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Let's say that I want to design a website to sell photographs of landscape, wildlife, or general interest subjects. What tips, elements, etc. should be incorporated into the design to make it successful? Assume that traffic somehow makes it to the front page of the site, but everything else it up to the site to sell the product. Thanks!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

In addition to what DA01 says I would think carefully about your objectives for the site. If the main goal is to sell images then provide clear and obvious buttons or links for people to buy. Don't clutter the site with distractions or additional information that is not important.

Also it is crucial that you do not overwhelm visitors with options. People think they want choices when actually they don't - it confuses them. So keep your product options to an absolute minimum.

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The primary ingredient of any successful site is quality content. Pick out the best photos. Perhaps edit it down to the best of the best. Make them big. Add very little else to distract from the content/product.

Other than that, avoid flash and auto-playing sounds (something way too many photographers seem to get enamored with when they build their web sites).

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Agreed - it's too easy to get emotionally attached to your images even when they are not your best work. A portfolio of 10 very strong images is far more engaging than say 50 of good images. Almost nobody will take the time to look through them all. – duncmc Feb 9 '11 at 12:26

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