After you have seen a reservation system with 400 different options in 8 menus you FULLY understand the “decisions not options” mantra.
When I first entered into web design from the world of the media– journalism and photography–the first course I had to take was on blogging. While I never had a blog and didn’t really want one, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a course in essentially journalism, which was something I was really trying to distance myself from.
But I took the writing for the web course in stride and had to sign up for a WordPress.com account. I decided to write on coffee as it was close to home, easy to write about and a popular topic. My class only required me to write 12 posts, but after those 12 posts I saw the power of blogging and had 1,200 unique page views and a number of comments about the blog.
So I really started to take the WordPress blog seriously about that time and got a domain name and style that fit and the readership continued to grow. WordPress was growing right along with my own blog, the two seem to feed off each other (no pun intended).
When I started to see other blogs link to mine in some authority I knew I was on to something. So what to do? Well the first thing was to make the blog self hosted and, well, that was the hardest part. But, it was also important to keep the blog looking the same. I picked the Freshy theme by Julien De Luca as it was one of the 16 different themes available to WordPress.com users at the time. While I could make a change when I moved the blog why change? As it works for me and the readers seem to like it. (p.s. the theme I am using here is a highly customized
Orange Coffee We now run a child theme of Twenty Thirteen called R2D2 )
Change is a good thing…I think…
While WordPress had designed a way to take your content with you when I moved it wasn’t that easy. I had three issues with my content moving:
• I wanted to keep my old Freshy theme and while it was still available for download it wasn’t optimized for WordPress 2.7
• My old content from WordPress 2.1 didn’t format that well into WordPress 2.7 So if I wanted to edit any of my old content I essentially had to re-align the entire post.
• All of media, pictures and video had to be manually copied from the WordPress.com site and uploaded to the new server while persevering the perma-links.
Yeah this totally wasn’t that easy and I would never suggest trying to do it this way… I am sure there are easier ways to go about this but I just didn’t know how or my server at that time wasn’t allowing the import as it was suggested by the codex.
Way, way back, even before college, (in a millenium far, far away) I was heading down to Seattle to visit my cousin Art Wolfe and while I was down there a little thing called the WTO meeting occurred and the villagers were literally rioting in the streets. I saw some amazing photos from that day, but none more amazing than this award winning one by Andy Clark. I didn’t know who Andy Clark was at the time, but I soon would. Andy helped me in my early career, getting a few photos on the Reuters wire.
Blast through the next 7 years and I am having coffee with Andy, outside Reuters’ Vancouver office. We chatted about my new career of web design, the internet and Andy mentioned that he never really had a website to call his own.
I had mentioned a content management system called Pixelpost, which was an open source and developed mainly by Europeans (how very haute couture) and wasn’t all that known in these parts. I loved the slick user interface and I showed it to Andy and within moments I was contracted to do his website. Wow I thought, I am actually making Andy Clark’s website. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Or at least the direction I wanted to take my web design, knowing what most news photographers want in one.
And now the hard work
It took some recoding of the original source code and some help from Piotr Galas, one of the developers of Pixelpost, but six months after we had developed the concept, Andy had a categorized portfolio site he could update at his leisure. After a few tweaks and reviews from a few other sage photographers we launched the site on January 12th and the next day we had Rob Galbraith.com linking to the site.
Clarkfoto.ca had 2,000 visitors in just one day and blew through 10 gigs of bandwidth in a week. This is a great start for a veteran photographer of the Canadian news industry, and visits have been steady 300 to 400 a week since, which makes Andy one pretty happy fellow.
“I was very pleased with how Robert took my somewhat hazy idea of what the website should look like and transformed it into to exactly what I was looking for….very nice job indeed”
Andy also has a blog, which I bet he will muse about shooting cricket, leica lexicon, curling, etc. . . but don’t listen to my bias opinion read it for yourself.