After a week’s absence, Macfilos is back with a new magazine interface and a modern design to allow easy access to the 4,500 posts and 7,500 images created since the start in 2008. On behalf of all our enthusiastic contributors, we hope you like it.
The new interface has opened up the site and, I think, offers a more immersing experience and invites exploration. Even I am astonished at the amount of material that has accumulated over the past ten years — news, reviews, gear tests, travelogues, humour and opinion (some of it a little contentious as it should be). I calculate we have written some 5 million words for this blog. It is an eclectic mix, reflecting the personal enthusiasms and views of me and my merry band of co-contributors from all over the world. Without them, Macfilos would not survive.
I don’t claim to be a good photographer. I just enjoy what I am doing and I love writing about my experiences, my passions and my pet hates.
The site is now more engaging for new readers and encourages exploration. In the past, yesterday’s post was history and there was little sense of what came before. Now, the front page of Macfilos is crammed with articles and photographs and offers many ways to explore earlier content. I hope you will enjoy this easier navigation, all the way back to the beginnings of the site when the main subject was technology rather than photography.
There will undoubtedly be teething troubles but, thanks to our friends at Worcester Web Studio, we will put things right. In particular, we are keeping our fingers crossed that the RSS feeds and the mailing systems continue to function without problems. I am indebted to Ray and Ellis from the agency for the sterling work they have put in over less than a week to convert the site. I am also grateful to my friend and fellow Leica enthusiast Hamish Gill, of 35mmc.com for his encouragement in taking the big step from Squarespace to WordPress. He is was who introduced me to the Worcester web world — which I suppose we should call Silicone Sauce.
We have a few tweaks to come to improve the reader experience and quite a lot of back-end work to ensure smooth running, but we will get there. In the meantime, the site is open for business.
For the past seven years Macfilos has been hosted by Squarespace in New York. It’s a fine organisation and I have no substantial complaints other than that the blog templates are by now rather old fashioned. However, after a few problems towards the end of last year, I had a hankering for a new direction. Squarespace is something of a walled garden in the best Apple tradition (and is, therefore, ideal for users who want the minimum amount of hands-on involvement), whereas now we have moved over to the much more flexible and do-it-yourself world of WordPress. It offers more opportunities, especially for cost-effective search engine optimisation.
New York to Nottingham
The site has been transferred entirely, including some 7,500 images, from New York to our own server which is hosted by 20i in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. I will be managing it with the help of Worcester Web Studios.
For the first time we have added a little advertising from Google. This is something of an experiment in the hope that it will lead to greater traffic and improve exposure. It certainly will not bring in much income, although every little helps in offsetting the mounting costs of running the site. In the same vein, we have included an Amazon link which we hope regular readers will use as a means of supporting Macfilos. Using the link costs nothing, but a very small commission is paid to us for referrals on anything you buy as a result of clicking the link.
My sincere thanks to everyone concerned in the transformation of Macfilos into what I hope will become a much more popular site. Please let me know if you encounter any problems.
If you have any immediate views on the new image and layout, please leave them as comments to this post.
Mike Evans | Editor
27 Old Gloucester Street
London WC1N 3AX