Wednesday 2 May 2007

Website update

I have now updated each of the three sections of our website (done over several days). I approached this update much like I do with home renovations, I make a list of things that are broken and things I want to improve.

While my blog is relatively new and the standard Blogger template I was using was ok, if I ever wanted to change any of the colors for the nice rounded boxes I would need to change all the images. This would be a pain! I had used some CSS trickery on the Ben's Software pages to do this but that was also a pain to maintain. I also wanted to have random backgrounds on the blog. The Ben's Software pages were the oldest part of the site (having been transferred from Geocities with little modification) so it was time to do a general cleanup to make them look at bit more professional. With the addition of the blog I now had three separate sections to the website and I wanted each of these linked and improve their navigation. Lastly I wanted to add in better website tracking.

To find the rounded corners I just did a couple of Google searches and reasonably quickly found what I wanted. In the end I chose two different javascripts that generate the corners on-the-fly. In the end I found 2 different javascript solutions. To give me nice anti-aliased boxes that will work with any of the random backgrounds on the blog I chose Curvy Corners. However, since I wanted a drop shadow for Ben's Software, I chose Ruzee Borders (which does not work well with the random background). Another Google search found a random background javascript, currently there are 6 possible background images.

For improving the navigation I had a look at a couple of other websites (such as and they used links at the end of each page called breadcrumbs. These have been added to Ben's Software and the Photos pages.

Lastly I added Google's Analytics to monitor traffic on each section of the website.

I have tried to make sure that these changes work in well in most browsers (let me know if things don't work or look right). However, I have done most of my testing on Safari and Firefox. This should work in Internet Exploiter but I highly recommend you get Firefox as it is quite simply much better :)

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