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OT, Is having a personal web page even worth it anymore?

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  • OT, Is having a personal web page even worth it anymore?

    I have a domain name and web hosting, infact had it for a couple of years and have done nothing with it. Most people just create channels on YouTube or threads on forums like this. Thinking of going back and actually using it as a portfolio for my photography, maybe even selling prints with it. Just seems more like a pain than anything.

  • #2
    Just depends on what you want to do. I let my domain name lapse some years ago and now I am thinking about getting it or another one back. But I have other fish to fry first.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are two schools of thought:

      On one hand, not everyone is on Facebook. On the other, there are huge swaths of people that think Facebook IS the internet, and anything not on FB, is some unknown, here there be dragons type of place. Facebook is Good, Facebook is Life, All Hail Facebook.

      Back on the one hand, if you have a regular, public website, no one can find you because Facebook is not sending people your way. But on the other hand, even on Facebook, people can't find you because A, Facebook charges for advertising, and B, there's 20,000 other people offering the exact same thing.

      The internet is no longer the easy and effective way to reach customers. Most internet users have effectively locked themselves away in "walled gardens"- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, ad nauseum. They will no longer come to you, you have to go to them.

      The flip side of that particular coin is that everyone else is trying to do the same thing. Any typical internet user is constantly bombarded with ads- literally thousands of them. Besides that, their attention is taken by videos and cat memes and funny twitter posts and news factoids, to say nothing of a full dozen full-time streaming services, a half dozen ways to listen to music, a half a billion podcasts, you name it.

      People are tuning out, and you need to do something outrageous- IE, clickbait- in order to get any traffic.

      My advice? If you don't need to sell something online to make a living, don't. Trying to make a living online these days is absolutely a full-time job, and one where most of us only make fry-cook wages, if we're lucky. (For every Abom or Gotteswinter, there's 10,000 that can't get that foot in the door.)

      Doc.
      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

      Comment


      • #4
        It also depends on what market you are trying to reach. Know your demographics. For a niche market a website in my opinion is a must along with references and links to Facebook. I think those that only market on Facebook don't have a specialized clientele. For most of my businesses a website is a must. clients won't take you seriously if you don't have a website. Only my opinion of course and worth every penny you paid for my advice!
        Location: The Black Forest in Germany

        How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Black Forest View Post
          It also depends on what market you are trying to reach. Know your demographics. For a niche market a website in my opinion is a must along with references and links to Facebook. I think those that only market on Facebook don't have a specialized clientele. For most of my businesses a website is a must. clients won't take you seriously if you don't have a website. Only my opinion of course and worth every penny you paid for my advice!
          Someone must have your address wrong
          Helder Ferreira
          Setubal, Portugal

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RB211 View Post
            I have a domain name and web hosting, infact had it for a couple of years and have done nothing with it. Most people just create channels on YouTube or threads on forums like this. Thinking of going back and actually using it as a portfolio for my photography, maybe even selling prints with it. Just seems more like a pain than anything.
            For selling photos you might be better using some service like smugmug or Zenfolio. I use Zenfolio. They are geared to hosting pictures. You can have, eg, “rb211.Zenfolio.com” or, for more $ have “rb211.com” points to your Zenfolio site. You can manage the site from mobile devices. theey hook into search engines. They are tied in to a lab, so people can order prints of whatever size, on coffee mugs, etc. And so on.

            On the flip side

            selling photos is not easy :-/
            I’ve had a Zenfolio site for something like 10 years and it sees about 1 person a year looking at it. This is even when I was in some local shows and said “you can see more of my work at …” to people & gave them a card with the site name on it…

            as to your own domain name
            i use it just for email - I was tired of my ISP chaninging names (or changing companies) every couple of years so I got one. I set up an email mailbox on it and use it for all the places where you have to store email addresses. Now, if my isp changes, I go to my registrar and change the email box to forward my email to a different place - it takes about 5 seconds.

            (I don’t use hotmail, gmail, etc because they weren’t around when I set this up … now it’s inertia)

            id make a web site if I had something useful to say …

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
              I have a domain name and web hosting, infact had it for a couple of years and have done nothing with it. Most people just create channels on YouTube or threads on forums like this. Thinking of going back and actually using it as a portfolio for my photography, maybe even selling prints with it. Just seems more like a pain than anything.
              You have a company? It's still a place to keep contact info, in addition to all the other stuff (google,fb etc)

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              • #8
                Now that I remember, one major motivator was so I could easily host photos to place in my posts on forums. Since this is my main forum that I visit, and since this forum handles photos very well now, the original use kind of evaporated. I'll keep it up and use it I suppose, maybe even an old school way to show shop projects.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                  ...
                  maybe even an old school way to show shop projects.
                  I agree. Even if you have posted your projects here, they are scattered all over and HSM itself may go away.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OT, Is having a personal web page even worth it anymore?


                    Yes it is if you are like me .
                    never been on Facebook, nor am I interested in FB or any Social Interface
                    I don't try to sell stuff, and only have hobby and Historical info.
                    I only use Youtube when given a link to something , but doi not surf that website
                    I do have a question for the Tech guys here, how do you know how much traffic ( Hits) your website gets ?

                    Rich

                    www.StationarySteam.com
                    Green Bay, WI

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Statcounter is a free and easy way to find out lots of info about number of visitors and what they look at. You add a small amount of Statcounter code to each web page you want to track; then you can visit Statcounter and look at various reports.

                      Google Search Console is free and helpful. Google downgrades an HTTP site, prefers HTTPS. Plus there's a wrinkle with www or not www. For a while searches for my site went to 4 different URLs defined by combinations of these items. Search console made this obvious; adding redirects got everything pointed to one URL. In addition Google downgrades sites if they're not Mobile friendly; Search Console indicates pages that aren't Mobile friendly and helps figure out why.

                      Ahrefs will analyze a site and provide a free report providing all kinds of details that affect how easy a site is to find via search. It found hundreds of problems with my site initially, when I thought things were fine. Took some effort to get this number down and I'm still working on some issues.

                      I don't do FB or any social media things. Per Statcounter I get about 400 visitors/day mostly from searches, Pinterest, or links from machinist sites. My site is crude, written in simple XHTML, no fancy site builder involved. But I've corresponded with a number of interesting people who wrote to me via my site so I'm happy with the result.

                      John

                      Location: Newtown, CT USA

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                      • #12
                        For me it's just having a enough web presence so that someone looking for me can find my business and contact me. I've been told that Instagram is the new way this is done, but I've not taken that Kool-Aid. I used to have a slide show on the site, but Google broke it when they ended Picasa, and I haven't bothered to fix it. All my work is for long term clients and I'm just not hungry enough to go chasing new ones.
                        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fjk View Post
                          selling photos is not easy[.]
                          -Nor profitable. Remember, everyone has a camera now. If so much as a bird chirps, fourteen people will have a photo of it.

                          Back in the day, you had to make an effort to get a photo of something. You had to carry around a camera, and you had to decide to 'spend' one of a limited number of frames to get that scene, then you had to spend the time and money to get the photo developed. If you wanted to show it to an online friend, you had to scan it, often crop and resize it, and email it to them. Photos were a bit more "special" back then.

                          Today? You can snap a zero-cost photo of anything, and text it halfway across the planet instantly. That's kind of taken the 'value' out of photography.

                          Back in '06, I went to the last local drag race of the season, and by dint of my having a "big professional" camera (Canon 1D with a 70-300 stabilized zoom) I was allowed out in areas where they tended to keep the spectators out for safety. I got some great shots, an passed out hundreds of business cards. I had a Smugmug account at the time, and anyone could have bought a copy off of it.

                          Spent two days at the races, cost me $60 a day to get in, took over 3,000 photos, sold exactly one 8x10, never got paid for it as Smug only paid out in increments of $100 o more.

                          And, keep in mind, that was '06, before everybody and their dog had two GoPros and an iPhone recording everything they did.

                          [A}s to your own domain name[,] [I] use it just for email[.]
                          -Yep. My website was useful as advertising and business back at the beginning, but today, it's basically just a host for all the photos I've posted to various boards (a number in the thousands) and my email. Even today I get a "fly by night" vibe when somebody gives me a Hotmail address, and of course Gmail is similarly getting taken over by spammers, but if you have your own domain, and it's a legit one, that tends to offer a little more cachet. (Although admittedly not everyone cares about that today.)

                          Doc.

                          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gellfex View Post
                            For me it's just having a enough web presence so that someone looking for me can find my business and contact me. I've been told that Instagram is the new way this is done, but I've not taken that Kool-Aid. I used to have a slide show on the site, but Google broke it when they ended Picasa, and I haven't bothered to fix it. All my work is for long term clients and I'm just not hungry enough to go chasing new ones.
                            My machine shop has a business website thats modern and works well on desktop or mobile. I also claimed my google business page and keep that updated with business and contact info. I also have a business instagram account. The instagram has brought zero customers, its mostly friends, family and other machine shop instagrams, “liking” my post. The business website hits, is almost all from people clicking the website link on our google page. When I ask new customers how they found me, Its either word of mouth or google. I’ve also scraped the net for other free business pages, think bing, yahoo, yelp etc and claimed all those pages and updated them with the right information and business categories. I occasionally get a customer inquiry from yelp, 100% of them have been a waste of time, usually somebody that wants me to make some broken household item, but want to pay walmart mass produced prices.

                            side note, many of you seem to be against social media and its mostly understood. I will say that instagram has a lot of great machining pictures and videos that a lot of you would probably enjoy. I'm not saying it replaces a forum like this in anyway and i’m not encouraging you to sit there for hours flipping through post like a teenager, but it’s enjoyable to have when you have a few minutes waiting somewhere. Most of you will recognize this guy. https://instagram.com/clickspring1?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

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                            • #15
                              I had a website for 15 years for "Rupnow Machine and Automation Design". Nobody ever contacted me about work based on looking at my website. The only time it did anything for me was when a prospective new customer (generally referred to him by an existing happy customer) wanted to see some record of jobs I had done in the past. I did get one $10,000 job from a guy in South Africa to design a fully automated mop making machine. I never found out how this guy had heard about me from the other side of the world, but I doubt it was thru my web page.
                              Brian Rupnow
                              Design engineer
                              Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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