Blue Loon no longer provides any website design services. As a photographer, your options are:
Do it yourself
To get fairly competent with website programming, you will want to master one of two other scripting languages. If your website will be hosted on a Windows IIS (Internet Information Server), you will need to know ASP (Active Server Pages). This website was built using ASP. If you will be hosted on a UNIX server, consider learning PHP. These scripting tools allow you to build dynamic web pages, i.e. web pages that take action based on user input on the current page. Web photo albums and shopping carts are examples of applications that require such programming. If you want to implement your own photo galleries, you may want to use photo album software available typically for under $100. The Blue Loon website uses a software package called "aspWebAlbum" for the photo galleries.
To incorporate shopping carts on your website can be difficult if you want to
do it all yourself. This is rather complicated programming, because you need to
guarantee secure shopping to your customers. If you do it yourself, you can still
use available shopping cart software, but you need to implement security yourself.
Typically you need to obtain a merchant bank account and implement "SSL" (Secure
Socket Layers" to handle credit card sales. Another way of doing things is to
let someone else handle the actual purchase details for you, and notify you of
the sale so you can incorporate it into your customer database. Blue Loon
uses such a vendor, one which specializes in "shareware", which is inexpensive
software usually available over the Internet, often as "try and buy". The most
hands off way of doing things is to put your website in the hands of an ISP
(Internet Service Provider) who automatically sets up a shopping cart as part of
your service and handles the sales for you. For example, many ISP's support
the "Miva Merchant" shopping software suite.
There are a few web designers who specialize in websites
for photogaphers/nature photographers. One is Jan Allinder of
Lucid Images. Based in Mississippi, she
has designed a number of websites for photo professionals. This is a good place to start.
Also, try ArtWebWorks.com. Chris Maher and
Larry Berman list an extensive client list of photographers for whom they have
If you plan to sell a lot of stuff on your website, this may be the most effective way to proceed, but also the most expensive.
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