Why pay for a website when you can, basically, get one for free? It's a good question. Here are some answers . . . and why I switched to Squarespace.
But first, free is not always free. Even on free sites you need to pay for a custom name, such as www.ricksammon.com. So why not pay a few extra bucks to have a custom name and an awesome custom site?
Also, the biggest investment you make when you start a site is the time it takes you to set it up, so ideally you want to start off with the best technology out there – so that you don't end up spending more time and money in the long run, or even worse, get stuck with something subpar.
Okay, here's why paid sites are better for serious and creative photographers.
24/7 Customer Support - I put customer support first for two reasons: 1) It's very important to the web site host, because they want you to be 100 percent happy with your site and their service; 2) It can be very important to you . . . if you, like me, are not web design savvy and need tech support. Squarespace, in addition to 24/7 customer support, offers live chats and training materials. Someone is always on hand to help you.
Sites Look Great on Any Device - Paid sites like Squarespace have designers who work hard to ensure that your site - and your images - look great on any dievice.
Total Creativity - Sure, free services like eBlogger (where I used to have my site) and WordPress, offer different templates. But paid sites simply offer more creative options - in design, colors, looks, layouts and templates.
Professional Look - Even if you are not a professional photographer, that does not mean your site should not look as professional as can be. Paid sites make you look your best.
Unlimited Number of Pages - Free sites usually offer a limited number of pages and galleries. Paid sites offer as many pages and galleries as you like.
Galleries - Most free sites don't offer galleries, which is of the utmost importance to photographers. And speaking of galleries, check out my Galleries on the left side of my site.
Special Gallery Features - Some paid sites offer cool gallery features. Squarespace, for example, lets you edit your pictures within the site before you press "Publish" for the best possible presentation of your images.
Load Time - Paid sites have mega servers so your site loads quickly. If you are as hyper as I am, this is a very important feature :-)
One of the features I especially like about Squarespace is that you can quickly and easily drag and drop images, videos and so on into pages and posts. This feature (screen shot above) makes it easy for me to post - almost every day.
Use one-click to get started with your own awesome Squarespace site.
Good luck . . . with your new site.
Explore the light,