Return visitors will notice a new look to this website. Those viewing with tablet or phones will immediately notice the difference — the new site is fully responsive, looking pretty much the same on all devices, but for the navigation menu that defaults to the familiar mobile version indicated by the 3-bar icon (which students of the I Ching might confuse with the trigram Ch’ien, 乾 The Creative) 🙂
Even on desktop and laptop computers, you can test the responsive design by grabbing a corner of your browser and reducing its width. Everything should adapt.
Google has been penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly for some time now, and though the old site passed muster — it had a separate mobile version served to smartphones — I still received occasional warnings via Google’s Webmaster Tools when some page assets did not render perfectly on some devices. That should theoretically be a thing of the past and Google will reward this site with a big increase in traffic! 😉
I’ve transformed raymondparkerphoto into this shiny new version with the adoption of the ProPhoto 6 premium theme, not to mention help from the incomparable support staff. Really, I have never come across a development team more dedicated to the success of their customers than the folks at Netrivet. They go beyond the call of duty to make sure you get what you’re looking for in design and function.
Where other themes rely on text “chats” and forums, ProPhoto offers support right through their website. In my experience, open tickets are attended to promptly, often the same day. And they stick with you until your issue is resolved.
Their website has a comprehensive library of tutorials, often accompanied by video.
ProPhoto’s graphic interface is WSIWYG defined … once you figure out how it works (again, support is awesome!) You can make custom pages for different parts of your site … same with galleries.
Settings are divided into “layers,” if you will, with a Template dashboard where you set up your page templates and other assets, and a Design area where you chose fonts, build “tiles” (animated text, buttons, etc.), forms and other style elements combined in the overall site architecture.
ProPhoto offers a good selection of free designs — 9 at this time — (one of which I customized for this site) as well as dozens of premium options to suit every taste and requirement.
The really cool thing about ProPhoto 6, besides the responsive function, is that someone, like myself, upgrading from a previous version is able to build the new site behind the scenes, via a “test drive” plugin, while their existing site is still served as normal. This is what I’ve been doing for the last 2 months.
I waited a while to make the transition from ProPhoto 5 to 6, first because it took a while for them to roll out some features I relied on (still waiting on support for captions in galleries) and second … because I’ve been overwhelmed with renovations in home, office, and workshop.
Admittedly, the learning curve was a bit steep at first, but again I can’t say enough about the awesome support!
Whether you are a visual artist, or just want to build a great-looking, responsive WordPress website, I highly recommend taking a look at ProPhoto 6.
Following this link will add a modest discount to your shopping cart.
One of the biggest advantages to the responsive design is the fact that it has enabled me to upload higher resolution images. This is especially advantageous to the Eighties Vancouver gallery, where previously I was forced to use rather small images so that the 1X1 ratios would not overwhelm lower resolution screens. Now visitors with those big iMacs should have a much improved experience.*
At my leisure, I’ll be going back to some of the more popular blog posts to replace images there as well. Meanwhile, due to the way responsive sites serve image assets, all screen sizes will benefit.
Another change here is the adoption of secure socket layer (SSL) encryption for the whole site, not just the shopping area, indicated by the padlock in your browser’s address bar. This means that any input you may make to the site is fully encrypted, ensuring complete privacy. Again, Google is beginning to use website security as a “ranking signal,” preferring to return sites using https in search results.
I hope you enjoy the new design. As you can see from the included “before” photos (above and below), I’ve simplified the graphic elements, opting for an even more minimalist look. Please let me know your thoughts — is there anything you miss? — in the comments below.
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*Note that slider galleries are navigable via the usual back ˂ and forward ˃ icons. Fullscreen option is activated by clicking the opposing-arrows icon at bottom-left of galleries. Of course, you can escape fullscreen either by clicking the arrows again, or hitting the escape key on your computer’s keyboard. Check ‘em out at the galleries.