Well this weekend saw a big change in the online presence we have here at Mark Hayes Photography.
First I did a total 180 degree change on the showit site. www.mhp-studio.com is the new traditional website built with Showit Site from David Jay. The bludomain templates are still in the background – but now just sitting idle with old domain names sitting on them. Might pull them out at some point for a special event site or some such thing.
What caused this change? Pretty much just the fact I kept stumbling upon local photographers with the exact same template. Since I had two of the Couture templates – while so very pretty – that style overwhelmed the site. It wasn’t personal. If some bride looking for wedding photographers goes through three sites that all look identical except for the gallery photos – less chance of standing out I think.
With showit sites the look is totally unique.
That’s not to say I don’t love blu and their templates. They are a great company and offer some amazing work at great prices.
Besides with show it sites I can offer brides the free “Client Lounge” to use as her wedding page site.
Now the most exciting news I think of this change is the blogsite.
What’s a blogsite? It’s a blog that also has the wealth of information from a traditional website. markhayesphotography.com and www.markhayesphotography.com both now point directly to the blogsite.
With the blogsite not only can someone quickly look at my most recent posts (and their pictures) on weddings or seniors for example but in 411 (information) section they can find details of pricing and more about the studio. Throw in contact forms and you have a very fast loading, easy to navigate site that other than the banner doesn’t use flash.
We worked with Jaz over at Cats Cradle Designs on the look and feel of the site and created a custom blogsite theme. I pretty much just gave her a list of what I liked from other blogs and what I didn’t like and she put it together as a custom photographer Word Press theme.
I can’t thank Jaz enough. Great to work with and really listened to what I thought was important features for a photographers blogsite. This was money well spent and I’m betting the value for dollar will far surpass everything I’ve spent on stock templates over the last year.
Well hopefully things will stay stable for a while now. They almost have to – the online budget is pretty well shot for ’09 much less ’08 at this point. 🙂