We have just re-designed our website from the ground up for a better & faster experience!

New Website

I've been using Wordpress for our website for the last 5 years. While it has it merits like easy editing, tons of plugins and resources, it's an overkill for our needs. It's big, slow and gets slower, requires databases, hard to customize exactly to your needs unless you want to create your own theme, can't keep a local copy for fast editing without internet connection unless you want to go through setting up a local server which you have to do every time when you set up a new machine and I despise it's CMS interface.

I've looked for some of the alternatives to produce a static website. For example Hugo is nice and my personal website is built with it. While it's very open for customization and creating content with markdown files locally is a very straightforward process but some of the problems I have with Wordpress carries over to this approach also. I don't want to learn all the intrinsic details of Hugo and the Go templating language to create a custom theme that works with it.

I want total control over the website, I want to know it completely and be able to shape it to my needs with ease. And I want all of these to be simple. Plus, I don't want flashy superficial features like sliders, smooth scrolling / sliding, video backgrounds and what have you. Thus I decided to choose the absolute simplest path. Pure hand written HTML5 & CSS.

In all my years of programming I've never ever touched a web project (except the ready-made solutions like WP and Hugo with themes made by other people). So a couple of days were spent learning HTML, CSS and some Javascript. I've also used Affinity Designer to come up with a design mock-up at this point. I've found an application called Pinegrow and it was exactly what I needed (albeit being slow and buggy) for I wanted a visual tool that also lets me have complete control over the code.

So all in all the whole process of "I need a new website for the company" to what we have now took about a week. And what an improvement it is!

RANT BOX

It's been 25 years of HTML and CSS and I still had many moments of gratitude that I'm not a web developer. Why can't we have a single language and a single API I can layout my pages in with an immediate mode GUI style? I just want to color, scale and put stuff around in a page and it's so terribly awful with what we have right now. Below, without putting much thought to it, would be much better in my opinion.

textData = loadJson(text_data)
aboutText = TextArea(textData[aboutMeText])
	// All the below stuff could be optional parameters to TextArea also.
	font(some_font)
	font-color(255, 255, 255, 0)
	anchor(viewport-center + 100, viewport-center - 100, viewport-center + 100, viewport-center - 100)
aboutImage = Image(some_image.png) anchor(aboutText + 150, aboutText - 300, aboutText, aboutText) // more

Positioning stuff with CSS is a huge pain. There are various attempts like flexbox, css-grid (what I've used) and probably more things I don't know about. All needlessly complex and not supported by every browser and device. Just take a look at how it's done in game GUI's and implement an anchoring system (Oh I'm sure there is a bloated and buggy Javascript library that does this). Maybe then we wouldn't need to replicate every css rule with media queries for thousands of different devices and screen sizes.

And how about some optimization? I've embedded the Youtube videos and just two players took a whopping 1.2 MB's. Why each video player takes the same amount of space, can't it be somehow "instanced"? Also no "don't load anything unless I click it" or lazy-loading unless you implement it yourself. And even then it's a hack and you can't auto-play videos in mobile devices for reasons that doesn't make any sense to me. It would spend the user's mobile data? Then make it optional and let the user decide instead of forcing it. Due to that poor choice now users have to press "play" twice on mobile devices in our website. Anyway I can rant endlessly on this but it's getting longer than the actual post so I'll cut it here.

So the takeaway is, simple is very pleasant and our new website is simple. I sincerely hope that you like it and find it easy to use. Don't hesitate to use the contact form and let us know if you encounter any problems with it. Enough web development, let's get back to game development!