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Well, a little later than I was hoping to get it ready for, but for sure a much-needed and long overdue revamp.

The new site is cleaner, meaner, and powered by Joomla! 1.5.  Read on to find out about the project and the site's new features...

Too often I hear "Joomla! sites all look the same", well, that's just nonsense

Our original site was getting a bit tired, plus it was packed with a lot of the original information that was written with the 1st site's incarnation, now well out of date and a lot of it irrelevant.  The SEF component was also on a rampage creating duplicate URLs which was out of control - can't be good for Google!

Tidying it all up was just too much of a daunting task...I mean, where do you even start?  I've been wanted to implement a new design since before 1.5 was fact, I remember *waiting* for the new release as my target for the new site...well, that came and went in a flash...maybe I should have invested some more time on the site instead of making FivePoint for the community? :)

Anyway, I started work on the new site back in September, got some ideas together and the whole project started to grow from there. I was shooting for a 1st January launch but there's always so much to do - so just stole some time as and when I could to work on the sections.  There's always more to do than you think - styling the pages and the components so it all fits together.

So, What's New?

Well, all of it is really, the significant jump in version numbers meant that keeping any of the old stuff was out of the question.

Custom designed, tableless template
This was top priority really. Don't get me wrong, I love Kevin DuCommun's SubtleTrooper template (which was, ultimately, modified quite a bit for our site) but it wasn't giving the first impression that I wanted - in that our primary focus was on custom templates, and here's what we can do. Having a commercial template loaded on the site just didn't really say that.  I wanted to give something that shows my individual design direction, and something that made people stop and think "I didn't know Joomla! could do it like that". Too often I hear "Joomla! sites all look the same", well, that's just nonsense.

Having a commercial template loaded on the site didn't give the first impression that I wanted

New implementation of Virtuemart for the Commercial Template/shop section
I've been looking forward to getting some time with VM1.1, thankfully I got the chance to implement VM1.1 on the Down's Syndrome Association website so hit the ground running to some extent. It's so much better than the original version, much more scope for customization thanks to the new templating system - although it's still massively complex and certainly not for the faint-of-heart.

Latest Blog
I wanted to lose the news & article pages in favour of a more casual Blog format for reporting anything notable and writing my occassional tutorials. More to come - so watch this space, as they say.

The services pages have been re-written to be more consistent with our vision and experience, and I did try to keep the waffle to a minimum. With any luck, the site should be much more user friendly and easier to find the stuff you need without getting lost...

We're still in the process of adding and updating stuff to the new site, so please bear with us...and if you can't find something, please do get in touch - we'd love to hear from you.