I have been running my website for a number of years using a hosted WordPress solution, but as time has gone on I have found it to be: –
- Very slow when trying to do any maintenance (page loading speed for visitors are fine, just when trying to change anything);
- The number of “plug-ins” that need updating or break without a known reason seems to increase daily;
- I have yet to put in an easy to implement selling capability (that works!) as the options are varied and complex.
Basically, I seem to end up spending a lot of time managing the site, which means I often find excuses (such as going out to take photographs) to not update the site; so it felt time for a change and move to one of the more “out of the box” hosted solutions.
After looking at a lot of the “out of the box” solutions (including Squarespace and Zenfolio) I settled for Smugmug, which won over the others by: –
- Being fairly easy to customisation to your own look-and-feel;
- Having really fast and excellent support from the Smugmug Heroes and also the www.dgrin.com forum;
- Providing sharp and high quality display of images (amazing many of these image focused sites provide soft displaying images when displaying large resolution images).
One draw-back with Smugmug is that it doesn’t have an in-the-box blog solution. This means adding a blog to the site is a fairly manual activity, but as my blog needs are light (I don’t post that often!), I can manage. But if Smugmug are reading this – please add this soon!
As part of the migration, I have recreated most of my old blog posts, but unfortunately I couldn’t recreate the comments people have made to the blog posts, unless I posted them – which to new visitors may look strange; so these have been lost. Sorry guys – but please re-post them if you can.
Hopefully you will be impressed with the new site – and everything will work as it should; it should be quick, easy to use and the images should look good. Please take some time to leave me some feedback, either by commenting to this or other posts or images (you can now “like”, share and comment on individual images!) – as it is good to hear what you think (good or bad).
One thing that is different is that to leave comments you need to log in with your Facebook, Google+ or Smugmug username. This is purely a restriction by Smugmug to stop all the spam comments that plague websites these days. Hopefully this extra step wont stop you posting comments.