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I have given myself another home page facelift

Published to Blog on 15 Dec 2010

New Home PageIt was a much needed facelift.  I liked the functionality of my previous blog home page and I liked the way it was implemented (mostly using JQuery plugins), but the design felt too cluttered and was just … well… ugly. Mostly it felt like too much of a “blog home page” and what I really wanted was a “me” home page – separate from my blog. Within a week or two after posting the previous redesign I had grown to hate it. In the meantime I stumbled upon a couple of home pages and immediately loved the big type, huge background images and simplistic design. I was inspired.

I ran with the inspiration and what I ended up with is a home page composed of nothing more than HTML and Javascript (mostly JQuery).  All the data is pulled into the site from third party services like RSS feeds, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc. with AJAX via JQuery plugins. Most of the plugins are the same ones I previously used and blogged about before. Even the contact form is nothing more than a couple of lines of Javascript, with kontactr providing the horsepower behind it. And the social sharing functionality is provided by AddThis.

I found some big beautiful landscape images on Flickr that were licensed Creative Commons that were perfect for the background images I envisioned. There are currently four different backgrounds displayed randomly. As the seasons change I’m sure I’ll find new ones to swap in and out.

Additionally, I had much fun learning new CSS techniques for rounded corners, full-page background images, and dabbling in HTML 5.

The functional beauty of it being nothing more than HTML and Javascript is that it can be easily replicated and can run anywhere. During development it was nothing more than an HTML file in a folder on my desktop and it worked fine. Feel free to copy the page source, CSS, and Javascript files and experiment yourself. Once I get the code organized I’ll post the source to github.

Note: Since building my home page I’ve discovered another site,, that offers a similar service as Both services seem very similar, starting free with different levels of extras offered for paid upgrades. has a good article comparing and contrasting the features of and Both seem great – but I prefer to roll my own.

Almost forgot… you can see my new home page here:

Dan Hounshell
Web geek, nerd, amateur maker. Likes: apis, node, motorcycles, sports, chickens, watches, food, Nashville, Savannah, Cincinnati and family.
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