|Project Title||Mercury Photo Bureau|
|Project Work||Blog and Photographic Portfolio|
|Project Client||Mercury Photo Bureau|
My personal photography portfolio and blog. It’s based on a premium commercial theme that I initially purchased thinking I could make some minor tweaks to before switching from the site’s old theme. The old theme had been abandoned by its developer.
But when I started digging into the code of the new theme I realized that it was a mess. Poorly organized, with lots of cut-and-paste from other themes offered by the same theme house. It included several third-party plugins that had also been abandoned and were no longer working, so the portfolio function was badly broken. The developer had no plans to offer fixes.
I spent three months pulling the theme apart, trimming out all of the unnecessary code, replacing some of it with more efficient and robust methods, and generally improving the theme — both from a code and user experience point-of-view. I created a custom mobile menu to improve discoverability, implemented a CDN to speed up the site,* replaced the built-in front page slideshow with a custom implementation, added support for next-generation web image formats,** added accessibility features, implemented a custom font-loading strategy*** and careful typography, and basically turned a sow’s ear into a silk purse.
I continue to make incremental improvements to the site; currently, I’m creating administrative settings pages to make it possible for other clients to use the theme for their own sites.
*The site is very image heavy, making performance paramount.
**The WEBP image format creates smaller files sizes for high-quality images, also speeding up page loads.
***Also for improved page loads.