On June 30th, 2012 Apple closed it’s MobileMe service. MobileMe was the replacement for .Mac, a website building service provided by Apple via use of it’s proprietary iWork programs. Despite several warning emails, this caught Elizabeth of E.photography off-guard. With only a little time to grab all of the files, I sprung into action to help them recreate and update their website on a new platform. I quickly set them up on a private host and installed WordPress, and went to work.
With a website full of photography, this was not an easy task – I had to hack apart a particular type of file that the iPublish platform created to pull all of the data out, and try and find ways to track down each of the blog posts. It literally took months of my free time to extract everything and get it in place on the new site. I was also learning to use Zurb’s Foundation CSS architecture in developing the theme to make it responsive, so the process was slower than I liked.
We started off with a fairly simple and minimal approach – both for the brand itself, and for the sake of efficiency.
I liked using Foundation – it gave me a lot of new options to work with that made the actual template development pretty interesting. This version of the website served for the rest of 2012 while we transferred content and made little tweaks. Over the course of 2013 and 2014 we did a lot of little changes – but the big push came after reading an ebook by a photographer about his website approach that Elizabeth wanted to emulate. It involved creating a lot of landing pages with informative text that would ‘lead’ you through website. So by 2014 we had evolved the website into it’s current state:
Each segment had a landing page (Weddings, Engagements, Maternity, etc), with descriptive text. We also updated the brand to include a theme and tagline around ‘We’ll make you feel famous’ – the idea being that the photographs were of such high quality and everything looks so polished, that every client of E.Photography would feel like a magazine model when they saw their photos.
Additionally, we converted the contact form over to a ‘mad lib‘ style form. Other features I added in:
- The theme automatically grabbed the photos uploaded to each post and displayed them, saving Elizabeth the trouble of having to play around with the gallery code
- I used a similar format to the ‘mad libs’ to add in their press appearances as links in the footer. Every time their work showed up, there was a feature in the back end to automatically add that in to the footer seamlessly.
- Testimonials with images that would link back to the original blog post of that couples weddings.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. We’ve been working a lot on SEO, and I’ve been trying to teach them about tagging properly. I can offically say that the website is up, fully functional and working optimally.