I've been meaning to get started on a redesign of Smittyware.com for weeks now, only to come up with a partial concept, but now I'm finally starting to make some serious progress. A couple hours in Photoshop, some more work on the site layout, and now I've gotten most of the static content moved from the old site design. I still have all of the dynamic content to go (including accounts, forums and an issue tracker), but doing the parts of the site that don't rely on a database now means that 1) I don't have to do those parts later and 2) I have more time to think about the design for the parts that do.
There are a few reasons for the redesign:
- Easier to understand product listings
- Easier to find download/purchase links on product pages
- Hopefully easier navigation overall
- An issue tracker... the existing forum is not sizing up well in that job
- A forum, to maintain what little community goes on in the existing one
- Single login system for the issue tracker and forum
Fortunately, I have code from other sites that I can pull from for those latter three, and the first three are really already done. The only thing that I haven't done before is an issue tracker, but I have enough experience with the one I use in my day job that I shouldn't have much trouble there. Things should also move a little smoother now that I've actually broken ground, so to speak.
Why am I not going with a pre-made content management system? Simple... I'm trying to keep as many existing URLs as I can still functional, or redirecting to new pages as needed, and nearly any CMS that I might get would likely not allow that.