It’s been five years since my website was given a lick of new paint and in internet time, that’s an eternity. Not only was it looking a little old fashioned but parts of it were cumbersome to update and for technical reasons, it was essential I made some changes. Now, after a lot more work than I anticipated, I’ve completely rebuilt the site from the ground up.
What was the essential technical reason for the update?
In a nutshell, hosting. I had been with my previous hosts since my first ever website, going back maybe 15 years. However, they weren’t keeping up with technology, support was often slow and they were recently bought out by another company who gets terrible reviews. Switching to a new host was both essential and the catalyst for everything that was to follow.
With a host move, it seemed the perfect time to freshen everything up too. There are a lot of improvements made across the entire site, some that are visually obvious and some under the hood, but all add up to make for a much more user friendly browsing experience. The main highlights break down as follows:
- Design: The old site was essentially two in one. The front end was all static html pages but the blog side used WordPress. Both looked different so it was a jarring user experience and, visually, was a little old fashioned. Now everything flows together as one cohesive website and, with a more modern design, is an evolution of the old. Check out the new look wildlife workshops page for just one example of the new design.
- Responsive: The old site didn’t look very good on mobile devices. Now, it’s fully responsive so it looks just a good on a small screen as a big one. Resize your browser window or rotate your device and give it a try!
- Retina Ready: Not only was the navigation poor on mobile but it all looked a little blurry on Retina screens. That’s been addressed now and everything looks beautiful on high resolution displays.
What do you think of the new look?
Admittedly this post is as much for my own nostalgia and a mile marker as anything else but, I’d love to know what you think of the redesign. Have a look around and if you’re on Twitter, use the quotes below to let me know…you can either leave them as is or edit them for the personal touch before you tweet.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Love the new website design.” quote=”Love the new website design.”]
You can’t win them all. If you don’t like something about what you see, let me know. I won’t be offended and you may even have spotted something I hadn’t considered.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Not too keen on the new website design.” quote=”Not too keen on the new website design.”]
One more thing…
Undertaking such a huge rebuild, from the ground up, was far more work than I anticipated. There are still a few little tweaks to finish but there would have been far more, had it not been for the advice and input from a couple of trusted friends. Sometimes, you get so wrapped up in what you are doing, outsiders perspectives are crucial. One friend in particular had me pestering him on everything from ‘should I move that element one pixel to the left?’ down to catching glaring typos that had been staring at me for weeks. You know who are you and I salute you!