My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

Website redesign

Those of you not reading this through a feed (that is, if anyone actually subscribes to my feed...) will notice things looking a little ... different.

This is the long-awaited, long promised redesign! The previous design has been in use since before my site moved to A Small Orange in October 2005. It was time for a change, time for a fresh look, time to update the site to better reflect me. That was a challenge on its own.

As I began toying with designs, I had to confront the question What reflects my personality? What could I put in my personal site design? After all, that's the only purpose this site has--it's a vanity site. I could incorporate pictures of me, except I don't have many. Maybe some scenes of Thunder Bay. I toyed with various concepts and positioning. Eventually I struck on the idea of using a vertical banner image of my socks-and-sandals photo. It looked nifty and different, plus it is most definitely me. I like socks with sandals. :D

I chipped away at the rest of the design piece by piece. I found a good stock photo of a tea cup to include in the background. I added some content to my about section. And it all came together. It's been a lot of work, but I'm fairly pleased with the final result.

I've aggregated more content by including widgets that show what I'm reading, what I'm doing, future plans, and even sites I think are cool. These will automatically update as I update my information on those various websites, which means less maintenance for me.

The photo gallery has also been redone to use a framework that accesses my Flickr photos. Unfortunately, I've run into some configuration problems with it--I'm very much aware of the unfortunate error message you'll receive if you try to view it right now. I hope to have that fixed soon. Also, I will eventually get around to styling the scripts wiki to match the rest of the site layout. I decided not to wait to launch the design.

Now that I've given my website an overhaul, I will try to overhaul the documentation for VSNS Lemon and then release VSNS Lemon 4.0 (which is what this blog now uses). After that, I have a new coding project I'm really excited about. It's kind of massive, however, so I'm not sure how well it will go ... we shall see. :shifty:

About Me

I’m a 26-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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