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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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. I really like the new design! I found the previous design very hard to read, and hard to find information. I don’t mind the ads seeming prominent now, as they don’t distract from the main content.

    Looking forward to finding my way around better and keeping up with your 31-Days challenge!

  2. Don’t forget to change the favicon!
    Other than that, absolutely great redesign. The colors are very eye-pleasing, and it’s much more readable. My only concern would be for those on higher resolutions. This appears to be a fixed width, and with the explosion of wide lcd monitors, I see more and more visitors to both of my sites with extremely high resolutions. It caused me to change my static site to fluid widths. I truly believe that’s the way to go.
    With that said, it looks perfect on 1024×768, but quite narrow on higher settings.

  3. Like the new design. It doesn’t look like a blog anymore, but a portal of making money online ;)

  4. Darren,

    This template is marvelous. This actually suits the personality of your blog. I cant wait to write about it on my blog and inform my readers about your design change.

  5. It really looks very nice. I’m also thinking of a custom design, but i haven’t had time for it yet.

  6. Clean. Very clean.
    One thing: I don’t much care for the idea of putting important info in the footer – I rarely look at the footers of the blogs I visit. But I do appreciate that you are trying to unclutter the main body and that appeals to this amateur reader.
    Your ad section is also refreshingly easy on the eyes while still highly visible. Nicely done.

  7. Oooo! Even the comments section is sparkly clean. I am a strong advocate for uncluttered design and I think you’ve done a fantastic job in that sense.

    I do miss the photo at top, though. (I realize you’ve kept the photo at the bottom of the blog and also on the About page). It feels more personal with a picture of you at the top. In the same way that a comment on a social network that includes an avatar feels more personal than one without. You are your brand, as they say.

    The “What next?” section is brilliant. Once I escape blogspot purgatory I plan to nick that feature and add it to my blog. ; )

  8. The front page will probably take a little “getting used to” but I looooove the post pages, all bright and clean, and agree that the “What Next” section is a brilliant (and eminently swipe-able) idea! Thanks especially for a colour scheme that’s easy on the eyes. Well done, design team!

  9. Darren, congrats on the new design it totally rocks! :)
    I didn’t know Mike was working on a logo for you, that is so cool!

  10. There’s a small goof in the next to last sentence of your About page.

    “Please can stay in touch with what ProBlogger.net is up to best through one of our subscription methods.”

  11. Hi Darren,

    I like the new design. I believe it is a matter of a week to get used to it and to feel comfortable with it.

    One of the main benefits from the new theme is that the letters are bigger and you can read much easier then before.

    Good work!

  12. First impressions – cracking design. I like it.

  13. I definitely like the new theme and the logo is very attractive. The ads are very soft and don’t affect my navigation!

  14. I’m finding the gray, smaller type more difficult to read too. It’s making me spend less time on the site, which disturbs me because I think your site is one of the most valuable on the net.

  15. Love the new design, It was definently needed though your font color could be darker.

  16. I like it! It looks great!

  17. Great minds think alike :)
    I was planning the redesign of my site for this weekend.
    Nice use of the footer.

  18. Very first comment on your blog even if I’ve been reading it for a long time. I thought the launch of this new design was a great opportunity to let you know my appreciation of your work. Thank’s for all those tips and lessons.

    And by the, I love the new architecture of this blog. :)

  19. Now that’s a blog design worthy of an A-lister! Great job you guys!

  20. The design looks fantastic, it really does. :D

    What about re-adding the slogan though? For first time-visitors, I think it would be helpful in letting them know a little more about what this site is about.

    I’ve written up a review of the new design if you’re interested in hearing it?

  21. Very good stuff… Much better than I had expected, and it looks and feels great.

  22. Another thing I’ve noticed, some archive posts are displaying a little wonky with paragraphs changing styles (check out this post https://problogger.com/how-to-market-your-blog-in-2007/ ), on some the text has gone incredibly small. I seems to be a problem with lists and paragraphs which have different styles applied. I’m on FireFox by the way.

  23. When I came to the website to check what is new my first thought was “I misstyped url” :) Till I found post at the top saying problogger redesigned. Looks great !

    And where are adsense ads? we miss them ;)

  24. Great Job Darren! and congratulations for your team, I also liked your video! :) nice, it is something different.

  25. A definite improvement! Good job.

  26. Hei Darren.

    CONGRATS on the new- look look! Vastly improved, for twas rather hard to see the trees from the wood in the old lay-out. This one is clear and non-cluttered with the clear lines of each section. Grand job. Keep writing, keep well.

  27. Very nice. It’s going to take some getting used to, but I like it.

  28. Nice job! I would suggest changing the black background colour of the bottom-most section. It’s so hard to read text against a black background.

  29. Are you going to release the old theme as a freebie? I’m sure a lot of people will love to use that theme and feel like Darren Rowse for a while, even though making less money :)

  30. I love the new design! Just one question: how do you determine when a blog is in need of an overhaul?

  31. It looks a bit strange on Safari for Mac.

  32. Sorry guy… I’m just not feeling this new design. It would be superb for an e-zine or something else… but not a blog.

    I want to see a blog-type layout when I view a blog website. This feels too e-zine and commercialised.

    The old design was better.

  33. nice redesign — i especially like the new logo

    big kudos darren, you inspired me to do a top 10 this week also =)

  34. Cool New Design!! Really like it and look really proffesional with this new design!

  35. Love. Love. Love the clean new design.

  36. Don’t really like new design though, prefer old orange theme!!!!

    Love the new logo by the way.

  37. Looks fabulous. Cheers on a great change!

  38. I like this design more than the previous one. It looks great and the colour is softer too.

  39. Looks great. A change is as good as a holiday!

  40. Darren, in the front page the “featured post” is 2-3px wider than the two columns below them. Apart from that I would also reduce a little bit the size of the dates of comments or better yet I would make the comment’s text completely black. It may not look as aesthetically good but it would make reading the comments a lot easier. Right now both the comments timestamps and the text from the comments texts seem to be fighting for the protagonism.

  41. I can’t find a way to subscribe to new comments on this entry. I think it was here before, just after the entry itself.

  42. And one last thing, while browsing entries in ie6 the sidebar appears at the bottom between the left column and the footer. It also happens on the front page.

  43. I really like the new design! Was it an in house template? Cause i am thinking about redesigning my site in the future and i like the basics. If you could let me know who designed it, it would be great thanks.

    http://www.crenk.com

  44. Hi Darren,

    great to see that Problogger has finally been redesigned. Initial impressions are good, I like the clean, semi-corporate look that has been developed, and the front end leads you into exploring the site nicely.

    Couple of small issues that you may or not be aware of –

    ie7 on Vista, your sponsor sidebar is slightly messed up, with the graphics going to pot after the first two advertiser links,

    Second one, using FF on NT, the very top links of the site (home/blog/archivse) etc are not flush like they are in IE.

    Cheers
    Dave

  45. Well, I am now convinced that Darren is going to sell up.

    This has more the look and feel of a corporate blog and the design looks to be a tidy up in advance of an announcement of a sale imo.

    Who is likely to be the buyer?

  46. Looks like this is the year of makeovers for many blogs. This new-look is fresh and invigorating. Overall, a great job. However, there’s one minor grudge about the body text. In italics, it’s not easy to read. The post text should not be in italics because it weakens readability and not so legible. The sidebar text can stay italics for contrast. Most designers will have the same opinion.

  47. Hey Darren,
    New design works well, looks great.
    I didn’t read all 145 comments so I don’t know if anyone mentioned that the Old Logo still shows on the RSS Feed.
    I also like the Footer, but you might want to recheck some of the spelling and things like “and” where it should be “an”.
    Sorry, don’t mean to be critical, but I do really like the new setup.

  48. Nice and clean redesign!

    My only comment is that the comments are hard to read on my 15″ SXGA+ (1400×1050) laptop screen. The text color is too light: one or two steps toward black would be better. (This also applies to the list formatting: why should it be lighter than the paragraph text?) Second (though perhaps less essential if the text is made darker), I would love to have the text slightly larger (it seems there is a wide right margin which could be narrowed, allowing the text-size to be bumped up slightly).

  49. Guess I’ve to come back and make another comment regarding the font. I’m not sure what you’re using. It’s visually weak in tone color. I guess you don’t want to use the common Arial or Verdana. A good sans serif font for body text would be Stone Sans or Myriad. Try it and see how it works out.

    I also noticed that after I mentioned in an earlier comment about italicized text, you have gone ahead to change it to roman. That was quick response.! Kudos. Now it reads better. The next step now is to change to a sans serif font with more character as mentioned above.

  50. Markk – the font is set to Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif…we can’t use Myriad or Stone Sans because we need to use a font that is used on everyone’s computer. The italicized text hasn’t changed in font, it simply has a better line-height now.