Spiffy Looking New Site

22:11 Comments (8) Back to journal

New Look cmpdesigns.com Its here at last. The new design has been somewhat delayed for a few months because of other projects that took precedence but I've finally had some time to site down and finish it.

There are still some aspects of the site that need a little polish so let's think of this as a public beta. For example, IE6 users may have to suffer a slightly less slick experience and the accessibility could be much improved since there is a lot of reliance on JavaScripts. I also know that the "Worth Visiting" links do not currently work, this is an issue between me and the del.icio.us API. I'll be looking into this soon.

Enough about the bad, lets hear the good. The new site design has a lot of new features besides the new look and feel. The sidebar on the journal and other pages now reads my feeds from Flickr, Del.icio.us and Last.FM using the Prototype JS library and some AJAX techniques.

These sidebar entries are more complex than they look since there is some caching going on in the background. I'm sure Last.FM wouldn't be too happy if I polled their feed a couple of hundred times every second!

The commenting feature on journal entries is much improved. I've implemented line breaks, an easier to read Captcha image and a clearer division between the articles and each comment.

The photo galleries feed now talks directly to the Flickr API, reading the photosets feed for the gallery list and the actual feed inside each gallery. I've also added a lightbox script more effectively show off each photo if you click for a larger image.

The portfolio page has been re-written from scratch to make it easier for me to maintain and add to. It's even very close to being up to date! This page also uses AJAX to fetch the portfolio entries from my database server. This was the most difficult section of the site to get right since it is also the most important section of the site. There are still some icons missing from the portfolio and I hope to get these uploaded soon.

Other changes include the mix CD section being re-done with new images which look a bit more like CD cases than the old ones used to, a search box for searching entries in the journal, and a better print stylesheet on selected pages such as my online CV.

These are early days and I'm almost sure that both you and I will find some bugs and glitches on the site. If you do, please post any comments and suggestions in the comments section of this article. Hope you like the new look!

UPDATE: The issues I was having with the Del.icio.us API have been resolved, worth visiting links on the journal page should now work.

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Andrew Thomas 09:39

Your site looks great! How much would it cost to redesign Ipod UK for me?

Chris Parker 09:45

Thanks Andrew... had to get a plug in for your site didn''t you?

stu 09:02

hello mate. I''m curious as to why the iBeeb app for the iPhone has been removed. Did the BBC ask you to take it down? It was a great way of checking the latest news without having to trawl the BBC website. Gutted that it''s gone!

Chris Parker 11:18

It looks like it''s gone for good im afraid. The BBC didn''t like a few different aspects of it so they asked me to take it down.

stu 14:41

that''s a real shame. It was a damn fine app. I reckon they felt threatened by it!

Fine work, none the less. I''m going to miss it.

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