Tag Archives: xhtml

BenBishop Blog Redesign: Refracted

Posted on: January 15th, 2009 by Ben Bishop No Comments

In the three years since I last redesigned benbishop.me.uk, my personal blog, there have been significant developments in web design. From CSS frameworks like The Blueprint, JavaScript library’s like jQuery to development WordPress themes like Sandbox, all have been designed to decrease development time from concept to implementation.

‘Refracted’ is the product of three years experience with commercial clients and the implementation of many of these techniques.


I had the idea of the logo image in my head for a while and was quite determined to go with a light and vibrant design. Contrasting significantly with the previous ‘Satin’ theme, a light text on dark background theme, I wanted ‘Refracted’ to feel like a change from the old.

The layout was sketched out with old fashioned pencil and paper (!) and the design was composed in Photoshop with Illustrator being used for the 3D typeface effect in the logo. Then Photoshop was used again for the rainbow striped effect for the backoground to the logo and the footer.


Using the Sandbox wordpress theme, I was able to rapidly convert the design into the valid xhtml and css WordPress theme that you see on the site at the moment. Using Dreamweaver, the code editor is excellent, I began the process of adding the header image, and then working methodically through the design as I got dirty with the CSS, making use of the semantic mark up included with Sandbox.

With the basic design done, I installed and configured the widgets to the preconfigured 2 sidebars and finally did the cross browser compatibility changes requried.

End Result

With the theme 90% finished, I still need to monetise it asap, I have gone live. More information can be found here or take a look at the site itself, benbishop.me.uk

IE8 Standards Mode by Default – Thank you Microsoft

Posted on: March 4th, 2008 by Ben Bishop No Comments

It seems that Microsoft have caved listened to public reasoning and web standards ‘mode’ will be switched on by default.

Microsoft’s forth coming Internet Explorer 8, which recently passed the ACID2 Test, have now changed the direction they were heading in the way IE8 will render web pages. Orginally IE8 was going to cater for existing web pages not conforming to web standards and offer a meta tag or other solution to enable it if required. Officially dragging IE into the 21st century by enabling this by default is definitely a step in the right direction and a statement of intent about IE8 from Microsoft.

Congratulations Microsoft, this is the right decision. Allowing developers to write website the right way with out hacks and work arounds simply makes economical sense.