New website (2023 edition)

some rather clunky JavaScript of mine

Some of the code behind this new site

As you may have noticed (unless you’re reading this post in an RSS feed reader, more on which later) I’ve just re-launched this website with a brand new paint job.

Actually it’s a bit more than that: the previous site dated back to December 2013 (apart from a few occasional tweaks) and was running a lot of decade-old code, so I rebuilt it from the ground up.

This new site has been written from scratch (well, with the help of an MVC framework) over the past few months, and it’s a bit more up-to-date in terms of technologies used, as well as hopefully being faster and even more pleasant on the eye for reading and general browsing.

It’s also, I hope, going to be a lot more maintainable so that I can easily add new features and functionality as required (well, within the boundaries of my rather rusty coding skills).

There are probably going to be a few bugs still around in the immediate aftermath of launching — this is normal and to be expected — but I’m planning to fix them and get everything relatively perfect as soon as possible. If you spot any bugs please let me know!

I’m hoping this rewrite of the site will allow a frequent iterative approach to adding new features and generally keeping the site code up to date.

I’ve taken the opportunity of the new website to add a new gallery for my recent Life Drawings, since that has become a significant part of my artistic practice.

If you’re following this blog on RSS then the old (Google Feedburner) feed still works (otherwise you wouldn’t be seeing this!), but I have a suspicion that Google will discontinue their Feedburner service at some point in the not-too-distant future, so if you're following that feed then I’d suggest changing to the self-hosted RSS feed here.

If you’re not familiar with RSS then there’s a short explanation over on this page.

I’m planning a feature roadmap that includes ActivityPub and Webmentions to try to make my artwork and blog easier to follow and interact with and to encourage the “independence but interconnectivity” of what is called the IndieWeb (I’m still hoping for a mass return to blogging, especially with the decline of Twitter and the fragmentation of social media into multiple competing platforms and protocols, but I suspect I may be waiting for that for a very long time).

Finally, I also got rid of Google Analytics from the site. There are some basic traffic metrics available to me on my webserver and they’ll do me just fine.

The whole GA interface has gotten ridiculously over-complicated over the past ten years, and now seems more designed to integrate with Google Ads rather than just to see how many people looked at a particular new piece of artwork or blog post, and whether they arrived via search or bookmark or referring link.

Getting rid of GA honestly is a bit of a relief, freeing me from the nagging internal voice that I should be making/writing work solely get more website traffic, rather than making the artwork, and writing the blog posts, that I actually want to. I’ve always ignored that internal nagging voice, but now I’ve silenced it completely.