Quick Update

So I just thought I better update the ol' blog - not posted since 2011 - yikes! I'm still here, and I've not given up on it! 🙂

I'm busy working on a large-scale project at the moment, so I've been consumed with work, but I will be posting a bunch of stuff relating to the project soon - there is much to blog about in the way of in-depth tutorials into all kinds of things from complex JavaScript, to even more complex PHP. I've got ideas for articles on not only the techniques, but also approaches to things like refactoring and testing code and websites as a whole. So stay tuned, and I'll be with you in the not too distant future!

Site Redesign 2011

Well I finally got around to it! For months I've been procrastinating and finding other thing to do, but today I am proud to announce that I have successfully redesigned the blog and built a new theme. What you see before you is the result of many hours working on design and coding (as most websites are), during the process which spanned several months, I had about 4 different designs for the blog. But after about a week I found myself disliking every one. But I managed to finally design what I think is a rather clean and simple theme to house the blog. Unlike the theme which preceded this new one (I'm calling it 'Focus' by the way), I set the primary goal being that of reducing visual noise. Each time I came to design an element I asked myself "is this really essential?", because I wanted to design an experience that foregrounded the content above all else.

So what have I done to ensure your reading isn't distracted? Well you won't find a sidebar anywhere on the site. You won't find a list of months in which posts were published, and you won't find my latest tweet anywhere on the site. Why not? Well the way I see it is this. Most people come to Tom's Big Box to see the articles I written - in fact in most cases I visit blogs for that purpose, and that purpose alone. So why should I add all this visual noise when nobody cares about it? If you want to see my latest tweet, follow me on Twitter. As for the archives, you can view all posts by date on the archives page, but if you want to see them any other way you will have to guess that URL; why? Because I asked myself the question "have I ever wanted to see what posts were posted in a given month?" - nope. And I doubt any of my visitors have either - I can see only 1 unique on a month's archive.

Above: I even recorded the bulk of the coding side of things in a timelapse!

But beyond removing certain elements, I've also added certain things like better code highlighting (expect a tutorial soon), and better semantic markup. The site is now coded in HTML5 meaning I can call myself one of the cool kids. I've also removed a number of plugins and just generally cleaned up the code, so the site should be working a lot faster. I've also written some very specific code just for mobile to ensure you get the best viewing experience - even though the changes are subtle, they make a big difference. I've also added caching to speed things up!

And that's it! I hope you like the new theme and I hope it helps you get a clearer view of what you are trying to see, and if you have any questions, or notice any errors, please send me a pigeon.

Updates are coming!

I've not blogged in months, I know, I'm lazy. But things are going to change. I am in the process of redesigning the site and have a number of articles that I'm working on, so this is just a post to check in and let you know I'm not gone and am going to return to blogging in the near future.

So where have I been? Well I've been busy working on sites such as Cooking Pete and updating things like my about.me profile (the background of which lends itself to this post). I've also been working on a couple of iPhone Apps that'll hopefully be finished very soon as well. Alongside that I've got a few side projects that I am constantly adding to but that won't be ready for some time. But luckily I've encountered a number of interesting problems along the way, so I've got a number of articles in the works (I do have some nearly done, but I don't want to post half-arsed articles).

So that's it really. This post is really simply about re-assuring you that despite my last post being published in September last year, I am going to make an effort come early June to push the new design, and post a bunch more quality posts - stay tuned!

What’s that, another theme?!

Ah yes, it is true, I have changed the theme on the site yet again! Why? Well because I quickly concluded that the previous theme, named "Elegancia" was rather sub-standard, and so I set about creating a more robust theme for the site. While working on this theme I've come up with plenty of idea for tutorials, that is, I encountered a multitude of problems and have overcome them. So you can soon look forward to even more WordPress-related bits and bobs, but don't worry I add a bit of something else in along the way!

It's name you ask? Well I call this one... SimpleAs.

Say hello to Elegancia!

So some time has passed now since I started this blog, and I decided that I had had enough of the excellent theme that I had in place. And as I call myself a web designer I decided that I would design a theme, specifically one based on elegance, and then use it on my blog. The theme is called Elegancia and took me about 3 weeks to perfect. It uses some CSS3 for corner rounding and for some of the shadows, however the post-image shadows are just an image. Also take a look at the handy post switching option. What?! Well on the home page there are 3 posts below the featured post, you can drag and drop these onto the featured post to lead more information before you visit the individual post page.

The theme should be fully functional, but obviously if you find any kinks that need ironing out feel free to contact me using the link above.

The theme will soon be up for sale - more details coming soon. Also I should tell you that this is only temporary, until I finish up the real redesign especially for Tom's Big Box 🙂

Back Online

Well it's been a long time since I posted on this lovely blog, but I wanted to start again before the new year! Well sooner rather than later I always say. So all the old content has gone to be replaced with fresher, more up to date, and generally better content. My blog will now focus primarily on web design and on some technology news. Overall I will be blogging about the subjects that interest me, usually technology related. I hope to drop in the odd tutorial as well.

The tutorials I create will be wide-ranging - from After Effects to Photoshop, from design to PHP. I hope you will find it interesting and enjoy the ride!

Oh and I know I was going to build a theme of my own but when I found this one I felt it was better than something I could have achieved anyways. In the future I suspect I will build my own, but at the moment I don't have the time to be focused on such things, so I decided to leave it to the professionals!