February 23, 2010

Just finished the new version of my site.

After 2 weeks of late nights and tweaking and testing, the new version of my website (www.markbyronphoto.com) is up. The main thing I wanted to accomplish was to be able manage my website through Lightroom. Lightroom is a major part of my workflow and being able to swap out images on my site with ease is extremely useful. I'd say I was pretty successful since the pages only required some minor CSS tweaks in Dreamweaver to get the behaviors I wanted but that's just me.

I used a great web template developed by Matt Campagna over at the Turning Gate. Matt was very helpful with any questions I had while working with his html web engine. If your looking for a Lightroom web engine plugin the Turning Gate is a great place to start. Also, here's a weblink to another posting I found that lists a variety of other LR web template plugin providers you should look at.

Probably the hardest thing about the whole process was going through the 30,000+ images in my archive and pulling selects. Why? Well for one, not every image is well... a keeper. Why keep a "not so killer" image? Because you can learn from your mistakes just as much (if not more) than from your successes. I promise to post a mistake here and there to illustrate a lesson learned.

Next on the list was web optimization. This required a few things: creating search engine friendly code(thanks Turning Gate), using image naming conventions, and some Google analytics. I think the image naming conventions are important because it's important that your images get found easily. Personally I prefer Google's image search option when looking for something on the web. It can be a huge time saver. Renaming my images for the web was a bit time consuming. Lightroom was a big help when it came to renaming groups of images. The Google analytics gives me useful feedback about my site from a search engine point of view. We'll see how well it all works once the web crawlers index the new version of my site.