Okay, so we still have a bit over 24 hours in 2005 but I’ve launched my re-design early. It’s not hugely different from before in terms of code – a few new and redefined CSS classes and a bit of HTML code shifted around – which meant it was pretty quick to do.
Essentially, this is what has changed:
- Three-column layout. With the additions to the entry pages that I’ve been trying to make, the site started to outgrow the rather restrictive two-column layout I’ve been using for almost 4 years now. I’ll hold my hands up and be completely honest by saying that this was also related to the advertising – the more I added stuff to the pages, the further down the pages the AdSense boxes moved. This has lead to a rather marked fall in revenue – we’re talking quite a lot of money here – so I’ve made them more prominent by giving them their own column on the far right.
- New menu. The menu has moved from the top of the sidebar (again, a position it has held for a long time) to the top. This is to create more space on the sidebars, but also because I just fancied a change. I’m using Matt Mullenweg’s Intelligent Menus to have the page labels highlighted where applicable.
- More related links on entry pages. To try to get people who visit through search engines to stay on the site, I now have links to related entries and those entries with new comments on all of the entry pages. The related entries list uses mt-relatedentries and pulls up the 5 most recent entries in the same category. It can also work using keywords, which would give a more relevant list, but due to the extra load this creates I’ve opted just to work with categories.
There is also a minor change to trackbacks, in that I’m no longer providing the trackback metadata block on pages. You can still ping entries by manually copying and pasting the trackback URL, but autodiscovery systems will probably not find it. This is an attempt at stopping trackback spam, since around 98% of the trackbacks I’ve had recently have been spam.
I’m still rolling out the design so if any pages look weird, please bear with me.
Update: I’ve changed the design slightly so that it works again in 800×600 resolutions (or rather ‘should work’). It now looks a bit weird in IE6, with lots of padding in the middle and very little at the sides, however it looks fine in Firefox, Opera and Safari. So use those browsers instead.