Monday, 4 August 2008

Will's new gallery

What's that I hear you say, bout bloody time?? Yeah I agree, my web site has been neglected for a long time, largely because it was very labour intensive to update the image gallery and I figured there was no point putting more effort into a lost cause. I've know for a long time that I've needed some sort of an automated site builder/image gallery/content management system but didn't really know how you went about setting it up and the one attempt I had was a bit of a mess.

So what changed?

B# Big Band at Swing Patrol 10th Birthday ballWell I had the opportunity to shoot an event (the event album) that I thought I'd be able to sell prints from and needed somewhere to sell them. So research ensued, I checked out all the Australian "smug mug" type web sites and found none of the suited, either out of date, too expensive, couldn't get info on them (even after email requests) so I decided to set-up my own shop front.

Will's attempt at creating an online store for photos using free PHP software = Fail.

What happened, well I managed to install two different pieces of free shop front software and found both of them lacking mainly because selling photos is a little unique, you have a very large number of "products" that will all have the same set of multiple prices depending print size. Now it may have been possible to fix this and or install a "photo sales" module but I couldn't see and easy way of adding the products and I'd yet to learn about modules. Besides it was after 2am, I needed sleep.

So I had in my head that I needed a bulk upload facility that I figured an image gallery would have, so the next day research started again and I came up with a list of free image gallery software (and a suggestion of using drupral). In the end I went with "Gallery" image gallery software coz it looked good, seemed pretty easy to use, had many modules to customise the look and function including a couple for shopping carts that use Paypal! YAY! So I eventually figured out how to install it and a few module and upload a couple of photos, double YAY! After 2am again, bed.

The following day I was researching way to further customise it, details of the checkout, changing themes and layouts, privileges and all the rest and it was starting to come together and actually looking functional. I decided to use the "checkout" module, it seemed streamline and it actually worked when I tried it (usually a good thing). So i continued improving things, getting down to the smaller and small details, the only problem is that the more I played, the more I wanted to play and improve and change and tweak and . . . and . . . and crap, 2am, need sleep again.

Anyway after that there haven't been a lot of changes, I do try new themes occasional and I have a few things on the "improvements" list but I need to learn more about tweaking the actual code and style sheets (I did try it once and broke it for a while, good think I always keep the backup). On of the things that I have done is start to migrate my old "art" image gallery across to the new location so that it hopefully shows off my work a little better and I can keep it up to date much more easily.
Dusk at Lake St Clair, Tasmania
So where to now? Well it still needs to be properly integrated with my web site, not entirely how to do that right atm, if I move the site to gallery or gallery to the site or both to a new content management system the might include this blog a bit better too. We will see, only time will tell but for now I'm just happy to event photos up for sale (with ppl buying them!) and my 'art' photos are slowly coming up to date.

- View the Gallery -