Website Evolution

I love web design, because it’s such a liquid format. With print design, once you create a piece that is all it will ever be. As long as it exists, it can never be anything else. With web design, once you create something… you can easily turn it into something else by tweaking the CSS or adding some additional imagery into a layout.

If you don’t like how something looks, you can easily change it. I love having that sort of flexibility.…ch…changes!

So, having said all that… obviously, you’ve noticed some changes here at I’m sporting a slightly different layout, a new logo… and the blog is the core of the site now. It now utilizes the same design thoughout. The core of the site is using Blogger to publish content onto the site. I tweaked the templates to utilize some chunks of ColdFusion and Blogger code that I crafted up that enable me to use ColdFusion templates on every post page.

Making that happen wasn’t easy. I had to utilize some of Blogger’s conditional logic to pass off the proper relative paths to the generated pages. I was able to use <MainPage>, <ArchivePag>, and <ItemPage> to pass off the proper relative paths to the rendered pages. Using <MainPage> passed <cfinclude template="inc/hdr.cfm">. Using <ArchivePage> passed <cfinclude template="../inc/hdr.cfm"> to the render pages (due to them being a folder deep – /archive/). Using <ItemPage> passed <cfinclude template="../../inc/hdr.cfm"> to the rendered pages that were two levels deep (i.e. /2005/08/, /2005/07/, etc.).

It took me a few tries to get Blogger to play nice… but… as you can see… it’s now working. I am now using Blogger as a quasi-CMS. Whodathunkit?

Honestly, I’d really prefer to use something like MovableType, Textpattern or WordPress… but my current host doesn’t support PHP. I’m not complaining though… this solution will work fine for my current needs.

If you’re looking to try this sort of “technique” for your site, you may have to manually go into each post and republish them. One hiccup I encountered was older posts were not getting published with a .CFM extension. They were retaining .HTML extensions (which did not want to play nice with my ColdFusion markup). I had to go in and republish about 60 of my existing entries in order to fix this error. I think it’s due to the fact that Blogger only recently started supporting publishing all blog files to certain extensions. Previously, you could change your index and archive page extensions (and filenames), but all post pages were rendered out as HTML docs. I’m glad they made the swtch.

So, what’s next for the site? Good question. I plan on using Blogger to manage even more content on this site. I’ll be incorporating additional blogs into the site to manage the Folio and Links that I post to the site pretty often. Doing it this way will enable me to publish new things consistently…and will automate the process of linking all relevant pages together and creating Atom/RSS feeds that people can subscribe to. Because I’m able to use ColdFusion throughout the whole site now, I’ll hopefully be able to toy around with the design more. I plan on incorporating my Flickr feed into the site soon. I also plan on re-incorporating my iTunes Now Playing feed back into the site. I may also incorporate some other ideas into the site as well.

Anyways, stay tuned, because this site is sure to evolve even more in the coming weeks. I have only just begun tweaking this site out.