This website has gone through a few design changes over the years. That’s going to happen to a work in progress, which this very much is, but I wanted to explain a few of the choices I made.
This may be a pointless exercise, but, if anything, it’ll make it clearer to me.
First and foremost, what is this site all about? It is my portfolio site, and a place to show off to the world what I have done, and collate it together. That is it’s primary focus on the web.
The second, I guess, is to collate all the links of where I am elsewhere on the web, and make this one central point.
That explains why this website looks the way it does. First, the design. It’s a WordPress theme, yes. It is Coraline by Automattic, and it is this way because it looks good. We’ll get to why in a second. But, the theme is in place because I know that I cannot code a website myself, and cannot design a good user experience. I made this job a little easier.
I used this, with the three column approach, because it looks like a newspaper. It wasn’t at the forefront of my mind when I put it in (I wanted a clean, column approach), but I suppose it does look like a newspaper, and it stays. Mainly, I am about news, so it works.
I have my previous blog posts on one side, and published articles on another, with the content in the middle. This is because all three of the things are important to me, and hopefully to you, the reader. The blog posts link to the blogs, and the published articles link to the web version, or a copied version on to this website.
Underneath that I have put my Tweets and my Facebook page on the left hand side. I figured that anything I say on that is less of an importance to you if you’re reading a story, article or blog post on here. Links to other relevant, interesting, or good websites are also underneath the stories on the right hand side. This, I thought, would be because if you’re reading what I have to say, then when you get to the bottom,y you may want to see who influences me. It’s closer to the end of the article, that way.
Sharing buttons are important. I have the Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest button at the top, dead centre of the article, and big. WordPress, with Jetpack, would put them at the bottom. I decided I would use a plugin to stick them higher, and customise them a bit. I chose Facebook and Twitter because they’re the two big ones, G+ because it’s supposedly the third big one, and Pinterest because I do a lot of photos and video content, so they can pin those (watermarked, of course). No others. I don’t need them on here. Maybe you disagree?
Finally, the layout at the top. It’s a nice big picture I took, of star trails. I thought it looked nice as a banner. I hope you agree. The menus link to the important parts, with the Contact and elsewhere on the web page linking to the multitude of different places you can find me.
My CV is in full and available to download on the CV page, via Scribd. I have talked about it elsewhere on the website, to (hopefully) work with Google Search Rankings.
And I suppose I need to explain where it started. This website was basically forced to be started, as a wordpress.com weblog, in 2009 via Sue Greenwood at Staffs University, as part of a level 2 online journalism module. I moved it to self-hosted quickly after that, and now use it as my primary point of contact for me.
I hope this was a little bit interesting to you. It helped me reason why I made some choices on this website the way I did. I quite like this now. I hope you do to.