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.
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!
- We've gone down from 7 MB to 60 KB's for the first page load!
- Website is much simpler. Single page. All the content is front and center. The first thing you see is our games, their videos taking the biggest screen real estate. Other sections are easy to access since you don't wait for another page to load to see it's content.
- Editing the website is easier, I can add any new section with a custom design effortlessly now instead of trying to bend a theme to my will
- It's local, I can just checkout the repo from my SVN server and work on it on the go. All I need is a text editor, not some slow and poorly designed web-based WYSIWYG rich text editor.
- And I'm proud of it, which gives me motivation to keep working on the content that will live in it
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
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!