October 11, 2013

New Website Design

My website became the target of a massive spam and hacking attack in August 2013, and after some attempts to fix the problems, I finally decided to overhaul the whole site and switch to a new design. The attacks originated mainly from Chinese servers, and slowed down the site considerably. My hosting service proved to be very helpful, and eventually the attacks stopped.

The new design offers considerable advantages over the old website. I created the old site in 2011, and at the time I did not think of mobile phones or tablets – I was too focused on regular desktops. Currently, desktops are already less than half of the devices used on the Internet, and this percentage continues to shrink quickly.

The theme you see now is a grid-style masonry design that scales easily to all devices; it looks very good on tablets and even on regular smartphones. It has some other advantages as well, for instance infinite scroll, which means you don’t have to turn a page in order to see older posts. You can actually scroll all the way down to the beginning. The theme also offers much better image processing and gallery integration, which you can see for instance here. The whole website is also faster than before; I will work on further speed increases in the near future, because I see a clear correlation between number of visitors and website speed

This is the fourth incarnation of my website. (The front page picture of my last website is above.) I started in 1998, and each time I work on it I also create more content: today the site has 316 pages (content from elsewhere) and 40 posts (content from me). The site gets approximately 4000 unique visitors per month. It’s still just a hobby, and I am not going to run any advertisement on the site. I am inspired by other small websites that offer great value to the public. You can find a list of my favorite websites here.  Wikipedia is of course the first one to mention; another one that I like a lot is Globalissues.org,  which is focused on social justice and very informative.

One of my goals in creating this design has been the ease of access. Since my approach strives to be interdisciplinary (I want to integrate knowledge), I need a menu structure that is very easy to navigate. The new design is very image-focused, which reflects our visual culture. I consider it to some degree an obstacle, because images are often distracting or even misleading. In the end we mostly have to use words in order to think and communicate. For people who want to get the whole “picture” right away, I created the “Overview” menu section, which contains several index pages. If you are one of them, you should start with the category list, or the sitemap.

I hope the technical issues are resolved for the next years. I want to concentrate again on the content itself. My plans are to post more psychoanalytic material, and to reflect again on the process of psychotherapy. I’ll probably also post more about art and literature.

As always, I am grateful for your feedback.

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