We hear a lot of questions about the difference between Photography BlogSites and other WordPress solutions for photographers. So we thought it would be good to take a minute to explain why the way we do things at Photography BlogSites is a little different than other WordPress or BlogSite options.
WordPress is an award winning Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to log in and edit your own content. While it is famous for being a blogging platform, it has grown over the years to become a full website management tool. Our sites use WordPress and allow you to combine your portfolio site and blog into one easily editable service.
The old way – Buying Themes
Until now, the idea of having a WordPress site has meant finding and buying a “theme” or template that determines your overall structure and look.
Any theme, whether free or paid, needs to be installed, setup, and maintained. Themes will (hopefully) be built to be compatible with the current version or WordPress. But when the next version of WordPress comes out, themes and plugins are at the very least not prepared for new features (because they did not exist yet when the theme was created) or at worst can break your site because WordPress changes the way they did things.
Recently WordPress has stepped up their production schedule and has said they will release a new major version every 3 months. Just this year we have seen versions 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 is on its way by the end of the year.
How we do things
We provide WordPress as a service – always up-to-date and working, built specifically for photographers. We are an on-call webmaster/support staff and upgrade and test everything so that new versions and features work together without breaking a site.
So the “theme” is actually a very small part of what we provide. But even so, one of the benefits of our system is that you can access all our themes and SnapShots and switch between them at anytime. Any new themes or features are available to you the second they are released as well.
We have upgraded WordPress from versions 2.8 through the current 3.2 since we started developing the sites. Users never noticed because we tested on a beta site, then upgrade overnight, only when it is all working. We have constantly upgraded our themes, added plugins and enhanced features as we went. But again, we only make new changes live when they are fully tested and ready so that users and your visitors get a seamless experience on the sites.
Our pricing is comprised of many factors. We mostly wanted to consider all of the things we are replacing: a portfolio site (some are $39/month just for that – and maybe built in Flash), a WordPress blog (free-$199 for a theme) a hosting account ($60-$100/year even for really bad shared hosting) plus maybe hiring someone to set it all up ($200-???). Then a year later, you might need to hire someone to fix it when WordPress is upgraded and the old theme breaks.
When you compare it to all of that, we can confidently say that we are one of the most affordable options out there. And when you try and put a price on peace of mind…well, that might be priceless.