Site overhaul

How time flies. I originally made this site at the end of 2011 after completing my physics PhD, as a way to shake off the cobwebs from having been completely focussed on a single topic for around five years, to learn something about making websites, and to get down to editing a stack of photos I'd taken during a European tour in the summer of 2006. I integrated a store into the website, got a load of samples from professional printers, and even set up a business bank account, all ready to try selling my photography as a little side hustle, and just for the experience of getting that all going as much as anything.

The site was going to be kept fresh and constantly updated with further amazing photos, evolving to become the go-to platform where other photographers far and wide would flock to display and sell their wares. Well, that was one of many fantastical plans anyway. Somehow we made it to the end of 2020 without coming close to anything like that happening, and even though the site has remained online, it has been completely dormant.

Time for an overhaul. Fresh site, fresh content, fresh approach. One issue with the previous site was maintenance, as once it was up and running in a way that I liked, it became a huge hassle to maintain. That first site was made with WordPress, and for all the freedom and flexibility allowed by that platform, I found that the constant need to update various plugins, let alone the main software itself, was a recipe for continual micro problems cropping up and things going out of whack. There were additional issues with database management, issues with security, issues with the possible store system ... all of which were detracting from the basics and the simple initial goal of having a little corner of the web to enjoy.

So I had something approaching the nuts-and-bolts experience, and if you like that kind of thing or are doing it professionally, then of course that's fine. But other interests and plans were simply more important to me, and the site got placed firmly on the back burner. Shortly after launching that first site, I dived into my next escapade of starting to learn Japanese and moving to Japan as an English teacher, which I'll write more about in future posts. A year and a half sailed by with that adventure, and Japan gave me plenty of great photo opportunities too. Of course, much of that content is now just sleeping in a hard-drive, biding its time, waiting for a home, along with many other photos from the years that followed in Canada and the UK.

Well, here it is. A newly updated site running on Wix, which so far seems to be far simpler and coherent than the previous WordPress setup, although I'm sure it will have its own issues. This allows me to focus on what I'm more interested in - designing and generating content. And why stop at just photography? Maybe it's even time to wield a pencil again. Drawing was my first creative interest and one that I really miss. I love bringing something into existence from a blank page, and have already put up some early pencil work here on the new site to encourage myself to get back to it.

Ultimately, I simply want this to be a focal point for, well, anything and everything I'm interested in. A personal magazine. Creative content, both written and visual, plus other bits of work and research and thoughts. I hope that visitors can find something in these pages which is interesting and inspiring for them too.


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