The Redesign

November 14, 2014
4 Minute Read

This has been in the works for some time now.

I decided I wanted a better photography site first, and then along the way I decided that maybe I should short of unite the two. My blog had its own simplistic look, and my photography site was just out there with no real tie to my blog other than my name being in the header.

The first thing that really made me want to move past my old photography site was The Daily Shot. It was a good idea, at least I think it was, but I found that I never really found all that much to take photos of. That, and I felt like the photos I were taking were becoming more and more repetitive.

The second thing was that the site just felt clunky to me. I developed it to try and keep it as a one page site more or less, but never really felt that it worked all that well, especially factoring in the responsiveness of the website.

So I decided to scrap The Daily Shot and start from scratch with building a new site. I wanted something that was visual and really stood out. I figured all I really needed was two pages. An index to give a little blurb about me and my journey into photography, and a dynamic album page to display each album.

The index page wasn't all that hard to figure out, but I decided that breaking the albums down by year might be helpful especially with tracking the journey and my improvement (hopefully) with my picture taking skills.

The next part was building the individual album page. I wanted something that would stand out and really grab the attention of the visitor. I decided to go with a cover image since they're both visual and a great way to describe the album.

Once I got the cover idea nailed down, it was onto laying out the grid of photos which was super simple in comparison to figuring out the best way to do the cover responsively. The only decision I had was what do I want to have happen when a user clicks on a photo. I was thinking about adding a page for the photo but figured that would be overkill since it's not like I'm adding the ability to comment on them, so I just went with a lightbox to make out simple.

I really do like the way it turned out. I feel like the visuals really stand out and sort of draw the eyes in.

This led to the blog itself, I liked how the photography portion turned out so much, I decided that while I was at it, I would give my blog a facelift.

The first thing I decided to do was get rid of the categories. I originally liked that idea, but over time and really not writing all that much, I decided that they really didn't work for what I was focusing on. I also decided that I really liked the cover look of my photography redesign so I wanted to keep up the theme. Having a full screen image for the homepage made perfect sense. Having a full screen image for the about and contact pages didn't make as much sense so I decided to just have the images take up roughly one third of the screen. The biggest challenge I had was for posts. I wanted to do full screen, but figured I wouldn't always have a good image for each post or that maybe some posts wouldn't really be long enough or even warrant one.

My solution I think was a good one. I essentially have two “categories” right now. I put categories in quotes because they aren't categories that you would think. They're really just a type of post. One is called a Post, the other a Blurb. Posts are the longer, posts (like this one) while Blurbs are there for entries that tend to be shorter and maybe not as lengthy. Posts will have full screen covers, while blurbs will just have the smaller header image. I felt like this was a nice compromise that gave me the best of both worlds.

I did my best to test this across devices, so if you see something wonky or something that doesn't look right, please let me know. Just let me know what browser/device you're using so I can try to narrow down where the issue is.

You can check out my photography site here.