So you need a website
At some point or another in our lives each of us is going to have update, design, develop, coordinate, purchase or any number of verbs with an internet site. While the basic building blocks of any website is still HTML we are way past that now.
Where once you might be a one man band with you laptop and HTML, these days you have web designers, developers, UX engineers and I don't know who else working together to produce better web sites.
Luckily for you and I we don't need to be any kind of engineer, or even that tech savy to have a great looking, secure, and functioning website. The way I see it is you can either go down one of two paths. The Self hosted and platform route, or the website making hubs (my term, not theirs).
Like anything there are pro's and cons to both. The hubs will give you good security, fully functioning features, wonderful designs, great flexibility, but you are also going to have to pay a little more if you want the best and added features will sometimes also cost you.
The self hosted method where you can use platforms like Joomla and WordPress is great, most of the hosts these days like GoDaddy can offer pretty cheap hosting (be warned you get what you pay for, and nothing more) which offer heaps of storage space but limited bandwidth. Some benefits are that platforms like WordPress can be customised to suit your exact needs; there are also loads of plugins to allow you to do almost anything which means you really don't need to code much at all; but that is also one of its draw backs. You might have so many plugins running that some of them conflict with each other and will cause you site to crash or worse be corrupted. Again you also need to pay for some of these plugins so while WordPress itself is actually free PHP software addons might not be.
I have use WordPress for years, but after having so many issues with my site and being to scared to update it in case of more conflicts I decided it was time to check out the hub options. I looked at three hubs which were SmugMug, ZenFolio, and Squarespace. Again there were pros and cons to all of them, but my final choice came in the form of Squarespace.
I liked the design and and templates which Squarespace had available. Being a photographer I was after something that was clean, well presented, and also a little minimalist.
Setting up your website is relatively easy, but it does take some time to figure out just what you doing an how the whole navigation thing works. Luckily though Squarespace as a huge library on how-to's which include some quick videos as well.
One draw back I have found as a photographers is the lack of client proofing options. This feature is rather helpful for us as we can show clients their images quickly easily, and get feed back.
You can use a 3rd party application to do this for you, but that will also cost you.
But overall if you want a well presented site that is easy to manage and can connect to all your social media, digital marketing, accounting, and still at a comparable price to that of a self hosted site go and check them out.