|the neverending quest||Posted in webby on May 4, 2022|
...to finally find a decent layout for the homepage of dvd3000.ca :/
Personal websites have been around since the beginning of the internet, and some people (people who might want freedom of speech and expression online) continue to run and create new personal sites.
One thing that I always noticed, is that most people barely use their websites. Just put up a couple pages and that's it. A good amount of personal websites I see just have a title, and less than 15 links sitting there for all the pages on the site and any other links to other sites. When I first started my website in 2014 in Microsoft Word, I did essentially the same thing.
my website as seen in 2017 (still similar to how it was in 2014)
It worked for a while, but as I kept adding more and more, and my site continued to grow, it quickly outgrew the "just put every link on the homepage" layout that I had. By 2019, I was still running with this layout, and it was getting to the point where I wasn't even able to find stuff on my own website, and I thought "If I can't even find my own stuff, how could anyone else?"
my website in 2019. yea there used to be a lot at the top of the page
So something had to be done, but as you may know, I have no idea how web design works. My website just had too much stuff to organize in the same way other people's sites were.
the links were below all that stuff
My first attempt was in 2019, where I kept all the links on the homepage, but tried to organize them into categories. Over the years, I had gotten attatched to the homepage, as I'd been building onto the same html file and layout since 2014. Eventually as I started adding more content in subpages and making sections for things that wouldn't fit any way else, I knew that the pile of links on the homepage had to go, same with the old homepage in general.
one of my many "possible new design" test sites
In 2020, I attempted to make the homepage an easy to navigate place where you could go through the sections, and see what's new. But it still didn't sit right with me.
I have my own stupid made up rule that the homepage of the site has to be viewable on EVERYTHING. All other pages don't apply, like in the case where this page uses CSS and other styling (although still being 600px wide), I put a goal out for myself to make a decent homepage with NO CSS and only basic, antiquated HTML tags, the most styling being done with tables, all images in either GIF or JPG, and for the page width to be only 600px. The new site layout, while I liked it, just wasn't going to work for me and my made up rules.
my website in oct 2020 (halloween theme), "improved" version
Through late 2020 into mid 2021, I changed and messed around with a improved version of the original link pile homepage, being very similar but showing off new additions to the site at the top, the main sections of the site (computers, television and links) and the rest of the sections being at the bottom. This worked, and helped to keep some clutter off the homepage and the sections made sense enough to navigate easily. But still, I just wasn't pleased with it. The page honestly didn't look that good, it was just really dry looking, and the page was long and clunky to use. In mid 2021 I redid this version of the page, seperating parts of it into different tables, adding more colors for the links and sections, and used tables for the layouts, borders, and text positioning, and after I was done, I looked at it and was... half pleased with the result.
my website in april 2022
I really liked how easy it was to navigate, and the colors helped to make it more interesting and less bland, but something still didn't feel right, I didn't exactly like how the table block sections looked, and it was hard for me to decide where to put stuff, being restricted to 600px wide takes away a lot of potentional multi-column site layouts.
my website as of right now, may 5 2022
Eventually I decided to try messing around with some of the HTML, and came up with this. Of course, this isn't done yet, but for the first time in a long time, I'm really liking the homepage layout.
I moved the big section of sections to a column on the left site, even though I had to sacrifice the section dates and descriptions. Now I had the arguably most important part of the homepage up in full view without having to scroll down, with the welcome and updates sections still up front on the right.
With the newly acquired 130px wide column, it's just wide enough to fit some extra stuff underneath. I put back some stuff that was previously removed from the site, like the homepage DuckDuckGo search box and other site links. I also added in some new stuff like my iMood status and I also finally went and joined the yesterweb webring and added the widget to my site.
So there you have it, my new site layout, barely fitting into a 600 pixel wide space while only using old HTML tags and tables. So if you're bored, try to load this page in Netscape 4 or something, it'll probably work, and if it doesn't then I dunno, cause I'm pleased with what I have right now.
The homepage might look a little different if I could use all of the HTML and CSS that the web has to offer for my advantage, but only for the homepage I have chosen to not do this. But maybe I'll change it someday, who knows.
I think I have a somewhat unique way of creating my website. I like to give each page its own unique touch and personality and set them apart from others. Some might call that inconsistent, but I call it interesting.
three : self
dvd3000 is just another netizen yelling into the void
this is my website! and where I've been collecting my internet happenings off and on since 2014.
just come on in and make yourself at home, and don't mind the mess..