Jasper Horn

About this site

Originally, this page contained a story about who I am. However, I ended up moving that story to home. Instead, I am going to write about this site.

The layout

I designed the layout of this website a long time ago for a project that bascically just ended up fizzling. The first version looked quite different but once I added the shadows in another revision, it came to look quite a lot like what it does now. This was well before Google came up with their "material design", so the idea didn't come from them.

I ended up using this design on a number of sites that I run, each with their own color scheme. It's a simple design that I can quickly throw onto a new website without thinking too much about it. Especially in the early days, this was all done using the copy-paste methodology. I have been making some steps towards a more reusable setup, but it does still mean that the styling did end up varying a little from site to site as I made changes on some sites, but not on others.

The Good Suite

For a long time, this site was written in plain html. You don't need much more than that for a simple site, in my opinion. However, there were a number of parts that were the same between different pages, such as the header with navigation and the left and right columns. An update to these would require me to copy the change to each page. That's just what I did, though, and as long as I didn't make any mistakes, it basically worked.

Of course, it's a lot better to not have duplicated code or content. So, one day, I ended up finally moving to something that supported server-side includes. There are a lot of ways I could have done this, but I chose to go with my own creation: The Good Suite (or more specifically, the GoodLooking component of the suite).

Including files is just one of many things that GoodLooking can do, but it can definitely do that. My main reason for choosing GoodLooking was that I wanted to use my own library. By being your own customer, you can discover the shortcomings of the system first-hand. Besides, if you don't even want to use your own creation, how can you expect to others to want to do just that?


The different sites using the same layout were still not sharing code, though. Their content was intertwined with some of the html for the layout which made it hard to share code. That's why one day I started separating the two using more features of GoodLooking (and just PHP in general).

This basically meant that I was creating my own mini-cms. One could argue that I was reinventing the wheel. However, rather than trying to create a setup that works for everyone, I am just trying to get things to a state where my different sites can share their code instead of it just being similar and copied over. I could definitely have chosen to use an existing CMS, but this is much more fun to me. I also fear that the site might have lost some of my "personal touch" if I had chosen to use an existing CMS.

This site is fully running on "MyCMS", but most of my other sites aren't yet. The main reason for that is that many of my other sites have a "news" section (that I update quite infrequently) and that's not something I have built into "MyCMS" yet. There are other things I want to improve as well. For example, currently both the content and layout are read from files, but having the content in a database would probably actually be a cleaner solution.