Sunday, December 31, 2017

Developing A New Website

Over the years I have tried just about every possible way of creating a website, short of actually being proficient with html code.

I used Rapidweaver and it was fairly easy to use, though really only gained strength through all the plug ins, each of which had to be learned, and readers complained that text would do odd things like not quite fit, or overlap and generally not quite look like I intended.

I tried and still have an account with smug mug but it couldn't do all that I needed, at least not without a whole lot more learning than I wanted to get involved with.

I checked out Squarespace and didn't find it as friendly as I'd been led to believe.

I broke down and paid for a commercial site. The price was reasonable, the work good, but I had to resort to phoning the developer to ask once again, how do I upload images. And as for changing things significantly on the site, forget it without help. I wanted to be independent. It was based on Joomla which when I started investigating, didn't find as friendly as Wordpress.

I finally decided to watch some how to videos on using wordpress - turns out it wasn't significantly more difficult than Rapidweaver or Squarespace, while also being more flexible.

After several watchings of the tutorials, I created a website for my local model railway group (intended just for ourselves), and started to tackle the more daunting task of a real website for my photography.

It needed to present images cleanly - not all systems can do that.
I wanted to be able to shuffle through images via the keyboard arrows - ditto.
I needed it to be able to handle some zip files needed for my books.
And I wanted it to promote my next book effort.

i searched for the best gallery plugin for wordpress and came across Envira Galleries, which not only would display my work as I wanted, but was compatible with Lightroom's Publishing so that I could select images in Lightroom and place them in galleries, to be published directly from Lightroom. After a few trials (largely my own fault) I was able to do this very easily and effectively. This had to be the right way to go.

So, I have created a site. As yet I have not removed the old site but you can check out the new via the link below, or by typing in george barr.com/photographs

New Website

This new site has hundreds of images going back more than 10 years but more importantly includes images shot in the last few months.

The video I started with was an older version by Tyler Moore, and by clicking on his name you can link to a recent version of his very effective introduction.

Keep in mind all this stuff about website development changes Joomla has improved, but so does Wordpress, and the plug-ins, and for that matter the tutorials.

2 comments:

soboyle said...

George, I've been going through the same process. I'm currently testing out a squarespace theme that I really like except for one big omission - there always seems to be one deal breaker with these themes - captions on the slider versions of photos don't show up on the enlarged images. Why the eff not? Trying to find a css work around.
I like the look of your new galleries.
This is my test page on squarespace in case you are interested:
https://shaunoboyle.squarespace.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi George.
Are you going to blog in the future?
I enjoy reading your thoughts and seeing new pictures.
thanks
Mike J.