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Welcome to a New-look ProBlogger

Posted By Darren Rowse 22nd of November 2010 ProBlogger Site News 0 Comments

Those visiting ProBlogger today will notice that we’ve just released a new theme. It isn’t a complete overhaul in terms of look—rather, it’s an evolution or refresh of our existing design (much needed). Hopefully you’ll find ProBlogger a little easier to navigate and a little less cluttered.

There are quite a few changes in the back end of the site, though, in that we’ve moved over to the Genesis framework. Brian Gardner from StudioPress has been incredibly helpful in getting us set up—I can’t recommend their themes enough!


I’ll let you look over the theme for yourself to see how we’ve gone about it. There are a lot of small changes including:

  • threaded comments—something that has been requested a lot
  • more prominent social media promotion of our Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • a refreshed front page with new featured-post layout
  • videos now are full size on single post pages (not more squinting)
  • those who leave comments will be depicted in an avatar alongside their comments (pulled in via Gravatar).

There are a few other small tweaks around the site, and there will be at least a couple of new additions in the coming weeks.

I’m sure there will also be a few small bugs that we’ll need to iron out, but overall things are pretty stable and I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback (give those threaded comments a workout)!

PS: Some people have commented on Twitter that they want the Subscribe to Comments feature switched back on. I’m interested to hear whether that’s the consensus—let me know what you think.

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.
  1. Great look!

  2. Congratulations, Darren.

    I like more the new look of Problogger.

  3. Looks great! I’m a fan. I never used the subscribe to comments function before, so I don’t have an opinion on it.

  4. New Design looks awesome Darren. Great work.
    It also loading much faster :) !!

  5. Looks great, very functional and pleasing to the eye. Congrats Darren, love the new look and really makes me consider getting the Genesis framework myself. :)

  6. Love the new design! Much cleaner and seems less cluttered.

    Nice work!

  7. In reference to comment subscription:

    I’d recommend just adding the ReplyMe plugin. It will email a commenter anyone someone has replied directly to them. This way people don’t have to come back to find replies, don’t have to remember to check a box, and aren’t automatically subscribed to the whole thread. The plugin is very light and every single one of my clients LOVES it.

  8. Hey Darren, super look!!!
    I like this new look. it’s fresh and cool.

    BTW who is your designer and how much it cost you for this?

  9. Very clean and fresh. I like the integration of the new background colors. You’ve made the site more functional and attractive, yet kept it familiar, like an old friend with a who’s gotten a make-over.

  10. As a commenter I don’t necessarily want to subscribe to all comments. What I want is to be able to subscribe to all REPLIES to MY comment. Does that make sense? Because while I don’t need to get an email every single time someone says, “Yep, love the new design,” I would be interested to know if someone is responding directly to me (whether it’s the site owner or another commenter, I really only care if they’re speaking directly to me). Obviously this is only possible with threaded comments and so far I have not seen this as an option. Anywhere. I’ve suggested this all over the place at WordPress. So far, no one has made my dreams come true with a plugin that does this.

  11. Congratulation on new design. Its look Cleaner than before :)

  12. The site looks absolutely fantastic. The re-design was definitely needed, and who ever designed it did a phenomenal job!

  13. The new design looks much cleaner, Darren. Just be wary of the amount of people you’ll now get replying to the first comment, just so there’s is higher up ;)

    Glad to see the threaded comments introduced!

  14. Great new theme, Darren. I especially like the softer colors. That and I’ve long been a huge fan of Brian Gardner’s themes too. The Genesis Framework ROCKS! Their child themes look great. Genesis is exceptionally well coded. And with all the support available on their site they make it easy to make it do what you want done. Good choice!

    • Givin’ the threaded comments feature a try for you. I hate the way comments work on our website, so let’s check yours out and let you be the guinea pig.

      I’m with Chris: I love the softer colors. Other than that, I wouldn’t care what you did with your site. It’s your content I’m here for. Still my favorite blog after a year. Rock on, Darren!

  15. I like it a lot. Looks good and I really hope it works for you. Will you be posting on the differences in conversions and pages per visit?


  16. Totally second Wendy’s idea above. Now if her (and my) wish were to come true, she would receive a notification that I agree with her idea and add my vote to it :) Then we could collectively embark on a campaign to get this feature developed :)

    Clean is definitely the first word that comes to mind with the design update!

  17. Dareen also you might like to add recent posts and popular posts tab on sidebar.. They are very helpful., handy and effective..

  18. really a good look. it would be great if you add a tabbed widget section on sidebar- which includes recent posts, popular posts, tags and top comments (a reward from your side to those who comments on your blog).
    A second nav bar which includes best category or best tag posts on problogger so that it becomes easy to navigate them easily.
    A twitter/facebook link attach with comments section.
    hope see some changes on problogger soon

  19. Great new look, well-handled change. The colors really are easy on the eyes and the end result is a positive mood while reading everything.

  20. Keep the new look. When i visited the blog i thought i was dreaming or something. The look is great and it’s easier to navigate. Great job and i’m looking forward to the other tweaks that you have in mind for the future.

  21. Janie says: 11/23/2010 at 2:32 am

    I like it..much easier to get around and read…it is very organized…

  22. Absolutely love it. I have been waiting for this to happen. Thanks for the nice upgrade.

  23. Darren, way to go on the new theme – much more polished and cleaner than your previous “look.”

  24. Very clean and fast loading, Love It! :)

  25. Really like the new theme and am looking at purchasing the “Pro Plus All Themes” package.

    I do like the feature of subscribe to comments and think you should have it there.


  26. Love the new look Darren. I’ve been using the StudioPress WP themes for over a year and just love them. In fact, I’m working on migrating my older blogsites from the original StudioPress themes to Genesis versions to take advantage of the additional features.

    Keep up the great blogging, because I’m hanging on every word!

  27. Hey Darren,

    I just have a suggestion, use the MyBrand feature of FeedBurner to have the RSS link with your domain name like feeds.problogger.net/problogger


  28. Lot’s of positive comments here that I completely agree with. Love the threaded comments and gravatar. Layout is nice and clean but still feels like problogger.com.

    As for the subscribe to comments, I usually use it so that I can follow the discussion. I’m not very good at remembering to come back and check the comments on a post so email reminders make it much easier.

    One difficulty with threaded comments is that it makes it harder to find the latest comment since it isn’t down at the bottom, so after getting an email about a comment then you have to hunt for the right thread to find it. Perhaps linking straight to the comment in question might help with that. An idea for a plugin …

  29. I don’t need the subscribe to comments feature, but would like you to use the ReplyMe plugin for WordPress which emails someone whenever someone directly replies to their comment. I like getting notified when someone replies to my comments. Really clean layout, though my eyes miss the reddish tones.

    The only thing I would say is the text in the bottom bluish/gray area next to the Problogging resources is a little hard to read as it doesn’t contrast that well against the background.

  30. Should be very beautiful & practice, but I couldn’t see it from android even if tried to switch to regular view. But your mobile ads are just splendid. Can’t wait to see your new design on a laptop. Thank you for your blog by the way, reading you 5 times a week

  31. It’s been neat to watch the visual evolution of Problogger over the years. :)

    The new site looks really nice! I like how the design gives you a lot of information in an uncluttered way.

  32. Was thinking about Studio Press as well as woo themes, but I just used elegant themes to update my site. There does seem to be a new subtle simplicity to your new layout, but it still has everything from the problogger we already know. Good job

  33. Clean and simple. Nice work Darren.

  34. Looks really cool. Its loading faster than before. Amazing

  35. It looks great Darren, and I love the very streamlined feel you’ve got going on. That, and threaded comments will make a great contribution to the way we interact here. :)

  36. looks really so fresh and elegant. Way better than the black one ;)) very well done indeed :)

  37. Definitely an improvement. It’s easier to read, and I like the cool colors (as in temperature).

  38. The site definitely seems less cluttered. I’m digging on it right now. I’m with John Soares, like the colors, easier to read..

  39. I love it! Very clean, easy to manuever and the creative elements/buttons don’t compete with content. Agree with John that the cool colors work well…very easy on the eyes. Kudos Darren! :-)

  40. Darren,
    I love the new look of Problogger. It is very clean and uncluttered. I

  41. The theme suits @problogger – calm and organized, the orange and gray combinations go pretty well. In fact these are the ones I am using on my website (though more vibrant) – and it is Genesis framework powered too! Having full size videos is a plus.
    I love your extended footer, will work on a similar one on my website. Just one suggestions the “REPLY” button on the comments area can be made smaller.
    Happy Holidays and best wishes for a great New year!

  42. Fresh! Looks great. Really nice open, clean feel.

  43. I liked the old theme too but this one simply looks ten times more edible :) All the elements are nicely laid out with more space around them. And although I usually use Google Reader to read ProBlogger, I think this design will lead me to open posts on the site. Good job.

  44. As long as the “subscribe to comments” remains optional per post, I’m all for it.

    I got to look at your preview from the newsletter Darren and I loved the redesign then. The live redesign is awesome! Congratulations!! I’m sure it’s been exciting on many levels.

    Now you should write a post that includes photos of the evolution of Problogger. How it began to what it is now :-)

  45. I’ve been using StudioPress for some time now and I love what they develop. When they first released the Genesis framework, I was a little baffled by the idea of it. But, now I absolutely love it. I use it on client’s sites. I use it on my own sites. When I begin the planning stages of one of my sites, one of the things I include in my notes is which StudioPress theme I am going to use. Great looking site, Darren.

  46. It’s a shame that Brian Gardner actually had to help get this theme working for you Darren, and Genesis isn’t an “out of the box” theme framework solution for bloggers anymore. Not everyone can get help of Brian on their themes :)

    However – I like this version and I think it does load faster.

    • Hart, Darren’s last theme wasn’t “out of the box” either. A lot of people use frameworks for custom designs based on the behind the scenes control they provide.

      But when it comes to “out of the box,” StudioPress is leading the field with the new Prose theme with point-and-click design controls and 29 other turn-key designs. So, you don’t need Gardner to help you… Darren just happens to be a friend of the family. ;)

      • Got to agree with Brian on this one. Gensis was never an “out of the box” framework; it was just a framework that you could build off of. I’ve checked out Prose and I have to agree with Brian. It’s awesome. I’ll be implementing it on a site I am developing right now.

  47. Nice job the site looks outstanding, simple and clean with a well thought out design. This site has always been a road map to successful site design keeping things simple and easy to use from content to advertising. Again thanks for all that you do.

  48. I’ll second the comments about the clean look, but there’s two points I’d personally like to raise:
    1. there’s no clear guidance for first time visitors, like a ‘start here’ or welcome video on the front page. The link to ‘for beginners’ on the popular posts is small, hidden under the heading of popular posts, and below the fold. Admittedly, you have plenty of people who are regulars, but I think the front page is a little overwhelming for newcomers. I could be wrong, but a couple of days watching your click away rate would tell you that.
    2. The front page ‘popular posts’ and two column + sidebar setup really squashes everything but your featured post down. I’d like to see popular posts on the sidebar (perhaps with tabs for recent and random posts added – it’s amazing how many gems I find under random links) with the jobs below it, so they’re visible on all pages.

    As to ‘subscribe to comments’ – I don’t mind the feature, and sometimes it’ll bring me back to a post I’ve already read to get involved in the discussion that builds. I would only ask, if you do add it, make the default value ‘unticked’ please?

    Other than that, nice makeover!

  49. Remarkable work. I like this new look. You should consider some tabs in you sidebar for most popular and recent post that will help visitor find latest and most popular content easily.
    You footer is really awesome.

  50. Barbara says: 11/23/2010 at 8:10 am

    I love the new theme Darren – it’s fresh, and has a much “cleaner” look to it because it’s less cluttered, and easier to navigate. I love the colours, they seem softer – everything is easy on the eye. Great job mate!

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