The LunarStudio website was recently updated. There were over 70 images added to my portfolio, most going back to last October. This doesn’t include our full body of work, but mostly pieces that I felt should be represented in our gallery. Some of our other renderings and designs were left out because most of these projects were early-phase (still in-progress) and not considered final. I deliberated between posting them as interim or massing types of illustrations, but in the end figured that they might detract from the final finished quality we generally represent. With a few others images, we finally received permission to post some of these after waiting a few years. Some of our best work is kept under non-disclosure agreements.
Here is a list of pages that contain most of our illustration additions:
I’d like to thank all of our clients and supporters for their patronage in this tough economic climate. We truly appreciate everyone who has supported us over the years. It is my hope that the new images and updated back-end to the LunarStudio website will increase traffic for everyone involved as a way of giving back to the community. I spent the last two weeks and a lot of sleepless nights optimizing the pages and redoing large sections of the code to bring it up to more recent standards. This in turn should result in even greater traffic from various search engine results, and will hopefully turn into more work for all of us in the long run.
LunarStudio is often ranked in the Top 5 (often #1) for the field of Architectural Renderings out of almost one million results in Google. It also places in the Top 10 for hundreds of common design-related search terms as well as being listed high in Google Images. Ranking high on the search engines is an art form and a business onto itself. There’s thousands of Search Engine Experts and consultants constantly vying for the top spot in any one particular field. If you’re not listed in the top of a search, you will probably not get noticed. As a result of our high rankings, people recognize our work on the web, and I hope that this helps us all in return.
When it comes to appearances, I tried to keep the same look and feel of the design. However, there are some people who might be interested in some of the underlying code which has changed. It might prove useful if you’re interested in website marketing.
Below is a change log concerning LunarStudio’s revisions:
Website pages converted to HTML5. While not completely validated as the Internet standards are still under development, this should lead to faster load times, easier search engine spidering, and thus higher ranking in other areas. Other websites are getting left behind at the moment, and it will be years before many of them are updated. I speculate that this will lead to a more dominant search engine position.
The navigation has been completely redone with proper CSS (Cascading Style Sheets.) It has moved to the top of every webpage versus getting lost in the bottom of the code. Search engines should have a much easier time figuring out the structure of LunarStudio. Many years ago, I used tables to develop the website while CSS was still becoming popular. HTML tables are falling out favor now, and CSS has been replacing some of out more traditional methods of page layout.
HTML5 allows for some new elements such as Nav, Header, Article, and Footer which were implemented. This helps the search engines determine the important sections of a website, as well as potentially leading to additional Google’s Sitelinks (For which LunarStudio already has.) It should also help with the rankings and visibility.
Some of the redundant code was stripped out in favor of CSS. This speeds up the website and also caches information.
Additional code was removed because they have become obsolete/deprecated. Again, this brings it up to standards and decreases load time which provides for a better user experience and load times.
Over 70 watermarked images and over 140 thumbnails were created and added.
Tags were changed to read more smoothly and less like spam.
Image descriptions were modified and updated.
Corrections were made to the previous descriptions which might have resulted in page bleed (lower ranking for certain terms.)
Proper punctuation introduced in some page elements.
Client listing updated.
Introduction of Google + buttons at the bottom of every page. This probably will result in higher rankings and a more established prominence.
The new Google Authorship (now replaced with Rich Snippets) system introduced which will help delineate search results even further and lead to higher click-through rates. I hope this is working as the instructions were very confusing. First it requires approval, but then secondly it takes time. Google also doesn’t generally communicate directly with webmasters so this is a waiting game.
Here are some things which I plan on implementing in the future (to-do list):
I’d like to move LunarStudio over to a near full CSS solution.
I want to get rid of the tables and switch over to CSS for that. That’s a massive undertaking for which I have little spare time presently.
It would be great if the thumbnails could also fully go CSS in their highlight states. This would probably shave off around 200 KB in extra downloads per gallery page.
There’s still some things to do. The process of maintaining a website could be a full-time job in of itself, but in order to stay on top, you have to keep a site updated as technology changes. My updates usually come twice a year and at most it usually involves adding a handful of images. I would consider this one a major update. I would really appreciate people’s feedback on the LunarStudio design. If there’s any bugs or issues, I would like to know as everyone’s computers are different and everyone runs different browsers. It’s a lot of work for one person to handle.