Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Site and Blog coming to a screen near you!

I am in the final stages of creating my new website/blog. I have been struggling with the idea for months. Being self employed I have always worn many hats, sometimes too many. Photographer, accountant, sales rep, web designer, graphic designer etc... so many hats I can't find my head some days!

So one of my new years resolutions was to turn over some of these hats to people/companies that do these things best. I am in the middle of a career direction change. I am finally, after 13 years, going to follow my heart. Add to that, I need to continue making money in the area that I have been, while my new marketing takes off. And delegating some work to others is one of my tasks for moving into the future.

For one, my new brand/logo/identity is being created by my friend Shawn Skvarna. He has been a graphic designer for nearly as long as I have been a photographer, and I have known him for almost 11 years.

As for my site/blog: I have been designing it myself for the last 6 years. Mainly because I require full control over my site. I need to be able to update things on my schedule, and to be able to publish proof galleries to my clients any time. Even at 2 in the morning, if I am working that late- which I do sometimes.

I'm ready to be done with the process, I just don't posses enough web skill to make a truly awesome site. But at the same time I still require full control. So I have been looking at many of the photography centric hosting solutions. I had 2 finalists last week:


Both had their pluses and minuses. What I need is the following:

Editable layout
Variety in portfolio designs
Slide Show capability
Video capability
Private client areas, with interactive proofing
High res image delivery to my clients
The ability to sell my images
Multiple pages, including a slick contact page
Blog integration
Little or no use of flash (for many reasons I do not like flash based sites... a post for another time)

They both possess most of these functions, but I had reservations about both as well (for 1 they are both flash heavy). Then one day I happened across both Ami Vitale's, and Jack Gruber's sites/blogs. I scoured them, looking at all their pages. And after some googling to see how their sites were built/hosted, found that they had the ability to do everything I required. And did not rely on flash, to boot!

The set up relies on 3 separate web companies to accomplish it's task. Photoshelter, Wordpress, and Graph Paper Press. It takes a bit of setting up, but once it is done I will have a nice active design that fulfills all of the above requirements while still allowing me to make updates when ever I want.

The site should be live by next week. And until then this will be the last post on this blog. I will keep it active for now as an archive to my older posts. But I plan on migrating my better ones over to the new blog.

So until then... have a great weekend!

No comments: