I hate web design tools. It never seems like anything ever works fluidly and that no matter what interface you use the text and images seldom flow properly. The method of production I use is to design my template pages in Photoshop, slice them up and then create hot spots to navigate by in Dreamweaver; it provides me with a smoother look without the hassles of code. The funny part is that when the web was still putting along a decade ago I did design a website for the Faculty of Education using just code. What took me about 6 months I can now do in 6 hours! Most of the issues in today’s build came from not being able to get Dreamweaver to recognize the site map and being unable to upload directly from CS3 to the server. I ended up learning how to upload galleries directly to my site via Lightroom 2 and how to ftp the files there via CyberDuck. I am sure that the new CS5 Design Premium has a tonne of new fixes over CS3, but I am reluctant to spend $1400 on the suite upgrade. I will upgrade Photoshop next week to CS5, but will just keep using the older versions of the non-essentials for now.
The major hassle today was to take the previous design and translate that into something that better reflects the work I am doing these days, while still holding true to the idea of building a brand image. I did not want a complete retranslation of the site, but I did want it to look a little refreshed, so there is a banner image change [the debris from the Toronto Harbourfront has been replaced with a cactus from Bontebok, South Africa] and some of the categories have either moved or been repurposed without changing the feel of the site. It should feel like more of an edition than a new version.
So how do the Google Analytics stack up the numbers for the site? Since April it has clicked in about 206 visits compared to the 2893 visits the blog has had since last year. A ten percent ratio to the blog seems logical as the website has less of a draw on a repeat basis, and that is why there is less pressure to refresh the site. So how could I dramatically increase traffic? I would probably need to embed video like Zack Arias, Chase Jarvis or Still Motion. I am not sure that I would even want to do that, as it would take the precious time I have away from actually taking pictures; which leads me to the reality that I take photos less to become the next big financial thing than to become a thing bigger than I am today.
On other fronts, V. has hit the megapopilus of Sackville, N.B., where she will be working for the next four months. It has left me quite sad/disoriented, but that probably means for some edgier photography over the summer to compensate. Getting back to the Maritimes over the summer will do me good, too, I think, and Berlin to Rome should soon come to the horizon. I also get to pick up four rolls of medium format negatives tomorrow after work, so that will provide new fodder for the blog and the portfolio. I am really, really hoping that the Hasselblad works as well as the Mamiya 645afd did…if not, there might be some tears. So check out the new website if you get a chance this week, as there are a lot of new images and a much more clear idea of the commercial work I have been doing.