It’s been just about two weeks since I launched MorganLinton.com and this weekend I decided to give the design a complete overhaul. So far the response to the blog has been great and I thought that the initial design would be a bit limiting as the blog continues to grow. So this weekend, like any anal-retentive designer, I sat-down and redesigned the blog. As many of you know I’m a HUGE WooThemes fan and I used their Irresistible Theme as the basis for the new design.
Whenever I design a new site or blog I always like to share my thinking with my readers – I’ve always said you can learn the most from your mistakes. So what was first version missing?
My main issue with the first blog is that there was no real useful sidebar. The area of the blog available for widgets was all the way at the bottom of the page which meant many people reading the blog would never find my RSS Feed button. On top of this having the widgets at the bottom means that all those other great features I want to add as the blog grows will be hidden-away at the bottom of the page.
The next issue I wanted to correct was the way in which the blog posts were displayed. Initially I thought I would just want to display excerpts that you could click on to read the full post. After looking at the design over and over I decided that it would be much easier to have the full posts displayed on the main page. Many of the posts I write will be related so it makes sense to just scroll down and read the previous post to get caught-up. At the end of the day the less clicking your visitors have to do – the more likely they are to keep on reading!
I’ve added my Flickr photostream to the side now so you can see the pictures that correspond to my blog posts. I’m hoping this helps bring more life to the blog and as we’ve all heard a million times, a pictures is worth a thousand words!
Finally – the fonts in the previous theme were starting to drive me crazy. I’m not sure what it was but I just think the fonts used in the Irresistible theme are much cleaner. Yes – I could change the Style Sheet and update the fonts but my goal with MorganLinton.com is not to go overboard designing a custom theme but instead focus on content. I’ve spent countless hours customizing this blog and can’t possibly take-on another development project right now. Thus I needed a theme that looked perfect right out of the box and this fit the bill.
One last item that isn’t in there yet but will be added later on is – Video! As you all know I’m a bit video-crazy and feel strongly that video is an incredible way to connect with your audience. The Irresistible theme has a great feature for quickly and easily adding video to your blog so with the press of a button I can make my blog more dynamic and interactive!
Let me know what you think of the new look. I think my personal blog is a great example of how easy it really is to use a blog to put an active site on a domain. When you are thinking of developing your domains using a tool like WordPress can save you a TON of time and allow you to put your focus on CONTENT! So many mini-sites out there have boring, useless, content – give your sites some life and write some interesting articles – or even pay someone else to do it. You’ll be surprised what fresh content can do for your search engine rankings and in the end, you can pave the way for repeat visitors which is the key to a successful site.
I hope everyone has a great start to their week and don’t forget to watch my video posted this morning!