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Designer Spotlight: Ariel Garcia

One of our favorite parts of being a small business is getting to know the people who use our product and hearing how ProPhoto has helped them grow their own businesses. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many ProPhoto users and designers one-on-one and you’ve become our friends and partners. You’re a smart, savvy, and crazy creative bunch–we’ve learned so much from you!

That’s why we’re creating a space to spotlight some of our users–a place where we can learn from and inspire each other and share insider knowledge, trends, tips… maybe even a few laughs. 🙂

For our first “Spotlight” interview, we chatted with Ariel Garcia, owner of The Blog Stop and a longtime ProPhoto designer. We’re big fans of Ariel’s fresh, unique, and modern aesthetic and ability to help others tell their brand story. Read on for her insight on why branding should be a top priority for every small business, where she gets her inspiration, and more!

In a sentence or two, how would you describe the services that The Blog Stop provides?

The Blog Stop is a one-stop design shop for all things blog design and branding. Our services range from custom blog design to blog template restyles to DIY blogging templates.

How did you get your start in web design?

I was tired of my 9-5 desk job and knew I wanted to spend my days working on something more creative. I had never done any kind of graphic or website design before, but I landed an assistant job at a boutique branding and web design company in Los Angeles. During the first year, I taught myself how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to design and build websites. Over the years, I took on more design responsibility and eventually moved into the role of Head Designer. After feeling like I’d learned all I could in that position, I ventured out on my own and started The Blog Stop.

You’re big on branding. What does branding mean to you, and why is it important for small businesses?

Good branding is what I live for! It encompasses everything you want to communicate about your business without saying a word. Without branding, your business has no personality. Your branding will be what connects with your ideal customer and helps you build an audience that will follow you anywhere! It will help you stand out in a sea of online businesses and look like an expert in your field.

What are some common mistakes you see people making when it comes to branding and web design?

I think one of the biggest mistakes I see people making when it comes to branding and web design is writing off its importance. So many businesses throw up an ugly, informational landing page without thinking about the user experience. In today’s world, we use the internet for everything. And as soon as I land on a website that’s unengaging and hard to navigate, I’m out. Spend time and effort designing your website and creating a platform that’s branded, creatively informative, and easy for someone who’s never heard of you to use and understand.

How did you learn about ProPhoto?

The first web design company I worked for used ProPhoto. I’ve since worked with many other website design platforms but ProPhoto remains my favorite!

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who’s just starting out and trying to establish their web presence?

Research! Take a look at what is out there. Discover what you like and what kind of website draws you in. Identify why you’re drawn to these websites and how you can incorporate similar qualities into your own. And if you have a budget, I’d highly recommend hiring a designer to (at the very least) design your logo. Good branding is the first step to building an online presence that attracts your dream audience.

What’s a project you’ve worked on recently that you’ve especially enjoyed?

I just started working with Leah Ashley from Living With Leah on a website refresh. Her website is a few years old and I’m really excited to design something new and fresh for her vibrant brand!

Where do you get your inspiration?

All over! I spend a lot of time browsing through Instagram and Pinterest. Both platforms are filled with so many talented and inspiring artists! I also love traveling and find so much inspiration in design trends around the world. Scandinavia and Japan have some of my favorite design aesthetics.

What are some trends you’re excited about in web design?

I love the increased used of video and user interaction! I get really excited anytime I can find a way to give the user a web experience they’ve never had when landing on a homepage.

Thanks so much for your insights, Ariel!

Check back in the coming weeks for more spotlight interviews with other professionals who use and love ProPhoto for their businesses! Is there a topic you’d like us to cover in these interviews? Let us know in the comments. And if you’d like to be featured, don’t be shy–drop us a line! 🙂

Happy Holidays from the ProPhoto Team!

We hope your holidays are full of peace, love, and joy!

The ProPhoto team and their spouses celebrating another fantastic year.

It’s been a whirlwind year for us! We started off 2018 by hopping “across the pond” for the Societies of Wedding & Portrait Photographers Photo Convention in London. Support guys Benjamin Tennant and Steve Post got to meet Melissa Love from The Design Space Co. and Vaughn Liley from Uniregistry, which has grown into our exciting new partnership with HostPapa. It was also wonderful to connect with some of our UK users in person and enjoy a pint in a traditional British pub!

Our little team went through some big changes this year. Jared Henderson, who founded the company and created ProPhoto nearly 11 years ago, left to pursue some other passions that he felt called to. We celebrated Jared’s years of dedication and contributions to the company in May with a farewell dinner, toasts, a few tears, and a stack of gift certificates for our local farmers’ market–a fitting present for someone who understands the importance of quality “ingredients,” whether for making a recipe or software!

Dan Lam has taken over as owner and has been keeping the company on a steady course while encouraging team members to grow into their unique talents and gifts. We’ve also brought Lindsay Post on board to help with our blog and social media efforts (if the last name sounds familiar, that’s because she’s married to Steve!). We’re excited to connect more with our users through these channels.

On top of all this, we launched ProPhoto 7, our latest, greatest (yeah, we’re gonna say it 🙂 ) version yet. It was a huge team effort and a long time in the making, but we couldn’t be prouder of how it turned out. Hearing from customers who are loving its uber-user-friendly front-end editing and crazy flexible customization makes it all worth it. And our amazing designer network has been rolling out design after stunning design, in every style, from modern and minimal to classic and vintage.

To kick off the launch, we teamed with our friends Ceci LaBarge and Overneath Creative Collective for our first-ever promo video, which was a blast to shoot. (Who can complain when free cupcakes are involved, right?)

Looking forward to 2019, we’re jazzed about what’s in store for ProPhoto 7. Our developers are working hard to bring you even more cool and useful features, and we’ll keep rolling out updates throughout the year. We will soon be offering a ProPhoto-specific hosting plan with HostPapa (stay tuned for more on that in the coming weeks). And we’ll also be sharing more content on our blog and social media, which we hope you will find helpful and interesting.

We couldn’t do any of this without you, our amazing customers. So as we close out this year, we are grateful for each one of you and excited to build new and beautiful things together in 2019 and beyond.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and successful New Year!

WordPress 5.0 is Here and ProPhoto is Ready

It’s been a long time in the making, but WordPress 5.0 is here! There’s been a ton of buzz surrounding this update, and you probably have some questions, so let’s dive right in.

Will ProPhoto 7 work with WordPress 5.0?

Yes! Our development team has been hard at work to ensure that ProPhoto 7 is compatible with WordPress 5.0. With ProPhoto 7, your site will continue to function as it does now and you will be able to use the new Gutenberg Editor (more on that in a bit). However, you won’t be able to add ProPhoto galleries or grids into the new editor quite yet. But we will be updating ProPhoto 7 in the very near future (one to two weeks) to make that possible!

What if I use an older version of ProPhoto?

You’re covered. We’ve tested older versions of ProPhoto (including 4, 5, and 6), and sites created with them will still work with WordPress 5.0. You can use the new Gutenberg Editor with any of the older ProPhoto versions; however, you will need to use the WordPress Classic Editor plugin to add or edit any ProPhoto items that you insert into the content of posts and pages.

While older versions will work, now would be a great time to upgrade to ProPhoto 7. 🙂 ProPhoto 7 and WordPress 5.0 are built on the same technology so they work better together–both now and in the future, compared to older ProPhoto versions.

What’s new in WordPress 5.0?

The big change everyone’s talking about is the Gutenberg Editor, which will alter the way you edit pages in WordPress as well as how your plugins and themes interact with WordPress. In a nutshell, the Gutenberg Editor is a block-based editor that lets you build your site’s posts and pages using individual blocks for text, images, videos, buttons, widgets, and more. You’ll be able to drag and drop blocks to rearrange them and have more flexibility and control.

You’ll want to give yourself some time to adjust to this new interface, but don’t worry–if you’re not quite ready to make the switch, you can keep using the Classic Editor by installing the official Classic Editor plugin.

How will ProPhoto 7 integrate with the Gutenberg Editor?

We took the Gutenberg Editor for a test-drive with ProPhoto 7 and we think they complement each other quite nicely. Once we push our soon-to-be released update, you will be able to insert ProPhoto grids and galleries directly into the Gutenberg Editor screen, and you’ll likely have to create fewer page layouts in ProPhoto, since Gutenberg Editor’s blocks and other features let you build more robust pages right within WordPress. So instead of using ProPhoto 7 to create page layouts, you can focus on using it to customize and design the style of your site.

There’s plenty more to say about the updates coming to WordPress, but for now, know that ProPhoto is ready and we’ve got you covered through all the changes.

Share the ProPhoto Love and Earn Cash

ProPhoto users are a pretty passionate bunch. When they discover how easy ProPhoto makes it to create a stunning, custom site–and how our support team is there to help every step of the way–word has a way of spreading. In fact, our customers have told so many of their colleagues and friends about us that we haven’t had to rely much on traditional advertising. Instead, we get to focus on building a great product–and supporting it like crazy. It’s a win-win!

So to say “thanks” for sharing the love, we offer our customers a cash reward for recommending ProPhoto through our ProPhoto Affiliate Program.

Look for this signup button in your account page.

Want to participate? Here’s how it works:

  1. Get your code. Login to your ProPhoto account page and click the “Sign Me Up” button to generate your unique discount code. Once you submit, we’ll link you to a guide with tips on how to use it.  
  2. Get creative. Write a review of ProPhoto on your blog, tell your friends on Facebook, tweet it to the world… this is the fun part! Anyone who follows your link and then buys ProPhoto will get $20 off their purchase, and you’ll earn $10 from us.
  3. Get paid! At the beginning of each month, we’ll send you an email letting you know how many times your code was used, and we’ll deposit any funds you’ve earned directly into your PayPal account. Cha-ching!

Your opinion matters. People want your recommendations, and they trust them. You probably already find yourself telling people about how you created your website, so why not earn a little extra for yourself while you’re at it? 🙂 Lots of our users have even earned back the cost of purchasing ProPhoto many times over this way!

ProPhoto Premium Designs Release for 10/19/18 – No7 & Stockholm

Hard to believe it’s been almost 5 months since ProPhoto 7 released! If you’ve been waiting to upgrade or build your site with ProPhoto 7, it’s time to get on it 🙂 Week in and week out customers are letting us know that they LOVE building and customizing their websites with ProPhoto 7. It gives them the control and flexibility they need, with the power and ease of front-end editing.

And if you’re looking at ProPhoto 7, why not check out the extensive design store? Our network of designers are constantly pushing ProPhoto in new directions, building great looking designs that will set your site apart from the competition. This week we are adding two new designs to the store.

NO7 by The Design Space Co

 

A clean and modern design, NO7 will help you take your brand out of the past and bring it to the now.

Stockholm by The Blog Stop

Let your images come front and center with Stockholm. This Scandinavian influenced minimal design was created to showcase your amazing photographs.

Get a $30 rebate when you choose our recommended host, Hostpapa