The Evolution of a Site

This site just got a bit of a makeover. I changed the layout and the theme, and I wrote about the how and the why in a Backdrop CMS Showcase article .

That got me thinking about the previous designs this site has had in the past. So I went hunting and found the different versions of my site over the years. The dates are approximate, generally the year that version was last used before I changed to the next one. The earlier versions I got from static HTML files I have backed up on my computer, the rest were from the Wayback Machine .


Screenshot of my first personal website (2005)
My first personal website (2005)

This was the very first version of my personal website, though it had a different domain name as I didn’t register until 2007. It was originally an assignment for my Web Development class at university, which I tweaked and then put online.


Screenshot of in 2007 in 2007

This was the first official version of That blank space on the right was for displaying Google Ads. Ugh! I’m cringing even now…


Screenshot of in 2011 in 2011

Built in Drupal v6, this version of my site wasn’t too bad. I like that the menu items had descriptions, though you can tell I’m no wordsmith.


Screenshot of in 2012 in 2012

I guess I got sick of dark themes, as they’re pretty much all light from here on. And look, new logo! With this version I tried to put all recent content on the frontpage, regardless of type. Some of those thumbnails are ponderings (blog posts), some are photos, videos, etc.


Screenshot of in 2014 in 2014

This is probably my favourite old design. It’s clean, somewhat colourful, and the background was a rotating slideshow of the images from my Photos page (which surprised me now when I saw it again - that was clever, how’d I do that?)


Screenshot of in 2015 in 2015

This one looks a bit ‘meh’ now (I’m wondering if there’s something missing from the top of the right column…). But I’m very surprised to see how similar my current design is to this one (and I didn’t even remember this one until now).


Screenshot of in 2017 in 2017

I like the use of icons in the menu and each of the section boxes, but I really don’t like the light-blue colour scheme.


Screenshot of in 2019 in 2019

Goodbye Drupal and hello Backdrop! This one was pretty nice. I like the large header image, but I prefer the new image I have now (read about why I chose it in the Showcase article linked above). I also like that I simplified the menu way down (from 8+ items to 4).


Screenshot of now (2020) now (2020)

And just for the sake of completeness (and for when anyone reads back over this post in future), here’s the new design I just launched. Static sidebar, nice large header image, black and white colour scheme. Clean and simple :-)

So there you go. The evolution of over the years. Who knows how long this new version will last (well, probably about 2 years if history is anything to go by…)