So the new website is launched. I looked around at all the prepackaged photographer-type sites, and while I was impressed with many of them, I just couldn't get them to do what I want. The main thing with most of them was a maximum image size that is too small.
The new site features the enhanced version of Simpleviewer, which means I can configure pretty much everything on it. It will scale with the window size, and do a full-screen mode with images up to 1500 pixels. It preloads images, and works with the on-screen buttons, the mousewheel, or the keyboard.
I added a bio and contact section, revamped the organization of the images, implemented a rotating bio pic feature, and made the gradient background scale with the window size. I know, big whoop.
The blog has slowly evolved from an ugly Blogger site, to a really clean Wordpress design that's fully integrated into the rest of the site. For any factor other than initial setup, Wordpress is a far superior product to Blogger.
For those who are interested, here are some of the better- and less-known solutions I looked into:
- Carbonmade. I liked this well enough, it's very cute and clever, and the back-end's nice, but the template is pretty rigid, and I couldn't come up with a look I cared for.
- Indexhibit. This is quite powerful and versatile, although not super easy to use. It all ends up looking very CSS3-hipster-huge-font-2009 web, which I like well enough, but it clashes with my photo style.
- Cargo Collective. Same story as Indexhibit, plus some social networking features.
- INDXR. This one is pretty powerful, but in the end, again, too hipster for me.
- Bludomain. Just to show you how I was all over the map. But seriously, although most of their templates seem to be for wedding photographers, I liked the Harvey design a lot. It's too Harvey though.
- A Photo Folio. Has some real nice designs, but beyond this year's budget.
- Livebooks. The 800 pound gorilla turned me off because...because it's the 800 pound gorilla. I mean I love gorillas, but I don't want one introducing me to people.
- TAXI. I was using this for awhile, but it'll never be my primary website. It's really global in it's focus, so I'll get back to this one when I'm in a better position to begin my global domination plan.
- Dripbook. I looked into Dripbook because you can generate a stand-alone website from your Dripbook account. That didn't work out for me, but the site's really great, and I've ended up using it on it's own, plus I'm using it as the mobile version of robprideaux.com.
Thanks to all those who helped out with technical advice (looking at you, Scott), and everybody who tested (thanks Facebook buddies and Steve).