A few weeks ago, I had decided to take some steps to upgrade my site. A couple new features here and there and I hoped it would start to fulfill the goals of the site in a more efficient way.
What I quickly realized upon making additions was that the core framework the site was insufficient for my needs. The thing was held together with duct tape and no more tape was going to make it solid. My attempts to improve upon what I had made this clear – I need some solid bolts or welding to underpin this thing, not tape.
I started to tinker with an alternative content management system: WordPress. It was like settling into a comfortable chair. It was so relieving to have my CMS work predictably. I told it to do something; it did it. Fancy that.
I started to develop a new, friendlier version of my site using WordPress as the engine. I was planning on developing it behind the scenes while my current site remained in place for any viewers who happened to come my why during development. A couple days later, that plan went down the tube when I learned that all the images on my site were no longer accessible due to who knows what error.
I couldn’t have people trying to find my work and ending up receiving only errors, so I took down the site and started to rebuild in earnest.
A short while later and I am counting down to launch. The site may look mostly the same to you, but to me, the difference is like riding a high-end, custom-built mountain bike with good shocks versus a rusty shopping bike with no seat.
And with that, let me welcome you to the new and improved dsphotographic.com. Please feel free to let me know what you think. I’m especially eager to hear from Windows users since I haven’t had much opportunity to test the site on a PC.
I now intend to use the brand-spankin’ new backend to deliver more content to this lovely little blog. When I’m not travelling, I hope I can be a good source of travel photography (and related) news. (With, of course, the occasional bit of unrelated, fun news thrown in just because.)
While travelling, it will be business as usual with my posts. Updates will come as time permits, but I always prefer being behind the lens and shooting marvelous locations to sitting behind a computer if I’m given the choice.
I hope all that’s not too confusing and I hope you’ll follow along.
Yeah, I’m seriously regretting using Mambo now. I’ve just been using WordPress for about a half hour now and it is so much more user friendly. I really think I could have the non-gallery portion of my site up and ready to go in no time.
The problem is that pesky Gallery software. I think I could leave it as a standalone, but I would have to do some serious changes to the CSS files. That’s not really a big deal at first glance, but really, without being able to see it in IE, I’m bound to be in for a few surprises considering it’s so bloody hard to get that script to do what you want.
That’s all fine and good. I know how I could do that. One tricky thing though would be to try to get a search block for the images working on the non-gallery pages. Right now I can do that through Mambo (which, by the way, was a total fluke of coding and I still don’t really know what I did). I really don’t think I would have such good luck with WordPress. I really want people to be able to search my images from anywhere on my site, but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.
An RSS feed is now available for dsphotographic.com. It combines both the blog and the news sections into one feed for easy viewing. Point your RSS reader here to grab the feed.
And if you have no idea what RSS is all about, XML.com provides some RSS insight:
“RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs. But it’s not just for news. Pretty much anything that can be broken down into discrete items can be syndicated via RSS: the “recent changes” page of a wiki, a changelog of CVS checkins, even the revision history of a book. Once information about each item is in RSS format, an RSS-aware program can check the feed for changes and react to the changes in an appropriate way.”
The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. Mambo is mamboing and this site is starting to take shape.
The blog is up to date, The links section is populated. A new design is taking shape and looking not too shabby.
Of course, the ‘to do’ list remains much longer than the ‘completed tasks’ list. Much longer. However, with the posting of this news item, the news section has now started to get populated. Yay!