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F8&Bthere
02-14-2010, 02:21 PM
After finally getting a real web hosting account, I had been playing with various website ideas. I like the polished look of many Flash photography websites, but I'm learning that they are falling out of favour for a few reasons: mainly that they can be slow, and that they don't tend to be search engine friendly. I kinda like the notion of the slow part being not only from the visitor frustration point of view, but beyond that being almost a "green-tech" trend towards bandwidth conservation, looking toward the future.

Aside- I do know it's kind of silly that every other person seems to have a website these days, even if there is no professional component to it, and blogs are a dime a dozen. But I've always enjoyed writing and dabbling in websites along with my major crush on photography, so a website of some sort was a sure fit "toy project" for me- even if it only gets a couple hits a month. It is only costing me my own time and about $75/year including the domain name.

So, a few nights ago I'm listening to a podcast from a pro wedding photographer named Kerry Garrison, the cast is called Camera Dojo or something like that. And his guest was a web developer guy named Marc Fuller. And he was really plugging Wordpress as being more than just a blogging platform. He was pumping it's search engine optimization advantages, it's flexibility, ease of set-up and other qualities. I knew that my Godaddy hosting account had several freebie add-ons, and that one of them was Wordpress, so I just had to try it. Lots of learning curve over the last few days, but here's the result:

f8 Photo Canada (http://f8photo.ca)

JAS_Photo
02-14-2010, 03:10 PM
Cool stuff, F8! Nicely set up and organized. congrats on the Pentax acceptance as well. I hate their website though, it is just too slow.

russ
02-14-2010, 06:26 PM
good luck f8, Wordpress is a pretty straight forward CMS and it's likely more than what most people need. The biggest plus is of course the price, free!

Bambi
02-14-2010, 07:01 PM
it's a beautiful blog F8! nice work

F8&Bthere
02-14-2010, 10:52 PM
... I hate their website though, it is just too slow.

Yeah, isn't it though? That's a good example of one reason some people are anti-flash. It's eye candy slick, but can be slow.

@Russ- thanks, yes this is all pretty new to me, but I was surprised at how Wordpress, along with any one of piles of free themes available, can produce a fairly decent looking site, for even a noob like me, without hiring a pro. My thing up until this discovery was that I wanted a site, but not badly enough that I would pay somebody to make it for me. And the free Godaddy banner infested template-based sites I tried were unexciting to say the least.

Thanks Bambi!

Mad Aussie
02-14-2010, 11:31 PM
Looks cool F8.
Neat to see some of the fancier widgets being used as well. I chose to stay away from those to start with, wanted a cleaner, more matter of fact look, but have been comtemplating a sliding gallery.

Great work for a few days effort.

F8&Bthere
02-16-2010, 10:46 AM
Hey, thanks MA and yes I packed a lot of learning into just a few days.

Marko
02-16-2010, 01:54 PM
Very clean F8 - Nice!

Wordpress is extremely powerful and can run just about any type of website.
THIS site will be redesigned within a few months and aside from the BB, wordpress will likely drive it all.

Mad Aussie
02-16-2010, 02:42 PM
The new Joomla is impressive also.

JAS_Photo
02-16-2010, 05:23 PM
Getting slightly off topic but when you change the forum over would it be possible to have dark grey or black backgrounds to show off the photos rather than the white? Or possibly a choice of two skins so anyone can choose which they prefer to use?

Mad Aussie
02-16-2010, 05:47 PM
Changing backgrounds brings in other issues. Black or very dark backgrounds means using white or very bright text colours which are often too bright on the eyes. Also, almost every emoticon out there is built for white backgrounds.

JAS_Photo
02-16-2010, 06:51 PM
Aussie, most BB forums give a choice of more than one skin these days. I do all my editing with a dark grey background not on white. The text need not be bright, blue the same as used on here shows up on grey very well and is not garish. And lastly with a choice, those who like dark can use dark and those who do not can use white.

F8&Bthere
02-16-2010, 06:56 PM
Interesting. My previous website attempts were all black background. I decided at some point that I like images better on black, but then I dislike reading text on black backgrounds.

A while back the white background on Flickr almost put me off joining (along with that weird image navigation).

So now I have this white background blog and overall I like the look. But if I ever re-do my image galleries in Lightroom and upload them as flash galleries that link from the blog, I think I'll go dark again....at least midtone gray.

I did see there were functions in some blog and forum platforms where users can choose their own colour schemes as JAS mentions, and I wondered about how that would look/work.

Mad Aussie
02-16-2010, 07:12 PM
Yeh I'm well aware of the theme options of course and each to their own.

F8 ... same for me. When I set up my blog all I looked for was Black backgrounds. But then found none that were pleasing to the eye when reading the text. So I looked for Grey. Still nothing was great so I settled for what I've got for now. In the future I might get one of our programmers to cutom make me something but for now I'm ahppy with the clean, easy to read look. In the end, delievering the information is what is important.

russ
02-17-2010, 06:25 AM
MA - IMO Joomla isn't everything it's cracked up to be. I used it for a while and ended up yanking it completely and walking away from the idea of having a useful website. Last year on a recommendation I installed CMS Made Simple on a site for a client and found it worked very nicely.

F8&Bthere
02-17-2010, 10:47 AM
... for now I'm ahppy with the clean, easy to read look. In the end, delievering the information is what is important.

Yes and I haven't yet seen a way to have the best of both worlds while maintaining a continuity of "look" from blog entries to image galleries. I can easily get LR to generate gallery pages with black background and link to them from my blog, but it would look like a completely different website.

Even though my current wordpress format has little "polish" when it comes to my image gallery, the nice thing is when you click on the piclens link to view a slideshow of any one collection, it opens a semi-transparent viewer window with a black background. So it's sorta like "good enough" of both worlds for me....for now.

Mad Aussie
02-17-2010, 03:10 PM
MA - IMO Joomla isn't everything it's cracked up to be. I used it for a while and ended up yanking it completely and walking away from the idea of having a useful website. Last year on a recommendation I installed CMS Made Simple on a site for a client and found it worked very nicely.
The versions you are talking about were crap russ. The new Joomla however, is an amazing step forward.

scorpio_e
02-17-2010, 04:11 PM
Yes and I haven't yet seen a way to have the best of both worlds while maintaining a continuity of "look" from blog entries to image galleries. I can easily get LR to generate gallery pages with black background and link to them from my blog, but it would look like a completely different website.

Even though my current wordpress format has little "polish" when it comes to my image gallery, the nice thing is when you click on the piclens link to view a slideshow of any one collection, it opens a semi-transparent viewer window with a black background. So it's sorta like "good enough" of both worlds for me....for now.

Have you tried using next gen galleries? I use it on my wordpress and it works pretty good.

Mad Aussie
02-17-2010, 04:32 PM
Anyone found a decent visual editor yet??
The ones I've tried are driving me friggin nuts! How can they design such a complex system and not be able to make a decent editor??

Also ... is there a way to be able to have the editing window bigger than damn letterbox? Whose idea was that one? I want the box to be at least twice the depth!

F8&Bthere
02-18-2010, 11:14 AM
Have you tried using next gen galleries? I use it on my wordpress and it works pretty good.

Yes, nextgen is what I'm using on my site, and the piclens slideshow is much better than the default. I also tried the nextgen smooth plugin but like the piclens show better