I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and modifications to the website’s HTML code lately. Hopefully, you shouldn’t see any difference. But, if you do find something that looks out-of-place, please contact me immediately.
As the site was being cleaned and refreshed, a few links have been changed. If you currently link to one of the following projects/crafts, please update your links.
The old links will automatically be re-directed to the new page locations, but it’s always good practice to keep links updated if you can help it.
While working on the new site design, there have been several updates that I have been holding back. Posting them before now would have been a challenge, because there were essentially two websites, and both had to be updated to ensure a smooth transition. Fearful of accidentally leaving something out, I opted to save them until after the Haunted Experience debuted.
Now, a death in the family has postponed those updates as the jumble of grieving, paperwork, and planning get underway.
My apologies to the contributing artists, to everyone who has submitted items to the Fan Board, and to everyone else who have been patiently waiting. I will get to you all as soon as I can.
It’s here! The haunting season is upon us . . . well, it is for us.
Welcome to another year of the Haunted Experience. This year was a toss-up between themes: Pirates of the Caribbean or Nightmare Before Christmas. Decisions, decisions. Ultimately, the choice went to Nightmare despite wanting to do Pirates.
Today debuts the website’s new layout, which is very similar to the previous one. Only, this time we’re going with cleaner, simpler graphics, and Nightmare fitted with that look far more than Pirates. We’re also using HTML5 and CSS3 (still learning, but very similar to what we’ve been using in the past).
Along with the new layout comes some subtle improvements like new Special Event calendars, a new menu system, and the correction of several coding errors.
If you are viewing the website on a monitor wider than 1024 pixels, and you are using a modern browser with CSS3 support, you may have noticed the new graphic border along the bottom sides of the screen. If you scroll all of the way down, you will see a magical transformation.
As Halloween time approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how to end the year. The Haunted Experience is finished. The new website layout is finished. And, updates/improvements have been made that will debut in September.
Yes, September is when it all starts, but we’re still waiting for word about next month’s possible monthly giveaway sponsorship. I should know by Monday/Tuesday at the latest. With all of this talk turned towards monthly giveaways, I started thinking about the following months.
This month’s giveaway has generated so much interest (there will be 2 winners now!) and revenue for the website, that the current plan is to have a giveaway every month for the rest of the year. If all goes well, December’s possible sponsorship promises to be a biggie for Disney theme park enthusiasts. As for the other months, you’ll just have to wait and see!
Yesterday, I completed the new site design, and now the focus will be on changing the WordPress theme to match. It’s a different monster to tackle, and will require the News to periodically be shut down for testing.
The new site design will debut in November, but you will see the new layout on October 1 with this year’s Haunted Experience graphics. I’m not sure about this year’s theme, though. I typically lean toward either a Haunted Mansion or Disney villain theme. This year, I’m throwing around the idea of either a Nightmare Before Christmas or an all-inclusive Pirates of the Caribbean theme.
For testing, I will need to do a separate installation of WordPress. So, the news will not be interrupted.
Becky submitted a G-scale version of the Casey Junior Station, and I finally got around to uploading it.
June and July have been busy for me. Lots of personal surprises have popped up out of nowhere, and they’ve not all been pleasant. I have, indeed, started designing the new site design, but it went straight to the back burner after a few days. I’m itching to get back to it, especially since a new Halloween layover will have to be created and finished in time for September.
Kidding aside, if you’ve been nosing around on the Flickr account looking for the paper model photos, you will not find them. I recently discovered that the yearly upgrade ($24.95 for Flickr Pro) has expired and is due for renewal (ya think I would have gotten an email about that). Unfortunately, the funds do not exist to upgrade just yet. If you’d like to help out, pitch in a buck or two (any amount, really).
If you’d rather save up for next month’s giveaway, that’s fine, too. And, we’re going to change it up a bit to make it more fun. The minimum $2 donation will be lowered to $1, and every dollar that you donate counts as a separate entry! The more dollar amounts that you donate throughout the month, the better chance you have of winning one of the prizes.
What will these fabulous prizes be? You’ll have to wait until September 1. There will be two prizes for U.S. donations, donated by the sponsor. We’ve discussed it, and they really want the winners to get their prizes in time for both parties and Halloween (international shipping takes way too long). But, I was able to dig up a special prize for one lucky international donator as well!
I’ve given up (for now) on trying to repair the glitches in the donation pages. I’ll come back to it later if I can; I liked the previous version . . . when it worked. So, I’ve reverted back to the standard PayPal form, which will pop up in a new browser window/tab when you add something to your cart. This will make getting a pin or mini model a breeze again.
I apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused.
Oh, happy day; the site revamp is here! And, it’s about a week ahead of my estimated release schedule. Although this is technically version 20, it’s not. At least, not to you. There are other versions that I’ve designed but never released.
This time around, I’ve focused on simplification and ease or use. Some pages may even be too simple for my tastes, but they work well for the time being.
Bugs. Imperfections. Incompleteness (is that a word?). They’re all around, and they’re being worked on. Work just got to a point where I needed to have a fully-functioning site to continue putting everything together. Hang in there while things get sorted out; there are some new features that I have yet to roll out.
New features. To start, you’ve no doubt noticed a new home page with a simplified menu, quick links to popular areas, and flashy, animated ads. To those of you who were hoping for a splash page, sorry. That’s gone the way of the dodo.
I took a cue from one of my favorite websites, the Iconfactory, and created 86 new preview pages for the icon sets. Click on a thumbnail or title, and you’ll be whisked away to a dedicated page where you can view large icon previews as well as what’s included with the set. And, to free up space, all instructions have been gathered into the new instructions page.
The navigation menu has been re-designed and color coded. It will also be getting tweaked in the coming days.
The last headache to tackle will be the new search software, which will have to be seamlessly integrated.
My back does, too! I’ve been sitting in a computer chair that gets uncomfortable after a while. It’s not all bad; it forces me to take breaks when I’m on the computer for long periods of time.
I’ve been feverishly working on the site’s overhaul, using up most of my spare time. Today, I finished creating preview pages for every icon set (86!). This will be a new feature, dedicating a full page for each set, with a large preview image showing four icons in both 128 x 128 and 48 x 48 sizes. This will also help improve the soon-to-be-installed search engine, making it easier to locate the files in which your icons are.
Here’s a look at the new home page, which will be replacing the old splash page. You’ll notice that the paper models have their own tab, there are quick links to get you where you need to go, and a large animated slider gallery that will highlight site features and events.