About My Website

A little about what is going on behind the scenes.

Propros Screenshot

CSS :: Prepros

Prepros was probably the biggest step forward in terms of my development process in 2013. I'm not a big fan of using the command line and was finding SASS and Compass really useful, but they came with an overhead in terms of setting them up and remembering command line options which for me negated some of their benefits. Prepros brings together all the good parts of SASS and Compass and makes setting them up as simple as checking a few options in the GUI, plus it also comes with Live Browser Refresh, something I never even knew I wanted till I tried it.



Icomoon App Screenshot

Icons :: Icomoon

Using an icon font is a great way to keep all of a websites icons looking crisp across a wide range of screen resolutions and means you can easily scale them up and down as screen size changes, something that is important for a responsive site. The Icomoon app is dead simple to use, provides a really good selection of icons and works across all the important browsers.



Responsinator Website Screenshot

Responsive :: Responsinator

A common mis-use of responsive design is to set breakpoints to the common screen sizes of devices, thereby creating different versions of the layout for smartphones / tablets / desktop etc. This approach can easily get out of hand and ignores the reason why a responsive design is needed in the first place - it's all about the content, not the device.

In building this site I started with a full width desktop layout and then gradually reduced the size of the screen down until the content started to looked bad or un-readable, and then created a breakpoint at this point. This approach should mean that the content is always presented as well as possible regardless of device, and that any future devices will be automatically accounted for.



Symfony Framework Website Screenshot

PHP :: Symfony 2 Framework

A couple of years ago I built my own PHP framework as a bit of a learning exercise, needless to say it took ages, but taught me a lot about how a framework operates. When re-designing this site I decided to give a few commercial frameworks a try and singled out Yii, Codeignitor and Symfony, out of the three Symfony was the one which seemed to follow a lot of the same design decisions that I had made when building my own, so it seemed like a good fit for me. I'm still not 100% up to speed on it as there's a lot of features that I haven't needed to use on such a small site but so far I've been really impressed with it.