Category: Web Design

The Art of Dining Out

As a photographer, I am keenly interested in how images help persuade me when, where and how to spend my hard earned cash.

I travel on a regular basis and I like my food. Unfortunately, the two rarely mix well , so I’m continually searching for great locations for dining out. If practical, I’ll ask a friend or colleague for a referral and often, I’ll brave searching my favoured online advisers. Once I have my dining out shortlist, I almost always visit each restaurant’s website to get directions, check the menu and scan the prices so that I won’t be too surprised when presented with the bill!

So why do I choose one restaurant over another?

In order of preference, I would say…
1. Value for money
2. Perception of quality (Referrals/Reviews/Website)
3. My food preference
4. The location

Of course, everyone’s priorities differ! With that in mind, I have included links to several relevant articles that I found interesting and I hope you will too.

40 Tasty Restaurant Websites to Inspire You
Since the main content of a restaurant is their food – or at least it should be – there is no better thing to do than show beautiful images of the food…

An Excellent Series of Marketing Articles
From “Strategies to Help Google Find Your Restaurant” to “How to Incorporate Your Restaurant Website into Your Customer’s Experience”

The Art of Food Photography
They say a picture paints a thousand words. But it can also tempt the appetites of millions of hungry customers…

Restaurant Marketing: What Do You Need?
This is the second article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your restaurant and make it a success.

Triggering Taste Buds Through Imagery
Considering the incredibly competitive nature of the restaurant industry, maintaining a steady flow of foot traffic can be a tall order, especially since the dining experience begins long before a customer walks through a restaurant’s doors.

Restaurant Statistics
Find out some interesting (and not so interesting) stats about the restaurant industry, you may be surprised!

Seems like the weekend has flown by although I now have a basic grasp of how WordPress websites hang together and have this website to prove it.  That said, I know I have only just scratched the surface – I’ve glimpsed the code and I ain’t getting excited!

Putting my camera aside, my learning ordeal opportunity started on Friday evening by scanning the Internet for the best WordPress themes available. Alas, in my impatience, I mistakenly purchased a theme far too advanced for me named Ultimatum ( BTW, it’s a great WordPress theme  if you’re great! It took me more time than I like to admit to get precisely nowhere. After much frustrated cussing, I ventured back to my favoured search engine to find a more basic theme. Second time lucky, I struck upon ‘Glare’ from cssigniter ( With it’s uploadable demo website and basic instructions I was able to begin understanding how templates, styles and pages work together.

**Edit 16th June 2014: I have now updated to a responsive one-page theme. I will leave this post here as it could still be useful.

Hope you enjoy looking around my first WordPress website, now I need to make some images and write an about me page to do this site some justice 🙂

Here’s the techie useful bit, if you are thinking of using this theme and have a little working understanding of WordPress.

1. Size your images to the following dimensions @ 72 pixels per inch

  • gallery featured/header images: 2200×400
  • front page background:  2600 wide and more than 1500 high
  • gallery images: not sure it matters but mine are 1600 wide

2. Upload the gallery featured/header images separately and before attaching otherwise they become an image in the gallery itself.
3. Upload the gallery images only as part of creating a gallery – read this somewhere and stuck to it.
4. Sometimes it’s necessary to delete the images from the gallery page or you will get duplicates – some clever templating stuff going on here that is beyond me.
5. I think I have introduced a bug by messing around. Anyhow, when creating a new gallery I do not tick the box labelled “Disable the internal slider for this Gallery…” otherwise the images do not appear.  Tick this box after saving, if you want to see individual images rather than a slideshow.
6. To show a different header image in each gallery, you need to modify the code in the file “inc_hero.php”

  • Change line 14 from: if( is_page())
  • to the following: if( is_page() OR (get_post_type() == ‘galleries’) )

That’s about it for now although I haven’t worked out what the dimensions of the featured image should be for this post or for the header for the main blog page… I think it’s time to explore cssignte’s support forum!

*Update: support came straight back with answer to my missing blog header.

Very simple, just needed to assign a header image in ‘CSSIgniter settings -> display options’.

Here are some more customisations that can be added to ‘CSSIgniter settings -> Custom CSS’:

  • Remove zoom on gallery icons: .zoom .view-set {display:none !important;}
  • Remove white stripe on menu header: #header .transparent {background:none;}
  • Remove border around whole page: .brd {background: none;}
  • Remove front page navigation bar: #controls-wrapper {display: none !important;}
  • Remove the expand button: .pp_expand {display: none !important;}

*Update: support again replied promptly when I found a seemingly blank image in one of the galleries.

They identified a corrupt image and provided simple directions on how to remove. I also learned something new, it is extremely easy to re-order the position of images in each gallery; here’s the instructions

To reorder or add/remove images:

  • Edit the gallery
  • Click the add media button and in the media manager window
  • You will notice a drop-down towards the top left, select from it “uploaded to this post”
  • You will be presented with the images in the gallery, re-order by drag & drop, remove and/or add images here
  • When finished click the “X” (do not click insert to post) and update the gallery