7 years, it has been 7 years since I created this website and it did not change for the last 7 years. This was really time to get a redesign.
Refreshing the identity of the company is not an easy task, because, if the previous design was here for 7 years, I can expect the new design to also last 7 years. This resulted in a couple of simple questions to answer:
- How would I design a website for 7 years?
- What are the current trends which are going to flourish in the next years?
- What is the simplest system to ensure worry free operation for another 7 years?
A New Design and Identity
The new design is basically a simpler version of the old design, the main changes are on the motto of the company. After 7 years, I know what I do: Fluid Phase Equilibria, Chemical Properties & Databases and as such, this motto is everywhere on the website. You can see it at the bottom.
This results in a simplification of the logo, I no longer have the Software for the Scientific World line at the bottom. I took the opportunity to rotate the star of the logo to have the top edge totally horizontal, this has a better rendering at small size as it is possible to be pixel perfect.
Basically, a bit simpler but still the same.
A New System to Design the Website
Mobile first, if you are building websites now, the trend is definitely to provide a mobile optimized version of your website. I must say, for the moment, mobile browsing of ceondo.com is not my priority, but it should be possible to provide it in the future without problems.
This why I am using SASS. This is basically a layer on top of the traditional CSS and it allows me to have cleaner style sheets and take into accounts the different browser versions easily. A simple example is that you can have variables in your CSS files, for example, for the color of a border and you can reuse the variable everywhere.
A New System to Publish the Website
No software on the server, just plain HTML files build from a canonical source of content using the Pelican software. Since my first website in 1994, plain HTML pages work very well and never break. The canonical source of content is a simple stack of utf-8 encoded simple text files looking like:
Title: New Céondo Website Tags: News, Design Date: 2015-01-12 14:20 Image: /images/2015/v1.ceondo.com.header.png Summary: After 7 years, it was ... the company website. 7 years, it has been 7 years ... this website and it did not change for the ... This was really time to get a redesign. Etc...
Very simple to manage and generate. It was very easy to import the old website into this format.
The added benefit is that the website is extremely secure. The website is also now delivered over an encrypted connection (SSL).
Still Some Work
I still need to do a couple of things, this includes:
- automatically generate the work reports from my time tracker for my customers. They of course should be protected with a login/password.
- get a protected file download area for each customer.
- some old blog posts have lost some pictures.
- improve the home and services pages, I am not totally satisfied with them.
- pushing new content on a regular basis.
- get the new years card script to work again (not yet sure how I will do it).
The styling and the content will also need to be improved with the time based on user feedback and my personal taste.