Wordpress Posts

Still Intoxicated?

in•tox•i•cat•ed [in-tok-si-key-tid] adjective: mentally or emotionally exhilarated.

Friends often ask, “What was it that got you interested in photography?” My answer refers back to the first time I saw a silver print appear in the developer during my eighth grade photography class. I was “intoxicated” by photography from that point on. And I still am.

That said, I’m bothered that I haven’t worked on any personal projects in many years. With 365-projects all the rage, I just might start that picture-a-day project. There are plenty of good free blogging-platform templates from which to choose to showcase one’s work and you could even utilize Instagram or Tumblr if you’d like to work with a mobile phone.

What does this have to with web marketing? The answer is that both your existing clients and potential clients will enjoy looking at your personal work. My website tracking data shows that the “Personal” category is second in clicks only to the “Corporate” category on my Firefly Studios site.

I think people have a real curiosity about what we photograph when we’re not being paid to photograph. While I was in China last month my good friend Peter Krogh turned me on to panos and time-lapse using the Nikon D800, so that’s what I’m going to concentrate on over the summer.

So get started with me as deepen my intoxication with photography. There’s no time like now to begin!

I Was Hacked… Glad I Backed Up With Useful Plugin

At 4:51am Sunday the server on which this blog is hosted was suffered a “defacement attack by a hacker, at least that’s what my hosting company called it. I’d never heard of such a thing, but they call it that when only the homepage of a site is altered and no other destructive scripts or malware are planted. The hacker changed out the index.php page in every directory of this WordPress blog. (A screengrab of his idea of what Groozi should look like is at the end of this post.)

I remained calm, figured out a fix, located a clean copy of index.php from WordPress, replaced the hacked one with the good one, and was back in business.

After hunting around, I found a great plug in for WordPress called “Backup to Dropbox” (full info). The easiest way to install the plugin is to search for it within your Admin/Plugins panel of WordPress and install it from there, but you’ll need a free Dropbox account first.

If you are unfamiliar with Dropbox, it is “cloud” hard drive storage. When you sign up, you get 2GB of free storage and that’s where the plugin will automatically store a complete backup of your blog. You can even schedule backups. If you don’t have Dropbox, get it here. Full disclosure: If you use that link to sign up, you and I will both get an extra 256MB of storage, so we both win… cool! UPDATE (4-10-12): Now we’ll each get 500MB of free space!

Now I’ll have a recent backup of my entire blog including all my posts and images and I don’t have to remember to do it, the plugin does it for me. Here’s what the hacker’s handiwork looked like:

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Use Only WordPress for Photog’s Website?

On one of the listserves I subscribe to, there was some discussion of whether or not anyone had seen WordPress used as a platform for a photography studio's entire site without it looking too "bloggish".  (Is there such a word?)

By far the most elegant implementation of WordPress for a photographer's website that I've seen is Susan Carr and her partner Gary Cialdella's site.   It does very well in search for the keyword phrases they target.

Another well done WordPress site that does well in search and doesn't look like a blog is Andrew Pogue's tasteful site.

A photographer's blog, implemented in WordPress, that does incredibly well in search is Mary DuPrie's "Photographing Models" blog.  It also helps her studio's main site rank well in search because each is hosted on a different server and her blog copy is written intelligently/correctly so as to to improve her search rankings for both sites.

Flash content is OK with workarounds such as browser client tests and at least some control over the content on your home page.  Few Flash-based sites give you full access to your home page's source code.  There is one Blue Domain (!) template that does so in a clever way, but I'm not sure they even realize it does.  Off-server landing pages can also help, but it's a slow road to page one using that tactic since the domain for such pages will likely be younger in age than the sites on Google's or Yahoo!'s first page.  Age of domain is becoming an increasingly important factor in search.

What do you think?  Have you seen an amazing implementation of WordPress by a photographer for their main site?