As some of you are already aware, my site was down late last week. Fortunately it wasn’t anything too serious…other than an erroneous report of being infected with malware. Anyhoo, things are back up and running now, hopefully even a bit faster than before.

As part of combatting the strain on my web hosts’s resources (which is why my site was taken down to begin with), I’ve installed a cache plugin which should serve up pages more quickly than before while also reducing both the amount of CPU cycles my site burns through and the chances my web host takes me offline again.

Now on to some fun stuff.

As you’ve probably noticed already, I’ve redesigned the Gallery page into a single archive containing all of my work, sorted by year of release, with options to filter by the type of Manip (Photo, Animation, etc). I think this format will make it far easier to drop in and quickly see if there’s been any new artwork uploaded. It should also facilitate some future developments in being able to quickly find Manips with similar criteria such as quickly seeing all artwork featuring swinging pendants or headphones.

Speaking of finding Manips, I’ve also implemented a Related Manips feature. So, now, when you view the page for a piece of art, there will be thumbnails below it linking to similar Manips. This is a feature I’ve wanted to implement for some time but its taken quite a while to actually tag every single piece of artwork, behind the scenes, in order to make it happen.

Now, to some really fun stuff.

I’ve added some new header animations to the site. I’ve always enjoyed those as a design element and I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to write and let me know that you like them too. There’s four new ones that are now in the rotation (they come up at random) and I want to explain why they are a bit special.

The four you’re already acquainted with were my first venture into HTML 5/CSS 3 animated graphics. That is to say, all the animation is being done natively in your browser (as opposed to using some sort of plugin like Flash or Java). These new four go a step further: they are natively-embedded video.

I’ll talk more about this in my next blog entry, but the long and short of it is that, similar to graphic animation, html 5 supports playing video right in the browser without the need for plugins like Flash or Quicktime. This allows me to create much more rich animations that don’t require you to have additional software installed and will be better-positioned to support mobile platforms like iOS and Android in the future.

Being able to utilize video-embeds also opens up some other exciting possibilities, but I’ll talk more about that next time. For now, the site is back up with some new features and there’s more new stuff on the way.

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