The website design you are visiting to read this blog has been around for a while now, and as much as I like it, I have felt for a while now that it's due a change. A few years back I went down the route of paying for a complete custom built website that also came with its own CMS, and as much as it has served me really well, at the end of the day I guess that with how much some of us use the internet for whatever reasons, our ability to control things ourselves has never been greater - and I want that control over my website I guess. I am going to show you some screenshots of this new website that I have been putting together, and I would welcome your thoughts. Please bear in mind that it's not the finished "look", but I am leaning very much towards a clean, very non-gimmicky kind of feel that does what it's meant to do for me - which in purely commercial terms is to show off my photos.
Above is how the homepage might look. That big image will be part of a tight selection of images that can be scrolled through, and because my website is about showing off my photos to potential clients and of course this blog, I am leaning towards those direct links/thumbnails to recent blog posts below the main homepage image as you can see.
On the Fishing Pictures page on this current website, there are far too many categories of sample photos. Nobody is going to go looking through that many photos of mine if they are interested in talking to me about work, hence what will be a very small number of photo galleries on the new website as you can see above. I might add a couple more categories in time, but the galleries will contain far less images - I want a potential client who might come across my website to be able to get a pretty good idea of what I can (and can't) do as quickly as possible. The screenshots above are samples from the various photo galleries. I am resolutely against anything gimmicky when it comes to showing off photos, and I really like how the software package I am using to put this new website together is so geared towards letting the images speak for themselves. Anybody who sells photographs as part of their job should know all about how to successfully process images for web viewing, and it is very important to me that any website building software I might use doesn't then do anything untoward to my images after uploading.
Although time consuming and at times brain-frying, actually putting a new website together is not too bad - making sure my blog can come across to it is potentially the biggest headache, and I am working with a very kind and technically minded soul to make it happen. I never imagined that I would still be doing a blog when I first started some years back, but I am passionate about it and I want to make sure that it remains a big part of any new website I might do. The "look" of the new blog above is very much NOT complete, in fact it's the one page on the new website that I have spent the least amount of time on so far. I can't help but be influenced by the blog as it is now and how it has worked over the last few years, but again your thoughts would be welcome.
Now it's the Fishing Tackle pages above that I have done the most thinking about, as in should I keep them or should I simply leave them be and to be honest save myself a lot of work? They are meant to simply be a way of helping people out if they are looking for various items of fishing tackle to buy, bearing in mind that a lot of the gear I get to play with and then sometimes review is of course thanks to various kind people I know who get me access to it. Full reviews go on my blog, but of course it takes time to keep these Fishing Tackle pages going. If I was any good as a businessman then I should most likely drop them on the new website, but I take the view that if they help people out then that makes it worthwhile keeping them going. Fishing gear can be confusing at the best of times, and if I am lucky enough to get to see a fair amount of it, why not try and help?
Well that's where things currently are. Nothing new is going live anytime soon, but there have been many early mornings here, together with numerous emails back and forth with customer services to get to what you are seeing above - big learning curve!! I could of course change things completely, but what I need to do now is leave it be for a while and then come back it and see if I am still liking it. Thanks for looking at it.