announcing version 4.0!
• developed over the summer of 2009
• 50% TTG Adobe Lightroom Web plugins
• 50% WordPress with homegrown theme
• highly customized & hard to maintain
professionally designed pallette & logo
over 80% built using WordPress, including menu
TTG Lightroom Publisher for home and all galleries
updating is now simple and easy
no more embedded customizations
exploits touch devices
portrait or landscape rotation across site
double-tap zooms in or out in galleries
tap-hold to scroll up/down or left/right in galleries
pinch to zoom in or out in galleries
improved user experience (UX)
part of Adobe's Creative Cloud, bringing the best Typography to the web
high-performance premium WordPress cache delivers the goods quickly
free world-wide high-performance content delivery network
best in class premium WordPress security plugin including recovery support
At last! Over the past winter I have spent considerable time and effort (and a little money) to bring my website up to current standards and exploit current technologies.
My previous site (version 3.0) looked like the first black slide above. It was built primarily using The Turning Gate's Lightroom Web module plugins (pre Core Elements or CE) for the image gallery content and all the root pages; WordPress was used, but only for blog content.
It was sorely out of date style wise. Support for mobile devices was pretty much non-existent and keeping the site up to date (while it was much better than version 1) was still cumbersome. So cumbersome that it didn't get done – not a good thing for a web site!
This is the fourth incarnation of my website. I first started (using Telus' free web services) back in 2008. I've learned a lot since then and that knowledge allowed me to put some goals in place for v4.0!
Goals for version 4.0 were:
- a completely new look and feel, underscored by a professionally developed brand,
- a site that was mobile friendly and exploited touch device technologies (swipe, zoom, ...),
- a site that scaled well, all the way from mobile phones to large screen HDTVs or monitors,
- a site that facilitated updating content and structure, including the drop down menu,
- a site that I could customize if needed, but in a manner that didn't compromise #4, and
- a site that would be a bit quicker on the response end.
Goal 1 was achieved through the awesome help of Petra Andersson-Pardini. Working with Petra was a singularly positive experience, one that has left me with no qualms in recommending her! Petra was clear in her deliverables and the process from start to end was smooth and professional.
Goals 2 and 3 were achieved mostly through Matthew Campagna's latest The Turning Gate CE4 plugins (Pages, Stage, Gallery, Publisher and the WordPress theme). I have modified them slightly but in a way that is easy to carry forward. Hey, I'm an old computer geek and a bit of a perfectionist – sometimes I don't know when to leave well enough alone. But I'm almost always having fun!
Goal 4 was achieved through two means:
- making extensive use of the LightRoom Publisher support offered by TTG Gallery and TTG Stage to update the home and gallery pages, and
- by having all but the home and gallery pages housed in WordPress.
Goal 5 was accomplished through a facility that I developed for Matt a few years back, PHPlugins. Through the use of PHPlugins and custom CSS I am able to
- develop and maintain the entire sites menu structure through WordPress,
- make use of Adobe's Typekit,
- add support for Pingdom, a website status and response monitor,
- add site-wide support for the EU-Cookie Law, and
- add the Creative Commons declaration in the footer.
Goal 6 has been partly achieved through the use of two facilities:
- WP-Rocket, a premium WordPress caching plugin, and
- CloudFlare, a free worldwide high performance Content Delivery network (CDN)
Check out bluehost and CloudFlare – they're pretty awesome! Given that I am running on a shared server platform, the response is acceptable for now.
All in all, I am very happy with the results.
Over the next while I'll be expounding on the major components that went into this version. Stay tuned!
Please, do let me know what you think! Constructive comments are always welcome!