It has been a week since we put this new design into production at Weblog Tools Collection. Though at first it was quite a change, the design is growing on me.
A few things are still broken (find any?) and the internal code and the SQL queries that run the plugins are still being tweaked. We might end up re-writing a few of the plugins to make them more efficient and introduce caching. Our overall goal was to make the blog feel fresh and be able to highlight the various aspects of our community that helps generate and produce and news and the articles for this blog. Needless to say, we stuck to our basic tenets of minimal advertising and ease of use while sticking with a light (on the eyes and on the bandwidth) and minimalist theme.
If you only read this blog in a news reader, I welcome you to check it out on a browser. A lot has changed and there are a lot of new features. Since themes and plugins form a large portion of what this blog is all about, there are theme and plugin news sections now on the front page. We also highlight the most visited posts of the day at the top of the blog. We have also added lists from WordPress Jobs, General WordPress News, PressItFor.me and Weblog Tools Videos. The single page design is cleaner with emphasis on the actual content of the article and the comment threading (which form the meat and potatoes of any blog). The advertising has been spread around and neatly tucked away to not be obtrusive and yet provide a good value to the advertiser. Regular visitors see fewer ads and never see AdSense ads.
The change has not gone unnoticed and reactions have ranged from absolute distaste to glorious commendations, with the meter tilting towards the latter. The one browser bug with the search form is really bugging me (try visiting this blog in IE or in Safari) but overall I am pleased with the result.
What are your impressions?