Just about a year after launching Maui by Photo, I’m getting back to putting some of the finishing design touches on the site to polish it off. These are mostly minor design tweaks for now, but I’m hoping to add more features my month’s end, too.
A Year Wiser
MBP was my first site using WordPress, so much of the initial effort involved was spent learning how to customize themes and organize posts than more of a focused effort on look and feel and navigation. So, with a year of WordPress under my belt, and another year of web design practice, minor changes are already underway.
While the premise of Maui by Photo is fairly straightfoward (a la the About page), there was more effort involved with editing and managing all the photos than I originally anticipated. Not only am I a year more experienced with WordPress, my photography and post processing work with Photoshop has also risen to a new level. Therefore, one of my tasks for later this summer (or year) is going to be re-editing all 300 current photos featured on the site, plus adding at least 100 more that aren’t featured yet. Heaven help me, that’s a lot of work ahead.
In the meantime, I’ve been attacking a few quicker wins to make the site more interactive. The biggest update so far has been the integration of Facebook comments and Like buttons using the Simple Facebook Connect plugins I posted about recently. It’s been installed on my Kris and Cindy site and you may even notice it’s slowly being phased in at this blog, too. Since the Maui by Photo page on Facebook has been a relatively big draw, I see this as an opportunity to bring in some of those users to contributing to the site as well. More to come on that.
While the Kris and Cindy site just uses the auto display for the Like button, I’m working that feature into MBP a little more selectively than that. I have a few ideas of where it will end up to be intuitive but not obtrusive, but it’s not completely rolled out yet.
Also while I was at it, I added the Twitter @Anywhere integration that made it here, too (previous post).
The goal of Maui by Photo is to let the pictures do the talking, and get the sites visitors to leave their own stories about Maui. But in order to help raise awareness and education about the goals of the site, I’ve been writing a little bit more content to fill in the gaps. Therefore, the home page now has more of a traditional website landing page feel to it than the previous list of blog posts as before. Also, the About page has been updated with a bit more organization and some photos to help keep the reader engaged.
In addition to that, the portfolio page here on the site has been updated with a little background on how the site came together, so this collective information should be a good start. I’ve also uncovered a few additional items to add as mentioned in this post about creating effective About pages. Even though there is still a ways to go, I’m pretty happy with the subtle progress that’s being made so far.
Even with these changes to the site underway, Maui by Photo is still fully functional and awaiting your favorite Maui stories. As far as the next update goes, I’m targeting another post here at the end of the month with news of bigger changes that are in the works. Be sure to stayed tuned if you’d like to see what I have in store next for this site.