Blog Re-Design, Zero Coding

If you’ve been with me for a while you may have noticed that this year I switched my blog from blogger to wordpress’s self-hosted platform. Since then, the look and feel of this blog has changed a bit too, most notably the last time I changed my theme and layout, and (at the same time) brought my monthly mixtape project [twenty-nine]* over here from tumblr.

It seems back then, my inclination to claim that blog design was in ‘beta’ phase was prescient, as we now have a full redesign as of late last night, in what amounted to a few hours of tweaking and absolutely no coding whatsoever.

If you’ve been with me for a while you may have noticed that this year I switched my blog from blogger to wordpress’s self-hosted platform.  Since then, the look and feel of this blog has changed a bit too, most notably the last time I changed my theme and layout, and (at the same time) brought my monthly mixtape project [twenty-nine]* over here from tumblr.

It seems back then, my inclination to claim that blog design was in ‘beta’ phase was prescient, as we now have a full redesign as of late last night, in what amounted to a few hours of tweaking and absolutely no coding whatsoever.

Yeah, you heard me right.

Now, no doubt many of you will notice that I’ve borrowed some design elements from around the web, but they are elements that I like and I am just that lazy.

No Coding?

That’s right.  This new look was at the long end a copy and paste endeavor, but most of what’s going on is done entirely with widgets.

I could go on and on about the Thesis theme it’s built on (disclosure: buy through that link and I get a slice), but all you’d have to do is hit up Google and you’ll find a thousand other well thought out testimonies from far more qualified reviewers than me.  All I can say is that I’ve been blogging for years, I enjoyed all the computer science I took at Stanford, and this is probably my fiftieth blog re-design when you consider all the bloggers I’ve helped out; Thesis is like finding a Leer jet on a deserted island – everyone else is building rafts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tweaked a few things here and there, but when any sort of code or function code was part of the deal it was only because I found it ready and waiting to yank from a site like HowToMakeMyBlog.

Jeez, Are You Done?

In a lot of ways, I’m glad I went through the massive re-designs I got involved with around the web, most notably the 20 Something Bloggers community and TwentyTwenty blog.  All the tweaking and color issues and code limitations made me realize that not only is most of that lost time, but mentally draining.  I’m happy with the results, and I hope the users over these feel warm and fuzzy inside when they drop by, but a personal blog is meant to be an enjoyable experience.

Not a computer science class.

So in a lot of ways I feel great about the quick and, in my humble opinion, slick looking upgrade to my blog.  You can probably tell I’m thrilled about the changes under the hood.  Does that mean I won’t add or rip out a few features over there on the sidebars?  No.  Of course not.

What I know is that across all my endeavors, this year’s been one big attempt to do a whole bunch of different things as efficiently as possible, and I’m starting to see some shape to the madness.  Projects are starting to show form and character.  The social and technical tools I use are reducing in number.  The platform list is smaller.  The communities I visit regularly have dwindled.

So, I hope you like the new look!  You all know I’m a big fan of feedback, so please leave me your thoughts in the comments!

*Believe it or not, [twenty-nine] is not dead, although I’m not sure I have the right to call it a monthly mixtape anymore.  New one out soon.

Photo by Muha

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