03 June 2005

A new day, a new style

Phew! It's been a busy few weeks. I've been re-designing, rebuilding, and re-populating the Travel-Lists site, and now it is finally 'live'.

The basic thinking behind the redesign and the new business model is explained here, but it's also a long-overdue change of style.

The old site dates back to 1998 when it was designed for the Travel News Organisation. Ever since I changed the logo to travel-Lists and re-labeled a few bits I've been fighting the site. The navigation was never intuitive and because it was a 'frames' site visitors were always arriving from search engines on isolated pages (I couldn't use the javascript self-referencing frames hack for technical reasons). All in all it was an old-fashioned looking bodge job and I'm delighted to have a simple speedy site that does more or less what I want.

The new CSS-driven site looks business-like and is ruthlessly efficient. I can't tell you how liberating it is to strip out all the graphics! Anytime I want to change the design I can just fiddle around with the stylesheet. I'm not restricted by images of lines, boxes, corners, etc - the usual Fireworks flotsam & jetsam!

The original stylesheet comes from Ruthsarian (open-source, free copyright) and is a work of genius! It does two really clever things: it is multi-browser friendly (IE, Firefox, Opera, etc) and arranged so the centre-column content comes first in the source page, which makes it spider-friendly too.

Anyway, back to work. There are still a few little dead links and other minor glitches to sort out.






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