So it’s been around 2 years since I last re-built my website whilst working as an in-house developer for a Finance company, since then I have had a new job working for one of the top full service agencies in Manchester, The fresh Group. Having been at The fresh group for over 15 months leading the in-house development for our client, my skills and technical ability have greatly improved.
I have ventured into the world of PHP and back-end development to compliment my core front-end development skillset. I have been luck enough to work both fully Front-end and as sole developer depending on the project and requirements and with this in mind I decided that it was time to show off a few skills and give myself a brand spanking new portfolio website – Catlow Media.
Catlow Media has taken many forms since the year 2009 when I first set up the site but all along the site has always been built statically, there was a blog at one point but this lived independently. The most recent version of Catlow Media featured a one page scrolling website with a separate mobile website. Although I quite liked the branding I had created I felt if I was going to re-develop, I would re-brand as this would be a complete overhaul of Catlow Media.
I did a lot of research into the style and layout that I wanted to implement and I finally decided that a grid layout with a ‘solid/flat’ block feel to it would enable me to show case myself and my work in a friendly and interesting way. I knew that I was going to build the site on WordPress as I have worked alot with this platform over the last 18 months and I am confident developing high quality websites onto this CMS. It was vitally important that the site was fully responsive, so there are well defined break points for mobile and tablets, and fluid grid allows the website to manipulate to any size screen without the user experience degrading in any way.
The site has a range of different features ranging from simple JQuery accordions to more complex Isotope layouts and Google Map Api’s. I have tried to incorporate a lot of different features into the site in order to showcase my skills however I am also aware that an overload of “pointless” JQuery sliders, galleries and animations can lead to a very bad experience so I have been very careful to ensure all the functionality of the site has been thought about properly, has a purpose and works well for it’s intention (hence no Parallax – I just couldn’t squeeze it in!).
I think as a web developer it is’t mightily important to continue to train/develop and learn new skills, so for me I have made a big deal about this on my website to show my on-going commitment to training and learning new skills, techniques and languages. As I train through Treehouse (an online digital training website/school), I unlock and gain badges as I complete chapters and courses. I will be continually adding these badges to the website as they are achieved.
The blog section is going to be a new section which I am to update regularly, I won’t have a specific genre as I think if I keep my options open and just blog about things relative to firstly me and secondly my industry then I have covered all basis. So you will definitely see the odd sport blog – and the chances are there will be Manchester United related and you will also see blogs about places I have been, people I have met, events I have attended and my opinions on the world of web development.
Please have a look round my little space on the web, and I really hope you like the new and improved, fully responsive, fully cross browser and device compatible website. If you do see anything that doesn’t quite look right then please contact me with the issue, the browser and operating system and I will get it fixed asap!