Joomla! • View topic - Is it mac compatable?

Try this Brendan. I don't have any Mac savvy at all I'm afraid!
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Old November 21st, 2008, 11:14 AM   #10
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Andy, who do you use for your hosting?? if you don't mind me asking.

thanx
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Old November 21st, 2008, 04:49 PM   #11
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On a personal recommendation from another videographer mate that uses them I'm using a UK company called Streamline as my website host but I bought my domain name from someone else for peanuts. Streamline offer different packages depending on how much traffic you expect to need so I just went for an "unlimited power user type one" since I figured that when I want to host HD video that's what I'll need and when I'm finally successful so many people will be hitting my site it'll be necessary.....well, maybe one day! Actually, I have some Flash HD video (720p) on the site already but in one the private client areas and it works just fine.

A 2 year deal with them worked out a bit less than 40 per year which I thought was fine. That's currently about $60.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 02:38 AM   #12
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My advice would be something like a Dreamhost account ($10/month). You can find coupons that will give you half off or more of your first year.

Use their one-click Wordpress install. Best way to set up a website ever. For example, our whole website is Wordpress:

DVcreators.net

Choose a theme built for video, maybe like this:

RevolutionTwo.com

but there are many more.

If you want more bandwidth throughput than Dreamhost allows, one trick is to host your media files on Amazon S3. That gives you world-class bandwidth, but only charges for what you use, which is pretty reasonable.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 04:56 AM   #13
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Like Andy a few weeks back I went down the Rapidweaver (Mac only) route and am happy so far.
Up until now I did not have any good things to say about my .mac subscription (as a method of online backup I feel that it breaches the UK Trades Descriptions Act) but I now have a use for it - it's fantastically easy to tweak and update a website using Rapidweaver. I've found that I've done a massive amount of tweaking so that's been a big timesaver.
For my .com address I went with UK2NET about 13 years ago. This is independent of the website host and I like it that way.
With UK2 I can point my domain to any website I create and it shows up as my domain when people visit it.
Rapidweaver is easy to use and there is a large community of third party developers making templates and plug-ins which makes for infinite variety and some powerful add-ons eg for e-commerce (I haven't used that one and can't vouch for it).
It comes complete with such things as blog and online calendar built in which I have found useful.
The online support via the forum is good.
BTW if anyone is planning to take a look at my website - I am still working on the showreel for the frontpage. This is built with their most basic template. There are more with the basic package and you can buy from third parties cheaply if you don't like what comes as standard.
There is a columns plugin for columns and a blocks plugin which gives you pretty much a free hand in page design and layout. Lots more like this from third party developers.
I suspect that streaming video from my .mac account is not going to work well enough (based on experience of visiting .mac based sites) but I hope to be proved wrong.
In another thread on DV Info Amazon's EC2 service was recommended for hosting video. I haven't tried it yet but intend to.

ps I've just noticed that Josh's post mentions Amazon S3 which is I think what I am referring to. It seems horribly technical but I'm sure there's a way through it.
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Last edited by Richard Gooderick; November 24th, 2008 at 05:02 AM. Reason: additional comment
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Old November 24th, 2008, 07:58 PM   #14
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I can add one more shout out for RapidWeaver. For hosting, there is a company called LittleOak.com that I have 4 domains registered with. Cost wise for large amounts of video bandwidth, I'd go with someone larger like BlueHost.

RapidWeaver doesn't come with a calendar, but there is a plugin called RapidCal that will integrate your iCal with it. I use a calendar called WebCalendar in an iFrame for group editing of calendars.

There's a program called PayLoom that lets you setup a shopping cart, GoogaLoom as well. I've also just used the code PayPal has generated and pasted the HTML code into my sites.

I've used e-Junkie for e-commerce and again, it's as simple as taking the HTML code they generate for you and pasting it in the RapidWeaver page.

Here's a link to their user fourms. I'm an active member there, if you have any RapidWeaver questions, post them there.

Realmac Software Forums | RapidWeaver Support & Mac Chat

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Old November 24th, 2008, 08:28 PM   #15
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RapidWeaver looks okay, but does anyone know any advantages over Wordpress?

The themes look fine- but they charge for each one... and the plugin support looks meager compared to Wordpress.

Plus it costs $79 more- are there any pros?
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