Site Updates

New theme on the site, WOO!

So y’all may notice* that things look a tad different around here. This is because I’ve activated a brand new theme on the site, namely, Florence by the folks at Solo Pine Designs. There are a few reasons for this!

One, IS my professional writing site, and I wanted to step up its game for overall appearance. So I wanted to put out a little money to buy a professional theme that matched my overall personal preferences in how my site should look: i.e., minimal, mostly white, but with the proper font choices and other little accents to give the whole thing a unified look.

Two, something I’ve learned from the day job is that Google has started penalizing the search rankings of sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. By which I mean: sites that don’t have a mobile version loading for mobile devices that visit them, or, alternately, which do not have a theme that automatically adapts to a mobile device. Dara has recently done some work in the former area, i.e., setting up a separate page to serve as the landing point for mobile devices, and she’s already seen some interesting results in her Google numbers. Me, I am opting instead for a theme that’s responsive in design–i.e., which displays itself one way on desktops and tablets, and another way when viewed on phones.

Three, the Solo Pine folks are a Seattle-based couple who do web design, and hey, since they’re local, I was all the more happy to throw them a little bit of my money. So if you’re in the market for a theme for your site, you might go check out what they have to offer. They’ve got a system set up to do tech support for you too, if you need it.

Some other notes:

I particularly liked how the Florence theme handled displaying the site menu. If you look at the site on desktop or tablet, you should see the full menu bar. If you look at it on a phone, it should condense down to a nice little icon in the upper left corner that you can tap on to get to the menu.

Plus, the theme nicely handles interacting with my various social media presences. If you look up at the right hand corner, as well as down in the footer, you should see various icons pointing off to my main social network pages. Those aren’t all of them–I’ve left off YouTube, Soundcloud, and Vimeo, for example–but those are the ones of most importance.

And I’m not done yet with the various changes. I’m still working on various rearrangings of content on various pages on my dev site, and as I get things looking better there, I’ll be porting those changes over to here. I’ve already done this to the homepage, which you can now see no longer has a sidebar, and which is a little nicer in how it presents the covers of how it presents my books to you, too. Most importantly, the homepage SHOULD look good when viewed on a phone, too.

Be on the lookout for further changes to appear on the menu as I rearrange that, maybe delete some pages and move others. And I’ll definitely be updating the layout on the official book pages as well.

If you see anything that looks problematic or confusing, even if you thought it was problematic or confusing before I installed the new theme, talk to me! I may have already addressed the problem on the dev site. And if I haven’t, I want to know what confuses people so I can work on fixing it!

Hope y’all like the new look, anyway! I sure do.

* And if you didn’t notice because you’re reading this post on LJ or Dreamwidth, click on over to the site to see what I’m talking about!

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