Well, I Think It Looks Pretty Good

Before I go into today’s post, I want to take care of something…

During the redesign I realized that my two favorite commentators had only been getting no-follow backlinks for their comments, and I wanted to make sure to correct that by sending them some Google Love. Thank you, Stephen and Yolanda for being regular readers and thoughtful commentators. :^)  Now, on to the post.

I had used the Weaver theme very briefly once before, and I just didn’t realize how great it was until now.  I really do need to figure out how to get into the guts of WordPress themes at some point, but this theme has just blown me away with how much it simplified the customization process.  I came up with a lot of the CSS styling on my own, but Weaver made it so easy to modify the site without needing to understand how the WordPress core theme files actually do what they do.  I am going to get so much more content knocked out this month with the time I saved over trying to build a new theme from scratch.

Overall, I am really pleased with the look of the site.  This is the first time I don’t feel like I have to tack on a qualifier (“Well, it’s not finished yet…”) when I tell people to check out my website.  I’m sure I will continue to tweak things here and there, but I think the overall look of the site is pretty much set.  I’ll always be open to recommendations and constructive criticism about the layout, so please don’t hold back if you have anything to say.

You may also notice that I have set up a FeedBurner RSS feed to provide me with more stats about my future followers than the basic WP feed supplies.  I have also set up a mailing list.  After reading some posts on various blogs, I heard over and over about the importance of being able to reach people directly when there is something important to say, rather than just hoping they will return to the blog on their own.  A lot of people seem to be kicking themselves for not getting a mailing list set up first-thing, so I’ve gone ahead and done it.

Now that the blog redesign is done, it’s on to knocking out some content for the Good Pets For Kids niche site.  Thankfully, the different pages have a pretty clear structure, so writing and adding new content is pretty formulaic.  The site is static HTML, so updating the navigation is really the hardest part.  Thanks to a very simple site structure, though,updating the whole site takes only a few minutes.

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7 Responses to Well, I Think It Looks Pretty Good

  1. Stephen says:

    Hi Cory

    Firstly, thank you for the dofollow link, it is very much appreciated. I read the commenting between yourself and Yolanda on a previous post and was wondering was it me you were talking about when you mentioned giving follow links to her and another person, glad to see it was.

    Secondly, good job on the new design, its nicer reading and interesting posts are easier to find from the “recent posts” widget on the right. Nobody gets the site design the first time, that is the point of a blog, you nourish it so to speak, with posts and design tweaks here and there.

    Thirdly, absolutely agree on the need to reach people directly rather than expecting them to keep coming back to your site. You need to keep reminding people you are there and have something to say.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Cory says:

      I also forgot to mention that I got ShareBar to work in Weaver, which I couldn’t do in Thematic. It showed up, but the DIV style in Thematic made it do crazy things. It’s working nicely now, though, and I like that it will give visitors an easy way to do social bookmarking.

  2. Stephen says:

    I always feel like those sharebars are following me up and down the page sort of keepign an eye on me :)

    I mulling some changes around in my head for my own website as well, its not built on wordpress, in fact I built it from scratch using php code,HTMl and css, then I rebuilt it in cakephp in order to get some experience in that language(which i did very much) however i want to add to the website and cakephp adds complexity to even little changes so I’m going to replace the old code, work hard on the keywords on the site to hopefully get more traffic because its topping out at 70 -110 visitors a day.

    Also I’m thinking of contacting gym owners to see if a member area wuld be viable for them to input special offers and pictures of their gym etc. Should be fun.

    Onward and upward

    Stephen

  3. Yolanda says:

    Cory,

    Thanks for the blog recognition. I actually closed the blog down a few weeks ago since I’m going into a new direction this year — less SEO and more PPC marketing and social media marketing.

    Anyways, I’m glad to see a lot of the changes you’ve made. How is learning CSS treating you?

    • Cory says:

      Well, the CSS has been going fine. I already had a cursory knowledge, and playing with my theme has gotten me over the hump I had with fully understanding it. I am having problems getting my email signup form and Weaver’s auto-generated menu bar to render properly in IE, though. Why Microsoft can’t just produce a version of IE that is CSS standards-compliant, I will never know.

      It’s the PHP that I’m still trying to learn, and the way that it is situated in the WordPress templates to generate the HTML properly. I think I’m just trying to learn too many things at once (of course, 18 credit hours at school is adding to that significantly), and everything is just getting jumbled up in the brain pan.

      • Yolanda says:

        Have you tried using a “reset.css” for the IE hack? I failed to do browser shots of my previous blog and I didn’t notice how completely out of whack it looked in IE. Fortunately, reset.css files are great for fixing IE’s shortcomings.

        • Cory says:

          The Weaver theme actually has Eric Meyer’s reset CSS built into the beginning of the stylesheet. The email signup box renders badly in every version of IE I’ve tried, though more badly in some than others. The worst is “Compatibility Mode”, which breaks it horribly, both on the signup form and the menu bar. I think I may have to turn off the gradient on the nav bar to make it more compatible, and I will just make the signup form a plain rectangle with a graphic for the background instead of complicated CSS styling.

          Microsoft confuses me so much. Office 2007 & 2010 are amazing, but MS can’t make one stinking standards-compliant browser. :/

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