site design screen shot

New Hotness

Guys, look at this hotness. For the first time in ages, I’m actually proud of my author website. It’s something befitting where I am in my writing career and it looks nice and clean to boot.

I’ve been going through old blog posts and I noticed something. I’ve redone this site MANY times. We’ve changed platforms, hosts, templates and themes easily a dozen or more times. This was partly because I like to play around and I always use my own site as the guinea pig before I try it on a client website and partly because there was always something I thought could work better or faster. I’m a serial tinkerer when it comes to websites.

The last four versions of the site, however, were all actually modified versions of the same theme… the same ghetto-fabulous, hacked-up theme that I created using a buggy theme generator to begin with over a decade ago. It looked OK, which is the main reason it took me this long to make changing it a priority, but it had a few major flaws.

For starters, it never really worked right and I was always having to do ridiculously complicated workarounds to keep things from going wonky. It wasn’t safe from a WordPress vulnerability standpoint because it was designed for many WP versions ago and it didn’t have any of the swaggy new features WP has today. It was also SLOW with a capital UGH and was an absolute disaster on mobile browsers. With a majority of web traffic coming in from cell phones and tablets these days, I knew I was losing readers over my high bounce rate which was a problem.

It took a lot of work but I think I’ve solved all those problems. The new look isn’t as themed as the old one but it’s simple, clean and fast. Most importantly, it’s designed to adjust to the browser which means it looks and works great on any size screen… even your cell phone. (Go ahead. Try it out!)

I’m officially announcing the site redesign now because I knew people were bound to notice but the change over isn’t completely done yet. I’ve been doing this migration bit by bit when I had a free moment here and there which meant changing the site theme from old to new every time I had a moment to work on it and then changing everything back again when I was done so that the site was functional. While this enabled me to do this massive project in tiny stolen moments, it means that there’s some little things that won’t look quite right yet because this is the first time I’ve been able to work on the site as a whole and I’ll be fixing those one at a time whenever I have a moment.

That’s where you come in. Click around the new site and share your thoughts. Notice anything that looks weird, isn’t working or otherwise seems odd? Let me know! Kick the tires. Lick the windshield wipers or whatever people do. (Not really a car person.)  And if there’s something you miss from the old site, I want to hear about that too.

Anyway, first impressions: What do you think?