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new name, new look, new blog

After beating my head against a wall trying to publish a blogger blog to my own server I decided about a week ago that I’d had it.

This is what I would go through every time I posted:

FTP images to my server. (This is because long ago their image upload system stopped working for me. It apparently rarely works for those whose blogs live on their own servers, or ‘FTP’d blogs as they are called.)

Compose post in html mode. Insert image src lines pointing to images.

Write text.

Review for errors.

Click ‘publish’.

Wait.

And wait.

And sometimes, wait some more.

Get the ‘your post is taking longer to publish than normal. click to continue.” Which soon looked to me like it said “your post is taking forever to publish. would you like to continue?”

So I would click continue. Frequently 5 or 6 times, occasionally for 30 minutes. On bad days for an hour.

So then the post would publish, but invariably once it was online I would find errors that needed fixing. So I would go in and make the changes, and then try and publish again and you’d think I was asking blogger to wire me a billion dollars. It just wouldn’t go. At all. Those sweet little errors got to live on my blog. Frustrating would be a major understatement.

Recently it has been fine, and publishing quite quickly, except for one little problem. Sometime during the publishing phase it started inserting these weird little characters in the text. Characters that aren’t visible in the html code. Like a capitol A with a symbol over it.

Last week I was in front of the computer trying to get a very simple post up to no avail. “ARgggggghhhhhh” I said, scaring Fergie.

“Having blogger issues again?” Christina asked without even looking my way.

“YES”… sigh. I slumped in my chair.

“What are you going to do?”.

“I don’t know”. I said sullenly. sigh…

Instead of being sullen and morose I decided to do something about it. Last week was the last straw with publishing my blog through blogger. “There just has to be a better way” I thought.

So I did some research on blogs that you can publish to your own server. And wordpress was hands-down the winner on so many levels.

Then I got an email link to my talented friend Robin’s new blog (PawPrints Photography in Washington DC- who by the way I had coffee with on Sunday night because she was in Seattle- LOVE Robin!), and saw that it looks similar to the (also very talented) Stephen Bobb’s blog (Fidojournalism, also in the Maryland/DC area). I have been ooohing over Stephen’s blog since he launched the new one recently, and I discovered through the handy little bit of code at the bottom of their blogs that they are both designed by the same company: ProPhoto. The template was designed for a photographer by her husband Jared (quite the hubby that guy!), and after they launched it everyone and anyone demanded to know where she got it, so being the smart guy that he is, he decided to sell it. Lucky for us! It’s popularity has soared since inception earlier this year, and this is easy to see when you do a google search for the bit of code at the bottom of each blog’s homepage. I did a search for ‘ProPhoto Photography Template by NetRivet Design‘ and there were so many pages of photographers using the ProPhoto wordpress template there was no way I could possibly look at them all. I stopped on page 4 I think.

Anyhoo, these templates are so fantastic because they are fully customizable. The header can be changed- either a flash file or static, background colors and images, layout, menu designs, all in the colors and design of your choice. You can either fuss with the css code yourself or hire a web designer to fully change things around for you. There is one gal (Simply Splash) who specializes in customizing code for photographers. She has made some very cool sites and resells the ProPhoto template, customizing the header and other elements to your liking. Check out her impressive portfolio. The custom headers are gorgeous.

I think it’s really great that photographers have an option like this and can customize it so that their blogs truly represent them and their branding, and not look exactly like everyone else’s. Sure the overall design and layout is the same, but every blog I looked at last weekend looked different to me. I also know Jared at ProPhoto plans to come out with a new template soon, and has listened to all of the special requests from his buyers. I’m excited to see what he comes up with. I’m sure a lot of others are too. 

I can’t wait to keep messing with the code for this blog, it’s something I really enjoy.

If you have any problems with commenting or something not displaying right please let me know. Or if you’d like to see the menu at the top and not the bottom let me know. I am still in the tweaking stage but I hope you enjoy nonetheless! Also, good and bad feedback on the new design are welcome!! You tell me and I will listen.:-)

Thanks so much and welcome to my new blog!

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May 29, 2008 - 5:48 am

Melissa - Hi Jamie!
OH it looks wonderful! You are a wonderful busy bee, never settling and always striving to improve everything even when you are way above average of what is out there. You are amamzing!
I am switching to this blog on my blog roll right now!
Melissa

May 29, 2008 - 6:24 am

Stephen - FidoJournalism - Jamie,
Fantastic! It looks really great. The big images are so nice, aren’t they? Thanks for the shout out too.

May 29, 2008 - 9:32 am

Nicole - AWESOME!!! love the blog! You totally beat me to it. I was just about to purchase this template and was wondering about the ins/outs.

May 29, 2008 - 12:02 pm

admin - Hey Nicole! Email me after you get it set up and I will give you all of the tips and tricks to customizing, including tons of useful website addresses for add-ons. Can’t wait to see it!

May 29, 2008 - 5:04 pm

Nicole - AWESOME!!! You’re the best!

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