Hey there. So, notice anything different?
After what seems like a long journey (longer for some, eh, Lisa?), I’m really pleased to be able to unveil the new design here at DannyBrown.me. Built from scratch on the core WordPress platform, design has been handled by Lisa Kalandjian of SceneStealer Graphics.
It’s a bit of a change for me, since it’s the first time I’ve used a fully customized design as opposed to building from a premium framework (I’ve used everything from Thesis to Headway to Genesis on here at some stage).
I have to say, I’m absolutely delighted with the makeover – I think Lisa has captured what this blog is all about perfectly, from the professional and business-like layout to the (hopefully) welcoming header and comments section.
The blog has always been about making you feel at home, but knowing that you’ll find business advice as well as personal stories of social media and marketing, and I think Lisa has got that perfectly.
It also means that, due to Lisa’s hard coding, I can delete a ton of plug-ins that will mean a faster load time on the blog. At the minute, it’s not completely optimized, due to some tables being left over from a previous theme and some conflicts within my WordPress database because of that, but my web hosts are on that and should have that resolved soon.
So, what’s some of the new stuff?
You’ll see the funky new layout, with the featured post image rotator, as well as the drop shadow effects around the blog, the teaser boxes and the sidebar. You’ll also see a nice little speech bubble indicator for how many comments a post has received, and clicking that will take you straight to the comments.
Underneath the single post, there’s now a social box, where you can subscribe to the blog for future updates, as well as share with your friends if you liked the post (Facebook Like and Twitter shares are still handled separately). There are also related posts that you can click through on, and the comments section has had a complete makeover. These replace Livefyre, and go back to vanilla WordPress comments with CommentLuv enabled. If I can get Livefyre coded the same, and it adds CommentLuv or similar, I’ve no doubt I’ll switch it back on.
Click through to the Archives page and you’ll see a spiffy layout that shows visual representations of recent posts, the most popular ones (by comments) and category and monthly archived posts. Simply choose the one that interests you and away you go!
If you look to the right of the blog, the sidebar has had a makeover too. There are different sidebars for different pages, so Work With Me will look different from single post will look different from Charities, and so on. I felt it made more sense to have complementary sidebars as opposed to a generic one all the way through.
I’m saying nothing except scroll down to the bottom of the blog and check that funky footer option out!
These are just some of the new features and design changes – there are some more, which I’ll let you find for yourself if you so desire. Suffice to say, I’m really excited about the new look, which Lisa has done a tremendous job on.
So tremendous, in fact, that Lisa is now officially the web design arm of Bonsai Interactive Marketing. We’ll be sharing more information soon, as well as a very special offer to celebrate Lisa becoming part of the Bonsai family (as well as the launch of this design), so stay tuned in the coming days!
Like I say, there are some minor tweaks to carry out, but that’s more from the remnants of previous designs and plug-ins in my WordPress database. That should be resolved in the next few days, and the full makeover will be complete.
In the meantime, what do you think?