Welcome to Cor & Julie's journal

Tools used in our website (Computers)

I get quite a few emails asking me how our website has been built. Most of these questions come through Gallery where our website has been voted one of the top example sites for the last few years. People seem to think it’s just a matter of downloading some theme, which is unfortunately not the case. So it may be interesting to explain what components make up our website. Continue reading for the full post.

Dreamweaver

The design and layout of our website has been developed with Dreamweaver, now part of Adobe. Before you start building a website, you should think about the general design of your site. How do you want to navigate, what are your main areas, things like that. Since our website is mostly about photography, we wanted a very basic layout, with neutral colors, so as to not distract from the images. Dreamweaver allows you to maintain a consistent design throughout your site, and integrates well with CSS. It’s also very easy to mix Dreamweaver created content with other packages.

Gallery2

Most of the images on our website are managed by Gallery2, which is a photo management package written in PHP. It allows you to easily upload photos and show them as albums. Each of our trips is represented as an album inside Gallery2. We also use Gallery2 to exchange photo’s with third parties like magazines who can access specific albums with a login and password, where they can then download full-res tiff files. Finally, Gallery2 allows programmers to reach inside the internals through an API, which we use in several sections on our website. For instance, the random images on our front page are fetched from Gallery2 by a small PHP script.

WordPress

We use WordPress for the journal section of our website. WordPress is very easy to use, and relatively easy to set up. With a bit of extra effort you can fully theme it to match your site design. The about section is also made with WordPress. This used to be a separate PHP script, but why reinvent the wheel when WordPress has all this stuff built in.

Smugmug

SmugMug is an online photo management site. It is not free (our account is $150 a year), but it comes with a lot of features that make it worth our while. You may wonder why we use two photo management tools, and in theory everything we do with SmugMug could be done through Gallery and vice versa. The main reason we use SmugMug is to save time and effort. With SmugMug comes fully integrated printing, sales, distribution, and everything that you need to sell items online. By outsourcing all of this to SmugMug, I dont have to figure it out and deal with all that stuff myself. And like all previous tools, it’s fully customizable.

We have started to use SmugMug for the Prints, Articles and Awards sections, and also for the Guestbook. We don’t fully switch to SmugMug yet, because i’m not particularly happy with it’s speed, which could be in part because we’re based in Europe. We own our own private server which runs all the software except for SmugMug, and it’s much faster than the SmugMug based sections. But I am always looking around, so this may change in the future.

Some people may have noticed that we also use a site called Oypo. This is a dutch print shop started by a colleague of mine, and in its beta phase I set up a print shop for Dutch customers. I’ve kept it around, mainly so it’s cheaper for Dutch and European customers to order prints.

So this is how our website is currently operating. It’s a mix and match of different packages, each chosen for what it’s good in, but in a way they all have some overlap. I could probably consolidate things but who’s got time, especially since things work like a charm.

2 Responses to “Tools used in our website”

  1. Let me start with I love your site.

    I’m slowly (or not) getting back into stills … I’ve attached my shark video shot @ Stuart’s Cove in Bahamas …

    And I’m curious to know about the lights, filters, and lenses that you usually gear up with.

    I bought a Canon 40D this week … and have my housing … but don’t have any filters, nor lights.

    A recommendation would be much appreciated.

    Yours,

    Parker Fairfield
    San Jose, CA, USA

  2. cor says:

    I dont do video so i cant help you, but if you visit wetpixel.com im sure someone can!

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