With any luck (and with the cooperation of the DNS gods) you should be reading this on my new and improved personal web site. This is the first complete redesign of this site in over a decade, and I’m really pleased with how it has turned out.
For this new site I had a few important goals:
- A cleaner, more modern look and feel.
- Pure CSS for all layout and design (and not a single HTML table for anything other than tabular data).
- Exceedingly lightweight pages with no extraneous code.
- Highly performant (this one is an outcome of the two prior bullets, but is also thanks to sophisticated caching where appropriate).
- And perhaps most importantly considering the growing percentage of traffic coming from tablets and smartphones, a responsive design, one that would adapt to any screen size and look right. (The alternative was a mobile version of the site, a m. site, a practice I am not a fan of). If you are not sure what this means, try looking at this page (or the blog or a book page) on devices with small screens, or just drag your browser to make it narrower, or if you are using an iPad or a Nexus 7 try any of those pages while rotating between portrait and landscape. Pretty slick, huh?
Obviously, the back end is all ColdFusion. The underlying databases did not change at all, but the middle tier and presentation layer were rewritten from scratch so as to use ColdFusion for what it does best, and to stop using it where it no longer makes sense to do so. Site structure and URLs were all maintained so as to not break existing links, but where possible I opted to use better and more modern ways of doing things (serving photo albums from Flickr instead of managing them myself, as an example). I’ve posted some details on the libraries and services used on the About page.
The only section of the site that I did not bring over is the ColdFusion section. That used to host useful links most of which were no longer useful (and some were no longer even links), the user submitted and maintained “Who’s Using ColdFusion?” list that had become so out of date that it had ceased to be of value, and the ColdFusion ISP list which had also gotten out of date and which frankly is just less needed in this Google search era. That aside, everything else is here, and everything seems to be working well.
Of course, it is possible (even likely) that you’ll come across errors or bugs or things that just look odd. And if that were to occur, please let me know via email or in a comment below.
And as usual, your comments and feedback are welcome and appreciated.