Tag: website

Back From The Brink

My site was hacked about a week ago and I’ve finally gotten things back in somewhat working order – with some chewing gum and paperclips holding things together.

It appears that my WordPress install was hacked through a vulnerability in the TimThumb plug ins I had installed into WordPress.

Now that my site is back from the brink, I guess the only reasonable thing to do is take this opportunity to re-set my site and re-design it. So in the coming weeks, things may be a bit funky here while I work through how to clean up the site and make some very much needed upgrades to how the site works in normal browsers as well as all other forms of devices out there.

Minimal Biz Card

After taking some inspiration from Boris Simus and his Minimal Contact/Biz Card design, I went ahead and tried one on for size myself. My online “brand” situation is very similar to Boris’s in that my “sgclark” id represents this domain, my @sgclark Twitter handle, and my Facebook and Google+ id’s. I may even get it processed as my personal card at someplace like Moo. TBD.

Update: sgclark is also my handle on Instagram, Snapchat, and several other sites and social networks of choice.

Also, I’m on a bit of a minimalist kick right now as I’m really studying and paying more attention to clean, clear user interactions both online and offline. I’ve even taken to cleaning up my own site a bit with this new U/X. I’m not fully done with this as I’m tweaking it here and there.

WordPress

I’ve been silent for a while because I’ve been diligently in the process of migrating my blog/site to wordpress. I’m pretty much done but I am sure there are several formatting issues that will crop up as I do some bug fixes. So generally speaking, please bear with any broken links or messy formatting for a bit while I clean things up.

Design Issues

I’m having website design issues. I’ve been trying out several new looks for the site recently and I’m just not happy with any of them. So I decided to go with a really straight forward look for right now…nothing fancy at all…just your basic deep grey header..until I get some inspiration that will prompt me to try it again. The font and link colors are from the previous design and I just don’t have the energy to go into the code and switch the colors right now.

sgclark 2.0 – A Refresh

sgclark_old

At long last, I have finally refreshed the site a bit. Its not a full redesign. Just a refresh. As you can see, I have kept with the London Phonebooth imagery and theme and basically updated the look of the site. Why, I’m not sure. I guess I liked the quirky photo of a field with a phone booth in it…a la Dr. Who.

I have upgraded the navigation to these cool inverted tabs. I have moved to a three column layout on the main blog area of the site, which enables me to add the “Long Tail” column to the site. The “Long Tail” is where I can now post short snippets and links that I see around the internet, and thus use the main body of the blog for longer missives.

Why did I do this? I was getting bored with my old site. It was looking dated. And I wanted to widen the layout to take advantage of the 1024 screen resolution that most computers use these days. I was inspired to refresh my blog after seeing Waxy, John Battelle, and others update or refresh.

So, hope you like it. Provide feedback, comments, and any bugs you may see. I am sure there are numerous formatting issues (House blog, Resume for sure), so please bear with me.

Minor Edit

I’m feeling the need to redesign the site. I don’t know why, because I like the way the site is organized, the way it looks and I really like the image of the buildings in the masthead. I’m pondering a couple of ideas and changes, but nothing is close to being presentable.

I recently made a minor edit to the site by making the background a dark grey instead of the light grey “pixel dots” I had in the background previously. I did this to provide more contrast between the main content area and the background of the pages, to make the content “pop” a bit more.

Sidebar Links

Last night, I was in a “punchy” mood so I decided to roll out a new treatment of the headers and links on the sidebar of my site.

As you can see, I gave the headers of the sections a grey background, which provides more structure within the sidebar column. Each link item has the same “arrow” box treatment. When you hover over each link area, the hover state will display a light grey background. Each area uses the display:block CSS selector. However, the effect I really wanted to execute was that when you hover over any part of the block area, the link would be active. However, I had some troubles with the CSS and the padding/margin and it was super late last night, so I could not remedy the situation. So, the treatment sort of works.

I’m not sure if I’m fully wed to this treatment, but I figured I would kick the tires and see how I like it. I’ve been meaning to improve the sidebar since I re-designed the site over the holidays and I finally got around to testing something out.

I’d Like to Thank…

OK, I admit it. I did a vanity search on my name. Yes, its tacky. It turns out that as of today, January 31, 2006, my site is currently the top search result on Yahoo Search when you search for my name. This is no small feat, it would seem to me, being that my name is a pretty boring and common name. On Google, I’m no where to be found unless you add my middle initial to the search, in which case my Resume page pulls top billing.

Google gets all the press about how good a search engine it is, and I’m not denying that it is excellent, but I do have to say that on several occasions, I’ve searched on Yahoo and found things that I could not easily find on Google. Folks, don’t discount Yahoo Search.

Refreshing

I’m in the process of refreshing the site, so things may be a bit askew here and there. The site has been in desperate need of a facelift for a while as the snowflakes were getting a little old and the weather is getting much nicer. For starters, I have changed the header to be a bit lighter and introduced a darker background of the site pages. This will make the main area “pop” a bit more. The one area I’m not sure what to do with is the “Sidebar” on the right hand side of the page, where my RSS feeds and other links are located. I’ve been looking around at how others in the blogosphere handle these areas and hopefully something will inspire me. So in the meantime, please bear with the changes and inconsistencies that will be popping up around the site.

Alternate Style Sheets

I have created some alternate style sheets for my site. The various flavors can be chosen by clicking on any of the four square icons on the top of the right hand column on each page. I have a few more flavors that I would like to add to the mix, however they are a work in progress at present.

The Blue style sheet is the primiary style sheet for the site and it also holds the core page structure and page presentation of the site together, including the navigation, the header the main body and the right hand column of each of the pages. To enable the alternate style sheets (the Orange, Purple and Earth tone one), it was really a pretty simple adjustment. I simply pulled out of the main stylesheet the elements that needed to be changed, placed them in their own CSS file, and switched out the specific images/icons and settings to reflect the color scheme I wanted to employ. I then used Paul Sowden’s Style Sheet switcher javascript to enable this functionality. So when the style sheet switcher calls one of the alternate style sheets, it essentially only switches the elements that I changed but leaves all the other attributes from the primary style sheet intact.

I will highlight the other new flavors I am working on in a future post, but my goal is to go one step further with these style sheets and develop a different page structure and interface similar to the way CSS Zen Garden does it.

Happy Birthday to Blog

In a few short days, on July 9th, this blog will celebrate its First Birthday! I can’t believe that I have had this blog up for a year. When I first thought about doing this, I did not know what I would write, what I would post or if it would be of any redeeming value to anyone except myself. And from the traffic reports to the site, it seems that the numbers support that fact. :-) But what a year it has been, I must say. I have redesigned the site a few times, I have expanded the content, I have learned a ton about HTML, JavaScript, and most importantly CSS. And I have reserved my own domain and am now using it!! I have arrived!

Some of the commentary and items that I have discussed here are both boring, mundane and to someone out there, hopefully interesting and useful. I think the biggest problem I am facing what I should focus the subject matter of my posts on. I talk about sports, movies, personal items, random links, web design, web trends, marketing trends and other stuff. Maybe that is the voice I want for this blog. A little of this and a little of that. I will figure it out in short order. In any case, Happy First Birthay sgclark.com blog. Write on!!

www.sgclark.com

Sadly, one of the more exciting things that happened this weekend was that I was able to connect my recently reserved (early February actually) URL https://www.sgclark.com to this very site. Its still hosted by my friends (and former employer) Tripod but now I am using my own URL. I have arrived on the Web and I am a real Web junkie…I have my own domain and my own web site! Its all about appearences I even connected the kids site to http://kids.sgclark.com.

Pick Your Flavor

I have recently added a new feature of sorts to the site. You can now choose wether to have the site interface as a free flowing “Liquid” design, where the text ajusts to the size of your browser window, or a “Fixed Width” design, where the width of the content area is fixed to a specific width. This feature is effective when you are looking at the site with a large resolution monitor like those massive ones Apple and Dell are putting out in that it gives more control over the layout. To change the look, simply click on the icons at the top of the green column to the right.

Problems – I am having some troubles with my Print style sheet in the Resume area when the alternate style sheets are active (Liquid Display, Valentines Day, and St. Patricks Day styles). So, if you want to print my resume using the browser print function, make sure the interface is the “Fixed Width” interface with the yellow header and the gray background.

Update: – This was a short lived experiment. I have moved away from trying to prove I can do several things with my web site and decided to just keep it simple. I may look into using style switcher scripts in the future, but for right now, I’m sticking to one design.