Changes done – for now

Well, it took a monumental effort, but I finished the site redesign a few min ago.

Whoa, I wasn’t expecting to do any changes, but one thing led to another and here we are. So why did I change things? Sometimes you have to re-evaluate designs and what you want from a website. As I said in an earlier post, I started to feel the site was feeling dowdy and outdated. I started with designing the new Tech Support part promoting Catpaw Computer Consulting services. I wanted a clean, separate identity for it. Once that was done, I started looking at the rest of the site and felt, now was the time.

New banners, new organisation and most of all continuity throughout the entire site, right down to the individual post page. I was unhappy with certain aspects for awhile. I’m rather pleased with the changes. Sigh, now I guess I have to start posting a lot of new content to justify all the work I put into the design.

Spring cleaning the website

Just indulged in a complete overhaul of the site. Still a ton of work to do. I debated about how long to keep the site off line and decided I’d get the bulk of the work done, put it back on line and then finish up editing the old content live. I’m also madly setting up a couple hundred 404 redirects because I also restructured the website. I had to get rid of all sorts of legacy categories and references that dated back 4 or 5 years and caused an immense amount of confusion.

What’s gone|changed?

  • All remnants of the old “they asked what?” have been removed. Content is being redirected to Memoirs.  A few have been deleted because link backs are no longer working, I’ll work on a 404 page explaining it later. Not too many hits on a few of the pages, so no urgency.
  • Streamlined the photo category to purge old references to outdated ideas/software
  • Sorted the tech section. More content is where it belongs, in the tech | software area. Also relabeled to reflect the content better.
  • Deleted old articles dealing with very outdated tech, software.
  • Deleted very old content from early days when I was still casting around for a focus. The content was ok, just no longer fits the magazine format.  I’ll keep the articles, just for nostalgia and might periodically dig deep and repost them as a retrospective look at the changes
  • installed a plugin so my Instagram feed now runs on the photo section
  • preparing the Mapping TO page, link isn’t active yet. Will be in about a month (June 2018)
  • The biggy – completely changed to look of the site. Finally able to breath a new life into the format so it has a more magazine feel and flows much better.

A lot of the changes were made to make it easier to create content. I was tired of struggling with Joomla. I loved the software, but had grown increasingly tense everytime an update came through. I test things offline and was concerned about how often an update blew away my child theme (not supposed to, but the updates often did) or created a pig’s breakfast of a mess with the database.  Many thanks to Corey for his tip off re: Divi themes for WordPress. Has completely changed the way I’m working behind the scenes.

Something new – A forum to explore design, art and typography

Okay, I give – I sat down during the weekend and admitted I really do need to create new categories. This is the first one – Exploring Art & Typography.  Under this umbrella will also be mutterings about web design issues.  Web design is one of those quirky beasts that cross over into Computer Tech, meander into typography and design so I plunked it here.

So why this category? Well, it obviously didn’t really fit into the photo log and it wasn’t exactly Computer Tech and Support. I’ve been spending time looking at what makes a design “good”… subjective, hell yes. But there are some common elements of good design and I think this is the perfect forum to flesh out those ideas.

I’d like to encourage readers to contribute their thoughts. I’d love to hear from people about their design ideas and basic annoyances they run into or maybe a bit of (be still my beating heart) nerd talk about typography.  If you’d like to contribute a guest column, drop me a line in the comments section. I’ll be setting up a new email address specifically for this section to make it easier to contact me, but that won’t be a for a few days – I still have to work to earn a living.

I’ll gradually migrate the material from other categories here. I need to create links to redirect people first.