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Today is Monday, November 20, 2017

 

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If your website is bordering on insanely criminal due to a lack of attention then you're in the right place. The basic responsibility of a site operator is to.... keep it fresh... keep it updated... or at least visit the thing once in a while! Even when you have time to update your website you might not look forward to it.

You must rethink what part controlled what gizmo in the admin area. Puzzle out "how the hell did I do that" and other little things that tax a person's sanity and quite possibly sap the will to live. If you did this everyday then it wouldn't be a big deal but if you post something and disappear for a while it's a big deal. Particularly as you get older.

I opened Creative Cloud to see about updates when something about MyPortfolio popped up. Probably one of those "gotcha" ads like putting candy near a grocery checkout. Insidious but effective... on me. I needed a fresh website and already had CC membership. I also had years of old websites still on the host server. A digital garbage pile of obsolete info that needed purging.

What better way than to change hosts? Never mind the fact that I had my site tied to my own reseller account that still housed customers from the 1990's onward. I just wouldn't be hosting MY site on the server anymore. That is... if MyPortfolio can be whipped into some shape I can agree with. I decided to try it knowing I didn't have to point my domain name to it if I didn't like it.


Now here is where you need to know something very important. You need to be able to get to your DNS "A" record to change the IP address. Please follow me closely... not a Nameserver address but an IP address. Most of us are used to changing Nameservers.

This is not the same thing.

You must change an IP address instead of Nameservers. In my case... the domain name was at a registrar while a hosting company hosted the website. I had to change my "A" record IP from my website control panel not my registrar. It could be either one or just one if you have your domain name and hosting at one place. If nothing else check with your hosting support to get a definitive answer.

Everything works through your browser at myportfolio.com with intuitive controls including a floating panel that holds your editing choices. You make pages that are contained within galleries. Remember this is a portfolio site... not an actual full featured website service. You can directly upload media and work on the site without affecting the live version. This is important for those that like to tweak and preview before making it public. To update you click one button and all site wide updates are implemented.

At first it seemed very limited but like most database driven template sites the more time you spend with it, the more you learn how to admin it, you notice the flexibility (power) of the service. Being media driven, backgrounds can be a simple color a complex, wall to wall image. Each page within a gallery can be manipulated globally or individually. External links become menu choices. There are several templates to choose from when you start and with time you can make your site unique.

You can claim your own subdomain if available like "warlord.myportfolio.com" or you can point your top-level domain name directly to the registrar via IP as mentioned earlier.

With Joomla it took me a few days to a week or so get a new site with a new template up and running. If I was lucky it was customized to a heavy degree but was a beast to admin. With myportfolio it was several hours over a 24 hour period of tinkering, uploading, creating, deleting interspersed with "ah-ha" moments and happy accidents.

What I got in return was remarkable for the ease of creation and lack of tedious work involved. Two things that really speak to me as I've grown older. I created my new site online but privately, even during the previews. When I was ready I published the site. Any changes can be made the same way. Only you see them till you update the site with the press of a button.

My homepage is a gallery that contains a full-sized header that is one image. This image was created with iClone so if I want to add holiday spice to the site I just open the scene in iClone and add things like a Jack O'Lantern or ghost... maybe change out my character with a skeleton for Halloween or add a Christmas tree and decorations... pilgrim hats for Thanksgiving. All with a single image and this change propagates over the entire site if you want it too. Ease of use built in without a lot of bells and whistles to learn.

If you go to the photography section MyPortfolio has some examples of how the service works for showcasing your photography. If you already use Adobe Lightroom for your photos then you are in luck as it is integrated into the process to make sharing your photographic art as easy as "...just a few clicks".

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it fit my needs. How easy it is to change things versus drilling down through CMS layers on my previous Joomla sites. I like the flexibility of the design while not making it complex.

Conclusion

If you want a simple, effective website that can be easily updated then check out Adobe's MyPorfolio. Com. If you are already a member of the Creative Cloud all you have to do is saddle up and get after it. It's part of the package.

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M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. M.D. is currently working on VR projects and characters. You can learn more about MD at his website.

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Adobe, Creative Cloud, myportfolio, website design, website hosting
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