Help Me Choose My Blog Design!

Friday, 5 November 2010 Leave a Comment

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

                                    I need your help. Over the past week i have been slaving away trying to redesign my blog layout. The design i have now is just getting messy, it's hard to line things up, awkward to add new widgets, the navigation bar sucks and it's really slow loading. In a nutshell, it's driving me insane. So i went on a hunt for a perfectly organised, cleaner and easy template. It took me days but i managed to find one that would require only minor coding adjustments to suit my blog. Anyways after a week fiddling around with html, css and other robot languages i have finally got it to a stage i like. 

                                   But here's the dilemma... It is so different to the current template that I'm terrified to change it in case you, my readers, hate it! So I'm asking for your opinion, i personally prefer the new one but let me know what you think by commenting.

The new blog design is now live, so sorry for those who can't compare it to the old one. However i feel this one works much better, if you have any suggestions, problems or comments to do with the new layout please leave a comment.

Yours Sincerely
The crazy girl who blogs about men.

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  • Thoughts of a Randomista said:  

    I personally love it! It is easier to navigate (less linear) and the readers who have short attention spans like myself, are able to pick and chose what to read! 5 thumbs up!

    Just a thought, in this post include a Poll, that way you get the same answers without comments... I learned that you get more and faster feedback that way.


  • Alice X said:  

    @TOAR I'm so glad you like it, yeh i like the fact that you can see what a selection of posts which like you say will give readers a choice instead of having to scoll through for hours. Thanks for the poll tip, i might just do that! Thanks for taking the time to have a look.

  • Nikita said:  

    The new template is better.. I don't think you should be worried about anyone 'not' liking it.. They are going to like it! It's easier to navigate, and the page looks cleaner and organised than what it is now... I hope this helps...

  • Alice X said:  

    @Nikita Thanks glad you think it's easier to navigate, i think so too. I was just worried that people might be put off by the change. I think i'm going to go ahead and use the new template. Thanks again for you input :)

  • "M" said:  

    I agree with TOAR and Nikita. The new layout is easier to navigate, and cleaner looking. But it still looks very much like your blog. I didn't click on the new layout and go "whoa, what the hell is this?!" So I say go for it!

  • Alice X said:  

    @"M" Thanks for your comment, i'm glad it wasn't too much of a shock. I have tried to keep the Guys, Boys & Men style with the pink headers etc. Overall i much prefer the new one. Even if it was hard work getting it up and running.

  • Riff Dog said:  

    This is my first visit. I love the title and concept and you write really, really well. As far as the layout goes, overall, I like the look, but it's still a bit cluttered for my tastes. (Sorry to dive right into a critique. Imagine the poor suckers who work for me!)

    The top part is great. The header, the links bar, "Headline" and "Featured" all work really well.

    But then it's way too soon for the "Browse Categories" bar. Most people coming here will already have the basics, so they'll want to get right into the next headline post, not categories. Personally, I'd move the "Categories" bar to the bottom, replacing the bottom you have now. That's where most people would look anyway (or the sidebar.)

    At the bottom, I'd get rid of "Recent Posts." You don't need that because it's duplicated elsewhere. Move "Recent Comments" and "Most Viewed Posts" to the sidebar. I'd consider deleting "Most Viewed Posts" completely, by the way, since you already have a "Featured" section. Yes, I know they're not necessarily the same, but one thing I think is contributing to the cluttered look is all the different ways you're giving readers to access the same posts. "The Man Translator" has three links, for instance.

    On your sidebar, unless those Google Adwords are bringing in real money, I'd lose them for now. It cheapens the look of the blog for what I'm going to guess is only a few bucks per month. Bring in ads *after* your following has gotten really large, and by then, you'll be able to have real ads or affiliate links that will be much more profitable, as well as classier looking.

    I don't think you need sections for both "Tags" and "Categories." In fact, you have "Categories" appearing twice. The top one only has five categories, but maybe put a "more" button to the right (assuming your template allows it) so you can lose the second sidebar version.

    Finally, I'd put a blogroll on your sidebar. A lot of bloggers (me for instance) won't link a blog that doesn't link them back on their main page. You have a great concept here, so getting reciprocal links would be easy. Heck, even I would link you, although you might hesitate to link back since my content might be objectionable.

    One final thought (yeah, I know I already said "finally" in the last paragraph, but bear with me.) You might be reading my notes and thinking you can't possibly lose all the sections I'm telling you to lose. They're all just too important. Well, with apologies . . . they're not. Truly, when it comes to graphic layouts, less is more. Trust me. Or don't.

    My apologies if this is all coming off as harsh sounding. I'm actually a pretty nice guy, but tweaking music of artwork is a big part of my job, so I can't help myself.

  • Alice X said:  

    Hey Riff Dog! Thank you so much for your detailed comment. I appreciate that it may look cluttered at the moment, i will se if i can shift some elements around and delete the less important ones. I have now added a blog roll it's down towards the bottom of my sidebar (perhaps i should place it prominently). You don't sound harsh at all i appreciate the advice, as i really want a cleaner looking layout.

    I'll be visiting your blog to have a read.

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