I am not sure I have ever procrastinated more on a project than I have on updating my photography web site. After five years of failed attempts at different technologies I finally sat down, gave myself a deadline and started.
As usual I have an idea that seems simple but turns out to be just enough different to be a monumental headache. After trying a couple of other technologies I settled on a WordPress site using the Divi theme. On the surface it is a very flexible and powerful design environment but its photo galleries are weak. They have two basic designs with few features and little flexibility.
I got around the Divi gallery issues by finding a gallery plugin with the features I wanted. Of course with any software plugin there is always the risk it will cause more problems than it solves. Fortunately I did a little research and got my first break with Foo Galleries plugin that seems to play nice with Divi. I wasn’t so lucky in other areas.
The Divi theme from Elegant Themes has become a victim of its own popularity. Online support used to be very responsive with an hour or two turnaround on support tickets. Now it is at least 12 hours which creates problems trying to get things done in a timely manner. In some cases rather than wait for a solution to a simple problem I simply changed the design to eliminate the problem.
Although I missed my deadline by a week the site is finally ready for the public. That doesn’t mean it is finished, I honestly think web sites are never really finished. Some of the ongoing work will be public like adding captions to all my images and starting a weekly blog, other work like SEO optimization will be behind the scenes.
Some of the changes you see with the new site reflect changes in technology and others in the way people view web sites.
Rather than several galleries with fewer images I have gone with fewer galleries and more images. I am using a format that hopefully makes it easier for you to scan images and select the ones you want to see.
One of the things I hope to do is a weekly blog post taking an in-depth look at one of my photographs. These will be a mix of the photographic techniques used and the stories behind the image. There be posts about new work and projects I am working on along with my information about where I will be showing my work.
I also want to use the blog as a way to create mini galleries and talk about that work. For example my Wanderings gallery includes a variety of images from places like Granbury, Texas where I grew up and the Mississippi Delta. I want to highlight those images start a discussion about them.
Last, I want to thank friends and fellow photographers Lowry Wilson, David Morris, Andy Pauquette and my wife Linda Hickok who all knowingly or unknowingly played a part in getting this web site done.