i’m still putting the final touches on the site, but the new redesigned look is here. the theory is based on some stuff that has been floating around the net about how websites will become more like lifestreams. since i’ve never been really happy with any single lifestream client (and i’ve tried a bunch), i decided it would be just as easy to turn my blog into one so that this site becomes, truly, a log of all the stuff i’m doing.
as much as i really liked my old theme, discount browncoat (yes, a firefly/serenity reference), it was narrow, had some leftover bugs, and took a long time to load because of the heavy graphics. i wanted something i could expand on easily, and offer the possibility for advertising. i also wanted a way to showcase a lot of the projects and stuff i work on, which was hidden down in the sidebar on my old theme. now that stuff can go prominently in the header.
so here’s a rundown: top nav listing of pages with dropdown menus for sub-pages — this allows me to have a generic top-level page, say fiction, and then have links to all the fiction i’ve written. 260 px wide sidebar, which allows for 260×260 and 125x125px ads — fairly standard sizes for a design blog. magazine-style layout using the powerful by TimThumb script. i really like this style of displaying posts, ever since i first saw it in mimbo, and i’ve been using it on a lot of different sites i’ve worked on recently. i’m also using a hack that displays a little tag underneath the most recent post to identify it as such. i thought about doing an author page, but a lot of the author fields in wordpress are information i didn’t want to share, and i already have an about page with other stuff, so i decided to just do a page template that added in where i’m available online to the about info i already had. this way, too, there’s more flexibility to update and change content. i also made a blog page which filters out all the lifestreaming stuff and just displays the actual posts, because i could see it getting out of hand, especially when i’m playing music (and therefore getting a feed from last.fm). there are three, fully widgetized sidebars, depending on what part of the site you’re on. i did this so i could, in theory, make what shows up on the sidebar somewhat relevant to what you are looking at. there’s also a customized 404 page, and separate category and archives pages. by the time i got to the footer i sort of ran out of ideas, so i just blathered on, offering additional links to various parts and features of the site.
this has been a project on my mind for a few months with various ideas festering and growing in there. i hope it comes off well, and i think i’ll probably be making additional tweaks as an ongoing thing, but i’m pretty excited about the new changes. w00t.