Friday, May 28, 2010

Come "heck" or high water
It has been a journey…like through the desert and back, like being stuck in space with no return shuttle, like going to Iceland and playing in the ash cloud.  The start of the process for our new website was over a year ago and has had some bumps and grinds along the way.  I would like to say I know everything now about working with web designers and the tools used, the programming lingo, and the do(s) and don’ts, but I don’t.  Even at the end of the testing and approving of the beta version, I still panicked when I viewed it in Explorer.  Oops it was an old version of Explorer and it never occurred to me.  It was ugly.
The key is having a patient web designer and company.  The new site is a much more comprehensive product site that required a custom database program.  It also required us to take photos of each piece of art that arrived.  Along that path we needed to buy good lighting equipment, a light tent and a decent user-friendly camera.  Enter Curtis Thieman of Inspire Creative (the web company) who trekked their professional lighting over and set it up for us to test.  Thank you Curtis! 
But it wasn’t just simply point and shoot.  Brightness, resolution, and speed settings need to be just right.  Glass is tricky to capture.  Enter a very good friend who was willing to spend 4 hours trying different settings, taking pictures and uploading them over and over and over again.  Introducing me to Google’s Picassa program literally saved the hair on my head…not to mention my marriage.  Thank you Jerry!  Now along the way we’ve been taking photos, cropping, shadowing and uploading them to the beta version.  Then you realize you are cropping them wrong.  Oops again.   

Then…all the bugs came crawling out of the corners.  Enter a good programmer named Michael, who works with Inspire, on some web projects.  He squashed those bugs good and flat. 
So, for the next week we’ll be populating the pages with art and come “heck” or high water it will go live!

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