After several months of development, today I'm happy to relaunch my website with a fresh design and some new features under the hood.
For several months now -- well, closer to a year -- I've felt my old design was holding back the site. It was fairly simplistic, and owing to the its heritage with my old blog, in which I mostly wrote on technical subjects. Gearing up to publishing my first books, I felt it was long past time for a refresh.
Since I write across multiple genre's, I found it difficult to come up with an overall theme -- fantasy and modern techno-thrillers are obviously very different stylistically. So, I decide to go with a clean theme that doesn't pigeonhole me into one particular genre or an other.
The site is built in Bootstrap 4, a very popular CSS framework. My backend is still the excellent Pelican static-site generator, so much of my efforts was in developing a Pelican theme using Bootstrap's available widgets, customised for different content types.
I'm not yet finished -- I'll still likely to tweak the layout, colours and fonts but for the most part I'm happy with how it's turned out.
So what's changed apart from the theme?
I decided to rebuild the site and give more prominence to my books, reviews and and tutorials. I'm hoping this will make it easier for readers to find the sort of content they are most interested in. It's also preparing the way for future enhancements.
I didn't think I needed a dedicated contact page anymore, replacing that with the contact links in the header navigation and the footer.
Comments are out, Twitter's in
After a bit of internal debate, I've decided to junk the comments plugin. I never liked Disqus and, honestly I get far more engagement on Twitter, Facebook and Email.
Twitter is my preferred social media platform, and it's where I'm most active. So, I decided to embed my feed on the new home page.
The site now used HTTPs for encrypted transmission between your browser and my server. This is partly in preparation to sell books directly from my site and partly because, well, it's part of being a good web citizen.
The redesign's occupied a lot of my time and so it's great to get the proverbial monkey off my back. I'll now be able to start blogging again. I've got new reviews coming as well as plans to a few Scrivener tutorials.
I've also been writing a lot, and have three books now in various stages of completion. I'll be posting updates soon, including some pretty awesome news!