I decided during lockdown that my website needed a good touch up so have spent the last few weeks designing, researching and trawling through hard drives. I have been using Wix for the last few years and shopped around to see if there were any suitable alternatives
Squarespace is an obvious place to look, the many advertisements show it to be sleek, minimalist and easy to use. While the templates they use are very nice and there is a lot to choose from I found it incredibly restricting. For example if I want to move an image or piece of text a few pixels or have them line up in a nice order this is near impossible to do. Editing these templates is also very difficult, I wanted my homepage to showcase the three main areas I work in; People, Food and Sport. But to change one of the templates to allow three image ‘buttons’ was like pulling teeth and left very little freedom to edit the design at all afterwards.
I imagine Squarespace is fantastic if you want a website quickly and are a little lost on how to achieve it. But if you have any experience with web design or have a clear goal in mind the freedom that Wix offers is far superior. Although Wix is not without its problems, the editor is slow and for photographers the image quality can be poor, but the freedom it allows is much more to my taste. To combat the issues with image quality I adjusted my design to incorporate their galleries as much as possible which has greatly improved the quality compared to simply placing an image on the page. And regarding the slow editor I had plenty of time to wait during the lockdown! There were a few new features I have found since I last updated my website, the hover buttons were perfect for what I wanted for my homepage but difficult to get your head around at first. The blog page is also very good and easy to use. I am new to blogs and hoping to use it to show off some of my projects, random ramblings (such as this) and improve the SEO of my page.
As mentioned the main aim for my new site was to showcase the three areas I specialise in, so I structured my website around this with individual pages and galleries for Portraiture, Food and Sport photography. This was to be the main introduction to my audience for myself and my work. The aim is to keep the design simple and easy to navigate with the basic 3 areas I cover, a mini intro on myself and contact page with the hope that interested parties will navigate the website further afterwards. The rest of my pages were to have minimal images and design and small amount of text to not bore the audience and keep them interested. With information on myself sort and sweet with a relaxed, friendly and fun approach. Essentially I want my work to show off myself and my work in the most honest way possible, a focus on design and great image quality, clear and defined ideas and a friendly and approachable feel with a bit of fun mixed in!