Look ma! No tables! (well... almost)
If you haven't noticed, I just completed a complete site redesign. I have incorporated a more universal look and feel compared to the old design. The header of each page is now the same throughout the site (except of course for the name and by-line), and the consistent menu should allow for easier navigation.
For the main part of the site (ie the entire site excluding the blog and the gallery), I stopped using tables for page layout and completely replaced them with divs, with the layout controlled by a CSS style sheet. If you're wondering, all pages on the main part of the site, with the exception of the flash pages, are now valid XHTML and CSS according to W3C standards.
The other thing is that the whole site is now completely PHP driven. The old site was comprised of pure HTML pages that were based off Dreamweaver templates, which allowed me to change repeated areas in a template that would propagate changes to all the pages based off that template. The down-side of that was that I was stuck using Dreamweaver, which although is a great program, I didn't want to tie my site down to a vendor-specific web-editor. Also, after making a small change to a template, I would have to then re-upload all those pages that were changed as a result.
The plus-side of using PHP, is that it allows me to have one file that contains all the repeated HTML, and thus to make a change to a repeated region I have to just change the one file, then re-upload that one file, and the change is automatically propagated because all the pages call a function in that file. Using PHP also allows me to use some very useful features of the scripting language. One example is that all the 'last updated' lines on the bottom of pages on the main site are automatically taken from the file's timestamp, which saves me having to manually change the date.
Although it is not as loud as the old site, I believe that the simple consistent look throughout the site is definitely positive. I mainly did the update so I could learn how to layout tables using divs and CSS, and also how to use PHP to do a very simple sort of content management.
Now let me pre-empt you and answer a few questions:
Weren't you supposed to be studying for exams?
Ummm... yes, I am supposed to be studying for exams, and I have done a fair bit of study. Now that I had a break from the regular schedule of the semester, I thought devoting a few hours each day to redesigning the site and learning some new techniques wouldn't be such a bad idea.
What? No new intro?? What's the deal?!
Yep, i still haven't done a new intro, but if I continue to have the time, I will make sure i get one done soon. Haven't touched Flash in while, so i'll have to get used to it again.
Comments are of course welcome on the redesign!