HybridLogic 9billion&7

This design has been a long time coming. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. The last full version of HybridLogic was released in September 2007, nearly three years ago! Since then I’ve gone through iteration after iteration of new sites, each using a different system, design or both. A few weeks ago though I got tired of the endless cycle so decided to drop back to basics and get something up ASAP. This is the result and I hope you like it.

As you might have guessed this website is powered by WordPress, easily the best open source CMS I’ve found. After working with it for the past 12 months with the great guys at 383 Project I’ve come to know it intimately, sectioning off all of the complicated, bespoke sections to plugins (some of which I hope to release one day).

As I said, before landing on WordPress, I went through several other systems including:

  1. A bespoke PHP system, based on a custom framework. This is never a good idea.
  2. CakePHP. Blurgh, far too much magic.
  3. Django. Very nice, but getting Python to run manageably was a nightmare (on Dreamhost at least).
  4. Movable Type. Perl, need I say more.
  5. Kohana. I actually got really far with this, ripping out the view layer multiple times and have used it for several production websites.

Each has its own pros and cons, but in the end it came down to one very simple thing and something no user should ever notice. The admin. Seriously, whenever I used a framework the admin was the last thing to be completed which meant it was rushed and ill thought out if it existed at all (in which case I’d fallback to PHPMyAdmin). This meant posts were infrequent because of the amount of effort needed. WordPress by contrast offers one of the nicest admins around, with support for adding functionality in only a few clicks.

Having set on WordPress, I began the task of moving over my various features from Kohana. I had built Xbox, Film and Nike+ systems and easily ported them over as plugins. There are still a few to go, including Twitter and a custom URL shortener, but I’m hoping to polish them all of in short order and release them to the community.

Design wise, this is number 30 something or other (hence the 9billion&7 joke), which is actually a weird merge of several previous mockups and the last version of HybridLogic (I just love that background). It also makes heavy use of CSS3 features such as box shadows, RGBa and transitions. This means it looks brilliant in proper browsers (such as Safari) and falls back for those that still have some sense. It probably doesn’t work in IE, but this is my personal site and IE traffic accounts for a trickle of visitors a month.

Using WordPress means I can post much more frequently (I already am) and make updates much more simply. Expect to see this site grow over time, and maybe one day return to it’s proper domain at hybridlogic.co.uk. So please, let me know what you think and if there are any kinks to iron out. Over the next few days I’ll be porting content over (120,000 words, 2,500 links etc) but in the meantime there is enough in the archive to flesh the rest of the site out.