This is the first in a two part post about the launching of one of our favorite brands yet, Partridge Lane Studio. Formerly, Allen Hyslip Photography. Allen came to Identity Kitchen with a soup to nuts revamp in mind. He had decided on the name Partridge Lane, which we loved. He wanted a brand that felt personal, emotional, warm, caring and from the heart. He had done his research and knew he wanted a custom wordpress site. He like many photographers was worried about the future of flash (see Steve Jobs letter here). He knew he wanted to letterpress his key pieces and add a custom price list, that can be emailed or printed. Alleluia! Our ideal client!
Allen continued to be an absolute dream to work with. We wanted to give him a special signature brand that he can build his business with and will have the longevity that kind of investment (time and money) deserves. We’re going to work a bit backwards and showcase the custom portfolio WordPress site first. We really pushed the envelope in terms of what a WordPress BlogSite can look like, using only HTML and CSS. We have always felt that it should look as good, if not better than their flash competition. But the functionality… oh, the open and search engine optimized functionality.
We strive to make our custom sites, just that, completely custom, and therefore different from every other photography studio site. The retractable menu allows for extra real estate so you can display your photos. Which is, in fact the point. This is the home page.
The next thing we added was a NO FLASH pop up Gallery that can be updated easily and indefinitely with an unlimited number of galleries that can be displayed anywhere on the site. Therefore, his site can grow with his business.
Because the entire site is powered by WordPress the portfolio sections, the galleries and the blog are all one cohesive system – all editable from the same backend. Plus, because it is a portfolio site first it is portraying the best view of your business. The well known SEO benefits of the blog will draw potential clients not just to your chronological blog but also to your main site. One seamless marketing effort.
The backend is one of my favorite parts. Easy to update, unlike many other CSS sites. The dashboard areas have been tabbed so social media, home page and blog photo galleries can be easily updated.
As with all our sites, we used a combination of amazing WordPress plugins, including a trio of SEO plugins that are freely available and highly recommended for any WordPress site.
- The first on is the famous All in One SEO Pack, the most downloaded of all WordPress plugins.It is very powerful and does too much to explain here. But follow the link to get it and find out more.
- The second is SEO Friendly Images, a great plugin that adds ‘alt’ attributes to each image in your blog posts, all behind the scenes, just install and let it work.
Here is a look at the SEO Image Gallery backend:
Finally, the BEST part (did I mention there is NO FLASH). The site looks EXACTLY the same on the iPhone. It is not a duplicate or a mirrored site, it is not a paired down site it is the same site. Exactly the same on all mobile devices. One site to manage so you can go back to that thing that makes your business money…shooting!