redesign3

Two years ago today I published the first post on this blog, a short discussion on making a good first impression (Something I’d obviously been thinking a fair bit about for starting my first blog!)

Now 2 years, 7000 subscribers, 188 posts, and 5 and a half thousand comments later, here we are. This is design number 3, and I’d love to hear what you think!

I owe a big thank you to everyone who has left a comment here, emailed me, subscribed or interacted with the site in anyway. It’s been a great 2 years, and I’m looking forward to many more!

We have a competition sponsored by Bizcard at the end of the post where we’re giving away 2500 business cards.

The New Design

I’d love to hear what you think, so open up the site if you’re in an RSS reader and let us know how it’s looking.

I had a few main goals with this redesign:

  • Brighter, bolder design – I loved the old design, but the colors were a little muted and I was getting a little bored with it. It was time for a change, to a much more exciting look.
  • Easier to scan posts – I’ve always used bold in my posts to help make them easy to scan over, but the subheadings on the old design did not stand out as much as they could have. The new design should solve that problem nicely.
  • Social media links – With the Facebook page we set up a few weeks ago and the growing Twitter profile, I want to find as many of you on other networks as possible.
  • Social bookmarking options as well – There are now icons at the end of the posts to make sharing our posts easier (And a big thanks to Function for the awesome icons!)

Some Fun Sides to the Design

There were a lot of fun touches added to the design that weren’t essential, but I definitely hope have helped a lot.

  • Text replacement in headers allows me to use a different font to normal there. I’ll write up a post on this soon!
  • CSS 3 has been used in different places to improve the look for those on modern browsers without the need for loading extra images or JavaScript, e.g. Compare the post headings on IE v.s. Firefox’s drop shadows and rounded edges.

 redesign1

  • The popular posts list in the sidebar is dimmed out by default. But when you mouse over it, it becomes brighter and easier to read. It’s a simple effect with CSS, but helps to cut down on the amount of clutter on the screen when you aren’t looking at those links (Original idea came from an older version of PlainBeta)
  • CSS rollover effects. I’ve used quite a lot of rollover effects on the design. My favorite has to be on the logo link though.
  • Animations in Safari. I can’t show this in a screenshot, but if you’re using Safari 4 then there are some nice animations on CSS effects. I like the “Services, Subscribe, Twitter etc.” link in the sidebar in particular!

The New Blogroll – The Sites I Read!

We also have a blogroll in the sidebar now, filled with my favorite design sites. They’re all well worth checking out!

  • Arbenting – Angie Bowen recently become an author here as well, but her own blog is full of great articles on all sorts of design and creativity.
  • CSS Globe – Aside from having one of the nicest clean designs around, CSS Globe writes great articles on a lot more than just CSS. They also wrote the great JQuery plugin we’re using for the tooltips.
  • David Airey – David Airey’s blog is a great site for general design and blogging advice. Also well worth joining is his other site, Logo Design Love, which has a wealth of info for logo designers (His case studies are great!).
  • Fudge Graphics – Great Photoshop tutorials and freebies.
  • Fuel Your Creativity – Part of the Fuel network, FYC is a great place for articles on all forms of design.
  • iDesign Studios – Selanie has some top tips for productivity and working as a freelancer, but also writes on blogging and design of course.
  • Inspired Mag – Catalin writes on a wide variety of topics, including our old favorite; WordPress.
  • Just Creative Design – Jacob Cass’ blog is a great site for graphic designers (Like David, his case studies of his work are some of my favorite posts)
  • Milo – Milo is a great WordPress coder who has shared a lot of codes with us here at Pro Blog Design. She also has one of the more unique web design styles!
  • Naldz Graphics – Naldz Graphics have some fantastic Photoshop tutorials that are well worth working through!
  • Noupe – Noura’s site features some of the biggest and best resource lists on the web, as well as writing its own top articles on WordPress and design.
  • Pelfusion – Awesome posts on every aspect of running and promoting a website.
  • Smashing Magazine – You’re probably already aware of Smashing, but just in case; this massive site is one of the best sources of design tutorials and inspiration on the web.
  • Spoon Graphics – Top design Chris Spooner blogs here with some awesome tutorials and showcases of his work.
  • Styletime – Written by social media guru Roger Byrne, Styletime is his outlet for design tips and tricks.
  • Vandelay Design – Steven Snell’s site covers a lot of the same topics as this one, but the real shining star of Vandelay Design is the awesome design inspiration posts.
  • Web Designer Depot – In less than a year, Web Designer Depot has taken the web design niche by storm. Check out the articles and you’ll soon see why.
  • Webmaster Source – Matt Harzewski writes on just about every topics a webmaster would need to know. In particular, he always has a great commentary on current events and hot topics in the web industry.
  • WP Recipes – Jean-Baptiste Jung publishes short WordPress codes here for doing just about anything. No fluff, just straight to the point!

Competition – Win 2500 Business Cards

redesign2 Bizcard are giving away 2500 business cards to 3 winners on this site (1000 each to the first 2 winners, 500 to the 3rd).

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here telling us what you think of the new design!

I’ll select the winners this day next week. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts!

And if there is any part of this redesign that you’d like to hear more about or an article explaining how to do the same with your site, just let me know.

Update: The winners have been chosen; Timo Zimmerman, Carla Rose, and David Millar. Congrats!

Enjoy this post? You should follow me on Twitter!