Dammit Jim, I'm a photographer, not a web designer!
February 27, 2014 3:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm a professional (part-time) photographer--I know next to nothing about web hosting/design/whatever. I want to switch from having a portfolio/sales website through Zenfolio (with a custom domain name hosted by Dreamhost) to having a website totally hosted by Dreamhost (with Shootproof for portfolio/sales). How can I mess around with setting up a new site (probably a Wordpress site with one-click install on Dreamhost)--I need this to be easy) without breaking my old site before I'm ready to use a new one?

I'm a professional (part-time) photographer--I know next to nothing about web hosting/design/whatever. I want to switch from having a portfolio/sales website through Zenfolio (with a custom domain name hosted by Dreamhost) to having a website totally hosted by Dreamhost (with Shootproof for portfolio/sales). How can I mess around with setting up a new site (probably a Wordpress site with one-click install on Dreamhost)--I need this to be easy) without breaking my old site before I'm ready to use a new one?

Right now my website is through Zenfolio (a photo portfolio/sales service). Dreamhost hosts my domain name and is the DNS host for Zenfolio.
I'd like to stop using Zenfolio and switch to a regular website (like a Wordpress site or something? I don't know about this part) and use Shootproof, which is a photo portfolio/sales service that i can just set up as a subdomain (it's like Zenfolio but it doesn't have an actual front-end website I can use--but it also doesn't take a percentage of my sales).

So, question: is there a way to set up a new website that's totally hosted on Dreamhost *without* shutting down my Zenfolio site first? Like, I need to be able to mess around with trying to set up the new website before I lose my current site.

I'm not even sure if this question makes sense. Do I need professional help for this? If so, who do I even need? A web designer?

(Oh--and please deliver any web-hosting information in very small and easily understood words. I am really smart in some ways, and this is so not one of them.)
posted by devotion+doubt to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
So, question: is there a way to set up a new website that's totally hosted on Dreamhost *without* shutting down my Zenfolio site first? Like, I need to be able to mess around with trying to set up the new website before I lose my current site.
Sure - create a new subdomain in your Dreamhost DNS hosting control panel, and use that to setup your Dreamhost site. Then, when everything is to your satisfaction, just point the domain you want at your Dreamhosted site.
Do I need professional help for this? If so, who do I even need? A web designer?
Possibly, depending on how intimidated you are by messing around with your DNS and setting up a wordpress site. What you describe here seems like the kind of thing that it wouldn't be unreasonable for a good friend to help out with, in exchange for a few glasses of their beverage of choice.

If you need to do a bunch of Wordpress customization, then you will probably want to hire someone who specializes in that.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:46 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll note that you will also want to note the instructions on changing the blog's URL when you do make the switch from the subdomain to the real domain.
posted by foxfirefey at 4:52 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone else already answered your question about the subdomain. I just wanted to put in a plug for Wordpress. Here are some portfolio themes that are pretty cool. I'm also a big fan of Virtue because the free version gives you a ton of functionality but there's also a paid version that offers more options. It also works seamlessly with the shopping cart plugin.

You should use Hootsuite to connect your FB, Twitter, and Wordpress together. Hootsuite saves me so much time. The free version is fine.
posted by Ostara at 8:16 PM on February 27, 2014


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