Sunday, August 23, 2009

Media Lab's SiteGrinder

Welcome back. Once again, it's been some time since I've wrote in my blog and I've found a worthy cause. MediaLab's SiteGrinder Pro. For those of us that love photography AND want custom website but don't want to pay others to do it, we have to learn Adobe's Dreamweaver and sometimes - depending on how fancy you want to get - Adobe Flash. Those are both wonderful and powerful software suites, but pretty complicated. I have pondered the thought of how hard it would be to do more web design in Adobe Photoshop but gave up for a while. Then I was reading a copy of Layers Magazine that my Aunt Karen had given me and I saw an ad for SiteGrinder 2 Pro.

I downloaded the demo and played with it extensively. Wow, what a wonderful piece of software! You completely design your layout in Photoshop and tell SiteGrinder (A Plug-In) what you want various links and other options to do, click a button and it outputs everything to proper HTML and CSS code. Amazing! As some of you may know, I am the webmaster for the International Association of Panoramic Photographers. I have been looking for ways to get away from PHP and into a more design-oriented program to design the site. After using this, I have decided to purchase SiteGrinder 2 Pro and run with it. I will be rolling out a new site for IAPP here in the next month or so and hope it'll be better than the last. I think that it'll be a lot better to start from scratch, relatively, and roll with it.

After that I will be re-designing my website. While SiteGrinder 2 Pro doesn't have all the capabilities of Adobe Dreamweaver, it does have quite a selection. From drop down windows to image galleries, it is something that I think every photographer who uses Adobe Photoshop and designs their own website should take a look at. Is it expensive? Yes, the pro version is around $350. Does it make my life a whole lot easier? Yes, very much so. You can insert HTML snipetts, Adobe Flash elements, PHP elements and much more.

So, when I do get the new IAPP website rolling, I will definitely share it with you and look for your comments and suggestions. Speaking of IAPP, we're almost sold out on our Albuquerque, NM Photo Safari at the International Balloon Fiesta. That should be a wonderful event. I will not be in attendence this time, but will, more than likely, be at the international convention next year. Also, IAPP has opened their 2009 annual photo competition. There will be cash prizes along with a GigaPan Epic 100 and a copy of PTGui Pro awarded to the winners. If you do the panoramic thing, be sure to enter your best images! I wish you the best of luck!

Anyway, until we meet again, make some more photos and enjoy your time doing so!