Revamping my photography website

 Rebuilding a website containing more than ten years of badly organized collected photos turns out to be a lot of hard work. Every now
and then, though, websites need revamping, just like houses need renovations, businesses need new identities and logos. Along the way, whether it’s a house or website, new technology comes along that changes how you approach that renovation.

In order to redo my website properly, I had to set my goals. Part of that was deciding what I wanted this website to be when I was done.

I decided that I would

  • make it visually appealing
  • be very selective about what photos I keep and post
  • ensure better titles and try to write something about each photo
  • add new written content in addition to photos
While preparing for the revamp I explored my options for rebuilding a photography related website.  For many years, I’d been depending on the wonderful open source Gallery package… But Gallery isn’t suitable for written content, and I didn’t want to continue to maintain HTML pages.

I looked at numerous content management systems, including DrupalRefinery CMSBrowserCMSExponentCMS and ImpressCMS. and none quite met my needs.  They all looked powerful and useful in their own way.  In the end, I ruled them all out primarily because of the expense or work required to get the visual appeal and blog/gallery behaviour I was seeking.

I settled on WordPress… not because it’s ideal for my needs, but because I could save the most time with it. It’s huge user base gives it a unique advantage: it’s got an extensive collection of plugins and themes both free and for purchase.  The theme you see now is from Elegant Themes and has been very easy to work with. Their support forum is also quite extensive and has lots of tips for simple customizations. I was more interested in results, so WordPress fit the bill.  It’s huge community also enables me to easily and cheaply outsource work should I need to. Sometimes you just need to go with what’s common to get the best value for your money.