Last year, on November 30, I released the current redesign of the website. It came with major improvements and additions. Apart from the all-new design, the Blog was added, galleries were made full-width, a new navigation system was introduced and much more. Since then, 16 updates, delivering over 120 new features, improvements and bug fixes were released — 4 point updates and 12 focused on bug fixes.
The December 2019 update delivered all changes which were not ready to be included in the major release in November. Some of the more notable ones were the addition of pagination to the blog, the addition of social media share icons to articles and the addition of the "Latest Articles" section on the articles pages. The February 2020 update was mostly about delivering performance improvements by adopting lazy loading across the website. The May 2020 update introduced an updated font family, the new "Placement Year" page, WebP image support, page-specific JS as well as custom FontAwesome and Swiper builds for a further performance boost. Today, the September 2020 update is live. As each point release, it continues to improve the user experience and introduce new features to the website.
Articles now support tagging — tags can be found after each article. As expected, by selecting a tag, you can also see all articles which have been tagged with it. As I plan to be more active and to post more articles in future, I thought that now is the perfect time to introduce this feature. It is among the many improvements I have made to the blog since its introduction last year.
custom social media share icons
The social media share icons on each article page have been replaced with a custom implementation. This is to avoid dependencies on third party services.
redesigned home page
The home page has been streamlined to provide a better experience. The page now includes separators between the different sections. The "Latest Music" section has been completely redesigned and now shows the latest single and the latest playlist I have released with full artwork. The "Latest Articles" section has a new layout that lets more articles to be visible at the same time.
The update brings support for HTTP/3 which uses the QUIC network protocol for a faster and more secure experience. As of October 2020, HTTP/3 is used by 7.4% of all the websites (W3Techs
). I have been trying to adopt new technologies as soon as they are made available. For example, the website added support for dark mode in October 2018 - long before any browser officially supported it. As of today, HTTP/3 is enabled by default in Safari 14 only. Chrome, Firefox and Edge currently support the new standard, but it is disabled by default. Tested with the latest generation of Google's Lighthouse, 6, the website scores 97 for performance, 100 on accessibility, 100 on best practices and 100 on SEO.
Among the other changes in the September 2020 release are a redesigned footer, more prominent and easily distinguishable links across the website — mainly in the articles, "CV" and "Hobbies" pages, as well as monochromatic section icons on the "Hobbies" page.