What's Echobitz?

by echobitz 8. January 2012 01:00

This is where it starts...

I've been playing around building websites and doing SEO work for quite a few years now. During this time I wouldn't have been able to build what I have without the bitz of code and advice from people on the Internet. I would like to thank them all by echoing some of the code bitz I have been able to create with the help of others. I plan to focus on useful code from a design perspective and I will also try and make sure it's a little different from what I have seen done before.

In the early days I played with Flash quite a bit but eventually had to kiss it good bye in exchange for good SEO practices. My work always focused around business clients and Flash just doesn't mix with my SEO. As a designer you are left with a clean static looking web site that ranks well, gets visits and makes the client money. I was never happy that I had to compete with great looking g-wiz websites that no one would ever see. But I began to see more and more jQuery usage along with cool animations that previously I was only be able to do with 3D Studio or Flash.

I wanted to brush up on the latest jQuery, HTML5 and the new CSS3 stuff that I had ignored for some time and needed a project. IE6 support was almost gone now, rounded corners and stunning shadows were here to stay. jQuery seemed stable enough and has a huge community of users to help if I got stuck. There are countless free plugins to do almost anything... not all perfect but many very good ones. My early coding days were in the DOM of Internet Explorer so learning jQuery was a step into a place I had been many times before. I have only scratched the surface with this site of what is possible from the jQuery library.

I had used the open source Blogengine.NET a few times and thought it would a good place to start, with a custom theme. I wanted a challenge also so I decided I would build a dark and translucent website instead of the usual squeaky-clean white. So I loaded it up with a few jQuery plugins, wrote some JavaScript and styled it with the latest CSS 3. I learned a few things along the way and wrote a few bitz of my own unique code and side bar interface. I'm going to pull some of these bitz and pieces out and echo what I learned in the hopes that I can help someone else building this type of site.

This site isn't perfect (IE 6 was ignored) and the style sheet still needs a lot more optimizing. In the end I achieved the look I was going for in the later browsers. The site looks flat in IE7-8 as transparency and shadows don't mix in these browsers and things just go buggy. Sure I could have made it look the same in IE7-8 with graphics but this project is about moving forward with CSS 3. The parts that I have written on this site are nothing when compared to the rest of the code that went into the site... many thanks to those who wrote those bitz of code.

As this site format and template are only the start of this journey I would welcome feedback from other coders that can see ways to improve any code bitz I might have. This site is also a lab and trying new things is what it's all about. Let me know if you are looking for features / styles that I may be able to help with. I'm always busy but will try and get back to any questions as soon as I can.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy what I have to offer.

Michael Brown

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