Do you know your DNS from your ISP? - part 1 of 1

Published 01/06/2005

Confused? I certainly was. Website design can be a relatively simple affair with many programs on the market that are easy to use and in many cases exploit drag and drop techniques to build a multi-page site quickly, with relatively little or no knowledge of HTML, (Hypertext Mark Up Language - the language of the web). The trick is then to configure an ftp site (file transfer protocol) to accept your pages and transfer them to the web. For this you will need to register a Domain Name (; .com etc) with either a host company or other ISP (Internet Service Provider). Still with me...?

I have designed my own sites ( and for many years and have lost track of the numerous programs and time taken to get them just the way I wanted them, not to mention the time taken in managing the sites. There comes a time however, when it's no longer viable to spend this time tinkering, modifying and uploading, particularly when the digital workflow from stuff that actually earns you money eats into much of the working week. There are however, solutions for every photographer, it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

One such solution can be found at . This is a firm in the USA that deals specifically for the needs of photographers and those in the visual arts industry. Following the recent visit by Bambi Cantrell, I was minded to get in touch and see what they could do for me. After several e-mails and a look at some sample sites, we agreed on a template that suited the way I wanted my site to look. This left me free to get on with the business of running my own studio without the hassle of managing and developing my sites. The fees involved would be more than offset by the profits from additional work I could bring forward, and equally important, I try to get some time for the family and myself these days.

Mike Caston at BIGfolio was a great help in providing advice and suggestions, informing me of choices, directing me to alternative sources and generally being an all-round good guy. E-mails, (sometimes two or three a night because I was being a pain!) were always responded to promptly whenever I had questions. It was impossible to tell that we were separated by several thousand miles and the response times were quicker than telephoning some British companies.

If you don't already have a website or are thinking of something a little slicker than you already have, BIGfolio have some superb templates which demand little or no input from you. They can build, manage and host your site at very reasonable rates (even better now when you take the strength of the £ against the $). If you prefer to have some control over site updates, they can provide you with authoring tools which make the job very easy indeed.

My new site ( was registered for two years with for £24 and took about two minutes over the Internet. Mike then took over the build and hosting of the site based around photos and text e-mailed to him. All I had to do was pay him for his services. (Costs will vary depending on the templates chosen or if it is a bespoke design). A FLASHbuilt site similar to my own will cost in the region of $99 for the template and $250 for 12-month hosting. (About £185 total). To build a similar site would take me at least a week and I'm no slouch! How much is a week's wages to you? For more information contact Mike Caston or visit their website at

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1st Published 01/06/2005
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