As noted before, when I created this site I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to take it. My decision is to make primarily a Design portfolio showcasing my work with a blog component. It is not that the blog isn’t important to me but, I wanted to show equal emphasis on my design work and capabilities.
When I set out to redesign this site it quickly became clear, I had a lot of work to do. I wanted something simple, clean, usable, creative and stylish. The landing page is the most important part of the site. I set out to welcome guests with the entire site experience in one place. After some thought, I found that I wanted to create a static page with dynamic content. Researching WordPress, I realized this was harder than previously thought. During my research, I kept reading about pages vs. posts and how there is a hierarchy of pages. Determined to understand this hierarchy, I consulted my previous theme’s template and Google. I only became more and more confused. People were talking about widgets and different pages that have specific semantic meanings. My template seemed to be missing something. The confusion lasted until I saw a forum post, where someone was trying to use these WordPress features and couldn’t figure it out. They posted their confusion on a forum and received the reply, “you probably have an old theme.” I then consulted the default WordPress theme and saw template php pages to take advantage of these new features. It was clear at this point, I had to abandon the old theme and plan for the future. I decided I was going to utilize the templates of the default theme to build my site.
Now that I had some ideas down I knew I had to act on them. When I was first putting this site up, I found a theme and just improved upon it. I did this with the built-in WordPress theme editor. This presents its own challenges, including, every change saved gets applied to the live site immediately. In a proper development environment this is less than ideal. After some more research, I came across xampp. Xampp is an application that turns your computer into an offline Apache web server. This was the perfect solution because I could export my current site and database information; then, built a new theme around this established content.
The design was created completely by me with Photoshop; then, sliced up for this website. I chose a dark theme because they are said to be among the most difficult to create. You are limited to the colors, lighting, and textures you can use. With lighting limitations, depth becomes difficult. This then became a challenge I had to complete. I feel I successfully embarked on the journey through the dark side to create a complex design that somehow has an elegant simplicity.
One of the biggest decisions you have to make now is whether to support Internet Explorer 6. I decided to take the same stance as big companies like youtube.com have taken and not support this site on Internet Explorer 6. Aside from the coding horror of trying to make IE6 render properly, Microsoft even seems to indicate that they support the browser for the lifetime of the operating System it was shipped with, by saying:
The engineering point of view on IE6 starts as an operating systems supplier. Dropping support for IE6 is not an option because we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product. We keep our commitments. Many people expect what they originally got with their operating system to keep working whatever release cadence particular subsystems have.
Since Microsoft has decided to drop mainstream support for Windows XP, they will therefore drop support for Internet Explorer 6. Microsoft will only continue to offer support for XP over extended contracts. This is not something the general consumer will buy into and is mostly for corporations who need an extension to upgrade hundreds, if not thousands of computers. My site’s users are generally consumers without extended XP contracts. Therefore, I have dropped my support for IE6. IE6 is not one of the aforementioned “modern browsers.” There is little reason for any consumer to continue to use IE6 because you can get far more features, security, and usability enhancements from any of the later released web browsers. Internet explorer 8 was the first Microsoft web browser that didn’t seem to break any of my websites when using stylesheets from Firefox, chrome and opera.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by my site. I hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to comment on posts and send me feedback. I am always looking for work. If you want consulting or for me to build you a site, don’t hesitate to use the contact form and send me a message.