History of this website

Current version

(August 2018 to now)

This is the current version. I combined about 400 pages into a small set of topics to keep similar work together. I also finally used a responsive design and SSL to keep everything secure.

Version 11 "Watercolour Illustrations"

(April 2010 to August 2018)

Website version 11: Watercolour illustrations

In this version, I painted a little watercolour illustration for every blog post and tried to replicate the feel of a design magazine or an illustrated story book. I've used bigger headlines and increased the whitespace throughout the design. Most of the pictures scale along with the liquid layout so the design easily adjusts to any screen resolution. Definitely my best version yet.

Version 10 "Matthew James Taylor"

(September 2007 to April 2010)

Website version 10: Matthew James Taylor

This design was nice and clean and focused on content! It is my first website written in PHP and MySQL so it marked my move to open source technology. With this website I started building up a large library of articles in my blog to share all the lessons I'd learned along the way.

Version 9 "Secret Art Gallery"

(May 2006 to September 2007)

Website version 9: Secret Art Gallery

This was my first website built to comply with the latest accessibility guidelines as suggested by the W3C. I used strict XHTML and CSS to code everything instead of tables, and it made for much faster browsing times. The graphical buttons across the top of every page themed the site nicely and I improved the navigation to allow for thumbnails to be visible at the same time as a large artwork. As a bonus, visitors no longer needed to login to view content.

Version 8 "Simple Simple"

(June 2004 to May 2006)

Website version 8: Simple Simple

Due to rising hosting costs, I made my large artwork 'members only' for this version. I didn't want to restrict access to the public but at the time I just couldn't afford to. However, while this change did stop a lot of my traffic in the short term, it eventually kept climbing anyway. This was one of my most frequently updated websites, I uploaded my latest art every week or two so there was always something new to see. My main goal with this design was to keep things plain and simple in an attempt to make my art the focus, however, I think I may have gone a bit too far as it did look a little boring in parts.

Version 7 "Blue"

(August 2002 to June 2004)

Website version 7: Blue

I really loved this design, it was my first website written in ASP and it used SQL 7 as the backend database. There were loads of new features like artwork searches and emailing art to friends etc. The blue design took me weeks to work out; I wanted it to be just right. I was sad to see this version go but it was generating so much traffic that I had to close it down while I built another website that kept my hosting charges low.

Version 6 "Winged Skeleton"

(October 2001 to August 2002)

Website version 6: Winged Skeleton

This was a very basic flat HTML website with a simple design. I wanted my front page to have a large image covering almost the entire screen and I did this with a flash version of my winged skeleton drawing, you can see it on my Digital art page. There was not a lot of art on this site at this stage but this was when I started to get serious about my online gallery.

Version 5 "Ogga Vision"

(April 1999 to October 2001)

Website version 5: Ogga Vision

This site was a bit of a monster, as it grew it became a mish-mash of different styles and ideas making it difficult to navigate. In addition to that, there were a lot of flash elements and frames making it a complete nightmare for accessibility. Nowadays I refuse to work on any website that uses frames; they are bad news for many reasons. But while there were a lot of problems with this old version I did like the design of many sections. The homepage was an old TV set and you navigated around by clicking the channels.

Version 4 "Panels"

(December 1998 to April 1999)

Website version 4: Panels

This was my first attempt at coding tables in HTML and it was such a mess. It looked OK in Internet Explorer but things were all over the place in other browsers. Still I was proud of the result even though it was a headache to produce. Tables were the 'in' thing back then - it's shameful to think of the mess we were creating but CSS was hardly known and certainly not supported in the common browsers of the day.

Version 3 "HyperOgga"

(October 1998 to December 1998)

Website version 3: HyperOgga

This was definitely my worst design ever, needless to say, it didn't last long before I changed it. Looking back at this now makes me realise just how far I've come over the years. I really knew nothing about the web back then - well actually not many people did!

Version 2 "Space"

(January 1998 to October 1998)

Website version 2: Space

This was a very simple design based around the solar system. Each section was on a different planet which was a nice idea but it didn't work out neatly. The number of planets did not match the sections I needed! I was to learn a valuable lesson from this; never force something into a rigid structure, instead, it's best to let the content dictate the structure itself. A good website should be constantly changing and growing and that means the structure must change too.

Version 1 "Music for your eyes"

(Late 1997 to January 1998)

My first website was called 'Music for your eyes' and it was very basic indeed. Unfortunately, I lost all traces of that with a hard drive crash. At least it taught me to always back up my work, you can never be too careful!