I wanted to kickstart this week by sharing a bit of behind the scenes of my new website launch! I shared more of the heart and vision on launch day here, but if you’re a creative entrepreneur you know that there’s a whole lot more than heart when it comes to launching a new website! It is so much work, and requires so much patience with each detail on the technical end- which to me personally- is definitely not my favorite part!
To give a quick outline of my website relationship history, I started on a free blogger site. (May that website never, ever resurrect!), then I had a ProPhoto WordPress blog, then I had a Showit website and a separate ProPhoto WordPress blog, then I moved everything to ProPhoto WordPress as a blog site, and now I have a Squarespace website and ProPhoto WordPress Blog. Phew! That’s a tongue twister of a paragraph!
I had been hearing great things about the Squarespace website platform for over a year now in creative circles. Although they offered a great variety of starter stand out designs, I had been a loyal ProPhoto WordPress fan for so many years, I wasn’t exactly motivated to start over and learn a new website platform from scratch.
This past Spring, I knew that some important changes had to happen with The Fount Collective’s website. We were in need of a storefront for our printed publications, and I desired a much more professional looking interface. After a lot of research, we decided that Squarespace was a great fit for Fount, which forced me to learn how to use it. It was definitely a learning curve coming from ProPhoto, but eventually, and with lots of online tutorials, I got the hang of it and started to really love it. It wasn’t far into the design process that I even started considering using it for my new photography website. I knew that my goal was to begin blogging more regularly by fall, and to make that happen in the way that I wanted for my photography brand, this meant moving away from an all in one blog site, and hosting a separate website.
Here is a quick look list at some of the noticeable differences of my experience if you’re looking for input on a website platform, or if you’re new to Squarespace:
• Squarespace looks a bit more polished to me- or perhaps better worded, is more polished right from the start. I have seen incredibly well done blog sites on ProPhoto that are built from professional designers or customized templates. But for someone like myself, who wanted to be able to build my site completely myself this time around, I think Squarespace offers a step up in this area without a knowledge of coding.
• Squarespace will let you easily create multiple columns in a page layout. This was something I would try to manipulate in WordPress with left and right aligning images, but it was always a frustrating task and never seemed to work the way I wanted. It’s a really valuable component to your design options in my opinion.
• ProPhoto will let you upload multiple images at once. Unless there’s a Squarespace secret I have yet to uncover, you can only upload one image at a time. That’s more than ok for a website design, but for blog posts with a large number of images it is incredibly tedious to create a Squarespace blog post.
• In the area of cost, ProPhoto is a one time investment for their license, and then you don’t even think about it. Squarespace is a monthly fee, or you can save and pay annually.
• The mobile site design for Squarespace is so much better looking than the default ProPhoto options in my opinion. We all know that Google pays certain attention to sites that are mobile friendly, since such a large majority of website traffic these days comes from mobile devices! I felt like the ProPhoto default mobile layouts never represented my brand well. So far, I am really happy with how Squarespace has looked on a mobile device.
• I have yet to fully determine the benefits of SEO on one platform vs. another since I just launched my Squarespace site last week. I have been extremely pleased with the SEO results I have received with my ProPhoto WordPress site in years past, and I have heard great things about Squarespace as well. Hopefully with both now, SEO will just increase! How my sites rank in a Google Search is always an area that I am learning more about, and always trying to make better. One of the very best resources out there that I have found for creative entrepreneurs for SEO is the Elle & Co Blog. You can start with her post here on SEO Made Simple.
Are you lost when it comes to websites? Do your eyes just glaze over at the thought of having to figure out how to make one? I may be able to help. I know what it’s like to NEED to get a professional looking website up for potential clients, but not have thousands of dollars to invest in a custom branding experience just yet. I am not a graphic designer by any means, but over the years I have come to learn the ropes of ProPhoto and recently Squarespace pretty well. For details on how I can help, be sure to contact me via the menu above. I would love to chat.
So for a bit more of behind the scenes for those who have asked, I now have created an official website with Squarespace, and kept my ProPhoto WordPress site just for my blog. I chose to create them myself, customizing a free included template with both. I knew I wanted something really minimal and simple, so it seemed like my best option.
I worked with Abany of Brown Linen Design for my logo:
and Jessica of Vintadesigns for my painted artwork.
Both of whom are absolutely incredible to work with! I went back and forth on the scripted logo, because anything “trendy” makes me want to run the opposite way when it comes to branding. It wasn’t really about the calligraphy that I was most drawn to in it- it was the idea of a signature. Abany’s artwork is so clean and feminine, I just kept coming back to it! The more I thought about it, the more I knew it fit my new brand.
I knew I wanted Jessica to custom paint a graphic for my branding ever since she created the perfect logo for my church. She is SO talented and I wanted something entirely unique. She took the tones from my inspiration board, and the images I had been collecting over the past year as I begin to think about the new look. I wanted something that showed a bit of the rocky coast of Maine, but didn’t feel nautical or beachy. I wanted something that showed textures in neutral tones- much like what I love to photograph. I also adore that it’s so different and a bit unexpected for a photography business.
I am in the process of creating some really beautiful tangible pieces as part of my client experience that will be ready for 2016 clients. One of my favorite parts of branding! Goodness, I cannot wait to share a peak soon!
I am also currently working on an small educational guide on the topic of branding that will be sent exclusively to my newsletter subscribers, so you if you aren’t on the brand new list yet, you can do so here!
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To learn more about booking your Maine Maternity, Newborn, or Family Portrait Session, or the popular Motherhood Collective, contact Tiffany via the Connect link in the menu, or email directly at TIFFANY@TIFFANYFARLEY.COM
Tiffany is local to the Portland, Maine area and is currently booking late Fall and Winter Sessions.
Tiffany Farley frequently travels for maternity, newborn, and family portrait sessions and has clients from Bar Harbor to San Francisco. To find out details regarding her upcoming travel dates to a city near you including Southern Connecticut, Rye, New York, Charleston, Acadia National Park- or to book a custom travel session, please contact for more information.