Welcome to the new design for Social Media Explorer. I know, it doesn’t look all that different, but I needed to put a new coat of paint on the walls and move some furniture around.
Since the majority of you reading this might be interested (not many first time visitors or newcomers will care), I thought I’d tell you a bit about the changes and why. Perhaps it can inspire some ideas in rethinking your own blog or website. If you don’t care much, just skip this post and thanks for stopping by.
The biggest change you’ll see on the front page is the layout is less blog style and more menu-driven. The latest story is presented with a synopsis and an option to click through to read the full post. Below that are the latest headlines organized by category. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds of just those categories if you are, for instance, only interested in topics related to PR. I did this for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted readers to have easier access to more posts from the front page and long, never-ending wads of body copy flowing down the front page always annoyed me about blog design. Second, most of the readers of my blog either subscribe to the RSS feed or find specific content through search or referrals. This means they go to specific posts, not the front page itself. So making the front page more of a menu and less of a destination seemed right.
There is a bit of white space at the bottom. I have some plans for that which I’ll roll out soon.
The design elements are more consistent with my logo, look and brand, if you will. Adam Helweh and the gang at Secret Sushi helped me polish the design to be more clean, consistent and crisp. Those guys rock and didn’t bat an eye when I sent in a change list upon first review that probably made them think, “Yeah … he’s a typical client.” (Heh.) I still have to tip the cap to Kevin Price at Doe-Anderson for designing the logo. Love it and don’t intend to change it anytime soon.
The part you don’t see that is perhaps the more important part of the refresh is that I’m now using Thesis as my WordPress theme. Chris Pearson has simply built one of the greatest online publishing mechanisms in the history of the world. (Okay, a bit strong, but he’s from Louisville so nanner nanner nah-nah.) I’ve personally witnessed Thesis help a single blog post win search for a competitive term in 48 hours with the right settings and some inbound link help. If you haven’t looked at it, you should. I’m excited about getting to know more about how to use it effectively and DIYThemes, where you get Thesis, offers great support, tutorials, videos and more. Most of it is actually done by Chris himself. Yeah, it costs a few bucks (ad here is an affiliate link, FYI), but it’s well worth it.
As always, I’m interested in your feedback. Anything you like/don’t like, etc.? Just pass it on in the comments. I’m sure the Secret Sushi gang would love another change list. Heh.
Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the web so often. I do, so much, appreciate it.