HayoBethlehem.nl V10

This website has been pretty boring since February. There were a few reasons for that. I'll be talking about those in future posts. I did use the lull productively, as I hereby launch my freshly improved website. You may need to refresh your cache.

The first step for my redesign process was to establish where I wanted to go with my personal branding. The style of my websites has changed a lot the last eleven years. The design before this one was the first to introduce anything resembling brand identity. I had to consider if I wanted to keep the shield-logo, improve it, or try something else. I decided to keep the shield, and improve upon it, thus establishing it as a vital part of the identity of the website. It’s actually the third version of the logo, though the second was never widely used.

After finishing the logo it became clear which directions I could take with the rest of the site.  I’d always wanted tot try a dark design, and that theme fitted perfectly with the new logo. The Photoshop file just grew from there. I’m sad to say this website has seen the longest development cycle ever, so in the last two weeks I decided to rush it to production, and leave a few bits out.

A few bits and pieces

  • I used this CC icon set by Paul Davey for the news archives. I tried designing my own, and failed miserably
  • You might notice forty percent of the content is missing. Lets call that spring cleaning. There was too much nonsense on the site, and it needed to be cut (“Why did you leave the news section then?” – shut up Tim!).
  • I finally implemented Akismet for my commenting systems. So far, it works
  • I’m now using google analytics for traffic monitoring
  • I haven’t tested for Internet Explorer 6 yet
  • I killed the three themes approach. It just wasn’t working. My original assumption was that differentiation would stimulate my writing, but it only stifled it. So now we have the return of the single news section, but now with expandable categories.
  • My last design had the stupid mistake of using images for headers. This has cost me dearly in Google: more than one pagerank point.So that’s fixed now.
  • I once again didn’t get around to adding video support. that’s all right, i don’t have content for that anyway.
  • I’m still on the fence on the whole should-I-use-flickr-or-not issue. I’d rather post the image I put on there on my own site, but I would be missing out on the whole community thing. I’m first going to try and see if I’m actually going to post images on my website, and whether it will take over from posting to flickr in the future.

So there you have it. Version 10 of HayoBethlehem.nl sees the light.