About this site

As any quality-obsessed, self-critical person who has tried to write, create, perform or code anything (a poem, an exhibition, a painting, a house, a speech, a family, a website…) will know, doing your own stuff is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Furthermore, if the ‘thing’ is something that involves multiple tasks and skills – all of which you love doing but most of which are time-consuming and you’re slightly less skilled at than someone who does one of them full-time, then there’s huge potential for the thing becoming a major distraction and having a negative impact on the reason you were doing it, on you and on those around you. Maybe even on the world.

So, with that in mind, I set myself some objectives for this website.

  • By most techie or creative’s standards, I’m not particularly active ‘on social’. It’s not that I’ve not used it a lot or am continually intrigued by it as a phenomenon, but I have always found that I spend so much of my life looking at screens and using technology that engaging in social networking doesn’t bring enough positive value to me (OK, OK… I do use Instagram for drawings and photos). However, to be an independent digital professional and artist, I need to have some presence online where people can find out about me and if wanted, engage with me. This website needs to serve that purpose, without requiring me to “go social”.
  • It’s better to do something than to do nothing. Therefore, to do something, the website has to be live, has to function as intended and has to display suitably on desktop and mobile.
  • It mustn’t have a negative impact on me. It shouldn’t make me look inept, unprofessional, unconsidered, out-dated or in any way be detrimental to my ambitions professionally and creatively.
  • That said, (big breath), it doesn’t have to have massive positive impact. It doesn’t have to be the best website ever. It doesn’t need to be technically cutting edge or creatively awesome.
  • It mustn’t be cumbersome or time-consuming to manage. Else it won’t get managed.
  • It mustn’t limit what I want to use it for but doesn’t need to cater to every possible thing I might want to do.
  • It should provide a means for me to learn new things, stay engaged with running a website and to give me a focussed reason to keep developing using web technologies.

With all that in mind, I have adopted the following approach:

  • Use WordPress. I like WordPress, I have used it for years, have stretched it’s limitations, have seen it mature so significantly from where it started, and generally have had many positive experiences with it. So stick with it.
  • To minimise effort and benefit from other people’s expertise, wherever possible use existing resources (themes, plugins, etc).
  • That said, know that the more dependent you are on other people’s code, the more exposed you are to maintaining things that go wrong unexpectedly, spending time wrestling with incompatibilities, security issues, not learning nearly as much as you might and not enjoying the coding that you end up doing.
  • Enjoy creating and hopefully be proud of the content – be it visual or words – but don’t end up having to produce content e.g. don’t create a monster that has to be fed all the time.
  • Remember that, realistically, a very few people might occasionally be interested in some of this website. A few more people might be a bit interested in some of this website. The monumental majority of the connected world will neither care about it nor discover it. The rest of the world can’t even access it.

Brief site history

v.2.7.0

  • Implemented asset sync/storage on Amazon S3. Not that the site is groaning under the traffic. Just because. 🙂

v.2.6.0

  • Significantly evolved Stream archive (though Masonry layout needs some TLC in some browsers).
  • Created more re-usable data visualisation framework integration for release of Tour de France Winners visualisation.

v.2.5.0

  • Unpicked custom CSS and ensured better compliance and re-use of underlying Foundation framework!

v.2.4.0

  • Initial implementation of Stream, mainly for release of…
  • …first Data Visualisation stream article, showing all World Cup 2018 goals.

v.2.1.0

  • Merging in key developments from other builds, such as the uber ‘BCUK Shortcodes’ plugin!
  • Switch to Font Awesome Pro v.5, inc SVG method as opposed to CSS.
  • Evolved page theme and BG image handler.
  • Developed image credit shortcode for open source image credits.

v.2.0.0

  • Theme completely rebuilt to use custom BCUK theme built on JointsWP framework (Foundation 6).
  • Much more lightweight, extensible, manageable, etc.
  • Basic building blocks put in place for upcoming data visualisation activity.

v.1.0.6

  • Image backgrounds and simple header.

v.1.0.5

  • Added a contact form.

v.1.0.4

  • Media Query mixin magic!

v.1.0.3

  • Minor style tweaks.

v.1.0.2

  • Metadata sidebar styling.

v.1.0.1

  • Added a bit of colour.
  • Retrospectively moved the CSS to SASS.
  • Created this ‘About’ page.

v.1.0.0

  • Initial release, very limited, simple home page only.