Monday, December 30, 2019

AHP Rises Again!

Ada Highlander Photography Lives On!

Deciding to shut down my website that I spent so much time on over the last couple years was not an easy decision but I knew I could not sustain it going forward.  It simply took more effort than I wanted to put into it this year and it turned out to not be an affordable solution for me.  At the risk of putting those who don't care much about the technical sides of things asleep, I decided to move 2 years ago from a photo hosting site called SmugMug to a pure web hosting solution and Wordpress.  I would guess that even though you may not know it, more than half of the websites you visit are developed on Wordpress.  There is nothing you cannot do in it either through a theme or with an add-on plugin or some embedded coding. I moved because I was a little frustrated with some of the limitations I was experiencing on SmugMug.  The first year on Wordpress was fun and exciting because it was new.  It was also very affordable because most of the web hosting companies lure you in with very cheap first year prices.  After that, the honeymoon is over and you're back to full price.  I will say this about Siteground, which is the hosting company I used, there technical support was outstanding and always incredibly responsive. But I also had to add a theme and several plugins to get the features I wanted on my site.  Some plugins were free but some were not.  In the end, the total hosting costs drove me to shut it down. 

On a whim...

I decided to go back to my old friend SmugMug and see what was new.  When I was a SmugMug customer a couple years ago, I had a business level account which was almost as expensive as the Wordpress environment I just shut down. But since I no longer sell prints either directly or through the SmugMug service, I could scale way back to a Power account which gives me unlimited hosting capabilities for my photos.  And I still have my Etsy store where you can buy digital downloadable prints. 

SmugMug Website Up & Running in Short Order

After looking at the updated features of SmugMug and the less expensive package option, I signed up again and literally in a few short hours, I had about 80% of the functionality of my Wordpress site recreated on SmugMug.  I was very pleased with how quickly this went and how nice it looks (to me anyway!). 


I am in the process of streamlining some of the photos I have on the new site based on viewing statistics from my Etsy store, Facebook, and Instagram. My backyard Birds are by far my most popular photos and I plan to continue to add to those.  So if you like a photo and it seems to disappear from my site, you can always contact me and I'll see about putting it back online. 


The biggest drawback to SmugMug is it doesn't have a native blogging capability.  Wordpress excels at blogging features. So I've gone back to Google Blogger and integrated this blog as best I can with my SmugMug website.  I have never really gotten a lot of comments/feedback through blog posts so I don't think it will bother anyone much.  This way, for those who are signed up for AHP News, you should still receive updates from me as I write articles for this blog.  Please feel free to share this with your friends and family so they can get signed up too.  The biggest advantage to being a member of AHP News is this is where I will publicize new photos and announce sales for my Etsy store. You can always remove yourself from the list if you no longer find these posts useful. 

Happy New Year!

I know many of you have had a challenging 2019.  That is certainly true of my family. I am looking forward to a new year and a new decade trusting in Him who is my joy.  Happy New Year!