I finally did it. I finally let go of the past and implemented a new site design. Goodbye tables and a bad case of class-itis – hello, nice, clean, well-structured XHTML. Mmmm.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the new design is far from finished. Nor am I that thrilled about it from a purely visual standpoint. It certainly doesn’t do anything novel or cutting edge.
However, given the time constraints on me of late (work + family + other projects + real life = what free time), I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever throw off the shackles of the old site. When would I finally chop those nested tables into firewood? Or, send those classes off to CSS school? Or, unembed those styles and bring about that utopian vision of true separation of structure and presentation. Or…well, you get the point.
In fact, the old Smiley Cat site was the first site I ever built (in late 2001) – after all, if you’re gonna go into the web business, you’ve gotta have a site.
However, as the years have passed, more and more, its age was starting to show. My occasional applications of CSS ‘botox’ were beginning to have less and less of an effect. Furthermore, it’s hard to talk about design and standards-based design with a straight face when your own site looks like an “Australian’s nightmare” (prize if you guess the quote).
I think it’s fair to say that I’d become sick of the old site. Harsh words, but true. Funnily enough, however, it was still drawing regular customer inquiries (of course, being on page one of Google for a couple of well-used search phrases helps). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new design puts some potential clients off, being as it’s so sparse and all. Not that I really have any time to take on new business anyway (shhhh, that’s a secret).
Anyway, the most important benefit the new design provides is that it allows me room to grow. I now have a site where I can tinker, enhance and experiment with ease – all these things were very difficult to do before.
For example, I know that the color scheme is going to change a few times before I find one I’m happy with, and that I have a bunch of work to do on the typography. And that I’d like to add this, that, and the other feature…when I get the time.
So, here’s the new site. If nothing else, at least the content’s easier to read.