And So It Begins

Welcome to my new-look site!

13th June 2006 · Last updated: 5th October 2016


Please note: this post referred to my old blog and not to this layout.

Like D. Keith Robinson wrote in his post Reinvention, I had gone as far as I wanted to with the old site. The design sucked for a start. To be honest, it was taking too long to make a simple post, as I had to edit several files by hand. It was the same with comments - even the RSS feed was typed up by hand. Enough was enough. Time to start afresh.

I wanted to go with a new domain name as well, but it was cheaper for now to carry on with the existing one. Also, I wanted to install a CMS (Content Management System) to run this site like a proper blog, but the major ones (Wordpress, Movable Type etc) would each require moving to a new server. But I read in the comments in Keith's Reinvention post about ExpressionEngine, which seemed to fit the bill nicely. So that's what I'm using now. Although it is simple to install, it took me a few goes to get it how I wanted. Firstly. the permalinks were not in a format I liked, so I had to change them before I was ready to go live. I also spent a long time updating the code behind the theme I have added, which you can see in use now. In the end, it was a long and arduous task, but once started, I had to complete it. I was also dealing with the software itself being updated twice, which meant further work behind the scenes. Now, hopefully, enough tweaking has been done to make this site fully live.

There are still a few things I need to improve, such as the way users are redirected after posting a comment. I'll need to dig deep into the code for that one. The side column is also lacking a list of the latest comments, along with more links I want to add. I can do this later. Several sub-pages also link back to the old site. I'll redo them in the new format over time. By the way, if you want to view the old site, it's still intact. I have yet to decide what to do with the posts there. Right now, I'm happy to leave them where they are.

Things I like about the new system include better commenting, automatic feeds in RSS 2.0 and Atom format, a search feature, loads of management tools I have to deal with posts and comments, the list goes on and on.

On a personal level, it's time to post a lot less about web code (others do it so much better) and introduce more posts about other topics I want to discuss. Note that the categories list is not definite - I hope to add to it over time. (There were too many categories on my old site, some of which had not seen a new post for years!) I definitely want to concentrate more on music posts (you'll see) and poetry too. I might also add a download section at some point.

I would like you to tell me if you see anything broken. I've tested it in the usual Windows browsers, and everything seems OK to me. Let me know if there's anything you don't like about the new layout too.

For now, all I can add is, look out for some new posts!

Comments (3)

Comments are locked on this topic. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

  1. Matt:

    You mentioned that there are some things in the sidebar that you wanted to change...well I can't see a sidebar (on either side...). Maybe you took it out because something wasn't working, but I thought I should let you know. I'm using Safari on OSX Tiger. Just a heads up.

    Posted on 25th June 2006 at 4:00 pm
  2. Chris Hester:

    The sidebar has indeed been removed. It may return at some stage. Sorry for the confusion.

    Posted on 26th June 2006 at 9:35 am
  3. Chris Hester:

    I restored the sidebar. :)

    Posted on 27th June 2006 at 8:37 pm