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.

New Stuff

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.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

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…

84 Comments

I like the new look, familiar yet refreshing. I like the changes you’ve made, probably the only thing I’d change is set the overall background to white rather than pink, save having it flash bright pink on each load. Shame about the feed icons site, but juding by this I’m sure it will be a smash. Just gotta finish my site of now for the reboot, putting the finishing touches to my custom blog script. Bril work man.

Looks great Matt! The layout is ingenious as always, and the pink… Well, I guess it’ll grow on me. 😉

By the way, at first I thought you’d just inverted the colors or something. 😀

Great work Matt, I’m a fan of the changes. While I really liked the old design, this one has some subtle yet interesting new things in it that I like better. And pink is tough to pull off, but I think you fared well with it.

Now if I could just finish my reboot by tomorrow, you’ll be able to see some of the inspiration I got from checking out your last reboot so often.

Well, you know how I feel about pink. 😉 I love how you updated and yet, I still feel like I’m in a "Matt Brett" site. And I love the background distress texture. Adds an almost tactile print feel.

Looks utterly sweet. You’ve done what I’ve been all about: going pink! Not many men are manly enough to try it. 😉

Nice job on the Reboot.

Ohhh very hot man!!

Damn, kinda reminds me of the yet unlaunched <a>himike.org site coming tomorrowish.

The new layout is a huge huge huge improvement on the black one, however that pink is scolding my eyes!

Overall nice work Matt, keep it up.

Great layout, as always from you. I like very bright colour schemes much more than very dark. Nice work. 😀

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Glad the majority of you like what I’ve done with the place.

@Luke: Yeah, I mean to figure out an alternate way of doing the backgrounds as seeing the pink fill the entire site looks shitty while it’s loading. Basically, I have it setup the way I do to ensure the pink extends to the bottom of the browser window, no matter what the length of the page is. But just about all of my pages are a fair length, so I should be able to work around that.

@Olav: That’s actually how this design came about. I had made all the layout changes and was working on the design changes when my wife walked in the room and stated that I needed to really switch it up. So I hit ctrl+i on the background layer and went from there.

@Patrick: Good luck with that! Hope you can pull it off for tomorrow. I look forward to seeing it.

@Sam and David: I figured some people wouldn’t be into the pink at all and I fully plan on presenting an option for you. I’ll hopefully be rolling it out later this week. And the scolding is intentional. 😛

@Alan: There’s really nothing to the grunge effect. Check out my new FAQ page.

I like how you’ve changed the colors and updated the layout without really losing the feel of the site — kind of like some sites (ie simplebits.com) have ‘evolved’ rather than been redesigned.

Pink sure looks nice when done right.

Damn, my blog’s off the homepage! There goes my traffic! 😉

Seriously though, loving the new design and the reviews section. Will the reviews be included in your feed?

Although I’m a fan of black (call me biased) I think you’ve completely flipped the concept (of your previous design) around. And no doubt there’ll be one or two fine tweaks along the way.

Looking good, only thing I would like to see changed is the black in the comments area to white, it’s really hard to read. It is readable just requires a fair bit of effort.

Not a bad reboot Matt.

One thing I’d suggest is taking a look at the header image. The text "Video Games / Web Design / Music "… looks a bit too similar to your menu text. This can present a small problem when people go to click on the text and don’t get a link out of it.

Keep up the great work.

Incredible! Matt, the reboot is great, as excpected. Great work. I’m off to check out other 9rules rebooters.

Well..the most beatiful change is the "reviews section" – I love it! And I’m very jealous of your (grunge) graphics style…omg I can’t descibe with words!!

The only thing that’s bothering me is the never-ending pink part of your website (like in the comments) Too much of a good thing 😉

Regards

Hey Matt!! Well done on the reboot, another awesome site!!! I Love it. Especially the header, rockin!!

See ya around mate.

~Josh

My mind is blown. I meen its like old style but more rockin’ (also, just wondering, how do I get an icon, I meen I comment on here enough to diserve one, heh)

Hey Matt — I like the pink & white, but I’ve come to know you as the guy that turned me to the dark side, so I’m really looking forward to "Back in Black." Great Job!

Holy shit dude, pink really has made it’s home with you. You’re also one of the only people I know these days that can pull off the grunge blog look so elegantly. You definitely have a great talent, and I hope this reboot stays for a while (screw the November crap, May’s where it’s at).

Matt, nice work. You’re the reebooter that I was really looking forward to seeing. The site looks awesome, I think it will take me a couple of days to check out all the new stuff. Glad to see some others also working with Carbonmade.

Cannot wait to see what else you have up your sleeve.

A taster of the sweetness to come in today’s cssreboot.

Great job, Matt. Can’t wait till 18:00GMT!

I love the new design 🙂 makes my retinas bleed reading coments though 😛

What font do you use for the sub-headings? i.e. "What others have to say about what I have to say", I really love it, works well 🙂

Nice one dude, actually passed by here from my RSS feed yesterday. The pink is very pink, but you mentioned on your Flickr screenshot you’re going to offer the black version, so I think I’ll swap back to that!

I still think that you should make this comment box static, like Snook HAD. He’s removed it since his reboot, so even more reason to do it 😉 Though I think you’ll have to use some JavaScript as the box is off the page when you start…

Anyone else see that awesome "you’ve reached your CGI limit" message this morning? That was hot shit. Great way to start the day. At least I’m not having the problems Adam’s having with the CSS Reboot site. Glad I’m not with DreamHost any more.

@Stewart: I had my comments show up in white, but found them harder to read than the rest.

@Rogie: Originally, the ‘description’ in the header was green like the nav items. But I decided to change them to a non-link colour after someone suggested they looked too much like the nav. Since I don’t use white for links (without an underline) anywhere on the site, it’s really my only safe bet as far as colour goes.

@Rosano: No piano keys – where do you see them?

@Trovster: Static comment box is on my list dude! Unfortunately, I totally suck at every scripting language ever. I’ll see if I can talk someone into helping me make that happen.

@Jason: Not sure what you mean? There’s no resizing going on here.

Matt,

I’m not participating this time around … and I’m gald I’m not … the competition is just too strong.

This new design is ÃÆ'ÂÂÂÂÂ&frac14;bercool!

Congrats!

The lighter scheme really works, was a bit unsure when I saw your teasers a while back. Matt Brett has always been darker but this is just stunning.

looks nice matt. although some places look unfinished, the familiar style of your previous layout look great in white.

Jeez Matt. You’re pimpin’ pink like a Jedi Master. Congrats on the Reboot. I like the texture on the bkg and the grungy separation between your content and comments.

"One thing I’d suggest is taking a look at the header image. The text “Video Games / Web Design / Music “… looks a bit too similar to your menu text. This can present a small problem when people go to click on the text and don’t get a link out of it."

I did that the first time I saw it. It’s not something that can’t be understood though, not really a recurring mistake.

Nice work Matt.

Looking forward to seeing the black version, I think the bottom half with the pink a bit "glaring".

Still looks good though, keep it up.

Wow, how many people can pull off pink like this? Very impressive, Matt! Awesome work!

Wow. I was expecting to see your site on a dark background and I’m greeted by white and pink! The color changes are going to take a little getting used to, but I like the new site. Awesome job.

Looking forward to the new feed icons site.

Hey man I like it… when you make your own template what code do you have to put in to make your latest posts or most recent comments to show up on your main page?

Great reboot. The index looks really cluttered (even on 1440×900) though. The flickr images are too big, and the banner, well, I don’t know. Other than that though, I love it. Pink rocks. 😛

Nice job with the reboot! I ran across your site awhile back when looking through the democracy / participatory culture site. The old design was amazing, yet remarkably this one looks even nicer while retaining a familiar look.

I’ve been a big fan of pink on the web since Odeo changed my outlook on it, and you’ve definitely reinforced that view.

Congrats.

Good job with the site man, looking awesome as always, also looking forward to "back in black" which looks rad as well.

Any news on feedicons.com? I’m really eager to see that layout as well.

And, thanks for posting my site, in your "Last 5 Sites I Got Stoked On" section. I’m really glad you liked the layout, your site was probably the biggest inspiration for my design. In fact the first thing i was going to do after the reboot calms down was to email you and ask for a critique.

Thanks again Matt, and congrats on the site!

Looking good Matt. I ‘m having a hard time adjusting to the bright pink and white. I think the black vertsion will be a bit better than this when its put up. But thats just my opinion.

I love the BRUSH look of this site. Been a regular reader a few months ago, and amazed at the things you can do.

PS: The "Brush" effect is something I am trying so hard to learn now! 🙂

Nice work Matt, normally I am not a fun of pink /magenta colors, but in combo with that white/black stuff it’s a pretty nice layout.

best regards Danny

I actually prefer this layout to your reversed efforts.

This one I can easily read. That being said, I’ve liked all of your sites.

But this theme is particularly good. Congrats!

Looks sweet dude. I must say that the big Half Life game wallpaper ad gives me a boner. Brilliant colors and great layout. Amazing.

Nice jon with the site. The pink screams though. It took my eyes a little bit to adjust. Other than that the attention to details are superb. Great touch with customizing your author comments.

Your design was already great, and you did a unique change, lovely inversion, I always prefered white background for reading, specially with your above medium long posts…

Congratulations for the reboot.

Hey Matt, I think the previous one were kinda more cool with the black colour splashing around and really making stuffs out here really rocking. That pink colour ‘aches’ the eyes and renders reading ‘a bit difficult’ but the plus stuff is that now stuffs is a bit more organised so a bit more easy to find…….keep it up

Amazing site! Not only the design, it’s so easy constructed to. The blog is terrific.

Greetings from Sweden

Erik Olesund

Hey MAtt;

Not to be rude but your design is really not even a design. what kind of header is that. its a complete disaster. stock PS brushes do not make you a great designer and your css xhtml skills are not that great, not to mention you have coded none of the PHP yourself.

smearing pink on white doent not make you an artist.

i just think design is awful, you have great content but the layout and design is so so weak.

Just came across Renne’s comment in my inbox. Just thought I’d tell him to take a leap.

What kind of stupid and obnoxious comment is that?

Get a life, be constructive … or leap.

🙂

nice … its just that its structure and layout are the same as the previous design… nicely done though..

Bah, I’m an idiot for letting "Renee’s" comment through. Thought it was funny how ignorant someone could be, then I received another comment from "Renee" this morning and it’s completely ridiculous. So I checked the IP against my blacklist and realized it’s the same fuckin’ troll who was posting as "c diddy" and "eric" in the past. Should have checked first.

I’m diggin’ on your search results. Is there a WP you’re using coupled with some CSS to highlight the words searched (as well as show more than one result)?

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