Wordpress hosting query and portfolio template recommendation

Wordpress hosting query and portfolio template recommendation

13 posts
8 Feb 2014
davidhibberd
Photographer
davidhibberd
I already have a webhosting package with a year to run.  I am considering moving to a Wordpress site and although I think it may be possible to buy dedicated hosting with Wordpress I am not keen on throwing away the years worth of hosting I have paid for with my current host.  That said I have been experiencing glitches and poor customer support with my current hosting company and so

question 1 is if I presevere with my current hosting company and try to install Wordpress and subsequently go with another hosting company I appreciate I will have to upload all the content etc afresh but will any experience gained from my first struggle help?

question 2 is does anyone have suggestions of a good Wordpress portfolio template

Many thanks 
Posted 8 Feb 2014
Jemsie
Model
Jemsie
Just sent you a PM hoping to help!

Posted 8 Feb 2014
davidhibberd
Photographer
davidhibberd
Jemsie

Just sent you a PM hoping to help!


Thanks - thats much appreciated

Posted 8 Feb 2014
David

I'm thinking of using Wordpress too. Have you made the switch? How do find WP?

Steve

Posted 8 Feb 2014
Paul_Jones
Photographer
Paul_Jones
I've been using WordPress now for over a year and really like it.  I usually update my blog about once a week and it's really easy.

I used a Wordpress theme from 'Fab Themes'.

See - http://www.pauljones.org/


Best regards
Paul
Posted 8 Feb 2014
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
If you hosting company uses the generic Cpanel system for the back end you may already have it available under 'fantastico'  which can install a number of CMS systems with a few clicks. If not then as long as you have the right version of PHP and a SQL database as part of your package it is not too hard to set up. If it works I see no reason to then move it but of course that is your choice. Moving is not simple but not a big problem as long as you take some time. Wordpress has a built in facility to help with this but you will also need to move over all the image folders in the same hierarchy and alter some setting in the config file to get it all going. If you are changing the URL this can get a little more messy.

When it comes to templates there is a huge source. For a simple site the ones provided can give excellent results and it is now far simpler to change out images and the text you use. If you want fancier then there are sites like ThemeForest where you can choose designs from a range of coderes. Also Rockettheme, who create a whole range of their own.Finally there are the likes of Photocrati, designed specifically for photographers, though I feel it is looking a little tire lately.

Practising on your current server is certainly a good idea. You could always put the practice site in a subfolder initially if you want to keep the current design while learning. Should you wish to make it your main site later all you need to do is move one file into the site root and change a couple of settings , just a few minutes work.

Like photoshop Wordpress is one of those programs that is easy to 'play about with' but takes a lot of study and practice before you are really able to leverage its power.

To give you an idea how much you can change the default look
www.immortaleye.com (my old Photocrati site)
www.immortaleye.co.uk
http://www.immortaleye.com/nb/
http://boudoirbybaron.co.uk/ (more project underway)
Posted 9 Feb 2014
Midnite
Photographer
Midnite
Hi David, Wordpress is a doddle, just about every host can support wordpress as it is common place now to offer mysql database support and php which are what is needed. Most hosts provide cpanel or similar as standard and under cpanel you have as redbaran has said FANTASTICO or there will be some kind of quick install and wordpress will be under BLOGS or BLOGGING and its a simple automated upload from there. Now if you hit install right now you can install wordpress to another directory but normally it goes to the root and this will most likely knock out your original site. As an alternative you can install wordpress or infact any web software locally on your computer. You can then run your site in your browser as if it were online, you have full wordpress functionality as it still connects to the net so it will offer updates, plugins, widgets and every other function in real time. you edit wordpress as you would online and can work on the site "offline" before you go the whole hog and put it out there for all to see. It is also so simple to set up anyone can do it. Sean
Posted 9 Feb 2014
CSD_Images
Photographer
CSD_Images
Please don't use the cPanel one-click install, you don't know what version you're installing and more importantly if it creates the default settings of WP which many do. Whilst it's improved in recent updates it's still better to do a custom install of WP for many reasons not the least to remove key files to enhance security. As to hosting, it really comes down to what features you need and your budget. Vidahost generally gets a good write up and I'll probably start switching my client WP installs to this host later this year. As to themes again this is a mixed bag there are decent templates out there but if you are going for a high traffic site then you are best served with a custom theme. Another reason for custom themes is that many templates tend to throw the kitchen sink of unnecessary features or you end up with vendor lock-in for shortcodes or features that you've built your site around. Also another issue with themes is that you're still ending up with a cookie cutter look especially with the more popular themes. It's the old design issue with branding, if you want unique you go for bespoke, if you want cheap you go for a template and dilute your branding. Also one thing I mention. Before you do anything else in WP secure your install. I can't stress this enough. WordPress has a default log-in that will get brute forced and most ISPs can only react to those attacks you can minimise this with some techniques but it depends on what you're doing with the site. The simplest is to set up IP restrictions the other is implementing a firewall or use a Firewalled CDN. WordPress does a very stupid technique that needs to be addressed, if a person tries to log-in to the site it loads the complete WP installation, this is why DDoS attacks on WP are so crippling and why you want to minimise this vector. Last year on a site I managed we was getting up to 200 attempts an hour on our site even with protection I've heard of other sites getting 10x more than this.
Posted 9 Feb 2014
davidhibberd
Photographer
davidhibberd
Thanks very much for all the extremely helpful advice - so much for Purestorm having died! I had installed using the cPanel 1 click installation before seeing CSD Images warning but hopfully the points will be useful to others interested in trying Wordpress. I now have it working on a spare unimportant domain so the next task is to find a suitable template and work out how to install it. My aim is to have a site where I can upload my pictures as an archive since as a result of my location and health problems my chances of doing new work are virtually nil - but then you never know
Posted 9 Feb 2014
Midnite
Photographer
Midnite
Oddly it tells you the version its installing and what the latest version is if you do the 1 click install.

Im sure everyone would like to know what the security issues are and what files to remove from their own installs.




Posted 10 Feb 2014
CSD_Images
Photographer
CSD_Images
Here's my site install notes, so they're a bit rough and ready. Proceed with caution as some of these techniques can break your site so do one at a time. Files to remove: Root - License * Readme.html * Rename Root - wp-login.php (may cause issues, requires testing especially in MU sites). wp-admin - install.php (or delete as case may be) Database prefix - rename using phpmyadmin and reflect in wp-config.php Disable default admin account by renaming to an obscure non-guessable account. .htaccess Root: Turn off indexes (if not enabled at server level) Disable . directories and file access Deny access to wp-config or move to non-public structure (-1 from root). Additional deny access to readme files (if not deleting), php.ini, error logs (wildcard), standard WP includes files, Disable hotlinking wp-admin Enable . IP restriction on wp-admin with fixed IP clients or set up Apache folder password (can also be applied in root to wp-login). .wp-content Enable safe extensions via whitelisting. Set .htaccess to 444 (won't work with all hosts) Server: Enable cookie authentication (PHP 5) Disable indexes Disable PHP handlers to open (if not done in .htacces, caution may break functionality) Plug-ins: Wordfence Security (Caution when using Shared Hosting, RAM hog if not configured) Login Security Solution * Use in conjunction with a meta stripper function (CSD Core). Set file permissions to 644 for files and 755 for folders. Additional security can be had from Perishabe Press's Blacklist, requires extensive testing before production level.
Posted 10 Feb 2014
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
CSD_Images

Here's my site install notes, so they're a bit rough and ready. Proceed with caution as some of these techniques can break your site so do one at a time. Files to remove: Root - License * Readme.html * Rename Root - wp-login.php (may cause issues, requires testing especially in MU sites). wp-admin - install.php (or delete as case may be) Database prefix - rename using phpmyadmin and reflect in wp-config.php Disable default admin account by renaming to an obscure non-guessable account. .htaccess Root: Turn off indexes (if not enabled at server level) Disable . directories and file access Deny access to wp-config or move to non-public structure (-1 from root). Additional deny access to readme files (if not deleting), php.ini, error logs (wildcard), standard WP includes files, Disable hotlinking wp-admin Enable . IP restriction on wp-admin with fixed IP clients or set up Apache folder password (can also be applied in root to wp-login). .wp-content Enable safe extensions via whitelisting. Set .htaccess to 444 (won't work with all hosts) Server: Enable cookie authentication (PHP 5) Disable indexes Disable PHP handlers to open (if not done in .htacces, caution may break functionality) Plug-ins: Wordfence Security (Caution when using Shared Hosting, RAM hog if not configured) Login Security Solution * Use in conjunction with a meta stripper function (CSD Core). Set file permissions to 644 for files and 755 for folders. Additional security can be had from Perishabe Press's Blacklist, requires extensive testing before production level.


Incidently this is a small part of why a professional webdesigner charges so much more for creating a website than those who pop up offering  to build you a wonderful site for £100 or so.

Posted 10 Feb 2014
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
Not to mention the performance advantages of a purpose built theme...... Thankyou CSD_Images.....

www.gloucesterphotographer.com average response time 0.6 seconds.
photography-coach.co.uk (using a generic theme with a bit of tweaking) average response time 2.44 seconds.
The first site has way more content, they are both on the same web server.

Si




Posted 10 Feb 2014
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