Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Site Redesign and Updates

I always strive to publish high quality content on this blog, but it's always been a bit on the bland side in the design department. Part of that is due to the limited options with free hosting courtesy of Google / Blogger, but part of it is also due to my poor artistic abilities :) I'll admit, I'm not the most creative person when it comes to artistic design for this website or in general. I've also been a bit cheap and not hired a graphic artist to create a logo or paid for web hosting that would allow more flexibility in the site's design.

Well, that's not changing for now...

I'm going to remain hosting with Blogger until I have a good incentive to move off. It would probably require a venture into independent consulting, where a more professional website with my own domain and advertising can be properly displayed.

Until then, I've updated this site with a new theme and graphic logo in the header. I feel it spruces up the place a bit, albeit within the constraints of free hosting that I previously mentioned.

The New Website Logo

I'd also like to direct the attention of my readers to the additional pages on this site (along the top bar, below the logo), especially the Article Archives by Topic. Hopefully this page will make it easier to navigate the blog and find articles of interest, rather than the old method of combing through the archives by date published (which is still available in the right column).

A few other updates worth mentioning:
  • Mobile Optimization - The site is also now optimized for mobile browsers, so you can read articles and blogs directly from your smartphone or tablet in a much easier format. There is no separate URL, just link or browse to this site and it should detect your browser automatically.
  • Favicon - You should be able to easily distinguish my blog within your favorite RSS feed reader when in a visual viewing mode (such as Flipboard for iOS). It's essentially the same as the logo, only in a smaller size.
  • What I'm Reading - Unfortunately, I've had to remove this section due to the recent changes to Google Reader and removal of the native "Sharing" functionality and replacement of sharing to Google+. This is a big disappointment to me, since sharing to G+ is not as friendly as the native sharing was, and doesn't allow power readers to find shared articles or see archives of shared articles as easily as before. Additionally, I used to share articles from across the web with the "Note in Google Reader" bookmarklet, but this no longer works either. Now I can no longer tag or share articles that are not in my RSS reader list, which is unfortunate.

Thanks for the input from friends on Twitter, who helped me review and tweak the new design!