Once again I have to say that I love Backlight. It is so easy to use. CE4 and previous versions were great products but being tied to working within the lightroom web module, they were, in comparison, so clunky. Backlight with its web interface and easy publisher tie in...Wow, that's really all I can say. Thanks team!
Yes, my backlight site is out of development and into production. Does that mean it's finished? Of course not! Backlight is so easy to tweak, I'll probably keep on doing it just for the fun of it. Remember the In Search of Excellence management fad back in the 80s? One of their adages is so easy to apply now with Backlight: "Do it, try it, fix it." So, I'm not finished, not by a long shot. But you can see the current incarnation here: http://hummingbirdphotographics.com.
A significant change for me was moving from thumbnail/still image galleries to theatre galleries for almost all my work. This change began in my head with CE4 Stage of course, that I used for my home page (repeated with Backlight) but didn't really seem to me feasible to implement wholesale until Theatre. So now I have a Vegas style theatre for the home page and a flickety style theatre for the presentation galleries. Of course this evolution coincided with a revised business model too. I'm no longer offering a lot of different options for every image. Instead I am selecting only a subset of images to sell and only in specific forms. The rest are just to, I hope, inspire the visitor.
Another major change for me is moving to the top level gallery concept. Funny. For years I insisted on being able to get right to each gallery through the menu. This meant I needed to code a multi-level menu in phpplugins, and recode every time I added a new gallery. So now that Backlight has made multi-level menus so darn easy, I'm moving away from them. How ironic is that?
The look is new too. Trying more of a minimalist approach. In development, it was even more minimal, but I guess I'm not just there yet. I relented, or maybe repented, made a final tweak just before transfer to production and brought a masthead image back. So easy, I couldn't resist. But it's an image that doesn't draw the attention as much, at least I hope. I want people to look at the galleries, not admire the web site. But by the same token, I don't want them hating the environment in which they are viewing the images. A fine line between the two in many ways. Not sure I've got the right balance yet. But hey, do it, try it, fix it!
Looks like you're off to a good start. Sensibilities definitely evolve over time -- mine certainly have -- so it will be interesting to watch as you continue to tweak and refine your design.
Thanks Matt, very diplomatic.
As a matter of fact, I tweaked it this morning. I simplified the menu and demonstrated to myself another value of top level galleries. I moved content from some of my information pages to the appropriate top level gallery. Not only was I able to get rid of three pages, I could combine two submenus. Now visitors won't usually have to go to more than one place for the information they need.
That sounds like a massive improvement! And I am tremendously happy to hear about such a use case for Backlight's features, that it so easily allowed you to accomplish that.