Back in November 2011 when I purchased this domain (MetroPhotog.com) and uploaded the under construction page, my primary intention for this site was to share our photos with our family, friends, and any who wanted to view them. And while my first blush at coding this site did accomplish that, it became very difficult to get the content up on the site. Every time we wanted to upload a web gallery or blog post, we would have to ftp into our domain server and change multiple html files and massage them into the format you saw. Needless to say, the process was tedious. So, I began looking for a solution which would give us the most flexibility and room for growth. I looked at numerous prepackaged Content Management Systems (CMS) and blog systems (i.e.: Word Press) and came up empty. Most had a few features that we wanted and lacked others. There just wasn’t one that I could really get behind.
Ultimately, I chose to write my own PHP / MySQL system for the blog feed and gallery viewer. Because I do work full time and knew nothing about either PHP or MySQL, it took much longer than I would have liked. But, last Sunday, I was finally ready to upload the near complete site. While there are many features and functions that I will be adding in the coming months, this was a good place to stop and publish the site. Below is a list I have compiled of the benefits and changes stemming from the complete rewrite:
- Faster page loads and less load on the server. Most pages load 2x faster over previous code
- Increased reliability in page display across platforms including mobile devices
- Better search engine visibility and indexing
- Solid framework for growth in the future
- New graphics site-wide that are much more sleek and clean
- More social networking integration and features
- Blog section is automatically generated from gallery and video postings.
- New organization of articles / postings for easier navigation
- HTML5 web galleries allow viewing on most platforms especially mobile devices (i.e.: iOS / Android devices). Flash support is dwindling, so we have chosen to upgrade now. Older web galleries will eventually be converted from Flash to HMTL5
- View web galleries by type (and soon by photographer). Want to see all the galleries containing cars or motorcycles, simply choose Automotive in the left hand side selection box.
- Ability to link our viewers with a specific gallery.
- View all our YouTube videos right on our site
- Ability to view videos hosted on our site only. We have some projects in the works that will be exclusive to this site
- Future ability to search and view video by category (Coming Soon).
I am really pleased and excited with version 2 of MetroPhotog.com. I think that we now have the right foundation that we need to accomplish our goal, which has always been to display our photos how we wanted and share the experience with our audience, whoever it may be. I strongly encourage you to browse the new site. Please feel free to Contact Us with any issues or features you would like to see added in the future.
Thank you for your continued support,