New site design

I hope this new design looks better. Thanks to CityDesk it's much easier to produce.

For quite some time I've been looking for a tool to make looking after Strangely's Home a little easier. Since most of it is basically a blog nowadays, I tried some of the tools aimed at that market. I found, however, that they weren't sufficiently flexible to be able to keep the structure of an existing site (and I try hard to prevent linkrot).

I've long been a reader of Joel Spolsky's site. When he first mentioned his company's CityDesk product I took a look, but it wasn't quite ready for prime-time in my opinion. The single biggest problem was the stupid names it gave to generated web pages. SP1 fixed that fault, and lots of others. I played for a while, and have since bought a copy. I've a few minor niggles, and I don't agree with artificially crippling the software by enforcing a 500-file limit, but on the whole it's excellent.

It's taken me a while to find time to import the site into CityDesk, largely because of the recent arrival of William. I've decided that the only way this is going to work is if I move over now, so I've converted the pages that I tend to update most often. For the time being, the rest remain in the old style, and I will update them when I get chance. Now that the pages are in CityDesk, it's pretty easy for me to change the overall design, so I will do that when I get some inspiration.

The main problem I can see at the moment is that navigation is a bit tricky - I haven't got the breadcrumb trail at the top of every page any more because I haven't thought of a good way of doing this in CityDesk. If you've got any other (ideally constructive) comments on the new layout, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know.

My next problem is finding a tool which will let me publish pages of photo thumbnails, linked to larger versions. I know that there are hundreds of apps to do this, but none of them seem to do just what I want. I've bought a copy of Jasc After Shot for managing all of my digital photos, and it has a publish-to-web feature which I need to investigate some more. It looks as though the page layouts are defined using XML, and I should be able to hack something together which will look exactly the way I want.

This page is It was first published on Saturday 29 June, 2002 and last updated on Saturday 29 June, 2002.