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View Full Version : Photoblog: RapidWeaver/Wordpress + Flickr + ASO vs Dreamhost




fitinferno
Feb 2, 2006, 07:20 PM
Warning, this may be long!

Alright...I need yet more advice from this brilliant community. I've decided I would really like to get into photography. It's something I've been wanting to do for quite a while and this summer may be my last of complete freedom...so I'm gonna grab up a Dig Rebel XT and head out.

But, I of course want to share my photos. I want them all based off of my site, however, I'm unsure of how many photos I can set up on my webserver w/the space I have before I run out (this is where someone w/a DSLR would be helpful? How much can I expect to get fit in 1gb w/o having to skimp too much on resolution?). I was looking into A Small Orange webhosting and was thinking about getting the lifetime plan as I feel alright banking on their longevity. However, 1gb is the highest lifetime package. I don't really feel that it would be a good idea to sell out to DreamHost since they have that whole cpu usage problem...I feel the overselling there is worrisome, but I'd get 20 gigs.

So, I was considering a combo of Flickr Pro and ASO. I've heard from a few people that Flickr can successfully be linked to one's own blog. However, most of the blogs I see that link like that wind up defaulting to the Flickr webpage, which I don't want (i.e. I want to use ASO and Flickr but make it seem like I'm only using my website). I like the idea of unlimited storage on Flickr and the fact that it's backed by Yahoo makes me feel a bit more confident about the ASO/Flickr combo than the solo Dreamhost, if it can be done.

Furthermore, would Wordpress be the only way I could pull something like this off or can RapidWeaver do it? (I've seen the Flickr rapidweaver plugin, but it was unclear as to whether I could achieve what I'm aiming for).

Whew...I hope that all was understandable :)



iGary
Feb 2, 2006, 07:26 PM
Warning, this may be long!

Alright...I need yet more advice from this brilliant community. I've decided I would really like to get into photography. It's something I've been wanting to do for quite a while and this summer may be my last of complete freedom...so I'm gonna grab up a Dig Rebel XT and head out.

But, I of course want to share my photos. I want them all based off of my site, however, I'm unsure of how many photos I can set up on my webserver w/the space I have before I run out (this is where someone w/a DSLR would be helpful? How much can I expect to get fit in 1gb w/o having to skimp too much on resolution?). I was looking into A Small Orange webhosting and was thinking about getting the lifetime plan as I feel alright banking on their longevity. However, 1gb is the highest lifetime package. I don't really feel that it would be a good idea to sell out to DreamHost since they have that whole cpu usage problem...I feel the overselling there is worrisome, but I'd get 20 gigs.

So, I was considering a combo of Flickr Pro and ASO. I've heard from a few people that Flickr can successfully be linked to one's own blog. However, most of the blogs I see that link like that wind up defaulting to the Flickr webpage, which I don't want (i.e. I want to use ASO and Flickr but make it seem like I'm only using my website). I like the idea of unlimited storage on Flickr and the fact that it's backed by Yahoo makes me feel a bit more confident about the ASO/Flickr combo than the solo Dreamhost, if it can be done.

Furthermore, would Wordpress be the only way I could pull something like this off or can RapidWeaver do it? (I've seen the Flickr rapidweaver plugin, but it was unclear as to whether I could achieve what I'm aiming for).

Whew...I hope that all was understandable :)

If you go with Wordpress, mind you you'll have to work a bit with MySQL as a database.

Chip here (also a photographer really likes Rapidweaver, FWIW.

ChrisWB
Feb 2, 2006, 07:50 PM
Fitinferno,

As a current customer of Dreamhost, I can't recommend them. I have heard too many horror stories. That being said, I've heard only good things about A Small Orange. Another host you may want to consider is Media Temple (http://www.mediatemple.net/). I think they'll be my next host after my Dreamhost account expires.

Also, you'll want to compress your images so they take up less space. There are a number of programs that can do this so that your images still look great, but don't take up 30mb each.

GoCubsGo
Feb 2, 2006, 08:17 PM
Cornerhost. Nothing will ever beat his customer service. Nothing.

fitinferno
Feb 2, 2006, 08:29 PM
If you go with Wordpress, mind you you'll have to work a bit with MySQL as a database.

Chip here (also a photographer really likes Rapidweaver, FWIW.

Thanks iGary...I've used wordpress before a bit...so I may be able to handle the MySQL. Though it's a very good point, I could be shooting photos rather than dealing w/MySQL...

I've seen Chip's discussion on Rapidweaver. The site he was building just made me like it more than iWeb even more :)


Fitinferno,

As a current customer of Dreamhost, I can't recommend them. I have heard too many horror stories. That being said, I've heard only good things about A Small Orange. Another host you may want to consider is Media Temple (http://www.mediatemple.net/). I think they'll be my next host after my Dreamhost account expires.

Also, you'll want to compress your images so they take up less space. There are a number of programs that can do this so that your images still look great, but don't take up 30mb each.

Have you wound up hearing DreamHost horror stories that don't involve the cpu minutes clause? I found I could probably get a year's of hosting for some crazy some of 20 bucks...which...well, seems way too good to be true...but being a student, I can't help but be tempted...your non-recommendation helps me to keep on the sane side of making a better choice! ASO and MediaTemple both look great. Tough choice.

I'll definitely be looking into the compression tools now! Still looking great in less space sounds brilliant and just the type of thing I'm looking for.

fitinferno
Feb 2, 2006, 08:36 PM
Cornerhost. Nothing will ever beat his customer service. Nothing.

Thanks for the tip...it looks so cool, but I don't know how I feel on the low amount of MySQL databases. I have 2 other sites I want to run on the account and I'm considering doing them as addons and then just popping their own copy of WordPress on in if I were to use that.

Btw, I like the theme you've picked for WordPress! Looks nice :) (And after reading your first post, I can feel your pain on needing an easy site solution cuz of work/school/other obligations).

rendezvouscp
Feb 2, 2006, 10:54 PM
I definitely suggest WordPress + Flickr Pro + ASO. WordPress is really easy to use, and you don't really have to know anything about databases. Anything that you do need to know is in the set-up process instructions and is pretty straightforward. The only tricky part of setting up a database for WP is that once you've made a user and database in CPanel, you have to link them from the MySQL section (it's just a commpand from the same page you make users and databases).

Yeah, that's the hardest part.

Oh, now that I think about it, you can do a WordPress install from CPanel's Fantastico. That's almost too easy: all you have to do is provide the same information you would in a normal install, and it takes care of installing it, setting up the database, user, and random password. That's really really easy.

Flickr Pro is really, really, really awesome. I used the iPhoto plug-in for a while, but I was tired of having iPhoto preoccupied while it was uploading, so I just use the Flickr Uploadr now (free, provided by Flickr). It's a drag and drop affair from iPhoto. There are some plug-ins for WP to get your photos from Flickr, but I've never used them. I'll be building my own custom solution because I want to eventually integrate my own movies too.

You really can't go wrong for ASO. They'll help you whenever you need help, and I think they're really cheap for what you get.

Have fun!
-Chasen

Clix Pix
Feb 2, 2006, 11:06 PM
You also might want to have a look at Smugmug.com, which IMO has a lot to offer beyond Flickr (which is part of the Yahoo organization). I have the "pro" account at Smug mug and when someone goes to my site it is as though they are going to my own website with my own domain name rather than having Smugmug interjected in the name. Once they're there, yes, they may realize that it's a part of Smugmug but I think it is still a little more smoothly handled than Flickr.

Right now I'm using a different webhost than A Small Orange but the more I'm reading about ASO I'm keenly interested in it and may eventually switch....

Josh
Feb 3, 2006, 08:43 AM
Fitinferno,

As a current customer of Dreamhost, I can't recommend them. I have heard too many horror stories. That being said, I've heard only good things about A Small Orange. Another host you may want to consider is Media Temple (http://www.mediatemple.net/). I think they'll be my next host after my Dreamhost account expires.


Being a Small Orange customer, I cannot recommend them. Infact, I'd encourage anyone to look elsewhere.

Their prices are unbeatable no doubt, and it is very easy to use. However, expect 4-5 hours of down time daily.

If you have just a personal site that's not visted much, thats no problem. But with a community forum or anything like that that's viewed regularly, this causes so much frustration it's unbelievable.

To make matters worse, their staff is very friendly and does indeed help very much. How does that make things worse? Because they dont see 4-5 downtime as a problem and have have an excuse for it somehow, the fanboys that they've created with their freindliness will defend them no matter what. Like Apple zealots, these fanboys can find no wrong in anything ASO does. It's impossible to draw attention to serious issues like downtime, because people just defend and protect them as if it is somehow the customers fault and problem alone that their server is down...

kgarner
Feb 3, 2006, 09:07 AM
I use the WordPress/Flickr Pro solution on my site. There are a couple of plugins for WordPress that you can use that will embed the pictures that are hosted on Flickr into your site so your visitors don't have to actually leave your site to see your photos. The one that I use right now is Flickr Gallery, but I did some beta testing on one called fgallery. Once I get my redesign done (any day now...or perhaps week...or whenever I get some free time) I will be using that. I haven't checked yet to see if that has been updated for WordPress 2 yet, but I would think that it has. or maybe it works anyway.

Chip NoVaMac
Feb 3, 2006, 09:43 AM
Gary, thanks - yep I am finding RapidWeaver to easy to use.

fitinferno, thanks to you for the kind words as I build my site.

As to size of storage. My site as of now takes up just 2mb. About 1.4mb of that is for my Chewey gallery. About hi-res images. There is a copyright danger is posting images in too high of a res, and that is others using your images for their own use. And large images will eat up your monthly bandwidth allotment.

I am on .Mac, so I don't think that storage will be a long term issue. If you have broadband, you may have a decent amount of storage there already.

fitinferno
Feb 4, 2006, 11:24 PM
Thanks again for the great amount of tips.

Chasen--yeah, the more I look at Wordpress the more I like the idea of it. If only for the fact it seems a bit more customisable to me. And the Fantastico install sounds almost too easy! :)

Clixpix--I'm leaning towards the option of Flickr after putting great consideration into Smugmug. From what I understand with them is that if you get the pro website, you can only redo the header and that's how you can integrate with your site...not necessarily the solution I'm aiming for. What I've seen is that a site will start at www.domain.com and once you go for the photos, it'll wind up at example.smugmug.com rather than www.domain.com/photos or something of that sort. Is that the case with your site or am I getting this wrong?

Josh--I've never seen a review like that about ASO (maybe for the reasons you cite? lol). Do you think the downtime could just be because of the fact they've been working on upgrading servers and performing a major move to new facilities? Or has this always been the case?

Kgarner--Thanks for the fgallery tip...I googled it and it looks sweet. Btw, the pictures you have on your site are brilliant! Your site is the type of thing I'd be aiming for that I talked of above in this post, I think. Glad to see how well it works.

Chip--Thanks for the reminder on copyright and size. I don't have broadband as I live in a uni residence...so that option is probably out.

Ahh, if only there could be a company that combined the advantages of Flickr and Smugmug.

geoffism
Feb 5, 2006, 11:34 AM
I've decided I would really like to get into photography. It's something I've been wanting to do for quite a while and this summer may be my last of complete freedom...so I'm gonna grab up a Dig Rebel XT and head out.
Don't know if you have bought your body yet, but I would seriously consider upgrading to the 20D over the Rebel. If you are still looking, the reasons I would consider include a better focusing element/zones, better controls, larger image (you can always reduce and image, you can never increase it), and as crazy as it sounds, the 20D isn't as "compact" as the Rebel - it has a little more heft to it and the controls are in positions where you won't have to pull away from your subject to make adjustments.
I've had 2 friends switch after trying out my 20D, and had to go through the hassle of selling their Rebels on ebay/craigslist. For the price, it's worth it for the upgrade.
GOOD LUCK!

geoffism
Feb 5, 2006, 11:37 AM
Here's a post about the 20D
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=177883

Josh
Feb 5, 2006, 12:10 PM
Josh--I've never seen a review like that about ASO (maybe for the reasons you cite? lol). Do you think the downtime could just be because of the fact they've been working on upgrading servers and performing a major move to new facilities? Or has this always been the case?

hahaha

It's been like that since the day I signed up with them (over 2 years ago). It's like clockwork. I used to visit my site every single day, and I never noticed a single day when my site was up the entire time.

If it wasn't for their unbeatable prices, I would've never signed up again.

Clix Pix
Feb 5, 2006, 12:59 PM
Thanks again for the great amount of tips.

Clixpix--I'm leaning towards the option of Flickr after putting great consideration into Smugmug. From what I understand with them is that if you get the pro website, you can only redo the header and that's how you can integrate with your site...not necessarily the solution I'm aiming for. What I've seen is that a site will start at www.domain.com and once you go for the photos, it'll wind up at example.smugmug.com rather than www.domain.com/photos or something of that sort. Is that the case with your site or am I getting this wrong?

[snipped]

Ahh, if only there could be a company that combined the advantages of Flickr and Smugmug.

Actually, there is quite a bit of flexibility built into Smugmug when you use the "pro" plan; you indeed can redo the headers but also other aspects of the site to make it look to be wholly yours rather than part of Smugmug. What I did at the time I set up my account was to redirect the DNS from a domain I'd parked at Godaddy and that took care of that. When I refer people to my site I give them the domain name exactly as if I were directing them to my own domain with website that I'd built.

One of these days I've got to get back in there and tinker with it some more; it's been a while.

Clix Pix
Feb 6, 2006, 01:19 PM
OK, so curiosity got the best of me and I signed up for a Flickr account, the Pro version. I'm still fumbling my way around in there so nothing to see yet, folks. I am a little confused about a couple of things there, though.

If I am understanding things correctly, although one can use the images that are on one's Flickr pages to connect directly to one's website or have the images seemingly embedded therein, this is primarily if one has a blog function on the website? One would have to use the recommended blogging tools in order to make this work? What if someone doesn't want to blog on their website and just wants a gallery of images?

With Smugmug, there is no need to be bothering with blogging software if one isn't interested in doing that, and the images are displayed as though they're on one's own website without any extra effort required (beyond redirecting the DNS).

What about hot-linking images from Flickr to another site such as this one if I wanted to share an image here? I didn't see anything which specifically permits/disallows it. Currently I've been using Photobucket or Image Shack for that purpose.

I am curious as to what this "badge" thingy is that they offer on Flickr. What's the purpose of it?

Oh, well, I'm sure that as time goes on and I work with the program I'll figure a few things out for myself...

Chip NoVaMac
Feb 6, 2006, 02:27 PM
Just how much space does one need for photos and blogs? I may be partial as a .Mac user, but with the recent upgrades in storage space there- I think I may have more than enough for the time being. So what after a couple years, I am forced to redo some pages to the "best of"?

The ease of not having to worry about links and coding is worth the price now IMO for .Mac.

kgarner
Feb 6, 2006, 03:28 PM
OK, so curiosity got the best of me and I signed up for a Flickr account, the Pro version. I'm still fumbling my way around in there so nothing to see yet, folks. I am a little confused about a couple of things there, though.

[clip]

What about hot-linking images from Flickr to another site such as this one if I wanted to share an image here? I didn't see anything which specifically permits/disallows it. Currently I've been using Photobucket or Image Shack for that purpose.
Basically that is what my site is doing. The plugin I am using is creating links for the images on Flickr's servers and when you load the page that is where they are loaded from. So hot-linking is okay from Flickr.

I am curious as to what this "badge" thingy is that they offer on Flickr. What's the purpose of it?
The badge is just a little Flash object that you can embed on your homepage that shows random images from your collection. The last time I looked at it the look of it wasn't very customizable so it tended to stick out if your design was different. The fgallery plugin has a similar feature, but it is more customizable, but also more static (the Flickr badge will zoom in on defferent images every so often).

EDIT: Almost forgot. Be sure to download the iPhoto Flickr Exporter. Its a plugin for iPhoto that allows you to upload direct from iPhoto. It even allows you to resize the images and automatically creates tags for your images from whatever keywords you have on those pictures. And its free.

Clix Pix
Feb 6, 2006, 08:35 PM
Thanks! Probably I won't bother with the badge thing at all and we'll see what develops as I work with the Flickr site. I haven't really been using iPhoto for my images so it doesn't do a lot of good for me at this point to be able to upload from there, but rather from other places on my hard drive instead.

I have the feeling that I'll probably continue to be happiest with Smugmug and also .mac (although again I haven't done a lot with my space there yet)....

fitinferno
Feb 11, 2006, 06:02 PM
Geoffism, no, I've not bought the body yet...I'll probably be waiting until June to purchase it as my mum is going to be giving it to me for a graduation gift :) I'm just trying to get all this stuff in order now since I have my P+S photos I'd like to get set up on a site long before I get the new camera--that way I don't have to lose time shooting! If I see a really cheap 20d, I'll keep this in mind, but my mum has definitely set a certain price limit (part of the reason why she's having me make the purchase for her as I know better what I want and how to get it cheapest).

Josh, sorry to hear about your website. It makes hosting such a hard decision though because every single company seems to have its problems.

Clixpix, thanks for the extra info about Flickr and Smugmug. I think it's come down to the fact that with what I want to do w/the photo storing accounts, Flickr may be a better option just because of the extreme price difference. It seems for what I want to do, I'd definitely need either Power or Pro which is more than the cost of two Flickr years. :(

Chip, I actually have a current .Mac account (as I got it for practically free) and to be honest, I'm not that big a fan of .Mac. It's got its good points, but I definitely feel limited and do enjoy the freedoms a hosting company can offer. But very good point, nonetheless. The non-coding thing is always a bonus.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice :)