Well, here we are. A day early (just like last time) with a fresh, new site. Well, sort of. If you’ve been here before, you’re no doubt squinting due to the brightness. I’m sure you weren’t expecting to see a site of mine on anything but a black background. I really wanted to do something drastic, but at the same time, maintain the level of organization that has brought me so much love. Hence the white background, but familiar three column layout.
When I first started thinking about the changes I was going to make, positioning content was a subject I wanted to address but wasn’t sure where I was going to go with it. I knew I had to shift the focus on the homepage, and I’ve done just that. One of the big things you should take note of is the new Reviews section. I decided, with the amount of work that goes into them and the positive feedback I’ve been receiving, it would be worth separating Reviews from regular posts and giving the most recent review a dedicated spot on the homepage.
The other new addition is a Frequently Asked Questions page. Not nearly as cool or interesting, but definitely necessary judging by my inbox. I threw this together pretty quick and will no doubt be adding more answers as the days go by.
Ads! I’ve hooked up a couple partnerships that I’m really stoked to be in ka-hoots with. I’ve only got the GameWallpapers.com ads running currently, but will have the others in rotation in the coming weeks. They’re all directly related to this site, the content or myself and should really be of interest to you. As you might know, I’ve had a hard time finding an advertising solution, but could really use a little extra pocket change for my efforts.
I was previously using Rollyo for search, but decided to go back to the standard WordPress search with some added goodness to make it more usable. It’s a site-wide search, so it will return results from the about page, faq, etc. as well as posts. And I’ve used a couple plugins to highlight your search phrase and grab a chunk of content surrounding your phrase so you can see how relevant the results are at a glance, without having to click-thru. The search field can be found in the sidebar of all pages and posts.
The Homepage – Syndication Central
The homepage is almost fully dynamic now, which is just plain awesome! I must thank Clay Loveless for the custom tailored syndication script he threw together for me. Without it, I’d be hacking WP plugins to get the results I need – which is what I was previously doing.
I know I’m going to get a lot of questions about my Xbox Live Gamercard on the homepage and I plan to write about how I pieced that together some time soon. It actually only took about 10 minutes to do using this script to pull the data.
I now have my top 10 artists of the week list in place of the album covers from the ‘Rocking My Socks’ section. It was just too much work to keep up and I was only changing them out once a month at best. This is now pulled from the Last.fm servers and is updated once a week.
The Portfolio section is powered by Carbonmade – an awesome, free service for showcasing your work. Whatever it might be. They’re still in beta and getting things sorted out. But it’s shaping up nicely and the guys behind the project are very open to suggestions at this point.
Lots More to Come
Although I was ‘finished’ putting everything together nearly a week ago, I still have quite a bit to do around here. None of which is crucial, or it would already be done. Mostly lingering to-dos and enhancements.
And for those that are hating the white and pink combo (which I’ve name Pretty in Pink). ‘Black in Black’ will be making an appearance, or reappearance very soon. 😉
Lastly, I’ve been working away on the Feed Icons site and was hoping to Reboot it today as well, but that’s not going to happen. It’s nearly complete, not ready for prime time. Everyone who’s involved in the project lead very busy lives and I don’t want any losing sleep over a volunteer, freebie project. So it will launch when we’re done. I’m hoping this will happen some time later in May. Fingers crossed!
Shit, I started that last paragraph with ‘lastly’. Lastly… for real this time, I haven’t even run the site through the validators, so please don’t start pointing out errors just yet. I’ll get it all cleaned up in time. This is actually a bad time to be launching a new site for me as my Mom and sister are visiting for the weekend and I’m hardly around.
With all that said, I hope you like the new design and find the changes I’ve made useful. I could hardly wait to let it loose. So here it is…