Before we get started we would first like to apologise for our lack of content over the past couple of months; the end of 2017 went a little crazy to say the least. After arriving back from Dubai and Mauritius late November feeling slightly dazed and confused, it goes without saying that neither of us were prepared for Christmas and the associated gift buying that goes with it. The Christmas rush was on and to complicate things further, we were spending the big day up in Scotland meaning all the present buying needed to be sorted in advance. To make matters worse, we had one family member who had just gotten out of hospital, when another was rushed in. So, we are pleased start 2018 by saying everyone is fine and by unveiling a new PhotoArk!
Our latest site refresh started life almost a year ago as an experiment. To give you some background, we have always used web templates provided by the creative guys over at YooTheme as a basis for our site. But as time has passed and PhotoArk has evolved, our vision of how we want the site to look & feel has become a lot clearer. This resulted in us fighting against the template by coding many time consuming overrides in a bid to achieve exactly what we wanted. On top of this, there was no easy way of staying up-to-date without adopting a brand new template and re-coding our overrides; hence the regular site refreshes over the years. So I wondered, what if I just write my own template? And like that, the unimaginatively named PhotoArk V6.0 project was born!
Our main aim with PhotoArk V6.0 was to replicate what we already had, so while the look & feel remains mostly the same, under the hood everything has changed. During development we made sure to strip out anything we didn’t need, to keep things as lightweight as possible, which in turn makes our site faster and more responsive than before. We also spent a lot of time testing our template on mobiles to ensure it looked perfect; this is one of the reasons why we have redesigned our front-page along with a few other bits. For those who are interested, we have built our site on the brand new front-end framework, UIKit 3.
Despite the design of the site remaining mostly unchanged, the way we manage PhotoArk couldn’t be more different. Designing our own template has given us a chance to streamline and automate some of the things we do every week when adding content. It has also allowed us to program lots of bespoke options into our template; for example, we can now turn the snow effect on with a single click! Sure, these are small things but it doesn’t half make our lives easier.
Now this project is complete and Christmas is done we can look at what we want to achieve during 2018. Needless to say the first thing on the list is to get our Dubai and Mauritius collections up closely followed by our Christmas Scotland trip. Beyond that we have a photographers review of the iPhone X in the pipeline along with a super secret new section to unveil! As always, if you spot any bugs or would like to give us your feedback please use the Contact Us / Feedback link at the bottom of the page.