After weeks of development, our re-designed website is live. It’s better organized, and with a mobile-responsive, friendlier interface. The new site prioritizes our service offerings, and includes a new section on the latest top-level domains available for registration. The mobile-responsive website layout automatically re-scales, depending on your web browser’s screen size, and automatically converts to a mobile-friendly layout when viewed on a tablet or smart phone.
We love the new layout. Nevertheless, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.
For more than 15 years, our website has been maintained in-house with home-built code. A quick stop at the Wayback Machine shows a very old look from when we were first getting started. In those days, ColdFusion on Windows was our development toolkit of choice. And yet, if you look closely at the old homepage, you’ll see references to “WAP”. It stands for “Wireless Application Protocol”, and it was the Internet’s first stab at mobile-friendly web interfaces.
I’ll never forget my first WAP-enabled smart phone, an ancient AT&T device I bought in the year 2000 that weighed 9 ounces and had a tiny, Nintendo Gameboy-esque LCD screen. Large “soft keys” enabled pre-scripted navigation between “cards” on a “deck” — the WAP equivalent of a mobile website.
In those days, the future of mobile connectivity was exploding in Europe, and our Canvas Dreams Publishing System (known as the CPS) — which predated WordPress by a good seven years — auto-published content to both our corporate website, as well as a mobile-friendly set of templates. If you called up our domain in your phone, our website would detect the fact you were using a mobile device and redirect you automatically.
The CPS survived a 2002 re-write of our website from ColdFusion into PHP. Even as WordPress came into being, followed by numerous other content management systems (CMS), we held constant with the old codebase. What you may not know is, up until the start of this month — July 2014 — our website was still managed using that old CPS.
So, why the re-write?
We’ve expanded our offerings to include WordPress maintenance and development services, so it’s only fair that our website join the rest of the CMS community. We also wanted a site that is adaptable to the hundreds of devices our customers use to access our website and Support system. Finally, we felt it was time for a change. Change isn’t always a bad thing, if in doing so it facilitates growth.
On behalf of Canvas Host, I welcome you to our new site. Browse it, look at it on your phone. Try scaling your browser and watch as it dynamically scales down. See a bug? Let us know! We hope you find the new interface friendly, the information useful, and your experience a positive one.