Take Control of Your Site
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Photographer Nancy Bienvenue approached c4.net in regards to updating her
The sweeping scope of the changes made it clear that the existing system of
batching up changes and periodically handing them off to a Web developer was
not efficient. A new solution, one that put Nancy in control of the content
of her site, was proposed.
Like most Web sites, the previous oncapecodimages.com site was composed of
static content. This means that changes to the site had to be performed by a
Web developer by hand. As Nancy's portfolio grew, so did the site. The
static site encompassed hundreds of pages. Some changes, like adding an
image to the beginning of a gallery, might require updating dozens of pages,
a time consuming task. The time required to make seemingly simple changes
could be cost prohibitive.
Though well versed in the art of photography and comfortable cropping and
resizing images, Nancy had neither the time nor inclination to become a Web
developer herself. c4.net proposed a new system that would allow Nancy to
upload high quality images from her computer at home via a Web based
interface. She would be able to control the placement of those images in the
galleries and even create new galleries without any intervention from a Web
The administrative interface to the new system was designed to be as user
friendly as possible, incorporating online help on every page. The interface
was organized in the same manner as the front facing, public web site,
making it familiar to navigate and simple to visualize the effects of
Operations were designed to be quick and clean. Nancy can navigate straight
to a gallery and upload an image to that gallery. The system automatically
creates high quality copies of the image in thumbnail and full sizes. Moving
an image to the beginning or end of the gallery is as easy as clicking an up
or down arrow. Similarly, image rotation is a one click operation.
Hundreds of static gallery pages were replaced with just a few templates
used to dynamically generate pages at runtime. This means that design
changes to the overall look and feel of the site require updates to only a
handful of pages and templates. In fact, the entire look and feel of the
site can be swapped out with far less work than was previously required.
The end result is that Nancy was able to publish over 100 images to her Web
site as well as re-organize the galleries in her portfolio in a couple of
afternoons and prior to any training. The c4.net designed administrative
interface puts her in complete control of the content of her site. For the
first time ever, she can return from a photo shoot and have the pictures
published online in hours.