Welcome to the all-new version of Glamoursoft.
Glamoursoft is one of the oldest websites you’ll find on the web. It got started as a single web page way back in 1994 and moved to its own domain in early 1996. This is the fourth major design update since we launched.
Glamoursoft Version 1.0
The website’s first design didn’t really last very long, just a few months. It was essentially a simple transfer of the three pages that had been hosted on Compuserve’s Ourworld site (one of the first setups where an online service would give their users a chance to create their own webpages).
Glamoursoft Version 2.0
The second design change occured in 1996 when I arranged the images into categories and added the “Glamoursoft Model Directory”, which simply took the pictures that were already elsewhere on the website and displayed them together by model, rather than by category. This version also saw the addition of the links section.
In the early years, one of the most popular parts of Glamoursoft was its link section. I wanted to have a means to keep track of new websites for other photographers, models, camera clubs, and so forth. The various search engines like Yahoo and Google either didn’t exist yet or were still relatively new, and weren’t always a reliable method of finding something. So I decided to maintain my own links page. As a result, for many users, Glamoursoft was a popular portal to many other websites for models and photographers involved in Glamour Photography.
This revision also marked the creation of the customized typeface that I’ve used for the Glamoursoft logo ever since.
Glamoursoft Version 3.0
The third major design change took place in 2006. The basic structure of the website didn’t really change, but all the graphics got an overhaul. I also did a complete remodel of the links section, moving everything over to a MySQL database and creating an Ajax-enabled link browser.
Glamoursoft Version 4.0
And now, we have the current version, the fourth major design change for the website since it was originally launched in 1996. While it shares some graphics elements with previous versions, the structure behind the new design is brand new. One of the biggest problems that I always had with earlier versions of the site was that I’d never created any sort of content management system. If I wanted to add some new pictures or a page for a new model, it had to be done manually. This was enough of a pain that I got into the habit of simply not doing it.
I knew the system was broken, but wasn’t sure how to fix it. I had looked at various content management setups and none seemed like it would get the job done the way I wanted. Then a few months ago, I started working with WordPress for another website. As I became more proficient at creating my own custom themes and creating a few custom plugins, I decided that this was the way to go for overhauling Glamoursoft.
First I created a test server so that I could experiment without having to take down the existing site. I knew it was going to take a bit of playing around to make things work the way I wanted. WordPress is known as blogging software, and while I did like some aspects of that idea, I didn’t want Glamoursoft to look like just another blog site. So I started off with a basic, minimal WordPress setup and went from there. The first step was to create a custom Glamoursoft theme that would provide the basic look of the site and provide a skeletal framework for everything else. I was able to use some of the existing artwork, but also created some new variations on the old stuff.
Next was to create a customized image gallery plugin. This was perhaps the most important part of the whole project. I needed a system where it would be easy to create new galleries and upload new pictures, but it also had to integrate into the rest of the system and complement the custom theme. It took a bit of trial and error, but eventually I had a system that seemed to do what I wanted. I am not sure I can call it “finished” as I will probably be making tweaks and making little additions forever, but for now it seems to be getting the job done.
Some things from the old setup got dropped along the way. I used to have a section with product reviews for things like books, but that’s gone for now. However, doing something like a book review is now trivial with the site wrapped around WordPress, so it may see some sort of revival after I get caught up on other things.
The links section is also gone. This may not be permanent, but I figured that in order to do things right, it was going to take another custom plugin and I simply didn’t have time to create that just now. The other consideration is that the need for the links section has largely disappeared as search engines have improved and as websites like Model Mayhem and One Model Place have become everyday parts of the glamour photography scene.
Any way, the new site should make it much easier for me to post new images and other content, which is the whole idea. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it all together!