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August 17, 2012

Coming soon

Website homepage from 2007For more than five years (since January 2007) this website has been more or less in its current form.

That's 2000+ pages I've written and coded individually, with a little help from Dreamweaver. The home page started out very simply, as you see here.

The idea is the same as the current homepage, but strangely enough there are no links in this early version. How I expected people to visit the individual days is a mystery. Pretty bad interface design.

A couple of key elements that remain to this day: the background color shows the average Cleveland temperature for that month, and the height of each image is based on the length of the day. This almanac-like information fascinates me.

Individual article pageAn individual page looked like this. Again, pretty similar to the current design except for a baffling lack of navigation. What was I thinking?

At any rate, I'm sure we can all agree it's time to re-think what the site is about, and design an improved version.

In addition to the visual design, I'll be upgrading the back end, switching to WordPress, a popular content management system (CMS) that will let me automate many aspects of the site. Now I spend way too much time doing things like manually changing the date and links for each article. WordPress will handle much of this for me.

New, improved

The new look may be totally different from what you see now. I'm going to start with a blank sheet of paper and see where that leads. Things I've been thinking about:

First steps

A couple of days ago I met with a programmer who assured me that all of the ideas I mentioned would be easy to do (Hah! Easy for him, maybe). He also encouraged me to switch from a hand-coded to a WordPress-based site. No surprise there.

Today I started learning WordPress by watching video tutorials (WordPress Essential Training from Lynda.com). I launched a simple blog describing the process: A New View. If you want to follow along, check in there from time to time.

And now, onward!

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2011 January-May

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