New Site Layout 2022
   3 min read    Thomas

So, the year 2022 has begun and now I did some major cleaning right here on the homepage! I have been enriching the internet with my homepage since around 1995 and a lot has changed over the years!

Luckily I didn’t find any archive files from my very first homepage. But I can assure you that the homepage, as like every page back then, contained rainbow hyphens and an “Underconstruction” sign! And of course a little Blink! πŸ˜†

Here the look of the website in 1999:

The look of the articles:

The whole website was coded directly in HTML with tables etc. and all without CSS, Javascript and stuff like that! Doesn’t look that great today, but 20 years later this old stuff still works in a modern browser!

Later I didn’t want to do this direct HTML programming anymore. Around 2000 the layout & the style sheet started to be separated. That was actually practical, but it also makes everything more complicated in the first step. The site also got a bit bigger, so link handling and resource management slowly got more and more complex. That’s why I switched to the website builder “Netobjects Fusion”. The result from 2001 can be seen here:

The look of the articles:

There you could “simply” click together your pages and hoped that the program would not disassemble the internal database again. Unfortunately, that was more often the case with the first versions, but you could get used to that too.

At some point, however, the pages with this tool were no longer interactive enough for me and I wanted to solve everything a bit more professionally. In 2008 the time had come. I switched to a content management system called “CMSmadeSimple”. Of course, I also adjusted the layout of the page at the same time:

The look of the articles:

I still think the idea of ​​using the pictures as a headline is really nice. Unfortunately, it always makes work if you just want to quickly tinker an article…
I was actually satisfied with this CMS for a very long time and I can still recommend it, even if the development at “CMSmadeSimple” has stagnated a bit. I’ve really never used the “interactive” features like comments or forums though. It was too much work for me to always scrape the spam off the page and fend off trolls.

The stupid thing about a PHP-based content management system is that you always have to keep the PHP version and the databases in the background up to date. This means that if you don’t want someone to deface the site with security gaps, you have to import updates, which in turn entail updates in the templates, etc. Accordingly, you have to fight your way through this update once or twice a year. You can invest a lot of time without seeing a result in the end. In the best case, everything works afterwards as before…

That’s why I’ve now put the homepage on a new basis, the Static Website Generator Hugo. I hope that I will have a basis for the homepage that I can work with for over 10 years. So far I’m happy with the result, although I’m a bit concerned about all the built-in javascript stuff built into the layouts. I hope everything stays compatible for a long time! 🏁

p.s. I think I’ll have to use the Rainbow Ruler more often… It still looks good!