IT’S BEEN LONG overdue, but I’ve officially launched the JohnEverson.com redesign! My site has had a few different looks over the years but the last time I gave it a full redesign was August 2008. The web has changed a lot since then, so JohnEverson.com really needed a facelift.
The last design was my longest-lived look, thanks to the design help of Alina Ciejka Gonciarz and the awesome artwork from Travis Anthony Soumis (repurposed from the bookcover he did for my collection Needles & Sins). I loved the look of that site! But… in the age of mobile devices, the site needed to change. While it didn’t actually look too bad on a phone, it wasn’t responsive. And my old blog was increasingly difficult to edit in an outdated, modified WordPress theme.
I basically spent all of my free time in December — including my two weeks of holiday time off work — designing the new site and pouring the old one into the new framework. I’d guess there is more than 100 hours invested in this design and transition, so I hope it lasts as long as the last one did! It actually quietly went live a few days ago. But today I put in 301 redirects on most of the old site’s main landing pages to point to the new site. So… I’m relieved to finally be able to say: JohnEverson.com Mach 2018 is officially LIVE!
My site has been on the web for 21 years now (it’s legal!) I started it in a directory on AOL back in 1996, and eventually moved it to its own domain and hosting on GoDaddy. Originally it had a width of 800 pixels. The 2005 redesign made it locked to the left but elastic as far as you could stretch (though it looked weird after a certain point). The 2008 redesign went back to a locked and centered three-column grid and the pixel width hit 1024. But in the age of wide screens, even that was looking thin in 2017. The new site boxes out at 1200 pixels. The really big change for the new site though, is that it is now completely driven by WordPress. In the past, my site was HTML with CSS design, and the blog mimicked the design but really was independent. I wanted to combine the whole site so it was seamless to work in and edit. So I recreated the full site in WordPress. But that has also meant moving over blog posts one by one to put all the eggs into one basket. I’ll probably still be back filling older blogs for the next month or two… but the past four years are all moved over.
One of the nice things about the new site is that I now have unique pages for all of my books, as well as book review pages for each. In the previous site, I did not have that. All of the book info used to be glommed onto a single page and reviews just ran in scroll fashion on the left side of the home page. So now I have a much better architecture for maintaining information on all my releases. (Of course, that also meant creating about 40 pages that didn’t used to exist on my site!)
Here’s a look at JohnEverson.com through the years (2003, 2005, 2008, 2018):