I'm still working on the new website. Most of the posts (including artworks, blog posts and 365 posts from 2009, 2010 and 2011) are missing. These posts will return eventually. Thanks for your patience!
You have no idea how happy I am that the new website is finally online! Well, first things first. In this post I'll explain some important things to my visitors.
Every year I try to change my portfolio to improve it, better looking and user friendly. I've already changed the design this year but I felt it was time again for some changes since I added quite a few things to my portfolio this year. Below is a overview of the first version until the version you can see now and all the changes I made.
You should know that I'm so happy with the colors and styles which I barely changed since 2006. I did however change the layout itself quite a few times. I started out in April 2006 with two equally sized sidebars and the content in the middle, a header on top with photos in it. This version never made it online but I worked on it for quite some time to make it perfect.
The version after that, was the first one to actually be seen live on my blog. It launched in September 2006, when I was just in college. This version got three sidebars, fairly small ones. One left sidebar, then the content, then two more small sidebars on the right. It looked cluttered but I loved it so I could live with it. This version still had a header with pictures, but the photos were smaller and I added a picture of myself so people would know whose website they were visiting.
In 2007, I kept my design untouched, I was pregnant and busy taking care of my personal life. But in 2008 I slowly started to make a comeback and I did indeed redesign my portfolio. Same colors, same styles, but quite some changes. I removed the two sidebars on the right and replaced it with a wider version. This opened up a lot of opportunities like a nice Twitter block showing mine and other people's Tweets. Other changes in this design were the picture of me, I also changed the dimensions, meaning I also needed to adjust all the photographs used in my header. Other changes included a whole new top navigation which made it possible for me to remove the clutter in my sidebars. The small banner in the sidebar was replaced with a wide version right below the header. I also added a promotional banner showing some of my own designs.
In 2009 I changed my portfolio again. Unfortunately I had to disable the nice Twitter block because it was too heavy to load, Twitter was often experiencing downtime so that messed up my own website's loading time and of course I didn't want that! I also changed the top navigation. I realized I had too many menu items I didn't use yet and I didn't have time to fill all my pages. So instead I changed the menu until I had more pages done. I added promo blocks on the right side so people would see my latest website and my latest artwork.
I didn't think I would change my design again this year, but I did. The second version of 2009 is now done. I changed the menu again, slightly. I removed the Search button as people were not really using it, and I needed some space for a Themes button as I started sharing Wordpress and Drupal themes with the public and those should be easy to find.
I removed the middle section below the header, containing a Google banner, promotional banner with my own projects in it and the RSS button. It was taking up too much space and I liked the idea of having the content just a little higher up the page. If people come across a non-existing page, they still get the option to use my Search page.
On the right sidebar I added a Hire Me section, where people can read about my services and contact me if necessary. And then there's the Traditional Art block, showing my paintings and drawings, a Photography block with one of my (randomly chosen) photos, a Wordpress Themes block, as well as a Drupal Themes block. I removed the Current Desktop section. It's nice but I'm trying to show off more of my work and less fun stuff. I added a Wishlist section for those people who would like to thank me for my work.
On the left sidebar I removed the Meta block (where you login). I disabled registration because of the many spam registrations (I don't have time to check for spammers every day and there weren't any real people signing up anyway). So only existing accounts can login. And that can still be done, I moved the login to the footer. I changed the Team & Friends block to just Friends. Most of my team members are not using their SNWeblog at all and I don't feel like linking to terribly inactive blogs. I will add more friends in the future. I also changed the My Websites block. I changed the text links into nice images. I'm pretty sure it looks a bit cluttered but it will be easier for people to recognize the types of websites I added there. And I actually love it like this!
I'm pretty sure I will change it again in the future. I will continue to adjust it to suit my needs and hopefully make it better for the visitor as well.
I'm almost finished with my new theme (or shall I just call it a extremely updated version of my current theme). And before I will launch it, I would like to ask the visitors of my blog to give feedback, tips, comments on stuff for my website. I'm just wondering what items are missing on my blog? What items do you think are still missing?
A poll - Do you think I should have one?
Shoutbox - Do you miss my old shoutbox? Why?
Guestbook? I really don't like guestbooks... They're so... dull :?
Registering... Should I open up my blog for 'anonymous' visitors? Right now it's register-only. And I kind of like it that way. But I know it's keeping people from replying to my posts.
Sitemap? I doubt you'll need one once my new theme has launched. But I might add one anyway.
I would like to hear your thoughts. You can also post your thoughts on this on Twitter (just reply a message to me).
Just a quick post to let you guys know I haven't vanished into the void or anything. For the past week, I've been re-developing and re-designing my current blog (the one you are looking at, yes). The main reason for this is because the current site is not nearly XHTML strict at all. I didn't quite pay attention to that when building the current version in early 2006. Another big reason is the way the site looks. I have so many things to offer on this site. But it ends up being a mess. It's very unorganized with all the cluttered sidebars. That's gotta change! I want my viewers, readers, visitors to be able to find what they're looking for. When the new version is done, I bet you will see things you didn't even know I had on this site before. Just be patient. The new version will launch this week!
Another thing I'd like to share, is the fact that I have some new projects coming up. I've teamed up with Wouter (ChEeTaH), Wouter (Myshuno) and Alex to form a MacDesperate group. We're starting a website. I still have to design it. But the idea behind it is quite simple. We want Macs. And we're desperate for them. We're going to beg, blog, whine and share any other blurbs on MacDesperate!
Oh and before I forget, I have made ChEeTaH a new website/layout for Simply-Life as well. He uses the new Drupal. This is my first Drupal theme. Oh and it is entirely XHTML strict ^^
That's it for now. I've got more plans than just the above projects. But I will try to finish some of these first before I go and share all other things on my mind.
I'm currently developing a few new designs for several blogs. The first is for my utterly sweet and cute boyfriend ChEeTaH. He will be using Drupal 6 on his blog very soon. His current blog and design is extremely outdated. Of course I offered a new layout. For me making designs is easy. I don't know why. When I've got a little inspiration, I can go on for days.
The second project I'm working on, is actually this website; portfolio and blog. Back in 2006, I designed the current layout a bit different. I changed it quite a bit. The end result was pleasing enough. But it still isn't good enough. I want it perfect. Perfect for me anyway. So I will be changing some things. I will even bring some 'old' ideas back. You will be seeing them soon enough, as I almost completed the changes.
Junior's blog is currently in Dutch. Whenever ChEeTaH and I go on a trip, for an event (Sims or Spore), we take Junior along. He has been attending the same events since 2006. Junior blogs about his event experiences, usually in Dutch. But it has grown quite a big now and even though we had a nice design before for Junior, I still think it's time for a fresh new blog. It's quite a challenge, so I'm guessing this one will take a bit more time.
The fourth (and probably fifth) design is for Bibi/Seth. We blogged about and for Seth before on Hugs. I will be relaunching that website in two versions. One where we can talk about the things that have happened in our and Seth's life. And another one where Seth can blog. Well, we will blog for him, like we do on Junior's. But you get the idea.
Now, there are a few other websites I'm going to change (extremely) in the near future. SNW always needs attention, whether it's the news, downloads, forums. But SNW also needs a whole lot of changed in the code and design. I have made many new designs in the meantime, but none of them qualified good enough for me. At this very moment, I am working on two new designs. Both of the 'new' designs are basically remakes of previous designs. But I can't say anything more at this point.
Simsplace is a website I basically adopted from someone else who didn't feel like maintaining it anymore. I took this site over in early 2005. And even though I did do my best in keeping it online and running, it is in desperate need of a new look.
My SNW Spore sites also need attention. On one hand, it's a good thing there isn't a whole lot of activity around Spore (yet). It gives me more time to develop a whole new system and design for my Spore sites. I have four Spore fansites, so that's something else that will keep me busy.
Last, but certainly not least is a new SNW theme for the SNWeblogs. I promised a nice theme for the bloggers. However, only a few persons are frequent bloggers. So I will design a nice theme for them first. After that, I will design something for everyone else.
In the spring of 2006, I designed a new layout for my blog/portfolio. I used to have my (personal) blog separate from my portfolio. I also had a fonts website, an art website (pixel art/vector) and even my cats had their own website. To save effort and time, I decided to merge everything into one bigger website. I will host my creations like fonts and artwork on my portfolio.
People who frequently visit my blog, might think, spring 2006? There was no new layout online during that period. That's true, I never uploaded my new website. I didn't think it was finished just yet when I left for Los Angeles in May 2006. The layout was almost done. It just didn't feel complete. I didn't know why, but it needed more work. I will add screenshots later, to show you the difference between then and now.
After I came back from Los Angeles, I had fallen in love with someone and my life turned literally upside down. I was forced to neglect some projects, at least for a while. My websites were taken down due to something my ex did and that was problematic enough for me to stop working on my portfolio for a while. I lost clients, I lost websites and I lost spare time. During a trip to San Francisco in July, my websites were down, when I needed them the most.
After having everything back up again, I could start working on my portfolio again. Only this time, I didn't have time to do so. I had a lot of websites that needed attention because of the downtime. In between I traveled to Leipzig (Germany) and after I returned, I got enrolled in a new study and that was reason enough not to work on my portfolio.
My study was all about design and also required a portfolio. Since I already had a portfolio, I 'only' needed to change it a little to suit my needs. I changed it a little and it was one of the best websites I had ever made. But even though the layout was ready, the content was not. I needed to prepare everything I had ever made for my portfolio and that takes a lot of time. Time was something that I did not have. And if I did have some spare time, I would spend it on SNW.
As you may have read in my previous blog post (or on the about me page), I've been suffering from health issues for the past couple of months. Well actually, for 6 months now. And I also discovered that I'm pregnant now. So me being sick at home gives me some free time to catch up on some of my neglected projects, like my portfolio.
I've almost finished the layout. I only need to add a few more (small) things. I'm planning to add a navigation bar on top of the header, with sub items when you hover an item. I'm also adding more photographs in the header. My sweetie ChEeTaH made the random image script. He will probably release the script once I finish his portfolio FYI: All of the photographs are taken by me, and sometimes they're taken for me.
The content will follow soon. On your left there's the *Blog* section. On this side, most of the (menu) items and links work. I am still working on the *Personal* and *Portfolio* sections. So please be patient for those sections to show up. I might add even more features on this website. But you'll just have to wait and see what's next
For old and new members: I took most of the old blog and turned it into a nice "new" blog, meaning, the existing member accounts from both www.rosana.nu and www.rosana.co.uk are still present. If you have any doubts whether you are in fact already a member or not, please do not hesitate and contact me. I mainly have members who know me personally, so most of the members have my personal mail address