New Design for Our First Birthday!51
On the 5th of August 2007, I published my first article, The Crucial Ingredients of a First Impression. Now, one year later, it’s birthday time for Pro Blog Design!
With over 2000 subscribers, 2000 comments and 120 posts, it’s been a great year. We’re celebrating with a new look, and some changes to make the next one even better. Hope you like it!
The New Design
If you’re reading this in your feed reader, please click through onto the site to see the new look. Let me know what you think of it!
A lot of time and effort has gone into the design, and I’m really pleased with it. If you like it though, it’s entirely possible to do the same with your own blog.
Every design is made up of individual steps. Instead of talking through the design here, I’ll list some of those steps below. It all links back to different articles where I’ve written about the topics before, so you’ll be able to apply the knowledge to your own blog.
- Two column layout (Though the title of that article is out of date now!), with the sidebar on the right and content ordered by importance.
- Suitable color scheme chosen, but using some of the same colors from the old design so that it wouldn’t lose all resemblance. The logo hasn’t changed at all.
- Designed using what I think makes a design look good. What you think looks good could be completely different!
- Using very limited post previews on the homepage. The idea is to highlight the most recent post most, and then each successive set of posts less. There are 9 posts shown on the homepage, but it’s less than a screen-full.
- Work put into the small details, like effects for the comment fields, custom gravatars,and putting the RSS counter in plain text.
- Worked on the typography to make the posts easily readable, e.g. Now using a larger font-size and line-height than before.
- Cool RSS icons chosen, as well as some icons from the FamFamFam set.
- Personalizing some of the standard messages to make things unique, and setting up a fun 404 page.
- Site tested in all major browsers (Even the iPhone works well and has a webclip icon set up!)
- Print style sheets set up, and perfected.
Adding adverts to a site after so long without them is always a controversial decision, but I think it’s for the best. The money from the adverts is not for me. It will be used to help pay for other writers to write articles for Pro Blog Design. That way, we’ll have more content for you, and from a wider range of views.
And there will be no sponsored posts, hidden affiliate links or adverts in the content. It’s just ads in the top of the sidebar, so it won’t affect your reading.
The regular cost will be $45, but for the first 4 advertisers interested, there will be a discount rate of $30. First come, first-serve though! You can see our traffic stats, and contact form here.
Other Changes Around Here
As well as the overall look, there are a few other changes to the way things will work. Hopefully, it will make the next year even better than the last!
- Author section at the end of the posts. At the end of each post, there is now a fairly large author bio and picture. That’s to give credit to anyone who wants to take-up the Write for Us offer.
- Recommend your own links for the link feed. The link feed has been moved to the footer (More space there!), and you can now recommend your own links by sending them to me via StumbleUpon, Twitter or Delicious. Read more here.
- Site map added. With 124 posts in the archive at the time of writing, a site map was needed. You can see it here.
- Merged Contact and About pages. The contact page only had the contact form on it, and the About page is short. They’re now merged into one (Largely because the navigation at the top of the page looks nicer that way!).
Thanks Are Due
I was almost going to leave this section out, because I wasn’t sure it could be done! I can only list a very few here, and in no particular order! Sorry I couldn’t list everyone.
A huge thanks to Smashing Magazine for including me in their blogroll; at the very least, it’s done wonders for me ego! Another huge thanks to Darren Rowse for letting me guest-post on ProBlogger several times. That’s been another honor and highlight of the past year!
Also owe a lot of thanks to the other great blogs in the same niche as this one. They’ve taught me more than I care to admit! Some of the best (And well worth checking out) are Vandelay Design, Noupe, Creative Curio and Just Creative Design.
There are too many great people who have left comments here to even attempt that seriously, but a huge thanks have to go to Milo, Matt and Kristarella in particular. I wouldn’t be surprised if yous had left more comments here than me!
So, what do you think? Thoughts, comments? I’d love to hear them all!
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