Posted by: kerryl29 | February 11, 2016

At Long Last: A Website Re-Design

I don’t typically produce posts like this one, but I’m making an exception–obviously. 🙂

After ruminating on the subject for quite some time, I finally pulled the trigger last week and engaged in a thorough redoing of my website.  The site had existed in its previous format, more or less, since I launched it more than 8 1/2 years ago.  It was, to be kind, functional.  Even when I put the site together back in 2007, it would win no awards for presentation.

The software I used to design and maintain the old site has been orphaned for years and site updates have become an increasing chore as the program choked on the increasing number of files it had to navigate.  The workflow was never particularly elegant, but I could live with it.  No more.  The most recent incremental update of the old site, based on my 2015 Rockies material and some small shoots in Illinois in Indiana this past fall, took me more than 12 full days of work to complete.  That’s absurd and it was only going to get worse in the future.

After investigating some alternatives and considering my options, I settled upon a hoped-for solution and began building the site anew.  It took me about a week of long days and nights, but I could tell very early in the process that it would be worth it.  My principal consideration was ease of future site updates and my chosen solution will allow for this.  I would estimate that my most recent incremental update–the one that took me 12 full days–would take perhaps half a day with the new arrangement.  A very nice side benefit of the transition is aesthetic; I think the new site is a whole lot more pleasing to look at than the old one was and is, if anything, easier for visitors to navigate.

I’ve retained my old domain–lightscapesphotography.com–so if you have my website already bookmarked, you need do nothing.

For those of you with the time and the inclination, I wonder if you’d be so kind as to check the new site out and tell me what you think.  I’d greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.

I’ll post a new Canadian Rockies chronological entry by early next week.

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Responses

  1. Well done! I just clicked on it, minimal time to load and the presentation is beautiful. I also clicked up top where it said blog, and it took me there immediately. Love it!

    • Thanks very much! I really appreciate your taking the time to check it out and post your impressions.

  2. Kerry, it really looks great. I could babble on and on, but I love it. I follow you through WordPress–I’m guessing there’s no way to follow the main site other than bookmarking it, is there?

    • Thanks very much, Gene.

      If you want to be informed of content updates made to the website, you could subscribe via RSS. On the home page of the site, you should see a small orange box just below the lower right-hand corner of the slideshow window. Clicking on that will open up the RSS dialog and you can make a selection covering the details of RSS subscription. Then, when content changes are made on the site, you’ll be informed (in a manner consistent with the selection(s) you establish.

      Thanks for your interest and for taking the time to check out the site. I greatly appreciate it.

      • I just got around to clicking the RSS button and got code only. Here’s the link that appeared: http://www.lightscapesphotography.com/recent.rss

        • Hmmm…when I click on that link, I get a page that gives me the option of subscribing for site updates. May I ask what browser you’re using (and if you’re running any sort of no-script add-on)?

        • Hmm, I use Chrome but it could need updating. I’ll try at home and see what happens.

        • I’ve had non problem with Firefox and I’ve also gotten it to work with IE.

  3. The new design works well on my mobile phone and that is really important these days. I must get on with my own re-structure in the next few weeks – it has been pending for about a year now! Nice job, well done 😄

    • Thanks very much for letting me know! One of the advantages of the new architecture is that it’s supposed to be far more flexible in conforming the view for users of all sorts of different devices (including smartphones) and platforms. I’ve checked out several different devices myself, but it’s great to hear about this from someone else.

      And, not incidentally, best of luck with your own site rebuild.

  4. Really sets out your work beautifully

    • Thanks very much!

  5. Great job, Kerry! I especially enjoyed watching the fine images scroll by in the opening page slide show. That’s a super way to introduce new viewers to your work.

    • Thanks Tom; I appreciate your taking a look and letting me know what you think. BTW, and FWIW, the images within every gallery and collection on the site can be viewed via slideshow. On each gallery/collection opening page there’s a blue SLIDESHOW button on the right-hand part of the screen, just below the “Lightscapes” banner. Click on that and the entire gallery/collection will be revealed in slideshow format.

  6. Works great and fast for me! I love the images 🙂

    • Thanks very much!

  7. Well done Kerry! Simple, clean, works perfectly with your work.

    • Thanks very much, David!

  8. To me, it is about the photos, and not the aesthetics of the website, or the layout of the site. Your photos in my opinion, is what keeps bringing traffic repeatedly to your site. Nice pics!

    • Thanks very much!

      Just to reiterate a point that was made in the post: “My principal consideration [in making the decision to overhaul the site] was ease of future site updates…” Any improvements in the form of presentation, layout or user interface were windfalls. I do think that there’s been a benefit in that regard, but I didn’t overhaul the site for any of these reasons.

  9. The landing-page slide show looks great.

    • Thanks very much, Steve!


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