Michael Jay Fotograf Berlin

Selling photos across agencies

Redesigning this blog

More than a year ago I started publishing information and sharing my experiences on this blog. I published almost 100 blog posts in this time, received quite some feedback through email and discussed with photographers most often on my Facebook page. When I started, I decided to go with WordPress because I knew the software for many years. And I selected the Pinboard theme as a design template for my blog. It has a modern look, can be used on different types of screens, is dynamic.

New design of this blog

New design of this blog

However, the type of information I shared has changed from the more personal blog posts at the start to more global information and ideas about the industry. And I added more content than I originally planned. The Pinboard theme has an Infinite Scroll on the Homepage, so when you scroll down new headlines are being loaded on the go. This looks great but has become unpractical to find the information you might have been looking for.

Better structures helps you find the information you are looking for

So I have decided to change the whole layout using a new theme. I tested a couple of themes and how I could adapt them to what I thought will be most useful to help you move around on the blog to find more information quicker. Finally I installed the Yoko theme which you can see in action right now. It looks very clean in my opinion, less distractions from the basic text you are reading. At the same time, the additional columns on the right side help navigate the content quicker, find out what else is new, which posts are being read most often at the moment. I hope all of this help you to identify content you would have missed otherwise.

I believe the Categories will become a more important part in structuring my blog content: As a stock photo veteran, you will most likely be interested in getting an overview of the latest Agency News section but most likely are not so much interested in a Beginners Guide, right? So that’s the way to go for you. However, in the old theme, the categories were not very prominent, so the way I categorized articles was not really thought through. I will have to come up with a new categorization structure in the near future. But for the time being, things should work.

More options to stay in touch

In addition to the new theme, I have decided to install the Jetpack plugin provided by WordPress as well. It provides a set of tools to enhance blogs. The most important part are the different options to keep in touch if you want so:

Email subscription provided by WordPress

Email subscription provided by WordPress

There is an email subscription option on the top right corner of this blog now. So if you want to get informed when I post a new article, this should do the job. The subscription part is being offered by WordPress, so – while I quickly tested it – I have not yet a full idea how it works. If you make any kind of unpleasant experience with it, please send me a message. I might look into a different solution at a later stage.

Also in this modern world, we like to share information with our friends, don’t we: I had a few buttons in my old design but Jetpack allows some more services to be used to share the content from this blog. You will find this at the bottom on single posts.

More sharing options, more interactive commenting

More sharing options, more interactive commenting

And you will also find more options to discuss a single topic: There are easier ways to leave a comment to any of my recent posts, and you can also sign up for email notification to receive follow-up comments to the same post.

Should you find one of my articles without the comment section, there is a reason for it: I enabled commenting only on recent posts because I found that real people are most likely commenting the newest information. The older an article gets, the more spam comments I received. So on older articles, there will be no option to comment.

Your feedback would be appreciated

The purpose of a redesign is to make things easier for you, the user. I have made these changes with the feedback in my mind that I already got over the past year. However, this is all just my idea how I can provide a better experience for you. So if there are things that could be done better or should be added or dropped, please let me know.

 

3 Comments

  1. Looking clean and nice!
    I would think about putting the categories on the prominent place of the agencies though..

    • Thanks. I will put them into a better place once I re-worked them and re-categorized all existing articles with a better system.

  2. Hey, Michael!
    Thank you for writing all your great posts! I wish tou an ispiring spring, with lots of great photographs and articles to share with us!
    PS: The theme looks perfect!