Another day off work with nothing productive to do so I thought I’d take a little stroll down memory lane and take a look at my past creations and see how I’ve matured as a web developer. This site has gone through many changes. Most of those changes are for the better. At least, I hope they became better as time went on.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Whoops, sorry, wrong story. In the beginning I created version one of my site. At the time, the site was hosted on Sympatico’s server. They allocated 25mb of web space for me because I had signed up for their DSL Regular service. The web space was going to waste at first until I finally became interested with web designing. The first version, like other first versions, was the simplest of design. There was nothing complicated about it, a banner at the top, a navigation menu on the left and right, with the content area in the middle. Everything on the page was static and the links was connected to another page. There was no consistency with the layout. Each page looked like a whole other site.Version 2 was a bit more powerful than v1 because this was when I started playing around with PHP. I started working with templates in order to keep the look and feel consistent throughout the site. With the help of PHP, I made one page which keeps the look of the site. The other pages that I made contained only the content. As the page is loading, PHP will attach the smaller pages into the main page depending on which page the visitor wanted to see. There wasn’t much else I could do because my knowledge of PHP was still in the early stages.
Version 3 came in two flavours, a red them and a blue theme. At the time, I was starting to experiment more with Photoshop and back then, the plastic effect was in. I could have easily made a few different themes for this version but that was a bit too much work. I didn’t understand much about CSS at the time. If I did, making multiple themes and changing them on the fly would have been a breeze. There wasn’t much to this layout. The only different from the previous version was that the content area would expand depending on the site of the window. Exciting isn’t it?
Version 4 didn’t really last long because of the way things were set up. I was playing around with this new window theme layout thing where the site was almost like an operating system. Each section of the site would pop up in a little window inside the browser. But the code wasn’t 100% working so there were some compatibility issues from browser to browser. You don’t see any content in the screenshot because at the time, the code didn’t want to run. Scrap!
Version 5 is probably my favourite version. It had a nice clean layout, with matching colours and a bit of a futuristic look to it. The site was ‘Sexiest Blog of the Day’ over on Blogger Idol. But the guy that was in charge of that blog is no longer writing blogs for them so I barely go there now. But anyway, this version was created around the same time that RSS feeds were starting to become popular. I added an RSS reader that would grab the latest news from other sites. This was also the time when I started blogging more often. I think everyone else was too. The majority of the content for this version was contributed by the blog. The ‘Ask Don’ section was fairly popular as well but lately, no one has been asking any questions. I guess I’ve answered them all.
Version 6 incorporated the new Ajax technology which made everything loading without distracting the visitors. In order to get some new content, the visitor would click and a link and the content would show up without having to load another page. I was able to add a bit more functionality to the shoutbox, making it into a real time chatbox. Recently, with the addition of avatars, it’s has only grown stronger. What will I think of next? Hmmm…
Going from one version to another, I can never tell if the next version is going to be any better than the previous version. A website releases a new version because the next version has something new that the previous version didn’t have. My version releases are more related to design. The newer has some new functionality but not a lot. Going from v5 to v6 was a big step because v6 has a whole lot of functionality added. Usually when the new version is in the works, everything from the previous version is scrapped and I start from scratch. I try to finish one version before moving on to the next but sometimes I get an idea which has to be started or else I’ll forget it. At the moment, I’m currently thinking about v7. As web technology start to get better, so will this site. I don’t know why I’ve put so much time into this site when I should be putting time into the company site. I’ll be sure to get on the company site once I’m done with v7.