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Onwards and Upwards

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Design Shack launched proudly in 2003 and has been gradually growing and expanding ever since. Over the past 6 years the site has gained a fantastic readership, I’ve had the chance to meet some great people, and certainly hope that you’ve been a little inspired by the articles and designs we’ve featured.

2009 marks the start of a refresh for Design Shack, and I’m incredibly excited about what the year has in store. The previous site design has been in place for a couple of years and, whilst I was thoroughly pleased with it at the time, I felt that a shift towards a more professional style was required.

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Design Changes

The most immediate change is the move to a much simpler, typography based design. Emphasis has shifted away from being purely a CSS Gallery to offering more in the way of community news and regular articles. I hope this will give Design Shack a more rounded appeal, whilst still keeping our original goal of adding two new inspiring website designs every day.

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After (literally) years of pestering, we’ve moved the thumbnail system to show the full screenshot of a site rather than a cropped version – sorry it took so long! The gallery retains the familiar “Browse by colour / layout style” options, along with new pagination styling to make skipping through multiple designs much quicker.

There are still a few niggles in Internet Explorer 7, which will be iron out over the next day or two. IE6 support is a non-starter, so to the 2% of readers currently using the older browser, please upgrade!

Onboard the WordPress Ship

Previous versions of Design Shack began with a completely customized CSS Gallery system, moving in the previous version to incorporate a heavily customized copy of TextPattern. Having used WordPress in countless design projects for others, I felt it made sense to move Design Shack across to a more expandable and reliable system.

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The CSS Gallery system still runs completely independently, but all the community news and articles are handled through WordPress. It’s been a breeze to set up, and will make adding new writers to the site a far simpler process.

Looking for Contributors

With all the ambitious changes taking place, we’re looking for people who are interested in writing articles for the site, along with helping to add community news on a regular basis. If you’d like to help out, please drop me an email – I’d love to hear from you.

I hope you like the new design, and welcome your thoughts and comments on what you’d like to see on Design Shack in 2009!