If you’ve done any significant ExpressionEngine development in the last year or so, then you’re probably familiar with Brandon Kelly. With add-ons like Wygwam and FieldFrame, Kelly has quickly joined the upper ranks of “rock star” EE developers, alongside such developers as Solspace and Leevi Graham.
In October of 2009, Kelly announced that he would be leaving his job and forming his own company, Pixel & Tonic, to focus on full-time EE add-on development. And on February 23, 2010, Kelly unveiled the new Pixel & Tonic website.
Use any of Kelly’s add-ons, and you quickly realize that he sweats the small things — his add-ons are elegantly designed down to the littlest detail — and it’s no different with his website. It may not be the flashiest developer website, but it’s a solid, good-looking one that is packed with useful information (including thorough documentation for all of his apps). But the real magic happens if you’re using a “cutting edge” browser, such as Safari 4.
Kelly has used CSS3 to develop the website, which means that users with newer browsers will see a lot of subtle visual flourishes that give the site an extra level of polish. For example, the form fields are just lovely thanks to a nice use of gradients and rounded corners. Also, he’s using HTML5 to mark up the website, which means that the website’s code is more sensible, semantically correct, and easier to maintain.
Of course, this means that IE users are left behind. Visually speaking, the Pixel & Tonic website is an absolute mess in IE6, and only slightly better in IE7. But, as Kelly points out, that’s not really big deal for him:
So what about IE? Well, thanks to the fact that I’m targeting other web developers, I can say with 97.3% certainty that you’re not using it. Which is awesome, because that gave me a practical reason not to worry about it (besides just not caring). I did scope out the damages a couple days before launching, and it wasn’t pretty. Not even remotely usable. I’ll probably deal with that in some form eventually, but it’s most certainly not going to be full support.
Kelly has been blogging about the processes behind the website, which is a nice way to get in the head of one of ExpressionEngine’s premier developers.
All in all, a very nice website and a nice sign of things to come. It’s certainly a website that I plan to return to a lot in the future, if only to keep abreast of the coolness that Brandon Kelly unleashes upon the EE community.
Want to ensure Opus’ continued existence and get some special perks? Become a supporter today. Contributions help offset the site’s hosting costs.
I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.