Site Update: New Theme

Just a quick note to all the feed readers… check out the site. I’ve installed a new theme and I could use some feedback. If you see anything weird or out of place, let me know so I can fix it up. I’d also appreciate some feedback on the readability and ease of navigation. Leave your notes in the comments or send me an email.

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About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

17 thoughts on “Site Update: New Theme

  1. libeco

    One thing I find strange is the order of latest posts on the main page. The lead story is the latest, but the fives below are in reverse order…

  2. Brian Auer Post author

    The “Features” should be showing up in descending order of freshness, but the order of the other categories I’ve placed by hand. Their positions won’t move, the articles will just be updated as I post new ones. So Quick Tips will always be on top, followed by the Reader Poll, the PhotoBlog, the PhotoDump, and the Link Roundup. I put them in that particular order for my own reasons, but I’m open to suggestions. The way the code is written, it doesn’t really lend itself to chronological order between the categories, but I might be able to figure something out if it would make much more sense.

  3. libeco

    I see, so it’s just the latest per category. Perhaps you should add something like that so it’s clar for everyon that’s it’s not a list in chronologial order, but rather a latest per category…

  4. Brian Auer Post author

    I’ll have to think a bit on that one… I’m trying to avoid any signs of clutter or non-critical information. But I see what you’re saying — I’ve just been too close to it to notice that it might be confusing. Thanks for the feedback, it’s much appreciated.

  5. kRiZcPEc

    So this is the new look. Appears more like one owned by magazine/newspaper agencies – much more professional liking than other personal blog I’d like to say.

  6. Brian Auer Post author

    Thanks, that’s kind of the look I was going for. The base theme I started with is actually termed a “magazine” theme. I thought it fit well with the weekly articles and it gives me a chance to highlight the important articles and posts more easily on the home page.

  7. the_wolf_brigade

    I must admit, I primarily read the content in my feedreader. I do like the new site layout though, particularly the ease of which I can access the archives. I’m not sure if it was on the old site, but that section certainly seems more user friendly now.

    While I’ve read all the previous content (I think), sometimes I like to go back and reread something so this will be helpful.

  8. Brian Auer Post author

    I primarily stick to feeds too unless I intend to comment on an article. The layout is more targeted toward new visitors to encourage further exploration of the site. The other cool thing about the theme is that I can actually exclude certain posts from the home page by leaving them out of the main categories. This post, for example, doesn’t show up on the home page but it still went out in the feed. That gives me a chance to keep the main content highlighted while still being able to speak to the regular readers.

    And yes, the archives are definitely easier to use now. In the last theme, I just had a separate page that contained a list of all the archive links. The drop-downs are definitely a slick feature.

  9. susheel

    Brian,

    Very nice… I certainly do like what you’ve done with the theme. However, I do feel a bit lost when i come to your home page; just what happened to me when Darren at Problogger changed his theme.
    So don’t worry, its just something that I have to deal with…

    A suggestion from me would be to have your “home” link in the beginning of your top navigation bar. That keeps your main content page at the fore. Other than that, i like how this theme manages to make a whole lot of information more accessible.

    Cheers!

  10. Brian Auer Post author

    Thanks Susheel — and you’re right to feel slightly lost on the front page. It’s totally different than the typical blog homepage, but I was getting tired of having a typical blog layout. Hopefully it doesn’t take the regular readers too long to get used to it.

  11. libeco

    Don’t get me wrong, the new theme has a nice style. I don’t know if I’m one of the rare users who never uses feeds. I rather just surf around and visit my favorite sites. Perhaps being a student just gives me too much free time…….. lol

  12. Brian Auer Post author

    I don’t know, I think there are still quite a few people who visit their favorite sites every day. To be honest, I usually rely on my feeds to tell me where the interesting stuff is happening. I don’t read much in my feed reader, I just use it to skim for posts that I want to read and then I go to that site to read the article, comment, and bookmark.

  13. susheel

    Brian,

    I’ve been trying out the new theme for a while now, and I think it’s great! I’ve found your posts to be presented from a much more “macro” (statistical and economic term, not photography) standpoint. On one page I can see about 7-8 posts in either chronological, categorical or topical groupings… I think you’re going to see a great deal more clickthroughs… certainly from me…

    I’ve always wanted to try a 3 column layout for my blog… always been too shy. Still am, and so I wait until I find the right theme for my new blog project…

    Cheers!

  14. Brian Auer Post author

    I contemplated keeping a two-column design (which is how this theme was originally designed), but I opted to add the other column so I could keep everything near or above the fold. I’ve also kind of split the intents of the two sidebars: the left one is for my own links, and the right one is for everybody else’s links.

  15. Steve Brown

    A very clean and professional feel! I think it’s a great improvement (not that I’m criticising the previous version – it’s just that this is a lot better).

  16. Brian Auer Post author

    Thanks Steve, I feel the same way about the old design. It wasn’t terrible, but I was really tired of it and I wanted a lot of improvements.

  17. Bryan Villarin

    Hey Brian, I like the new look.

    Can you just make the main content text size larger? (I know I can press Ctrl + + in Firefox to enlarge the text size, but still.)

    I primarily read in Google Reader, so no worries if you don’t get to this anytime soon. It’s not a deal-breaker.

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