About this site

This site contains a lot of photos and information. You can enjoy just a single post or gallery or course, but I invite you to spend some time and browse. I hope that I have found a way for the many photos to be seen, discovered and appreciated with the way I’ve organized them on this site. Nevertheless, I think it is adequate to perhaps explain some of my thoughts behind the way things are set up here a little bit.

With the menu (where you’ve found this entry already) you’ll be able to access the different section of the site easily.

  • The start/home page of the site has a thumbnail grid for my image and gallery blog posts. Photos from my latest outings and hikes are compiled into small(ish) galleries here. Clicking on a thumbnail will open the post with the image/gallery and some more information. The selection of images is more relaxed and inclusive here, to showcase a certain place or topic.
  • These blog posts contain multiple tags (at the bottom), inviting you to browse and explore more for a certain area, style, topic.
  • The tightest selection of images with a more thematic approach is in my portfolio galleries. Again, each gallery there is represented by a single thumbnail – when you click on it, the gallery will open. As you scroll down, more items will load automatically (a so-called “infinite scroll” feature).
  • Clicking on an image in a gallery will open it larger in a slideshow view, with more details at the bottom and the possibility to comment on it as well (does this need to be said?:-)
  • The different portfolio galleries are sorted into one or more portfolio categories. Each category is represented by the thumbnail of the latest entry that was added to it. Since a portfolio can be filed in more than one category, it may appear twice here. That’s ok. :)
  • The Archive (in the menu) shows you a tag clouds for image keywords. Clicking on any keyword will open a new page with a filter bar at the top of the matching images, allowing you to narrow down the selection. Clicking on an image from there will open the single image page. At the bottom of that page, you’ll find a link to the post or portfolio where the image appears in context.

If you have further questions on how to navigate this site, or wish to contact me for any other reason, please do not hesitate to do so by using the Contact Form, of course. :)


Tech.

I’m using WordPress with the “Portfolio+” theme by Devin Price of wptheming.com. I chose this theme because of its simple and clean layout, and because Devin keeps improving it and fixing bugs. A lot of WordPress theme developers seem to release their work in a “fire and forget” manner, unfortunately, and do not spend enough time on long-term development and support. Devin’s work stands out nicely from the masses in that regard.

The theme (optionally) uses a custom post type with it’s own taxonomy (categories and tags) for portfolio items, separating them from normal posts, and making them more organized than regular WordPress pages (a functionality that has been added to WordPress via the JetPack extension since). I am using these custom (portfolio) post types to organize and present my galleries. What’s important is that the custom post type functionality is not bundled with the theme. It is a stand-alone plugin. This is important in case that I should ever wish to switch themes: I won’t lose my portfolio galleries, and can convert them into pages or posts.

I didn’t do much customizing of the theme – there was no need to. It does most of the things I was looking for “out of the box”. The biggest change is that I made some things centered, where the original theme uses a left-aligned layout. I made these customizations using a child theme. Devin provides one on his site, ready for download.

People who visit my site often mention it’s “snappiness”. After switching to SiteGround (see banner below), I’m using their own “SG SuperCacher” plugin which is optimized for their own servers. With my previous host, I used the performance optimization WordPress Plugins by W3 EDGE. I’m also using Jetpack’s Photon image-CDN service to take load off of the server, and deliver images in the smaller WebP image format when their browser supports it. Since people notice it, it must mean that it works. :)

The gallery thumbnail layout that you see is the result of using either Jetpack‘s “Tiled Galleries“, or Firsh’s “Justified Image Grid” (JIG), the latter a commercial plugin that I cannot praise enough – I think it is one of the best replacements for WP’s native galleries and leaves little to be desired. Firsh is also a great guy that is very responsive to user suggestions and bug reports.

The image viewer I’m using is another Jetpack module, it’s called “Carousel“. I consider it more of an “image attachment browser” than a lightbox, and as far as I know, it is the only slideshow module that will show an image’s title, caption and long description. The latter was very important for me, and the fact that it’s possible to comment on photos, individually, is a nice bonus.

By now, I’m also using a surprisingly large number of other WordPress plugins. One that stands out a lot but works quietly behind the scenes mostly is an incredible helper in maintaining the galleries: Media Library Assistant (MLA) by David Lingren. Basically, MLA enables taxonomy support for media items, and provides a very powerful WordPress shortcode to automatically populate galleries by the media item’s taxonomies. MLA also automates the creation of title, caption and description with information from EXIF and IPTC data. David is a very helpful and responsive developer, and he allowed me to influence the development of MLA a bit, for which I am very grateful.

The power of MLA and JIG can be combined! It’s possible to create complex queries with MLA, and pass the results through to JIG for a beautiful thumbnail layout. You can also use MLA’s taxonomies for attachments (images) directly in JIG, allowing you to build galleries that maintain themselves, by categories and/or tags (I’m using that a lot). And JIG can use Jetpack’s “Carousel” slideshow viewer.

I am using SiteGround for the hosting of this site. Their hosting is streamlined for WordPress and other popular content management/blogging systems. Their support is fast and helpful, and they offer a lot of “bang for the buck.”

The Favicon I’m using is released under a CC license by IconBarn.com


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