What happened to the web site?

Posted: 14 July 2014 in Development

The old web site was, well, old - very old. It hadn't been updated with any new content in 10 years, and wasn’t even close to representing the type of work that I do now. The excuse I'm sticking to is "I've been busy". Busy with work, clients, the changing online landscape, and of course life, the universe and everything.

Building a website for myself and the business always takes a back seat to customer sites and work in general. Every time I sit down to build a new version of the business site I set out a list of things to add, features to have and technologies to use. Then with that stack of work in front of me I start building the site, and sooner or later something crops up that drags me away. Eventually I get back to it (usually months later) and I look at what I’ve done and think “there’s a better way to do that”. I get caught up in implementing new techniques or technologies that I've been working with instead of finishing the site and then guess what - something else crops up. Rinse, repeat - and it's been going on for years.

Yesterday I decided to change that, I wanted to ship a deliverable in an agile fashion, that is to say: take a specific feature (or set of features) of the site that I can build out, ship quickly and just get it done.

So here we are - I've completely removed the old site (kept it for posterity) and uploaded this one which is the absolute bare minimum required to get something up and running. There's no styling, no images and barely any content at all - just enough so that folks can get in touch (at the bottom, or possibly on the right, hard to tell at this stage ??). All that will come later as and when time allows.

Won't potential clients be turned off?

Maybe, but I don't think it's any more of a turn off than having a site that's as old as the hills! It's not my intention to have the site this way for long, it's an extreme measure to focus my mind on this and stop it getting shunted to the end of the priority list, it'll be updated little and often from here on out.

The story so far...

OK, so what have I done so far? As said, just enough to let you read this:

  1. I've set up an ASP.NET MVC web project as the backbone for the site.
  2. The basic site template is based on the HTML5 Boilerplate template.
  3. I've set up a simple flat file database for these blog posts because it was fast to implement - it's a simple XML file with a couple of fields in it. That'll have to change pretty quickly but it's fine for now.
  4. Added a basic stylesheet to make the site reasonably legible (including Fontawesome).
  5. Added Disqus for some comment goodness.

That's about it for now, no bells nor whistles, just plain old text and a whiff of CSS and Javascript.

Coming soon ™

The idea here is that I'll post a little on the choices I make as I go along, and I'm hoping this will turn into a development diary of sorts. Post below if there's anything specific you'd like to see on here as part of the series, I'm interested to hear any feedback as we go along.

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