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Wildeye Photography Launches New No-Flash Website

Published: 27/10/2010
By: larry

This afternoon I got a proud e-mail from Conrad Rowe of Bigfork, Montana who just launched his new website today.

As I told Conrad, when someone sends me a link to a newly launched website these days the first thing I do is hit it with my iPad. Only about half of newly launched websites pass this initial test but Conrad's does. It doesn't use Flash.

I know this is a techno-religious subject but I keep bringing it up because it really doesn't matter what your opinion of Apple's decision is not to support Flash. What matters is that all your potential clients are able to see your site. Everyone can see Conrad's site. This is a big advantage.

Some of the features on Conrad's site don't work on all browsers. As we found developing tours, when you use javascript to do slide shows you have to deal directly with browser quirks. One of these quirks is that the automatic gallery slide shows on Conrad's site does't work on all browsers. On the Chrome browser the slide show buttons on Conrad's galleries don't work yet but they work on the iPad and Firefox. These are all manageable issues they just take more time to sort out.

So Conrad would be grateful for your feedback on how his site is working on various browsers and what you think of his site design. Don't be bashful now.

20 comments on “Wildeye Photography Launches New No-Flash Website”

  1. I'll bite on this one. Please get over the "It's got to work on an Ipad" for right now. There are about 2 Billion, yes BILLION, computers connected to the internet worldwide. About 345 million are in the US. Total Ipad sales are in the 5-7 million range. Think about it, 5-7 million, that's all. Yes, it is important to figure out how to handle the Ipad Flash support issue. But, before we get all crazy thinking this is the end all be all and we all better get on board with apple just think about how few people really have an Ipad. Worldwide it isn't even a blip on the map. In the US it is perhaps 1 - 1.5 percent. So, 1 person out of every 100 that visit your site MIGHT have a problem.

    For those of you that have Ipad I'm happy for you but please understand something. Flash has a much larger installed base versus Ipad sales so most people won't be redoing their website just for you guys.

  2. The site looks great, it was made on a mac so if it is not flash based then what did he use? I use my Mac as well and link to my gallery some can open them some not, and some take a while to load. MOst sites are Flash, so I would assume the same people that can open in flash do and the others would not anyway

  3. @Alrighty: I agree with the statement about flash and iPad, and that's a lot of computers hooked up to the net. But, how many of those are mobile vs desktops? There are so many mobile devices out there, laptops, ipads, iPhones, etc. Being the iPhone is one of the largest sold mobile device, it would be great to bring up a site let's say, while driving past a home for sale, or showing a potential client your work on the spot. I had a photographer friend who fought me nail and tooth about his web site not being able to be viewed by iPhone/pad users. His thinking was if they can't see it on the iPhone, they'll wait to get home and bring it up on the desktop...that is ridiculous. First, who's going to remember the site by the time they get home (unless you're giving away free things), and second, that potential client will probably come across another site in his/her travels and be able to view it on the iPhone, eliminating the first site they saw. What really made me laugh was he has vinyl lettering on the back of his truck promoting his business, if people behind him using an iPhone can't access his site, it's useless. He's losing potential clients.

    I just wish Larry mentioned the platform that the above site used, HTML5?

  4. @Joe & Ileen- I'll ask Conrad for more details on the site's implementation. Right now the usual way to avoid the use of Flash in gallery slide shows is to use javascript. NOT to be confused with java. Javascript is a HTML scripting language that allows you to make slide shows.

    HTML5 will also do this but not all browsers currently support HTML5 yet.

    The main point is that Conrad's site illustrates is that if you are building a new site you don't have to use Flash to build a web site.

  5. Works great on the iPhone 4 aside from the slideshow functionality.

    What I think a lot of people don't know is that you can use Java (not to be confused with JavaScript) to program your web-site, or anything asp.NET based, such as C# or Visual Basic. I used a mix of VB, JavaScript and CSS (cascading style sheets) to design my page. Sure, it's not super flashy, but I like to keep things fairly simple and easy to maintain. There is a LOT of cool stuff you can do with .net or CSS that will render perfectly on most browsers.


  6. @Joe: Just to be clear, I'm not saying it Apple iPad, iPhone, support isn't something we need to look at in the future. But, the iPhone market share is 14-20% of all smart phones. Although sales of iPhones are still increasing the overall market share of iPhone is declining. Others have stepped up to produce interesting devices and as a combined total outsell the iPhone so their total market share is declining. In fact, Android phones have 17-22% of the market right now. Is anybody worried about that?

    All I'm suggesting is to take a breath before worrying you are loosing potential clients because they can't see your website while on an iphone. You might make sure your supported on RIM devices (40% market share) and Android devices - that's a combined 50-60% of the market? It's been estimated 50 percent of websites currently have some flash. We know this works well with RIM, Android, Symbian (combined 70-80% or the market) but is anyone really making sure the sites look right on those devices. All I'm saying is we need to be careful that we aren't claiming success on one device and loose support on another that has a larger percent of users.

    I know apple users hate to hear it but they are still a small part of the market in both phones and mobile devices. If it is time for a new website by all means make sure it will work on Apple platforms just make sure it works on the other platforms as well. If your not planning on a new website but are worried about Apple support stop worrying. There are other devices to worry about first.

    If you want to worry about your site working on as many devices as possible this is the order: for phones it is RIM/blackberry, Symbian, Android, iPhone, microsoft. People forget to check to make sure their sites work correctly on different browsers and that is more important at this time: IE - 60%, firefox 22%, chrome 8%, Safari 5%.

    I'm not trying to diminish the Apple's importance in the market just put it in context. Apple users say you need to support their devices but the market share doesn't support it at this time.

  7. @Joe & Ileen,
    Conrad said that the site was developed by Bigfork Web Development. An the galleries are using the Gallery 2 open source code for javascript slide shows.

    @Ryan- If you want the maximum number of visitors to see your content it makes no sense whatever to use Java. As of 9/2010 only 79% of PCs and Macs have Java installed ( It's a much bigger issue than Flash!

  8. I just looked at the site on Safari and the slideshow button does not work there. I do like the layout of the site.
    I think the wildlife photography, commercial photography and product photography are really good. However, I think the real estate photography is not as successful. The HDR images to me, make the rooms look fake. The color is really funky in many of the photos and if there are a lot of textures in the room the HDR seems to enhance them so much that it really interferes with looking at the space. Is there a way to do HDR so you still get the great outside scene without pushing the image so far so it would look more real?

  9. well that leaves me out Larry, I have no clue about HTML or any kind of coding, LOL

  10. I use the LR3 Web module to export Flash slide shows. I like that I can create a good-looking, clean, MLS-compliant slide show and upload it all in one step. I understand that iPhones and iPads can't see it (though whatever happened to the "Frash" app/hack?), and I'm pretty sure Blackberry users can't see it either. The Adobe Flash Player on my Nexus One works great though, and give me full functionality on the slide shows and other Flash media.

  11. Loved my iPhone, but just got an EVO. So neat to have the entire web back (shhh, don't tell steve jobs).
    My wife loves her iPad, and it is immensely useful and well designed. But also overpriced for 99% of the average consumers. On the other hand, android tablets will most likely flourish in the next 2-3 years, only getting more powerful, functional and less expensive, sending Apple back to being a niche high-end provider in their own eco-system (not bashing them, they do make excellent products).

    The other solution is to use a hosting service that provides a viable HTML mirror site. I love Not only do they provide the mirror site, the founder (working along side the sister company has sworn to keep up with whichever 'best' technology comes out, since the site is essentially database driven and then displayed through the appropriate software for your device. Still not as smooth as an HTML-only site on an apple and/or mobile device, but I believe this to be the best future solution.

  12. @Alrighty and all- Much of the data you quote does not track with the google analytics stats for this blog. For example in the last month the PFRE blog had 584 iPhone users, 511 iPad users and 208 Android users and the rest was noise.

    I don't think one should make deductions from just units sold you should install google analytics on your site and see what devices people are using to view you site.

    Same thing holds for browsers. Even though Safari does NOT have the market share that other browsers have it is the the dominant browser on this site (Safari 31%, FireFox 30%, IE 25%, Chrome 11%). These stats will be different for different sites.

    In the end the only numbers you care about are the ones for your site.

  13. BOO BOO BOO, Happy Halloween everyone. I appreciate your comments on my web site and thanks for being Kind. I agree with
    Grape Imaging on the Real Estate photos. I have a tendency to over adjust or over enhance my HDR's. I'll keep that in mind and try to make them look more natural.
    I use Safari and the slide show works on my computer. I guess it takes awhile to get it fine tuned. Heck I don't know, I'm just a photographer? All that stuff is way over my head. Have a Great Weekend, ` WildEye

  14. @Larry

    I normally track my property websites combine the data so I know the resolution, browsers, and other data. Here is the info from 7 properties website stat counters for the last month. I'm in Socal and the total number of users on all 7 sites over the past month or is 9,337. Easy calculation is 1 percent = 100 users.

    Percent Browser Version
    35.00% IE 8.0
    29.00% Firefox 3.6
    12.00% Safari 5.0
    9.00% Chrome 7.0
    4.00% Android 0
    3.00% IE 7.0
    2.00% Firefox 3.5
    2.00% Safari iPad
    2.00% Safari 4.1
    1.00% IE 6.0
    1.00% iPhone 0

    The iPad users on the chart about are almost all visits by me and a realtor who has an iPad. We setup the property website form him to be iPad compatible. In about 4 weeks only 1 site has had 1 iPad visitors. So, after thousands of visitors in the past month I've had 2, not 2 percent, 2 normal users using an iPad. Look at the iPhone usage, 1%.

    Your site is visited by photographers. Our jobs are based on technology. It doesn't shock me your visitors show a higher use of modern technology. When I first got my iPad I visited your site just to see what it looked like. I'm guessing your users also have high screen resolution, for me the most visitors are still using monitors with resolution of 1024x768 followed closely by 1280x1024. Tells me most of my visitors are using older laptops and monitors. I'm thinking yours will show a lot of users with resolutions in the 1400x900 wide format range. Showing new equipment.

    I'm sure everyone's experience is slightly different so it is important to follow the stats the site is actually getting.

  15. Wildeye, are you aware anyone can right click and download any or all of your photos? I realize they are not the high res images but still, this seems like poor security. I predict that soon the ipads/iphones will support flash. Or they will fall deeper into obscurity.

  16. @ Larry - I codes it in java but it renders to the user in HTML, therefore the user is not required to have java installed. Everything is processed on the hosted server.

  17. Sorry, the site is a little buggy using firefox on windows. Could just be too many visitors/not enough resources? Are you using Cooliris? I got the slideshow to load once out of 4 attempts and the pictures loaded slow (too many users), after the slideshow launched, I couldn't close the window and get back to the site.

    btw, those photos are remarkable.

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