09.01.17 — Journal

New Website Progress

Hello all and happy 2017! I come to you after what has been quite a quiet festive period, as I fell quite ill with a nasty viral infection which saw me in and out of various doctors’ offices over the holidays. I’m happy to report that I am well on the road to recovery now, however, and as such have been knuckling down to getting on with something productive – my new website.

As you may recall in this post from many weeks ago, I have slowly been chipping away at the challenge of re-designing, re-coding and re-launching my website for a while now, but with my early January self-imposed deadline looming and the burst of energy as I recover, I have been really pushing to get it near completion over these past few days.

After plenty of fiddling with different types of elements which form the basic toolkit of constituent blocks which I’ll use to build each page of the new site, I finally settled on a curated array which I have been busily coding away such that they all work on all eleven possible screen width settings for the new site – to give you an idea of how much work this involves, my current site only has three possible screen width profiles and it took the best part of a month’s work.

My view for the past few days

It’s proving to be a gruelling challenge, not made any easier by the knowledge that my least-favourite task is being saved to last – defining the margins (basically the spacing between two different elements). It might sound like an easy task but I am so fussy about how everything looks that I will have to specify every element’s interaction with every other element – and then do this eleven times for each different width profile. My current estimate is that this means I will have to define a grand total of about 4,400 individual values – and that’s probably a generously low estimate.

Anyway, as someone who’s been kind enough to come along to see this blog post and has made it this far into what is probably turning out to be an Ollie vs. HTML/CSS battle rant, I have decided to share with you the link to a beta copy of where I am with coding the various elements of the new site.

A little preview of part of the new look

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a beta is a highly unpolished and nowhere near finished work-in-progress version of a website – so don’t be expecting anything beautiful. The page at the time of writing is basically a dummy page of all the different possible elements with horizontal lines between them – however if something seems to be showing up dramatically wrong then please drop me an email here and let me know – hopefully we can catch any bugs before I move on towards launching the site.

Anyway, if you fancy a little snoop you can do so at this link, which may occasionally go down as I make changes. Also don’t click on anything – even the buttons at the top of the page – the links are all dead. Well, here’s hoping I’m soon done so that you can explore my fancy new (working) website!