In between working on sites for my web design clients, I’ve been hammering out some changes to my own site, one of which I launched recently – the new and improved Audio page, which I’m quite happy with. Probably the most substantial and important reworking I want to do is with my Works pages, where I plan to shift the focus of the page to…well, you’ll see.
But as I’ve been working on that page, I’ve been reacquainting myself with my old coding and database structures, and I find myself increasingly frustrated with my 2008 self. The website is quite a behemoth: ten major nevigational headings, a crazy amount of information on each piece, lots of media, and this blog on top of everything else! Of course, lots of sections were tacked on as time went on, so the website – from the back end – is starting to feel like one of those old houses where a room or a wing got added every time somebody got married or had a baby. After a while, you get a sense of sprawl and disconnectedness.
Consequently, the more I tweak certain parts of the site, the more I want to tweak other parts. Make this wider, that bigger, clean this up, get rid of that. And the more I want to tweak, the more fundamentally I realize I’m going to have to change the inner machinations of the site.
So this may be a longer and more time-consuming project than I originally planned. On the one hand, there’s a fair amount of drudgery in store for me. On the other, I get to clear out a bunch of old, unnecessary code, and possibly rework my database structure.
In the end, I’ll probably end up pulling a Wuorninen: A few years ago, I was hired to rework the back end of Charles Wuorinen’s site so that it functioned better and was infinitely easier to update, all without substantially changing the look or feel. It was an interesting project that forced me to reconsider some of my approaches to database design, if only because of the sheer volume of works that he’s written! This project will likely be akin to that – maintaining the basic look and feel of the site, albeit with some heavy tweaking in areas, while completely overhauling the back end.
I also expect that this series of back-end overhauls will pave the way for a complete redesign a few years down the road. This current iteration of the site is just shy of five years old, now, and I can see myself wanting a new look in the next two or three. So be prepared for a more updated look within the next few weeks!