Blog

Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Website Planning

It goes without saying that a photographer needs a website to share his or her work with the world. Many years ago, I had coded a website using a program called Namo Web Editor. It was, in my opinion, a reasonable site for that era but was a bit difficult to update and I found myself not adding to it as much as I would have liked.

Some years later, I purchased a template for an artist's website with plans to build my site based on that template. However, I found that the template contained so many options that I was going into the code to eliminate or change these options and that I was likewise changing code to allow more images to be posted to the galleries. The exercise became frustrating and I abandoned it.

I ended up moving my website over to Visual Server with one of their online artist's templates, forcing my vision into their options. This has served reasonably well, but I still find myself wanting more from a website and have been thinking about building my own, from scratch, by learning how to use Dreamweaver.

I know that, given time limitations, it might take awhile to complete the project and thought that I would, intermittently, write some posts about the process. My initial step is to think carefully about what I want out of a website and what is not being provided by my current host, while trying to incorporate 'best practices' for a new site.

Here are some of the thoughts that I had regarding the 'big picture' planning of the site:

1) First and foremost, I believe it is important to keep it simple and clean looking. Flashy with lots of bells and whistles might be useful for some type of sites, but I believe that for a photo site the images, and not the platter on which they are served up, should be what speak . Additionally, a lot of fancy add-ons don't necessarily function well on all platforms.

2) Easy navigation. I dislike when I get to some sites and I can't figure out what to do next.

3) Set it up so that it will look good on multiple platforms and screen resolutions, to the extent that this is possible.

4) Able to be easily updated.

5) Because of the frequency and consistency of my blog posting, my blog has more visits and has higher Alexa rankings than my website. I would like to be able to integrate my blog into my website. I am not certain if this is still easier to do with WordPress than Blogger, though I know this used to be the case.

6) Have the ability to make PDF files available for download.

7) Have the ability to add on audio and video files should I wish to make these available in the future.

8) I believe that telling 'the story' behind the photograph helps viewers to become involved with an image and would like to have an opportunity to present 'the stories', in brief, along with the images.

This is likely going to be a slow moving and long term undertaking. I would certainly appreciate any comments, tips, ideas etc from those that have already worked through this type of website building project!