Things are going to get a little weird | February 27, 2011

This blog launched in August 2003 and was one of the very first standards based websites in the UK. Back then Flash was king and the latest design trend was the pixel font. We viewed the web though a 800×600 lens and few people even knew about accessibility, let along cared. How times have changed.

The rest of the web has moved on, but my little backwater has remained frozen in time. What seemed like cutting edge back in 2003 is now embarrassingly out of date. As such, my blog has been a source of shame for at least 5 years (and possibly more). I’ve wanted to update the site for a long old time, and even posted up a few design concepts a couple of years back. However a changing relationship status, a hectic speaking schedule and the setting up of my own agency all seemed to get in the way.

For several years I could justify the excuses, but as time has gone by I’ve become more and more ashamed of this site. As such my posts have dropped from a dozen a month to just one. Similarly what was once one of the highest trafficked blogs in the UK has turned into a parochial backwater.

Things got to a breaking point this weekend and I just couldn’t look at the site any longer. So I’m going to start ripping the guts out of MovableType (yes, it’s THAT old) and start from afresh. This isn’t going to be a redesign as I don’t have the time and energy in me. So instead it’s a pairing down. More of an un-design than a redesign.

I’m going to be making these changes live, as doing it in public will give the the motivation to fix things that are broken. However broken no doubt things will be. So please bear with me faithful visitors. It may take a few weeks, or even a few months, but scheduled viewing will return soon. Hopefully cleaner, hopefully a little more modern, and above all, with some form of regularity.

Until then, you have been warned.

Posted at February 27, 2011 6:33 PM


Mike D. said on February 27, 2011 8:12 PM

Hey, at least you aren’t moving to Tumblr. My advice? Port that shit to WordPress, start with a fairly bare bones theme (or none at all) and then customize from there. MT is dead.

Paul Lloyd said on February 27, 2011 8:36 PM

Glad to see you’ve finally committed to updating the site! These early changes are already a vast improvement; the simpler and less cluttered the better I say. I do hope this simplification includes the removal of Google Ads too (or at least being replaced with more targeted, less aggressive adverting such as those delivered by The Deck, Fusion Ads or similar).

With regards to Movable Type, it’s very much alive, and even more so now that it’s being maintained and developed by a dedicated team in Japan. I considered moving to WordPress some years ago, but version 5 changed my opinion, and the next release refines the product even more.

Whilst it’s very easy to jump to the latest fashionable CMS, that can often be fraught with dangers (see Tumblr downtime and every ‘Fireballed’ WordPress blog). At the end of the day you should use whatever works best for you, not others.

Mike D. said on February 27, 2011 8:45 PM

“With regards to Movable Type, itís very much alive, and even more so now that itís being maintained and developed by a dedicated team in Japan.”

Is that a serious statement?

Also, being “fireballed” has nothing to do with being on WordPress. It has to do with being uncached. Since MT writes out static files (ugh), it’s automatically cached. With WordPress, you just have to turn on caching via any number of means.

Paul Lloyd said on February 27, 2011 9:50 PM

Mike: I was correcting your original statement (‘MT is dead’) which is incorrect as the product is still under active development. Granted, the community isn’t as vibrant or diverse as that for WordPress, but quantity isn’t always indicative of quality.

Personally, I see no issue with writing out static files (although can choose to use a dynamic publishing option if you wish) as it means the performance or availability of my database has little impact on that of my site (which is essentially the role of caching). However, my point stands: choose the platform you feel most comfortable with.

walter said on February 27, 2011 10:19 PM

MT is not dead, it’s hanging on at he hospice.

Luke Dorny said on February 27, 2011 10:43 PM

You’re doing a great job, Andy.
I for one am happy to see someone revising with the shades up, rafters and paint splatters included.
I used to lurk on your site back then. Not any longer. Keep it up.

Nick Ali said on February 28, 2011 12:18 AM

I say this as a WordPress user and fan: MT might be dying, but the constant need to update WP due to this and that is plain irritating. That doesn’t seem to be much of a problem with MT or any other well-known CMS.

Andy Budd said on February 28, 2011 12:32 AM

Thanks for the words of encouragement people. Much appreciated. Think I’ll stick with MT while I rejig the design, but may look for other options once that’s sorted.

James Noble said on February 28, 2011 1:54 AM

I’m with Mike D on this one, Tumblr seems to be the blog of choice for clients, not pro’s as from my experience the downtime is just to great.

Movable Type still ticking over, but if you’re future timelines are anything like the last, I’d not wager on it being around in 8 years time.

Current updates are looking great mate, looking forward to seeing the additions and occasional PHP error.

Kilian said on February 28, 2011 7:30 AM

>”maintained and developed by a dedicated team in Japan.”

Translation, if MT isn’t dead by now, they’ve made sure it’ll be very soon.

Gavin Wye said on March 1, 2011 8:38 AM

It looks finished to me right now. Simple, elegant easy to read. Do you actually need to do any more?

Justin said on March 1, 2011 9:49 PM

Great job. I love the way you did the titles with the date. Oh and the brown color as well.

German said on March 2, 2011 9:31 PM

Hi! I just clicked the title of this entry (in google reader) and get to this place:
Just wanted you to know that this is taking to the old site. Have a good day!

mattyk said on April 1, 2011 8:22 AM

Hi Andy,
Found your blog really inspiring and helpful when I started a few (!) years back so I’m looking forward to your new posts!

(Just caught up with this post as my RSS feeds are piling up!)