Monday, March 2, 2015

New and shiny website

My new and shiny website

With any luck, this will one of the last* posts on Ask Nicola and the first new post of my brand new web site. The previous design went up 13 years ago, created before blogging software. It was the kind of thing one had to lick clean w’ tongue code by hand, definitely uphill both ways a pain in arse. It's why I started this blog here on Blogger in the first place—as a temporary solution. But, well, seven years later... 

So, I’ve been meaning to do this for years. There was always something more urgent in the queue. Last autumn, just before I embarked on the Hild tour, I'd had enough. I drew a dozen delicious wireframes for a site would do everything exactly the way I wanted it to.

Then it became clear to me just how much work it would be to actually make happen. For one, it would require a custom design and build for which I do not—have never had—the skills. I don't have the kind of money to pay market rate for someone good enough, either. And those friends I do have who could do this for me, well, it wouldn't be fair to even ask. (We're talking a lot of work.) Besides, even if a friend had been willing to labour over it for an age, it was so close to perfect (in my love-starred eyes) that I would have got completely lost in getting it exactly right. That kind of obsessive fussing can't co-exist with writing Menewood. And even if it could, that would be only the beginning; once the mad and beautiful site was built then the real hassle would begin. 

WordPress won't host custom-made themes (only its own themes, customised). Building the perfect site would have meant self-hosting, which, fine, I've done for years, only now with endless, thankless backend update drudgery on top. So I thought, Ah, fuck it! and chose a theme: Studio.

That was three days ago. At which point a good friend began to customise it for me. (All photos are, of course, by Jennifer Durham.) And on Saturday night, after a lovely dinner (there might have been wine...) I looked at the dev site and thought, Even unfinished it's a billion times better than my lumbering Mondrian-esque monstrosity! In other words, again, Fuck it! And we went live. Mostly. (It won't propagate everywhere immediately.) 

So here it is, still under construction. You will see changes over the next wee while; don’t be alarmed! Meanwhile, please point your feed readers, bookmarks etc to:

Soon I will discontinue Ask Nicola. It’s served me well. The Mondrian Monstrosity served me well, too. But, oof, it should have been retired a decade ago.

Questions? Comments? Leave them on the new blog.

* I've imported all these Blogger posts to the new WordPress site, but all the links will, I assume, be screwed. So I'll keep this one up for a while, but as I'll be updating from the new site this could get a bit dusty...

This blog has moved. My blog now lives here: