After a very large amount of time, that I am not willing to divulge, I have a fairly workable website once again. What was wrong with the other one, you ask? Absolutely nothing! However, I decided that I want to be able to send eCards of my photographs and I want you to as well (if you are so inclined). Networking and all that.
That was the beginning.
I use SmugMug for my main photograph galleries and it is a really great hosting site but, though you can send an email with a selected photo, you can’t send an actual eCard. Also, many (read: most) of my photos are not of the style or calibre to be uploaded to a site where people could potentially buy a huge, very scrutinize-able (new word) image. So, since I am currently trapped in Bryanskaya on another work assignment, hosting yet another Russian bacteria, I have tons of time on my hands, so I started to do a little research.
Everything starts with a google search:
I am the World’s Best Googler.
Though I had over a million available solutions at my fingertips, lucky number six caught my eye; Fotomoto. The tagline had the words “magically” and “simple”! Two of my favourite words! This was obviously the place for me. On further investigation, not only is Fotomoto a free service but, it also works seamlessly with WordPress and, well, tons of other things. Fotomoto does, however, have a list of themes and galleries which will work even more seamlessly than what I had. So, of course, I had to change things.
But, before I changed anything, I did the responsible thing and went to Kelby Training where Mr. RC Concepcion was able to tutor me in the Fotomoto way in less than an hour.
Next step: found a new improved theme. It went something like this:
Download then Zip then Upload then Install then Activate and then… What a Mess!
I love the theme but, apparently, it did not love me; or my banner, menus, header or galleries. So, I learned code. Well, not really. What I did learn after hours of trial and error was that certain numbers could be tweaked by certain values to shift things around a little. I made no commitments without clipboard-ing or screenshot-ting the previous, partially functioning version first.
Next step: install and activate Fotomoto.
Another little problem. Totally a user problem; Fotomoto is amazing. Fotomoto marked all of my images as available for purchase, download and eCards. That’s what I wanted, right. Wrong!! I have been writing on this website since 2007 and, things have changed a little over the years. Many of my past stories have used pictures that don’t belong to me like the time I compared my daughter to Linda Blair and had a headshot of Regan in all of her possessed glory or, when I posted a picture of the World’s Coolest Toy. The context that these pictures are used in is fine until I put a price on them. So, a few more modifications were required.
After that, I went through all the photos and deleted the ones that should not have been there in the first place.
At this point, all of the photos that sit here on my blog posts were working perfectly. However, the photo gallery I had was not. It had a slide show capability that just didn’t seem to be compatible. I had come so far, no sense in stopping.
I tried three different free gallery plug-ins for WordPress with no luck at all. May have been another user problem.
Back to Google:
Tripwire Magazine gave me a multitude of attractive options (some of which I had already tried and failed with) but, after reviewing some of the choices, I did come to the decision that I would be charged for not being an HTML coder. Twenty-five US dollars later, I easily downloaded, uploaded and installed a gallery plugin that works beautifully. The only setback was that I was unable to figure out how to convert the existing pictures over so, at that point, I deleted the current galleries. Fresh start, I say.
I still have some work to do (much to my dismay, Regan is still available as an eCard) but, I am at the point that I know I will not have to delete my past five years of Internet presence.
And…. Mission Accomplished: my photographs can now be sent as eCards right from this site and, bonus, there are a few purchase options, too.
This one is going to all the teenaged girls I know who still so that silly thing with their face when they pose for profile pictures.
I call it… Duck Face.