Maybe it's the first time I can say anything good about the pandemic. Under normal circumstances, I would not have been able to completely redesign my website. Now I had the time for it.
My new website is programmed from scratch. Not just newly plastered, but rebuilt from the foundation walls.
The introduction of the GDPR a few years ago led to major changes. It was already a lot of work to comply with the new regulations. But then came the restriction that the user had to be able to determine for himself which cookies he allowed and which he did not want.
We know this from other websites. Virtually every website these days will ask for your consent. It's just gotten annoying! And I didn't want that on my website.
But what can you do and still be legally alright?
No more cookies
That's why I've cleared my website of cookies. Yeah right. There are no more cookies. No tracking. That's unusual, but if I'm honest, not bad at all.
I have never evaluated user data before. It was nice to see in my statistics that people from different parts of the world came visiting my website. And I also liked that in average there are more than 1,000 visitors per day. But what did I do with this data?
Additional cookies used to be set through the implementation of web fonts. I have now solved this technically differently, so that cookies are no longer required here either.
The comment function was outsourced at Disqus. Big newspapers like the Frankfurter Rundschau do the same thing. But the comment section on my blog was hardly ever used. If I only get five comments a year on my blog, I don't need a comment function, I figured. And therefore my blog now runs cookie-free as well.
Videos from YouTube have been played without cookies on my website for years. Now, also the ones that get served from Vimeo. But not every cookie is bad. There is a local cookie which remembers your last video player settings, e.g. the loudness adjustment. This is not a tracking cookie.
The heart of my website is my portfolio. Here I want my photos to be displayed properly. And especially on all end devices. In the past, this was not so easy to solve technically. With the new code, the portfolio has become extremely fast and, above all, very stable. A big step forward.
Like so many things, this is an update that is rather something which happens under the hood, but believe me, it's really a big improvement. And it feels so good, to have arrived in 2022 technically and code-wise.
In general, the responsiveness has been improved. I valued that very much with the relaunch. It's especially about better rendering of the pages.
The overall loading times have been reduced as well. It's good to maintain a low bandwith load, even when your internet connection is good.
I used to learn in art academy that the best way to present your work is on a neutral gray or black background. That distorts the effect of the works the least, it was said. That's why all my previous websites were dark to black.
Though I really liked the old website and the carefully designed rough backgrounds from cement walls to marble that I used. But let's be honest: I, Simon Bolz, stand for color photography. I love working with color. Colors mean so much to me. And that's why my new website became more lively. Even my portfolio may also have colored backgrounds, now.
I worked on the color concept of the new website for a long time. It's a huge palette of reds, greens, blues and yellows. Weird color combinations came out.
Some colors will take some getting used to. But I created something that I copied from fashion. The principle of the Capsule Wardrobe. All parts can be combined with each other. The colors are coordinated in such a way that this principle works and my website always stays vivid.
My website will always be under construction — but in a good way! At least once a week there is an update somewhere. My blog is particularly important to me. At least every 10 days I write a new article. And at least once a month there is a new series in the portfolio. And of course, there's the print of the month on the first of each month.
Besides that, February 2022 will be a special month. With the launch of the new website, I will take extra care and spend more time on the site than usual, I promise.
I'm sure I'll change a lot of little things on the new site. There will still be bugs in one place or another even though I tried it out on different computers and mobiles. Nothing is perfect. And if you don't like something at all or just find tiny problems, please let me know.