Monday, March 17, 2014

Web Site Refresh

My new website home page
It was time. My website has been in its prior permutation for a while and a little voice inside me kept telling me, "Bro, it's time to do something new with the site." Change the template, change the layout, throw in some new images, take down some old images, yadda yadda yadda, but still keep it clean. So I went to my Squarespace design page and started playing around with different templates. I was using the "Wells" template and after demo-ing a few others, I found a new one I hadn't seen or tried out - "Native". The template gave a me a framework that was different from "Wells" but still gave the site a look I liked. Once I installed it and started modifying the pages to suit my design ideas, it took about a week to tweak everything and I finally hit the "publish" button last week.

I'm a huge Squarespace fan. I've been using their site to build my website for over a year and find it to be light years better than other sites like Wix. Because of my innate Cuban-ness, it's impossible for me to resist urges to clutter up sites with a lot of crap that only detracts from the goal of presenting a clean, slick, simple display of my images. Squarespace must know there are people like me who are their own worst enemies and have a built in method of protecting me from me. In using their templates you have just enough flexibility to create a site that's uniquely yours, but options are limited so you don't ruin a good thing.

In redoing the site, I merged some of the galleries. The old sports and sports pageantry galleries have been combined into one gallery.  My travel images, some of which were in a color gallery, some in a B&W gallery, some in a gallery dedicated to National Parks, and some in a landscape gallery, are now either in one color gallery or a B&W gallery. I finally have enough astrophotography images to dedicate a gallery to those images. Galleries for light painting, wildlife, composites, cars, & Auschwitz remain. I've added new images and deleted other images from just about all the galleries as images I consider worthy of showing replaced others.

 A page dedicated to my Blog is linked in the navigation block at the top of the page and I separated the old Contact page into two, an "About" page with some tidbits about me and a straight up contact page with info on how to contact me.

As time permits, I still need to go through the images and make final cuts. Some galleries have way too many images to suit me and so begins the task of weeding out some. I have a bad habit of saving the hardest task for last, and deciding which images should be deleted is the hardest thing in the world for me since a lot of images have great sentiment attached to them.

If you'd like to check out the new version, click here. As always, any thoughts or comments are appreciated.


Della Meyer said...

Good work with the redesign! I think you achieved your goal of making a sleek and modern design for your website. Nothing works better than a design that's simple to use. Sometimes, an overly complex layout could be difficult to use and make the website load slower, which translates to a bad user experience. Plus, this layout really suits your photography gig. Were you satisfied with all the changes? What else are you thinking of changing? Whatever you decide to do, I wish you good luck on your venture!

Della Meyer @ Spark Local Marketing

Lee Swanson said...

It’s good to know that you finally get around with improving your website. Upgrades are always good, especially in website – where you have to keep your contents updated and well-run to keep your viewers interested. Your newly designed website looks great, by the way. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a great day!

Lee Swanson @ Your Marketing Crew