making my blog better for my art

July 25, 2011  in  News       Related posts:  

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.