I’ve made a major redesign of my portfolio site, estancabigas.com this week because I’ve wanted to introduce some changes into the layout and some features. The result, an ultraminimalist layout that saw fewer static html pages and the introduction of WordPress to power some areas. The V2 design (version 2) was already simplistic but for the viewer, it involves more clicks just to cycle throught the photos. While I didn’t pursue a full flash based site, I instead simplified it.
The biggest visible change is how I present my photos. Keyword here is horizontal scrolling. Instead of making a flash based slideshow with thumbnails, I instead opted to present all photos in the series in one page. I don’t see this as a problem due to the prevalence of broadband in today’s internet. This will also limit user clicks just to go forward or back through the photos. In short, it’s much user friendly. On coding, it’s more easier for me.
After much procrastination, I’ve finally included a contact form so that it will be much more easier for those who would be interested to send me an email instead of opening their browser/mail client and keying in my email address, they can just type in their info and message and send it at the click of the submit button.
In the main page, I’ve included two introductory slideshows that automatically plays when the page is loaded. At least, it provides a welcome introduction and a little bit of sophistication (ehem, if you may please).
However, the most interesting part of this design lies under the hood: the integration of WordPress to power some of the features and not necessarily for blogging! What led me to install this blogging platform was all because of the contact form. I really had difficulty (hmmm, more like feeling lazy I guess) of integrating those php mailer forms out there. I find it a hassle of configuring it and following all those convulted steps. Instead, I opted to integrate wordpress and used cforms II. I really find this plugin very versatile and useful and it just involved a little reconfiguration in the CSS to get the look I want.
With the contact form done, I was looking at adding a flash based slideshow in the main page. Unfortunately, I forgot how to code in Flash and just didn’t have the time to go through a tutorial that I remembered that I had NextGEN Gallery installed locally that can be used to address just what I wanted to do. And really, it’s so simple!
I’m also integrating a blog which will focus on the projects that I am/will be pursuing. As of now, the blog’s look is still very basic and will be fined tuned in the days to come. As with the previous redesign, this is a combination of HTML/CSS.