Stock photography websites mostly look clear and simple. Users often don’t even imagine how much time and effort is hidden under the hood. So, is it really hard to make and launch a website sharing stock photos? Let’s discuss two ways.
If you want it for cheap, it’s easy. Just Google for a stock photography marketplace template and see what you get. All it takes is a WordPress hosting, a semi-technical person, and something like $62 for a paid theme.
For us, it took 9 months to build Moose from scratch.
We’ve been a team of 4 who were involved between 80 and 40%:
The design was a collective effort, involving our post-production team, a 3D modeler, a 3D artist, SEO expert, and some copy. It doesn’t include the production of the images.
The front-end, although passed through two iterations before the release, was an easy part.
The hardest part is the backend. It guides the images from the moment they’re shot in RAW files to the searchable and navigable data published on the website.
All images pass these phases:
For tagging, we use our internal tool, similar to the one Shutterstock and many other websites have. You choose the similarly looking pictures and get the list of the possible tags. You mark the checkboxes, add some custom ones, done.
Titles are the whole different thing. It takes creativity to call this picture “Don’t cry over spilled vanish”.
There’re different scenarios I didn’t mention:
There’re some of the operations common to all the websites, not just stock photography ones.
SEO: keywords search, clustering, planning the URL structure, writing page titles, meta tags, sitemaps (we don’t have one yet)
Copy: front page (we’ve got our tagline corrected after the launch, as a ProductHunt member offered a better one), microcopy (like button labels), meta descriptions
Testing: testing on the mobile devices, performance testing, fixing 100s of bugs (not 1000s like in our other apps – Icons8 and Lunacy), and testing again.
And everything mentioned is only the beginning: then, the M-stage of maintenance and marketing comes.
What would you add to the list?
About the author: Ivan Braun, UX designer, founder of Icons8
Title image by Moose
Check our guide How to Steal Stock Photos and Ways to Get Them Legally and a set of tips on making money submitting images to stock photo websites
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