Building and Maintaining Your Web Presence, with Alex Vita and Ben Von Wong


When was the last time you updated your website? Despite the popularity and traction of social media sites, having a stand-alone website to promote your work and build your brand is key to connecting with your given audience. In this week’s podcast, we explore the dynamics of building and maintaining a professional-caliber website with insights from both sides of the coin.

We start by chatting with website designer Alex Vita, who shares pet peeves, as well as the best practices he’s honed over more than 13 years of work with photo-industry clients. All will benefit from Vita’s insights on building a client-focused website as a way to build trust.

After a break, we get the artist’s perspective from the illustrious photographer, environmental activist, and creative whirlwind Benjamin Von Wong, who also happens to be one of Vita’s clients. Listen in as Von Wong and Vita discuss his web strategy and take a deep dive into the challenges of staying relevant and getting noticed in an oversaturated creative climate. We also dip into thoughts about how the evolution of AI is likely to change the future of the visual world, to make photographs the starting point for a conversation rather than its final purpose.

Guests: Alex Vita and Benjamin Von Wong

Above photograph © Benjamin Von Wong

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Article about how to thrive (not just survive) in today’s saturated…
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Vita’s curated list of 100+ best WordPress plug-ins for photographers.
Web design by Alex Vita, Photographs © respective photographers

Clothing the Loop, 2017
Mermaids Hate Plastic, 2016
Plastikophoiba, 2019
Rethink and Recycle, 2018
Shark Shepherd, 2015
Strawpocalypse, 2019
Toxic Laundry, 2017
Truckload of Plastic, 2018
Ben Von Wong

Episode Timeline

  • 3:55: What role do stand-alone photography websites play in a world of viral social media sites?
  • 12:16: Vita’s pet peeves in photography websites. Two general categories: poor content and poor user experience.
  • 20:55: Bounce rates, Google Analytics reports, and how to determine the success of your website.
  • 26:17: What are the most important considerations for good SEO and how have best practices for SEO changed over time?
  • 31:59: Vita’s recommendations for image size and compression for fast performance and readability on a wide range of devices—from mobile to retina screens.
  • 35:55: Episode break
  • 36:56: The varied roles that Ben Von Wong’s websites and web presence play in communicating his environmental message.
  • 41:40: How Von Wong’s various microsites and social media presence help with virality in marketing his work.
  • 47:25: Von Wong’s position as an environmentalist in a world full of advertising and boosted content—ethics and principals come first.
  • 52:30: How the evolution of AI and integration with ChatGPT is about to change the future of the visual world.
  • 1:02:33: Von Wong’s recommendations for what to look for when seeking to work with a web designer.

Guest Bios:

Alex Vita is a professional website designer, specialized in crafting sites for photographers and photo agencies. Working from his home base in Bucharest, Romania, Vita’s super-power is thinking outside the box to grasp the big picture, helping photographers to structure their web presence by prioritizing maximum impact.

Ben Von Wong is a Canadian artist, photographer, social influencer, and activist, best known for his hyper-realistic style, bridging photography and fantasy. His storytelling targets environmental issues such as ocean plastics, fashion pollution, and electronic waste, fueled by an extensive viral component that has generated more than 100 million views to date.

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Host: Allan Weitz

Senior Creative Producer: Jill Waterman

Senior Producer: Mike Weinstein

Executive Producer: Yermy Weiss

Editorial Director: Shawn C Steiner