Well, its been a little while since my last blog post. I’d say I’ve been busy but that’s just life so it’s no excuse. A little over a month ago I sat down at the computer to make a couple posts when I started looking around my site and decided I didn’t like it any more. That might not be the best way to say it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it any more I just felt like it was a little dated and my page wasn’t living up to its full potential.
When I first launched my site I didn’t have much experience in designing or running a website outside of the family blog we’ve done for a couple of years. So naturally I went with what I was comfortable with at the time and kept things pretty simple. Things have changed a little since then. Both in my knowledge of what is possible with web design and my personal taste in said design.
After looking around the site I asked myself what I would like my website to look like and what I had at the time wasn’t it. So instead of making the posts like I planned I started to look around and try to find some inspiration as to what my ideal site would look like.
After a number of hours which turned into days of research and thinking I came up with some ideas as to where I wanted to take the style of the site. The big change I wanted to do was to refocus my website on my pictures, BIG pictures. This is a photography website after all. So my number one goal was to have the site styled in such a way as to maximize the picture size on the page.
Another change I wanted was to have a responsive site. What responsive means is that the site we load and look good depending on the screen size the site is being viewed on. So if you view it on a tablet or mobile device, everything will automatically readjust and look good. This is pretty important to me. I don’t know about most people but I get annoyed when I try to view a website on my phone and it looks horrible or there is a pop up saying “install our app for the best experience”. I don’t want to install an app just so I can view the page!
The last big change I wanted was for the site to be easy to navigate and a very clean simple style. In regards to the style I wanted to get away from textures, drop shadows, and other effects. I wanted the focus to be on the pictures and when there was text it would be crisp, clean, and minimal.
So did you catch the bold text? If not here is a recap (tl;dr version). With the new site I wanted a responsive designed site with big pictures that was easy to navigate and had a clean and simple style. I think I’ve achieved that but don’t take my word for it. Look around and try stuff out. Let me know what you think, be it positive or negative. For bonus points try it on your mobile device be it tablet or phone. After you look at it in either portrait or landscape try the other orientation. More than likely but depending on your screen size the web site should responsively change to match the size.
Overview of pages
Here is a brief overview of the new sections of the site.
The home page sets the style for the whole site. On every page is a header with the title and navigation. On the bottom is a footer with a link to my Facebook page, navigation guide, and a link to send me an email. Unique to this page is a slider with big images. If you move your mouse over an image then a text box will pop up and navigation arrows on the sides will show up. Some of the slide has text box that contain button links.
This page contains a bunch of useful information. It has three sections. All the sections are pretty self-explanatory. The first is “About” which goes into about me. The next is “Services” which goes over the services I offer. Lastly the final section is “Pricing” which provides a rough over view in the pricing for different kind of jobs I offer. In no way is this set in stone.
The next section is my portfolio section. This is a horizontally scrolling section that shows off big pictures. I picked a horizontal scroll style because it maximizes the use of the wide-screen monitors we use now a days. A cool feature is you can use you mouse wheel which normally goes up and go to scroll left and right. Also try out the keyboard left and right keys.
This section is where I stick galleries from my recent works. It is broken into three categories, Portraits, Weddings, and Maternity & Infant. Each of these pages will have a grid layout showing off the multiple galleries. If you click on a tile then the gallery will open similarly to the portrait section covered above.
The blog section is similar to the portfolio section in that it scrolls horizontally not vertically. Click on a blog post and it will go to a single page post which scrolls vertically like a traditional blog post.
The last section is the contact page. This page has my contact information on it along with a button which opens a form so you can send me an email directly without the need of opening your email client. Another neat feature of this page is the map background. Click on view map to activate the map to navigate around. The default starting location is downtown Tallahassee. I have more planned for this map feature in the future. . .