Musings on Photography

Static Website

Posted in web issues, Websites by Paul Butzi on May 30, 2008

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I’ve been more quiet this week because I’ve been going through and doing an overhaul of my static website. I’m not done (heck, I’m not even halfway through). But going over that material has driven home some interesting points.

I’m surprised at how embarrassingly dated some of the material is. A review of an Olympus C2000z, the first digital camera I bought, is essentially of zero interest now. Articles on putting together a website – hopelessly out of date. An article on doing theatre photography using film – wow, that’s out of date.

So clearly a lot of stuff will get left behind as I make the transition from doing the website with Microsoft Frontpage to just hand coding the pages (using Coda on the mac, for those who care).

At the same time, other stuff is getting ripped out. The begging for contributions – part of a sort of experiment to see how easy it was to monetize website traffic – that’ll all go. Quite a lot of stuff is staying but being substantially cut back. In the end my plan is for the static website to be quite a lot smaller than it is now.

And the photos – it’s way past time to update the galleries again.

Going through all this stuff has made me keenly aware of how much better a blog is for certain kinds of content. One thing that’s nice about a blog is that every single entry is dated. I’d give a lot to know exactly when I wrote some of the stuff that’s on my static website.

There are problems with blogs – for example, most blogs don’t do a lot to make it easy to find the backlog of content. But I think that with a bit of effort those problems can be fixed.

At the same time, I’ve become even more aware of things that a static website can do well that can’t be done well with blog posts. Galleries of photos are an obvious example.

4 Responses

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  1. Aaron Hockley said, on May 30, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I’ve got a hybrid approach going on at my website. I update my blog (less often than I should) on a regular basis, with static pages for other information that doesn’t change. A well-designed website will feature both static and dynamic content, making things easy to identify and date-stamp.

  2. matt said, on May 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    It’s funny that you mention the theater article, as I just ran across it yesterday while doing a google search for the M6. The technology might be old, but if someone were inclined to shoot theater with a film camera, that article would still be valid and valuable.

    I realized during my last redesign that the static pages I used to maintain maintain – equipment reviews mostly – could just as easily be served up by modifying the wordpress options such that post date was not the primary feature of the post slug. The result is a content management system that can act as a blog when I want it to, but can also serve easily navigable static pages. Clever use of categories and navigation pages can help.

    Galleries are a bit tougher, but with all the slideshow software available today, a gallery can just be a blog post with a slideshow embedded.

  3. Sean said, on May 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve become increasingly enamored of PixelPost (www.pixelpost.org) for managing my Web gallery. Especially since I discovered the PicLens browser plugin. If you haven’t played with PicLens yet (www.piclens.com), you need to. It’s free and it’s fun. I’d hate like hell to try and code that by hand, however.

  4. Ed Richards said, on May 30, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    You can also merge your static site and your blog by setting up blogger to publish to your own site, rather than their site. Then you can archive, link to, and otherwise integrate older blog content with your static content.


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