First and foremost, I developed this web site to showcase Dad’s snapshots of our young family in the 50s and 60s. There were many times that I wanted to look at the slides, but the thought quickly passed since I did not have a screen and a projector. Also, to be quite frank (and I am a Frank), it would be a real pain in the ass to get everything set up to view a couple of boxes of slides. So with the popularity of this whole internet thing that Al Gore invented, I finally got around to digitizing the old slides and developed a scheme to present them to anyone that was interested.

So, in case anybody wants to do something similar, I will briefly provide an overview of what I used (and what you could need) to develop your own photo web site. This includes:

  • Media – digital media is the easiest to use, but if you have slides, negatives or prints you will need a capable scanner.
  • Photo editing software – I have Photoshop CS5, but you could use just about anything. The important things to consider are that you will need to crop and resize your images. You will also need to down sample the resolution of your images.
  • Domain Name – that’s the web address or the URL of the site; in this case it’s dadsslides.com.
  • Site host – to simplify things, that is the computer that is connected to the internet that holds your site (framework and photos).
  • Site framework – this choice would depend on how you want to present things. It can be as simple as a couple of HTML pages, it can be a little more involved with some preinstalled scripted photo presentation packages available from you hosting company, or it can be a little more involved. I took the ‘little more involved’ route and used WordPress as the container and the NextGen Gallery plugin (both free) to present the images.
  • FTP utility – this is simply software that allows you to transfer files from your local computer to your server. You may or may not really require this, but if you do FileZilla is a good (and free) FTP client.
Essentially, the workflow goes like this:
  1. Digitize your photos if you have snapshots, slides or film. If you already have digital pictures, you’re halfway done. Note that if you need to scan your images, you should import them in a reasonable size (i.e., 4×6) and a decent resolution (say 600 dpi).
  2. Edit your digital photos with software. Now you can make any artistic changes to your media, but your prime concern is resize them to meet your web publishing requirements (see 4) and lower the resolution to 72 dpi for web viewing. At this point, you have your pictures ready for your site.
  3. Acquire a domain name.
  4. Obtain a web host and install your software. There are many options here, but most hosting companies will have Fantastico DeLuxe or Softaculous in CPanel’s software library that you could use. If you have something else in mind, make sure that the hosting company can meet your requirements.
  5. Upload your photos.
That’s it…you’re now ready to share you pictures via the internet!