New Site, New Design

A new site, a new design for the New Year.

It was time to throw out the old blog site, take control and create a new blog site with a new design. The old site used Wordpress with a free theme. The new one is just html, generated by Octopress/Jekyll and with my own design.

Before

Old Home Page
Old Home Page Grade
Old Home Page Stats
Old Post
Old Post Grade
Old Post Stats

    After

    New Home Page
    New Home Page Grade
    New Home Page Stats
    New Post
    New Post Grade
    New Post Stats

      Metrics

      How it measures up to the old. The new site gets a grade A, from YSlow, for the home page and B for the post pages, that’s up from a grade C on the old site. Some room for improvement on the post page!

      The old site made 100 requests on the home page and 159 on the post pages. That’s been drastically improved to 28 requests on the home page and 65 requests on the post pages.

      Speed

      The site now generates static html, so is super fast at serving that html up. There’s no need to have a server side code running to serve the pages, especially when posts rarely change once written.

      Security

      It’s just html! There’s nothing executing on the server, so this reduces the ability for the site to be hacked. I also go fed up of having to update wordpress and it’s plugins, keeping your fingers crossed to see if it still works after upgrades. After having the site hacked once, that was the last straw.

      Bloat

      Wordpress and it’s plugins make your html look like somebody has puked into your browser. Although it visually looks ok, as a Web Developer you know what the html source looks like and you feel embarassed. So I wanted to take control of that and produce clean, standards complaint html5. I can now take control of the html, css and javascript. Writing and serving it how I want. Putting that 16 years of experience, of writing web apps, into good use!

      New Look

      I wanted to ditch the free Wordpress theme and create my own clean design that focuses on a pleasant clear reading experience. I’m no designer but I think it’s a vast improvement. I’m still not happy about the list of posts on the home page but I’m out of ideas for now.

      Responsive Design

      I wanted something that looked great on a variety of devices. Having that control over the html and css allowed me to produce something that works and looks great on mobile, tablet or desktop.

      Offline

      I can now write my blog posts whilst offline. I’m writing this on a plane back to Ljubljana. I can also use the editor of my choice (currently flipping between Mou, Lightpaper and Write for Mac) and write the posts in html or markdown.

      Enjoy :) Now, I need to write more posts! 2013 was a quiet year.

      PS This was meant to go out in January, so I’m failing already on that last point!

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