You guys might be tired of answering these common questions a lot, but sadly there isn't enough information that applies to my specific website type.
I'm about to open a new image hosting website. It certainly differs a lot from what the current market offers. It's completely written from scratch and I created it with the intent to make it popular. However, now that I'm at the ending phases of the creation, I've secured a solid host for one year (without violating their policies for sure) with unlimited bandwith and space - Only the number of files matter which maxes out at 500.000. I guess this is quite good for the beginning; I doubt that I'll need more for now. Considering I get lots of traffic, I'll eventually run past the file amount limit, but then I'm assuming I'll have enough money to get myself a dedicated server or VPS at least... So here comes one of the essential things that I'm seeing as an issue: Money.
I've reserved some advertisement space on my website on the header. I've planned using Google AdSense to power my ads. Seeing that my site is responsive, I've adapted the ad space with Google's ad sizes. I thought that having proper ad sizes on different screen sizes might actually play a role... There is only one ad field on my website.
Why would my site stand in front of what the current market offers? Well, I tried making it attractive, but still keep the simplicity. The site is highly responsive and it's based on Bootstrap 3. The color theme is red. I'm sick of all the blue all around: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. so I thought I'd try something new for once. Not that I'll reach their level of fame, but just saying. As for the "functional" part of the site, I tried extending the limits as much as possible... 2 MB image file size, up to 10 images at the same time, remote uploading up to 30 images at once, uploading a ZIP archive with images inside it etc.
Registrations are "socialized", meaning you can sign up for a native account or use Google, Twitter or Facebook for signing up. Images can also be viewed by a rendered website view, they can be liked, disliked, favorited, shared (Facebook, Twitter, Google+), commented on and reported. The comments can also be liked or disliked. Users can also have albums of different types: Private (only the creator can see it) and Public (which receives 3 other subtypes - Personal, Global and Shared). Albums can be also followed.
I can't mention here all the features I've coded in - they're too much. It's also worth mentioning that I've used AJAX all around to prevent useless refreshing. Even uploading is fully asynchronous - in all three cases.
I assume I did good job on the script, but how do I advertise my site after I take it online? Could someone show me some good sources? Is there a better alternative to Google Adsence for earning money? I need all the start up advice that you guys can give me.
Thanks for reading.
Image hosting websites are dime a dozen. But, just a few points to consider are:
- Make a strong social media presence thru FB pages and Twitter.
- Ask a prominent personality to use your site for their blog/image sharing/FB posts or comments/Tweets
- Head to FB and find several technology related groups and ask the admins to pin your site details
- Offer a small incentive(get 100 likes for their FB blog pages) for bloggers who use your site for image hosting
and some more....
Do you think that fully relying on social media is the solution? Not that I'm not willing to do it - I will, but aren't there other ways?
Dugi, Many people have a perception of image hosting websites to be spam or filled with popup ads of those 'extra large pills'. So, going through the traditional channels, you must be able to spend some huge amounts to make your site look more professional and entirely different.
Just like how flickr and pinterest changed the displaying-images trend entirely.
If you believe your website has that 'special' feel, then it's better to get a small video done and spread it thru social media.
Thanks for you reply. Yes, I want to stand out with my website. It has been professionally made and I wont overdo it with the ads either. There is just one wide ad at the header which will be used for appropriate, non-spammy ads. I'm all against pop-ups and in-text ads - Totally annoying. As a web developer for quite a few years, I've a distinct taste when it comes to the design - I prefer non-crowded and clean sites and I think my script is a result of my taste.
By mentioning Flickr and Pinterest, you gave me something to read. I read about their concept and features. It's the first time I actually went deeper to investigate these sites, I've only heard about their names in the past. Flickr is somewhat closer to my site's concept and its file size limits are ridiculously huge - That's kinda disturbing when I check my image host out, haha. Anyway, I've introduced a few new concepts in image hosting which I haven't seen anywhere yet, but I also don't know how to make them known, except for social media. The video idea is really smart and I like it. I guess I'm gonna need to hire a VFX guy or something to help me get this done. I agree that a video can help me present those features nicely and directly in action.