A friend called me the other day and said he was was trying to get to one of my sites, and he was on my ‘brochure’ site, www.vfsystems.net. Much like the cobblers children that have no shoes, the old vfsystems site was a site I had ignored for years and it was very dated and somewhat embarrassing.
So I decided to embark on rebuilding the site. I decided to use WordPress as the foundation, as it is pretty much a content site and WordPress is my favorite way to manage content. Also, the number of wordpress plugins available to easily customize the site came in handy. I found this nice plugin for my contact us page, and a nice rss feed plugin to pull my technology posts into the site as a way to keep the content fresh. I donated to the developers that built the plugins I used, as I am trying to get better about rewarding the developers of open software (there is an amazing amount of good stuff freely available out there).
The other cool thing about this site is its responsive. I found a responsive theme I liked created by Pep Themes. Rather than try to delve into CSS and build a responsive design, it was great to use a pre-built theme done by someone who had an eye for design and CSS. Responsive is the term for the site formatting the site differently depending on the screen size.
One of the better examples of a response site is bloomberg.com – go to that site and shrink your browser window, and see how the site reformats itself and swaps in different menus. Now go to www.vfsystems.net and shrink the browser window to simulate how it would appear on an iPad sized device or a phone. Back in the old days of the web (circa mid 2000’s), in addition to building a full website, we often had to create a mini site suitable for viewing on phones. Responsive designs have solved this problem, using one site for all devices.
So one more thing off my todo list. In addition to a new site that i don’t feel embarrassed about, I became familiar with more plugins and got some other great ideas about future enhancements.