January’s Website Updates
Back in January I wrote about updating my WordPress website. You can read about it here. Well, as I mentioned on that post, I was still trying to figure out a way to add eCommerce to my image galleries. I added WooCommerce for the ability to sell my calendars, print books, and prints. It’s an excellent, free WordPress plugin, which was very easy to set up. But in order to make it work for selling prints, I basically set up WooCommerce with a text field instructing customers to add the image name when selecting a print type and size. I knew this was not ideal. Months before redoing my website I purchased NextGen Pro by Imagely. I really loved how easy it was to set up and get eCommerce in place with image galleries. But alas, it clashed horribly with my outdated WordPress theme. I tried for months to get the developer to update the theme but they never did it. I knew I had to ditch the theme and purchase a new one, I chose Avada.
Once again, I added back NextGen Pro to my website. I love how it works perfectly with the Avada theme. So now customers can browse my galleries and see the sizes available and purchase right there by their preferred image.
While I was at it I reworked my home page and tried to customize the theme more to my taste than the out-of-box look that I purchased. It’s getting there, but I find myself constantly making small changes. I’m sure I will be doing more!
In November and December, I experienced a lot of down time for my website. It was very frustrating since it was my busiest time of year when I sell the most prints. I had been with a web host for close to 15 years. Way back then I had a freelance website design and development business. With my business I was also a hosting reseller. At the time it was pretty profitable for me because my clients needed hosting so it made sense for me to make money from reselling. My host, Idologic was so reliable and the company owner was amazing. Customer service was great. Since I long ago gave up my website development business and began working as the Web Administrator for a small community college on the Oregon Coast after that, I still continued to use them as my host for a handful of sites. Last year, the company sold to new management and that’s when things started to go downhill. A good friend, Pete, who is also a web developer, videographer, and programmer, whom also signed up years ago as a reseller with Idologic, was experiencing the same down time issues I was. Since he is a very smart guy, he decided he could create his own hosting company. After testing and setting up his services, he asked me to move my sites over to his. He didn’t need to ask me more than once, I jumped at the opportunity to move! Things have been humming along great and I couldn’t be more happy with his new hosting company. (I’ll update this post with links to his websites when he tells me he is ready to take on more customers.)
Your new site looks really nice, Patricia! I also enjoyed looking through your galleries to see some of your recent photos. Everything comes together really nicely and makes a great first impression.
Thanks so much Sarah! I really appreciate it. Hope you & Ron are doing well.
I am on that group but he has never been that helpful for my issues raised. In fact, it’s always rather dismissive. It is definitely something to test if you are installing for others where it is a requirement.
Oh gotcha. I’m surprised their support is giving you a run around, I’ve haven’t experienced that with them. I’ll look into the problem, and will definitely get on support if I experience the issue.
Oh I would say Maria from their support really tried to help, and actually spent a lot of time digging into the tax issue. In the end her hands were tied by limited (ie. Higher priority) development support. It’s whoever runs their social accounts has not been the greatest.
Good to know, thanks! I will let you know what happens if I see the problem.
I’ve settled on NextGen also Patricia. I am in the long process of converting keywords and images over, and end up reworking a lot of older images in the process.
I did find a glitch with NextGen though. It messes with Paypal’s State sales tax setup where you can’t seem to charge tax for your state alone. I went around and round with support for weeks on this. It is left as a “low priority” bug at the moment because they don’t have many people complaining about it. That is strange, because that means not a lot of people are using the ecommerce module then.
Despite this, I am pushing forward in using it and will have to figure out something for my local sales. Right now the likes outweigh the dislikes.
Mark, I’m sorry about the bug in NexGen. I will look into this since I recently redid another photographer’s website and added NextGen Pro as well. Since I don’t have sale tax in Oregon, I didn’t notice this. My client does have sales tax. When we tested it, it was displaying the correct amount. One thing I will suggest to you is getting on the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wordpressphotographers/ (WordPress for Photographers). The guy that runs it, Scott Wyden Kivowitz, works for Imagely. That groups been very helpful.