Further attempts at coding websites

After I deleted my Freewebs account, I essentially moved to WordPress (this website) full-time. It was a lot easier to deal with and I was preoccupied with blogging, which does not work well with a static website. For years, I was satisfied with this.

Sometime in 2016, I started to get interested in coding a website again. This time, I turned to Github. Unlike with Freewebs, my Github site is still online!

https://jayargall.github.io/

What you see (on any page except the home page) is actually the third iteration of the same basic layout. This is the first layout:

githublayout01

And this is the second:

githublayout02

The second layout is essentially the same as the layout online right now, with the exception of some different colors and the dragon background header.

I actually gave up on Github because I could not get the home page (and only the home page) to work properly with the third layout. For the longest time, it would not load. Now that I’m looking at it for the first time in years I see that the page is actually online, but that it won’t acknowledge the stylesheet. Why, I have absolutely no idea.

Will I ever go back to this website? Maybe. Will I be using it what’s essentially a mirror of this WordPress website? Probably not.

Nostalgia Time: Freewebs

I spent a lot of time on Neopets coding my own petpages, shop layouts, user layouts, and creating graphics and banners. Eventually I wanted to make a website of my own. For that, I turned to Freewebs.

Freewebs.com (which became webs.com sometime in 2008) is/was a free website builder/host. You could code your own websites using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I had an outlet for my energy, and I loved it. In 2008 alone, I created eight (8!) different website layouts.

Version 1 (April 2008)

freewebslayout01

This was the first layout I ever created. It’s very simple: just a background image and a couple of tables positioned at various points on the page. The font is only 10px because I was thirteen when I created this and had much better eyesight than I do now.

There was a page for my artwork, an about page, a page about what I was writing and the webcomic I was working on (called WHITECAT), and a news page, used solely for updates to the website. That’s not actually very different from what I have on this website right now.

Version 2 (May 2008)

One month later, I was apparently tired of the really boring brown layout. I decided to code a new layout, and this time, I decided there needed to be a landing page.

freewebslayout02_enter

“Enter” took you to the actual freewebs site, “dA” took you to my deviantART account, “SJ” took you to my Smackjeeves profile, and “email” literally popped up a field to send me an email. I was thirteen. I didn’t know it was a bad idea.

freewebslayout02

This layout’s slightly more interesting than the previous one, isn’t it? The font, however, is still unforgivably small.

Version 3 (Early June 2008)

One month later, I decided to use a fancy piece of art as a website background. But before we get to that, here’s what the landing page now looked like:

freewebslayout03_enter

One button. That took you to this:

freewebslayout03

Now that I’m actually looking at it, this layout was originally based on one of my Neopets’ petpages.

I added a message box and a visitor map, but there wasn’t much of a chance in website content otherwise.

Version 4 (Late June 2008)

This version had a really boring enter page, so I won’t post an image for that. The main layout now looked like this:

freewebslayout04

Yep, it’s also really boring. I think the major difference is that I added a link to Project XLVI, the main story I was working on at the time. As well as a link to my deviantART gallery where I posted artwork, there was also a characters page with a bunch of information that I apparently did not save anywhere else on my computer.

For the longest time, I thought I’d actually lost that information.

Version 5 (July 2008)

This landing page is also really boring. Here’s the layout:

freewebslayout05

Evidently I decided that a sidebar with links was boring, so I made a topbar with images.

Version 5.2 (July 2008)

Evidently I didn’t like the top banner. I somehow then decided that what my website needed was FRAMES:

freewebslayout05.2

I also found a page where I was writing information about my Neopets. Apparently I didn’t lose all the information like I thought I had.

Version 6 (20 August 2008)

This was essentially the same as version 5.2, but with a different color scheme:

freewebslayout06

Version 7 (29 August 2008)

This time, the landing page had links to different parts of the website: the main site, and the Project XLVI pages.

freewebslayout07_enter

This is what the layout for both the Main Site & the Project XLVI pages looked like:

freewebslayout07

The background art is actually of two characters from Project XLVI. It’s really not a bad layout. I think it’s pretty aesthetically pleasing.

Version 8 (October 2008)

Version 8 went back to being really boring:

freewebslayout08

There were three background colors: light blue for the main site, purple for the Project XLVI pages, and green for the Neopets pages. I ended up keeping this layout for quite a while.

Version 9 (May 2009)

freewebslayout09

This layout was actually pretty exciting. I’d learned a bunch of stuff, like Javascript, and I wanted to use it. The buttons changed from light to dark when you moused over them!

I also created a page showing the previous layouts of the website, did away with the landing page, and created a new subpage for another story I was working on.

Version 10 (May 2010) & Version 11 (November 2010)

Then, for some reason, I went back to something extremely boring.

freewebslayout10

Version 11 is literally the same layout, just with a different color.

Version 12 (June 2011)

freewebslayout12

This is the final layout I created. I went back to the shiny mouseover buttons. It doesn’t look all that different to this website, does it?

I kind of miss not being able to do this anymore, but I don’t have any reason to, either – not just because of platforms like WordPress, but because I’m blogging so much lately. Static websites don’t work very well for blogs.

Next week, I’ll have a post up about my further adventures with coding websites!

A goal to work towards in 2021

I’ve gotten back into conlanging recently after being rather unmotivated for the past couple of years. I don’t know why it is that I’m suddenly interested in working on my conlangs all of a sudden, but I am excited to get back into this hobby again.

The documentation I created for most of my conlangs is not the best. Everything is spread out over multiple spreadsheets and word documents – sometimes even different folders! Things are not where I expect them to be, half-finished dictionaries are everywhere, and different versions of the same conlang exist in the same folder…without revision numbers.

And thus a new goal was born: clean up each conlang. After a bit of planning & deliberating, I decided that for each conlang, I’d do each of these things:

  1. Write a description/overview/summary
  2. Create a complete phonology, including allophony, assimilation, stress, etc.
  3. Finalize the orthography
  4. Work out the entire grammar – nouns, verbs, adjectives, sentence structure, etc. with tons of examples
  5. Create a dictionary with all necessary words
  6. Write a description of the conlang on the Conlangs page of this website
  7. Put the conlang on Conworkshop

Yep, I plan on creating a Conlangs page on this website! I had one a long time ago, then deleted it when I wanted to focus this website more on writing. I also plan on making posts about my conlanging process & history, and individual conlangs themselves.

I hope the rest of you are as excited about this as I am!