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ProBlogger Redesign – Bedding Down for the Night

RedesignAfter a few hours of testing, tweaking, tracking down bugs and fixing up a few small glitches I’m happy to say that the ProBlogger Design Relaunch is looking stable and we’re tucking it into bed for the night.

Ben has also just headed to bed (after pulling a late night) for some well deserved rest.

There are still a few things that we’ll work on over the next 24 hours or so including:

  • Search – the search field in the top right hand corner isn’t producing results yet
  • Archives – link in top menu will produce more than just dated archives
  • Print Stylesheets – while the new template does print better Ben will produce an even better option for this
  • Job Board Integration – the Job Board will receive a similar makeover and the latest jobs from it will appear on the front page of ProBlogger
  • ie6 bugs – we’re aware of the sidebar issue with ie6 and will produce an ie6 stylesheet to rectify this

There are also a few minor styling tweaks to be made and I need to tidy up the categories and other links in the footer a little – but apart from these issues there’s not a lot more to do to get things up to speed for the time being.

At this point it’s over to you. There will no doubt be a few more bugs that we’ve not found yet and different issues for those of you on different browsers. If you find anything that’s not covered above please do let us know.

I’d invite your comment and constructive feedback in comments below. This is a work in progress and while we’re happy with where this design takes us both Ben and I would like your help in taking it to the next level.

Once again I’d like to thank Ben Bleikamp for his amazing design work, Mike Rohde for his logo, Gary King for his reworking of the Job Board (he’s completely reworked the back end of it – we’ll go live with the new version tomorrow) and the b5media tech team for their support through this process.

PS: both Ben and I intend to write more on the process of this redesign in the coming days so those of you with questions feel free to continue to ask them and we’ll attempt to get some answers together for you.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. After a couple of days surfing around on the new design I’m finding myself among those who fervently wish for the old design back again. It’s not the same atmosphere, not so easily navigated in some ways.

    Maybe what I’m saying could be summed up by it does not seem like a personal blog anymore, and the new design defeats the community atmosphere the old one had. That’s a serious flaw, I think, because it was the sense of being able to interact with a real person, Darren, and with each other on very practical and useful information that made this the great blog it’s been.

    Now, it’s like we’re in a large open space–big building with shiny hard floors, needing to ask for directions. Whereas, before, it was a well loved and familiar place, with a real person there, accessable and friendly. And, in the comments, many opportunities to interact and visit commenters’ blogs. Now, everything is divorced from everything else, nicely linked, but the personal and group elements are muted or missing.

    Don’t know if that’s constructive criticism or not. I am not even thinking of what I’ve said as criticism, but as a reporting of my own experience. It has been offputting enough for me that I’ve switched problogger.net to a link in my bookmarks rather than as my home page on my Netscape browser, which it was before the design switch.

  2. Hi Ben! Yeah, I totally forgot that Myriad and Stone Sans are not the common fonts on everyone’s PC. Now I believe you understand typography and I’m sure you’ll help fine tune the text.Cheers!

  3. Wow this is really nice!!

  4. nice, clear!
    I browse it on IE6.0, find some bugs: the sidebar is not on the right of the content-body, it is under the comments. Can you see the bugs?
    I am here in china, sorry for my english, hope you can understand what i say.

  5. Quite an interesting new design. I have been visiting your blog off and on and have benefited from it quite a lot. thanks for the helpful advice you give.

    Keep up the good work and quite a pleasant surprise to see a new design after so long…

  6. What CMS/blogging software is this?

  7. Wow, this is a great design, absolutely professional, and differentiate it from most of other blogs I look into. It is definitely “pro”blogger.

    I am very interested in learning the thought behind the design as well as how you could execute this design with WordPress. I did not know you can have different templates between home page and post page.

    And finally, I am curious if the design will have contributed to your $ increase and traffic increase, after a few months!

    The logo is so cool. Do you plan to leverage the branding on other things as well? (e.g. T-Shirts, cups, pens)

  8. dont find any bugs with safari. It will take some times to get used to the new design but it look nice.

    Good job

  9. Darren

    I am not a fan of the new design at the moment, but I will give it time.

    I am surprised that a blog for bloggers seems so far away from a traditional blog. You are showing people how to monetize a blog yet this design looks more like a drupral mash!!

    Also as stated above you need your image there right at the top. The photo now hiding in the footer is PROBLOGGER, come on mate you tell us about creating a market identity and then in one you move you destroy your own………

    Anyway the content is great as always and may be this is how blogs will all look by 2008 (I hope not though)

    Kind regards

    Jamie (The retro blogger!)

  10. I’m digging the new look & added functionality! The logo is awesome and I really like the way comments are formatted now. Top notch, Darren & Ben!

  11. Great Work Ben!!

    Better SEO , Better Design, better logo, better advertising space SO BETTER MONEY !!!

    Some META and it is finished

  12. Ben did a short write-up of his goals and ways of accomplishing them over at his website. I’m surprised no one linked this before me, but I have the inside ‘scoop’ with Ben.



  13. My blog has good traffic but i do think that if i redesign the same it may help in increasing traffic. Can you suggest a place to get blogger template as i am not using own domain.

  14. Hate it, it’s too confusing. Too many choices (links).

    The information on this new layout is overwhelming…and that was before I noticed the bottom of the blog?

  15. I’m defintely digging the new look.. good job!

  16. amusis, it’s wordpress.

    I can«t help it but to agree with Jamie (anglin). How can anyone find this Technorati font readable and pleasant is beyond me.

  17. More questions. I have been wondering why you still have monthly archives page. While at least you got rid of it from your home page, you still have it on the menu bar.

    Does anyone go to monthly archives to look for an article? I myself never use monthly archives on other people’s blogs.

    Thank you for your advise!

  18. I love the design but not the color. probably need more vibrant color.. sorry

  19. You know what I’m noticing…

    A distinct lack of interaction with commenters by Darren. I see plenty of suggestions by users trying to help.

    I see plenty of people talking to Darren… but I don’t see any answering. I guess the new redesign is indicative of how he sees his blog…

    more of a commercial entity than a personal blog which really sucks.

  20. Great Design! I am loving it!

    Congrats to you guys for putting this together so nice. Everything about this new design is cool and pleasant.

  21. great job!

  22. The new design looks good Darren, I wish you luck. Hope it keeps giving you great conversions $$$. See you around.

  23. Darren, just a thought: (I’m not sure if you even read the comments, but hey – a guy’s gotta try) …

    The first thing that struck me about your old site was how warm it was. It told a story – all the big posts were up there, and the main categories and what your blog was about were amongst the first things we saw when we entered your blog.

    Plus a pic of your face fairly high up – which quickly established a personal relationship with you.

    Now … most of the warmth is gone. Heck – I love the new design … on a lesser blog it’d be amazing and wow inducing … but it just doesn’t seem as … personal as it did. It’s more like the others now … commercialized dross; wannabes that want to emulate you.

    When I come to Problogger I tell myself: now this is where it all started. The Good Stuff. It looks different from all the others, the content is head and shoulders above the rest. Well, it did look different.

    Yes, it was messy. And yes, it could’ve been better organized. But I love the old design. It was warm, It was personal. Maybe if you moved your face up again?


  24. I love the new design as well. You should explain the new logo in your about page. Assuming that there is some meaning behind it.

  25. Nice Layout mate!!

  26. Nelson says: 08/14/2007 at 2:15 am

    agree, the old site was warmer, more personal and interactive with the green guy on top. I don’t know where Darren’s goals are pointing to, but the old sites was fine, though clutter and hard to navigate sometimes, but it was a design that I became familiar with. Even though the new site looks more professional, it lacks the originality the old one had. This one looks like the one from Ben, just the logo and some sidebar tweaks and the navbar on top is different. Probably Darren is trying to impress some big wigs from the affiliation world to advertise on his site, but for we the people, I think a sense of identity has gone away.

    Another thing; the bug with IE6 is unacceptable, taking into account that majority of people use IE to browse the Internet, they are getting a really bad impression with that, it happened to me, I saw the blank spot next to the video, and I said “what this guy has done?. I love Darren, it’s the only blogging site I been visiting before I got into this blogging atmosphere. Hopefully Darren continues blogging for us. The people.

  27. Hi, Pro blogger. Your blogs new look is fresh.

  28. Hi, Pro blogger. Your blogs new look is fresh. Great blog

  29. I love the new design. It’s very spiffy and there is lots more to see. Congrats on the new look!!

  30. Great look, easy to navigate…which is always important.

  31. Your design look great and easy to read.. Love this design

  32. Wow! Looks good. I am trying to make money on my website trying to redesign it. I think I am coming along. It’s here to check out if you can provide any insight. Thanks Darren!

  33. When I visit your site, my Google toolbar says that “No PageRank information available”!!!

    Does it mean you lost your PR or what?

    Also top menu not rendering correctly in IE 6, when hovering, it only changing background color of text, instead it should change the background color also, as seen in FireFox.

  34. The design caught me off guard when I first came over – I thought I was on the wrong site. But I like it! Nice work on the redesign!

  35. Like Dan, I wondered if I’d come to the right place, but it is a great improvement on the old design, layout and colours. Font size matters as you get older ! I used to stay away because I had trouble reading stuff before, so now I’ll be round more often :-)

  36. Hi darren,
    Your blog look more pro and ,more easy to find what people looking for.

  37. Great redesign Darren. Very tight an aesthetically pleasing. God bless and much continued success.

  38. Hi there,
    The new design is awesome , especially the main page. I liked it very much. Keep up the good work!

  39. The new design is more professional but the older is the best.

  40. quartex says: 08/24/2007 at 6:42 pm

    it looks like any other (pre-installed theme) blog out there.. nothing new, nothing special.

  41. I love the way you value good old content in the middle column.
    Recent posts are in the correct size and evidence on the left.
    Additional links are not very popular anyway, so leave them on the bottom for whom really looks for them.

    Just excellent. It is making me rethink my blog visual structure.

  42. I just noticed it is not very friendly to wide screens. I mean, it will not use more screen space if you give it to the theme.

  43. I actually liked the old design a lot and it think it was something that made Darren’s blog unique from others from design’s point of view.

    “When we will learn to respect and remember our past’s work?”

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