making my blog better for my art

Did you see? I have just made some improvements to the design of my blog. Nice, huh? My old design was frankly getting a little long in the tooth, and looked to much like, well, like any old blog. I wanted my blog to be a showcase for my art, to be a really place to go and see what I’ve been working on. So I did these things:

  1. I redesigned the front page to be more magazine-like, to prominent showing off my most recent art, and make it easier to find the content that is interesting to you.
  2. I streamlined the content to make it easier to read. I now only have three main categories: new art, news, and thoughts (posts about making art, being an artist, etc.). I then reworked my tags to make it easier to find posts on related topics.
  3. Each post now has a big beautiful list of thumbnails introducing you to related posts. It makes easy and even fun to discover new art and posts.
  4. I cleaned up the clutter! I got rid of all of the sidebar garbage, widgets, and gee-gaws that just distract from the blog’s main purpose: to show my art. I wanted my blog to feel like it was part of my website, not something separate.

The geeky details: When I first planned this project, I thought it was going to take me a month or more to do, but I somehow managed to crank it out in just a few intense days of coding. I originally wrote my theme years ago, before WordPress added a lot of features, so I feared I was going to have to completely rewrite it, or find a template that was close enough and tweak it. But luck (skill?) smiled on me, and my code was much cleaner than I thought. And once I learned about a couple of the new features I wanted to use (like post thumbnails) they were pretty simple to add. I also wanted to thank a few great plug-ins which made the job even easier: Mary Nixie’s Related Posts Thumbnails, Aditya Mooley’ Auto Post Thumbnail, and Justin Tadlock’s Get the Image.

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  1. It looks fabulous! (Found my way here through Alyson’s tweet.)

  2. You’ve done a great job. I like your choice of ground color. The grey and texture are wonderful, sophisticated, and non distracting. I really focus on your art. Congrats.

  3. GEEK!

    lol Just kidding. You know I think you’re awesome Mr. code man!

    p.s. Looks BEAUTIFUL!

  4. This looks terrific. Your art really stands out now.

  5. Rebecca

    Congratulations, it is subtle and elegant and shows your artwork beautifully.

    I am struggling with WordPress and trying to combine a website and blog option as you have done here. Any online instructions that you can recommend to help me?

    Thanks, and congrats again.

  6. Daniel,
    I wanted to drop you a couple of likes to let you know that I find your work truly inspiring…

    Sometimes I doubt myself and my work and I find validation on yours. When I look at your beautiful, enchanting images I feel like I can do better and pick up my camera again.

    I know words cannot express, but this is my way of saying thank you and keep up the good work.

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