New Theme

Those of you who actually visit the site rather than just reading the articles in your RSS reader will already have noticed that the site layout has changed.

The new theme was built in a couple of hours by adapting the Bones starter theme. My primary motivation was to get a bit more practice in theme-writing so that I can refresh the OpenCycleTeam website later.

The new theme should look consistent across browsers and devices of wildly varying sizes; previously I used a plugin to provide a phone-specific version, which made it look like every other site which uses that plugin. That plugin was engaged depending on the client’s user-agent string, so it didn’t ever really solve the problem of displaying the site in small browser windows. Now it’s not only consistent but it’s also dynamic: if you make a desktop browser window narrow it will progressively rejig the site until you are looking at the same thing a mobile browser user will see. It should also work well for people with ludicrously-widescreen phones/tablets: they site will rework itself appropriately if they rotate their device.

I have also made some infrastructure changes. The site is now hosted on an Amazon EC2 instance. I have also moved the static parts of it to be served via Amazon CloudFront using 5-way domain ‘sharding’ to improve performance. Hopefully this will make it faster.

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