Coming up for a design for this site was tough! I hadn't done any serious web designing in years, so my designing skills were a little rusty. Sure I designed the Ciencia site some months ago, but that was a very minimalistic design. The Ciencia banner was just a cropped version of my Blur wallpaper (colorised to blue), and other than that there wasn't much to look at. Unless you're the kind of person who finds diagonal lines on a blue gradient fascinating.
Also, because this is my own personal website and not something I was making for someone else, I wanted it to look as good as possible. I ended up making several designs before I got something I was satisfied with. If you noticed, the current design has a v6.0 mentioned in the banner. These are the other five unfinished/discarded designs -
Obviously the current design is the best of them all. I almost went ahead with design #5, before I realised that a white design is not ideal for a site that has a lot of images (especially dark ones). I needed a design with muted colours, something that doesn't interfere with/take focus away from the photos and artwork. And a plain grey theme did just that. Maybe it's a little dark (it looks even darker in IE), but I prefer it that way. You'd expect a design like this to take not more than an hour or two to convert from image to HTML, but this design took me around six hours to do! Aligning the diagonal lines across multiple cells and making sure the page looks the same in all browsers was a major pain. Anyway it turned out just the way I wanted it to, so I'm not complaining.
Karthik — Him I need to thank the most for teaching me the PHP/MySQL stuff to code this site. No way I could make a site like this using plain HTML. Took me about 3 weeks or more to finish programming all my pages, but now that I'm done with it, making updates/maintaining the site is as simple as can be! All I have to do is insert one row into the database and all the pages where the changes have to be reflected get updated automatically. Oh and I don't have to bother about making thumbnails for my images either. PHP does it all for me!
Poornaa and Pratyusha — for pointing out bugs with the Prev/Next links in my image gallery. Clicking previous took you to the next image in the gallery and vice versa. How come nobody else spotted this?
Total unique visitors so far — 217
Number of Page Views — 1280
The first five people to leave comments on the site —
#1 — Poornaa (Lady Gardener 2)
#2 — Nilesh (Looking at my Glasses?)
#3 — Aasritha (Explosion)
#4 — Suresh (10:27pm)
#5 — Rajeev (Lady Gardener 2)
Okay so that about wraps up this update. Go ahead, visit VarunAbhiram.com and let me know what you think!