HTML, CSS and stuff

Richard Stephenson, freelance website design & development

A long overdue redesign for donkeymagic

It's been a long time coming but here it is at last. The old design had been around for a couple of years and was starting to look a bit tired and dated.

Screenshot of old donkeymagic homepage
DonkeyMagic 2007

I'd been trying to come up with something that I'd be happy to publish for a while but eventually I've gone with a new version of an old idea. I've also totally redeveloped the backend of the site with ExpressionEngine replacing my own custom built PHP Content Management System that I developed way back in 2002!

The main aims of the new site were to integrate some blog functionality and to showcase my HTML, CSS & JavaScript skills. I wanted to keep the design simple and unfussy and use a strong left alignment as I'm getting bored of all the centred, fixed-width template fodder that continues to pollute the internet. I've also taken some of the emphesis off the DonkeyMagic branding as it doesn't actually mean anything!

The sliding background images on the homepage in-page navigation were inspired by Flash sites like DesignCharts. I'd written the code a couple of years ago but had never found a home for it. I really like the idea of using JavaScript to implement in HTML sites the type of cool effects that Flash developers think they are so brilliant at.

As for the backend I've been using ExpressionEngine for a while now on a number of projects for Bluestorm when I was freelancing and for my present employer AWA. It's a really impressive piece of software and once you get going (there is a fairly steep learning curve) it offers such a wealth of customisation and set-up options that I think I'm still only scratching the surface ofit's capabilities.

Categories: Design, ExpressionEngine