Welcome to the new and improved home on the web for DesignPoint! It has been a couple years since our last major site upgrade and we wanted to start taking advantage of all the great tools we have been building into websites for our clients. The previous iteration of our site utilized Joomla! as a content management system, which was solid but not as easy to update as this new WordPress version will be. Moving forward our goal is to update our portfolio and news content much more frequently in order to showcase our projects and help keep our site ranking well in search engines.
We thought it would be fun to take you back in time a bit to see some of the ways our website has evolved over the years. Enjoy the trip down memory lane!
Party like it’s 1999!
You have to admire the retro stylings seen in this screenshot of the DesignPoint website from 1999. There is some impressive technology on display here such as a cordless phone, a laptop and even a CD! We used Adobe PageMill to build this site in HTML and the dimensions are based on the much smaller screen sizes of the day. You can take this classic for a spin right here.
Flash is fancy
This version of our website, launched circa 2004, was built entirely in Flash. Flash gave us an incredible level of control over the websites we designed and provided lots of options for interactivity. Flash websites also have a very high degree of consistency between browsers and operating systems so it was a good choice for us as a development platform. One downside was that the text content could not be indexed by search engines, but at the time that wasn’t much of a concern. We have this version of the site archived online for you to play with here.
The Gaia Framework
By 2008, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was becoming a common request in our website development projects. We began experimenting with the Gaia Framework, which was a system that would mirror the text content of a flash site in HTML in the background so it could be indexed by search engines. The new Apple iPhones were a wrinkle, as they could not view Flash content, but we held out hope that Apple would add Flash support to their iOS devices.
Joomla! and content management
In 2012, we debuted the version of our site that was built with the Joomla! content management system. This site gave us the flexibility to add items to our portfolio and edit our text from a web browser. It also gave us greater compatibility with search engines and mobile devices, since the hoped-for Flash support never came. Joomla! taught us the value of a built-in content management system, but the user interface was still a bit tricky to use.
The latest and greatest
Our ultimate shift to WordPress as a primary development platform was based on the desire for a more user-friendly system. The administrative portion of WordPress is more geared towards an end user, making it much easier for our clients (and us) to manage site content and updates. WordPress websites also utilize responsive design, which reorganizes site content to accommodate mobile devices, eliminating the need for separate versions of a website. It is interesting to look back and see how our identity has evolved, and how changing technology has driven our choices in website design and development.