simpleWeather v2.1

Last week I pushed out simpleWeather v2.1 along with a new project homepage using Bootstrap. The new version includes some cleanup and the addition of letting you use a WOEID for location instead of a US Zip Code. This will make it easier for you to get exactly the location you want anywhere in the world. I have a few other things on my list and hope to get them pushed out pretty soon.

This project has slowly grown in popularity over the past year, the peak came after Smashing Magazine tweeted it and later the intro video for Yeoman used it. After finding it listed on countless blogs I knew I needed to make some changes to the website. Besides the new version I started working on a new project homepage. The current was a few years old and didn't really fit the look I had in mind so it had long been on my list to get a new design up. I wanted something clean, easy to read, and simple to update. This of course means I turned to Bootstrap to get things started. Bootstrap provided the majority of what I knew I would need plus more. It allowed me to get up a clean and great looking site pretty quickly. I've yet to use Bootstrap in a client project but it is my go to starting point for little side projects like this.

I wanted to have a hero section to introduce the plugin, a quick way to download the latest version, and of course social sharing. The previous demo was very basic and modeled after the iPhone weather just not nearly as good. I didn't mind it at first but as I started seeing screenshots of it showing up on blog posts about the plugin, I grew to hate it pretty fast. It just wasn't a very good representation of simpleWeather. The new demo, seen above, is modeled (read stolen) after degreees.com.

After I had the new look ready and finally settled on the new default demo I knew I needed to rewrite most of the documentation and FAQs. At the suggestion of John Hoover, I removed the extremely confusing example showing every piece of data being displayed and went with a table instead. This does a better job of showcasing the data and returned values. The final piece to the new site was a logo. This was another item on my list for awhile; I really should do something about this mysterously long list. I enlisted the help of Blaine Bowers to design me a logo worthy of the project and we ended up with something that I love. In the end I'm pretty happy with it.

I am planning to do a series of posts that focus on different ways to use simpleWeather from unique ways of displaying the weather for your visitors to using it to determine what graphics or text to display. I have a few ideas in mind so look for them over the coming weeks or months. simpleWeather started three years ago when I needed to display weather on a client website and couldn't find a plugin that did what I wanted, I later figured somebody else might find it useful and put it up on Github and it has been pretty awesome hearing from people using it and the many different ways they are using it. Thanks to everybody who has used it, submitted bugs, forked it, and given suggestions.