Redesign 2006 By Chicken

When we switched hosts in August 2006, I got a lot more options with developing the site and decided we needed another redesign. I could now use PHP, had TONS more bandwidth and web space, and could simply edit everything with notepad (well really, Metapad) and just upload it. Basically, I had a lot more options and freedom to do even more with the site. I immediately started working on a new design for the flash pages, because I knew that was one of the first things I had to do with the new design.

I redesigned the main pages first, all of which included the same navigation and style, that I could now easily change site-wide, through using PHP. This basically opened up a lot of options for me because I wanted to get the site re-done quickly. Those changable navigation menus have been especially useful lately at the end of the redesign, and as I add new major sections. After getting the basic template for each page down, I moved on to the flash pages.

I ended up making a quick program in flash to make the flash pages for me after trying to do one or two pages just copying and pasting. This sped up the whole process a lot and helped finish them all within a few months.

Changes

This redesign changed a lot, but mostly on the backend. I took up learning a bit of PHP since I can now use it with this host, and used it to make handling the styles and navigation all put on the server. I had problems before where I wanted to add or change the main site navigation, so now I can easily change or update the entire site navigation without any javascript.

I also improved cross-browser support on the site with better XHTML programming and in most places, valid XHTML. I made the fonts bigger and easier to read, and most of all, made every single flash page standard and the same. Because since the site started out, the flash pages have constantly been evolving to how I saw fit. Now every single flash file is hosted on the site, and each page is the same, along with appropriate links needed for each file.

Another big thing that may actually be noticable for some, was the drastic drop in file sizes. Most flash pages went from eight to two kB. The front page used to show ALL the links (and was about 26 kB), but with the new layout it is around 10.

This redesign took up most of my time for the last couple months, so now that it's all done I plan on working on getting up more content for the site, and adding more and more features and sections.

Related: Redesign 2008