Variant Studios' New 2014 Website
Aug 28, 2014
The project to rebuild and redesign our website has always been a challenge. In 2014 we planned on creating a new website that better represented us. Our main objectives were to create a cleaner looking site that also loads much faster. I feel the clean look helps the visitor focus more on the content and it also helps keep things lighter. Not to mention it should help with our SEO, since Google does take page speed into account for ranking. We also did some house cleaning with our site’s content. For example we decided to remove all our blog posts. This is a bold move, but those posts were so dated and again no longer represents us.
Wat! No CMS?!
For our new website we decided to try something different by not using Drupal or any CMS (for now).
What is this, the early 2000’s? Are we going to slice out the site in Adobe Imageready and with a pixel perfect table based website using inline styling…yea that was the era I learned web design and I don’t miss it. Tangent over.
It is rare for us to not use Drupal seeing as how we have used the CMS for almost every single website we have created since 2009. So why didn’t we use Drupal? Since we are web designers we can easily handle coding content and, relatively speaking, it is a simple portfolio site. The other reason why we chose not to use Drupal was to keep the site as light and fast as possible. Also, we just wanted to do something different.
We have also kicked around using a static site generator or a flat-file CMS, however it has yet been integrated. The “dynamic” parts of the site that would benefit from using these systems would be the blog and the portfolio. To get it launched as soon as possible, we decided to wait on that feature. If/when we integrate one of these solutions, we will share our experience.
Getting Back to the Basics
Without using a CMS there were features of the site we had to code by hand instead of relying on modules. For example, coding our own php web form, site includes and form validation. This was not difficult, it was fun to code it ourselves over just installing a Drupal module.
Along with the new website design, we wanted to update our branding. Michael and I worked on designing a new look that is clean, simple, flexible and works well with the new website.
Wrapping up…for now
We are excited to have the new website live and look forward to continually tweaking it.