Over the past couple of weeks, various changes have been made to the style of the website. Here's a quick overview along with some updates about what to expect in the future.
DVHARDWARE goes responsiveI'm sort of a fan of not messing with things that aren't broken. Since the website's launch under the dvhardware.net domain name, this place has largely kept the same site design. Over the years, there were some tweaks here and there, but nothing major. DVHARDWARE runs on a pretty old content management system (CMS) that comes with various limitations. Over the years, I've made various customizations to the CMS and upgraded critical code paths to ensure compatibility with the latest versions of PHP.
These days, a lot of tech sites run on Wordpress. It's one of the most popular content management systems out there. It's relatively easy to use, has broad community support, there's a huge variety of free and paid themes, as well as a plug-in for almost everything. I considered switching to Wordpress but overall it didn't feel like a good fit. I like to keep things simple and Wordpress adds a lot of bloat plus it makes it harder to develop a custom look & feel or features that are specific to this site. One of the things I'm proud of is that everything almost everything ever posted on DVHARDWARE is still viewable. There are some older pages without images, which were hosted somewhere else, but other than this almost everything still works.
Besides the outdated look, one of the things the previous version of DVHARDWARE lacked was a responsive design. Most traffic is mobile these days, so having a mobile-friendly design is paramount these days. It's still not perfect -- but it's a lot better than what is was.
New style, more featuresTogether with the redesign, I cooked up a new house style and a new site slogan. The "lifting tech to the next level" slogan and the new logo are inspired by one of my other hobbies, weightlifting. The previous design was void of color -- now we have orange highlights here and there to spice up the design.
One of the things I personally like about the new design is that it offers me a lot more creative freedom. Previously, DVHARDWARE was largely limited to images with a width of a maximum 575 or 640 pixels. Bigger images messed up the layout. This is no longer the case, the new design can accommodate bigger pictures and also offers more freedom in terms of typography.
Speaking about pictures, I've decided to switch to the WebP image format for new stories and reviews. All modern browsers support this image format, I don't think many readers are still running old machines with Internet Explorer. The advantage of WebP is that you get higher image compression versus JPEG -- without sacrificing image quality.
What this means for you is that you get bigger images and/or faster loading times. Nothing but positives.
Phase I of the redesign also introduced a couple of new features. The most noticeable is the inclusion of the author's bio. In an effort to create more of a connection with the reader, news stories now contain my avatar as well as a brief author biography.
Less news... but more contentAs you may have already noticed over the past week, DVHARDWARE will post fewer news stories. In the past, we posted a ton of news but often each story was rather short and contained little own input. Going forward, the goal is to post fewer news articles per day, but to focus on making each post bigger and better. Some posts will also be grouped together. For example, news that is highly related will no longer be split over two posts but will be stitched together into a single, longer post. Less quantity and more quality.
With regards to the editorial process of DVHARDWARE, it is not my intention either to cover every single piece of tech news. The news posted on DVHARDWARE is often a selection of stories that I find interesting or fascinating enough to write about. Sometimes there are big news stories we don't cover because I don't find the story interesting enough, or it pertains to much to a specific region of the world like the US. Similarly, sometimes I do find stories interesting or relevant enough, but I don't post them because they're too boring to write.
One thing we will have more quantity of is reviews. Testing products has been one of the fun parts of this website and I want to expand this section of DVHARDWARE. Over the coming weeks and months, expect more reviews. This week I reviewed both the Pulsefire Haste and Cloud II Wireless from HyperX.
This wraps up the look at the inner kitchen of DVHARDWARE. There are still some things I have in mind for a potential phase II of the DVHARDWARE redesign -- but those are lower on my priority list.