Posted By Webmaster on 27 Nov 2013 Under Blog

After a long planned, I finally found time to make some serious improvements to iospirations.com 

If you've already been here before, you might notice that the changes are not just a ‘look’ changes, but also changes in the content structures, functions and software. You will also find that some of previous contents are no longer available at the new site.

Yap, it’s because, instead of just doing an upgrade, I finally decided to rebuild iospirations.com from scratch, for some reasons.

The main reason is, the primary extension I used for the old iOSpirations (It's TP gallery by TemplatePlazza) is no longer available for the new Joomla version. So instead of doing a lot of db-sync works, to re-build it manually is the safer choice for me. Many headaches and wasted hours of troubleshooting will be saved. 

 

So, What's New in this revamp?

There are three major changes in the new iOSpirations : Software, Design and Content.

Software

The new iOSpirations is still using Joomla, I decided to stick with it. I was once thinking of using wordpress, but Joomla seems more suitable for my needs. 

When I started iOSpiratons few years ago, Joomla was not as good as now. Because of its limitation I have to use 3rd party extension just for adding basic gallery functionality to the website. But now as time has passed, Joomla is far more superior. It's getting better and better.

With Joomla 3.2 now I'm no longer need 3rd party extension for iOSpirations. The built in joomla com_content extension with its built in functions such as voting, tagging, intro image, linking etc is powerful enough for me to create a basic gallery function with Joomla.

Additionally, I believe minimizing 3rd party extensions usage will reduce efforts in maintenance and security too. So I set my goal is to use 3rd party extensions as litle as I can.

Design 

I designed the new template for iOSpirations from scratch with the help of Sketch to build the design prototype. My main design goal is to make iOSpiration looks more clean and modern and to give a better user experience in both of mobile devices or desktop.

Once the design is ready, I duplicated Protostar, the default Joomla Template and then using it as a starter template.
If you know Joomla you probably will ask, "Why Protostar? Aren't there alot of good free framework out there?".

Yes I was aware of it. There are several full features (bloated?) joomla template framework out there to use, but I prefer to use Protostar because of its simplicity and it's really easy to work with it even when you're not using bootstrap (Protostar is a bootstrap based template)

Also, I always feel that the built in Joomla template framework is already powerful enough. If you really know how to use it, you don't need any second layer template framework for any kind of website / template. 

However, I can tolerate the use of additional template framework for people who developing template regularly that is probably need to use their (own) template framework to suit their template features pattern, avoid coding repeation or redundant efforts in php-ing and probably to get a more comfortable way to develop their template. 

Back to topic, the latest Joomla version (3.2) is still using the old version of bootstrap 2.3, which is still works actually, but I want something better in terms of supporting my Joomla styling process.
Then I found UIKit, a css framework from yootheme. It's relatively new CSS framework but it looks promising. When compared to bootstrap 2.3 UiKit looks like more lightweight and the most important point, I think UIKit framework has a better understanding of Joomla template developer needs. Maybe because YooTheme is a long-time experienced Joomla template provider so no wonder they know what issues a template developer facing during the template development.

So I decided to use UiKit and drop the default bootstrap support from the template.

Content

When migrating the contents, I found that a lot of items in iOSpirations are no longer relevant to the current design patterns and some apps are even not available on the App Store anymore. 

Okay, It was time to clean the house.

I removed all outdated item, adding more new items, new categories, removed some old ones, then put my focus into these main areas : iPhone UI, iOS icon, OSX Icon and Landing Page. 

There is also new Resource category, but honestly I'm not really sure how it will goes but for now I will try to post resources that I think worth to spread there.

If your app were here before (icon or ui) and it's no longer exist in here, please re-submit it again back through the pages suggest, but please make sure that the design is following the last design trends. For iOS icons, make sure your icon look nice with the latest border radius size icons for iOS7.

So that's all guys.

I hope you enjoy your time while being in here. If you have any suggestion or feedback, feel free to drop a message in the comment form below. See ya ~ A

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