What’s in a website migration?

For anyone who had seen the old 3 Chicks That Click web site, you know it focused (pun intended) mostly on weddings. We did have a corporate site, corporate.3chicksthatclick.com, that showcased our corporate client work. But the main site featured weddings. But really, did having two sites benefit my business strategy and brand identity? The answer resulted in a major website migration.

Executive Portrait

Executive Portrait

After several years of maintaining both sites – editing, uploading, and organizing different sets of images, creating two sets of content, carefully editing wedding and corporate testimonials and then posting said testimonials, I realized the more profitable and fun segment of my photography business was the corporate clientele. So why continue to duplicate the website effort?

It was time for a fresh look for 3 Chicks That Click, and creating a specific corporate based site was the ideal opportunity to combine and conquer. First – what type of website? All logic pointed to WordPress. Relative ease of use, excellent SEO optimization, blog publishing, responsive presentation in all kinds of viewing such as desktop, tablets, and other mobile devices, and easy expandability.

Second – what to keep and what to leave behind from the original sites? My executive portrait work had increased since I started creating images in a controlled studio environment. This allowed me to refine and increase my portrait skills, and provide more options for my clients. We still offer on-location as well as environmental photo sessions. Hence, more corporate work.

Actor Matthew Gooley

Actor Matthew Gooley

Until I began to cull the images from the original corporate site, I hadn’t realized how many clients I’d had or how many different styles I’d photographed. Some were clearly from an earlier era in lighting and posing adventures, and although nostalgic, didn’t really represent my more – shall we say – evolved work. Some images had to be left behind in the migration, while more contemporary images took their places.

Our Studio in Middletown, NJ

Our Studio in Middletown, NJ

Once that decision was made, it was time to select a WordPress template, and luckily, there were many designs available for photographers. After several weeks and some very helpful input from friends, a decision was made. The decision was also based on the professional opinion of my very talented web developer, Deborah Barber of Hexadecibel.org.

I don’t make a web move without her. Although my education and background is in computer science and technical project management in software and telecom, I know when to defer to an expert. Deborah’s expertise, and infinite (as least as far as I was concerned) patience, got the migration project up and running in just weeks. And that included the mistakes I made that she had to fix, the images I had to find, edit, and/or leave behind, the content I had to create or edit and re-edit, and the myriad little details I had her change as the site was built out. She is awesome, and I highly recommend her for your website migration dreams and realities.

I’m thrilled with the results, and hope those who see the site are glad they did. I will occasionally feel a pang at the loss of the wedding site I’m sure, but I’m excited about the great potential of this new corporate venture. The effort I put into this project paid off on Day 1 of the launch, when a potential client called to say he was interested in the type of image he just saw on the home page. Ok, I’ll name-drop that image – Bill Atkins of Red Bank Limo.

Bill Atkins of Red Bank Limo

Bill Atkins of Red Bank Limo

So for those that are concerned about the seemingly monumental task of updating their site, whether with a fresh look or a whole migration, fear not! There is help available, and if your web site is a showcase for your work and your brand, you need to look spectacular. Go forth and migrate!