About


Matthewandstephanie.com was set up some time ago because Stephanie & I needed someplace to disseminate information about our upcoming wedding. Being that I was a software developer that worked mainly in the web realm, I thought I could provide us with a more customizable website than one of the existing cookie-cutter ones. And so matthewandstephanie.com was born, or should I say purchased from ICANN.

 

The Original
The Original

This was the original design of matthewAndStephanie.com. It was done in basic HTML with very little JavaScript and one, possibly two, images. Very basic, but very functional. I would say I kept it simple because I didn't have much time on my hands, but looking back now, I probably had all the time in the world.

 

Post-Wedding
Post-Wedding

After the wedding was over, there wasn't much point in leaving the website as it was. Since I work as a web developer, I decided I'd put my skills to use and give the website a little more functionality as well as spice it up with some images. The landing page was given a new picture every now and then, something that was a highlight of the time. A custom-built photo album was also added which used ASP.net 1.1 as the technology. A member's area was added with the intention of being a place where family members could log in and keep up with family related things. A gift registry was added so that we could coordinate our Christmas gift giving. No one really used it so the whole member area got ditched.

 

A new design
A new design

I got a little tired of how plain the site looked and so I went out and did a little research on CSS and site design. I took the design of a site and changed it up to make something that I both liked and thought looked a little more modern. Two new sections were added as well. The first was a section for our first child, Eden. We used this to show highlights of Eden and as a link to pages of photos of Eden in the photo album. I also added a calendar. This was to keep up with the various birthdays, anniversarys, etc for members of the family. It was probably also meant to coordinate family events, but I don't know that it ever came to that. It was written in ASP.net 2.0. The photo album also got an update to .net 2.0. The news items that appeared on the home page had to be entered by hand. This got old and would be the next thing to be updated to utilize ASP.net.

 

Getting a little stylish
Getting a little stylish

So I got a little tired of the old design. Although I liked it, it tended to be difficult to work with and somewhat hard to read at times. So I did a little more research on CSS and site design and found some great sites with open source designs. I found one that I liked and used it as a basis for the current design. I went for a clean and simple look and then wrapped it in ASP.net 2.0 so that I could make the pages dynamic and change things like the banner image for each page. The photo album was tweaked once again to make it easier to use and navigate as well as trying to get it so that the important stuff fit onto the page without having to scroll. The calendar was also replaced with a new version that I had been working on. This one is probably still used as much as the old (read: never) but it had a lot more functionality. A functional Contact Us page was added just in case someone found our website and wanted to get in touch with us. To date, I think only one person has used it (that's you Pat McCarthy) but at least I know it works. The news items that appear on most of the pages are now created and edited in an admin area behind a member login (which has returned but is currently only used for administrative purposes). The photo album and calendar are also managed via this admin area. Finally, two new sections have been added. The first being one for our second child, Noah, and the other being for our third child, a 1957 Buick Super that we're attempting to restore.

 

Currently...
Currently...

It has probably been at least three years since the site has been redesigned. I've tried to come up with something here and there. Eden got all obsessed with Peter Pan and so I tried to do a nautical/pirate theme but never could pull it together. I lost interest in the site as well as other priorities in life took over. Now with the prospect of changing jobs looming on the horizon, I decide to revamp the website. I've always been a fan of comics. I'm not a fanboy and I might not even be a casual fan, but I really like the artwork and looks of comics. So I did a little searching on the interwebs and found a great site (Tuts+) that had an awesome tutorial on now only how to design a comic book site in Photoshop, but also how to slice it up and create a website template out of it. I played around with it and tweaked it a little to my liking and presto! I also found another Photoshop tutorial on how to give photographs a sort of comic book look. So I spent a little bit of time doing that to a photo of each member of the family to enhance the home page. Now that the look and feel is there, I plan on going from ASP.net 2.0 to MVC 3 with Razor. It is something I've been wanting to learn & explore and now is the opportunity. So, stay tuned as this site goes dynamic once again!

 

Oh, and why isn't it www.matthewstephanieedenandnoah.com? Do you really want to type a URL that long into the browser bar???