A Belated Welcome to the New Weblog Tools Collection

February 14th, 2009
Blogging News, General

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, 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?




  1. Miroslav Glavic (27 comments.) says:

    I like the new look. THANK YOU for not overly adding advertising.
    I personally can’t stand sites with an advertising program that runs to 45%+ of the screen.

    Keep up the work


    WBTC fan from Toronto, Canada

  2. brtak (1 comments.) says:

    More better than before, nice, very nice :)

  3. Thomas Clausen (2 comments.) says:

    I too like the new look. It’s so much lighter than the old one. Especially the comment area needed improvement, and this has helped a lot :-)

  4. Steffen Windrich says:

    Outstanding improvement.

  5. Banago (84 comments.) says:

    I love the new version. The old one sucked and I often asked myself why is this blog so left aside in the design aspect.

  6. Iva (8 comments.) says:

    Well, since I was among people who said something about the old version…I like this one. :D Comment threads look less confusing and things are clearer in general.

  7. Al (3 comments.) says:

    Your site has improved really. Perhaps you should make the search field fit into menu? Or maybe not? Anyway, your site looks greater than ever before. Loads faster as well, but that could be just part of the impression one gets. Grats.

  8. Harld Shaw (1 comments.) says:

    The blog is much more visually appealing and readable. I am not a huge fan of orange, but the way you used this color is the best use I have seen of it.

    Great job

    • TheTick (17 comments.) says:

      I agree with with all of this. I wouldn’t use orange, but it works with your design. Cleaner design, and you actually made the ads less prominent. Nice.

  9. DazzlinDonna (8 comments.) says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I never quite know how to describe this, but it’s like when I see something that’s just right, it’s like silk flowing across my eyes (which is really weird-sounding, I know, but it’s the best way I can think of to describe it).

    In other words, the new look is perfect!

  10. Flick (20 comments.) says:

    I really love the new design! :) Very inspiring imho and it makes it much easier to view information.

  11. Nehemoth (21 comments.) says:

    Very, very pleased, I really like the clean layout.

    Plz continue the amazing work. Thank you

  12. Lisa says:

    I really like the Today’s Popular Posts list in the header.

  13. Lori (5 comments.) says:

    Looks great! I am generally a fan of larger font sizes, but I actually had to make them smaller here before. Perfect now. Love the clean look and easy navigation too :)

  14. SSG says:

    I really like it. HUGE improvement over the old site.

  15. John Kolbert (2 comments.) says:

    I assume this is the problem with the search bar right?

    Looks like the search bar just needs to be smaller. Otherwise looks good.

  16. George Serradinho (107 comments.) says:

    Looks much better to me. Keep up the good work.

  17. PL says:

    Nice work! Congrat!

    I recommend this plugin:

  18. Mus_ (5 comments.) says:

    I like this improvement.
    The old one was sooo… weird with too much ads on the right.

  19. evl (2 comments.) says:

    Very nice. I like the new design.

  20. Darran (9 comments.) says:

    It is definitely cleaner but the search icon positioning needs some fixing on Safari.

  21. pryordurkin (3 comments.) says:

    I like the clean look and feel of this new design. I also like the information and tips I regularly read. They are very helpful.

  22. Vic Torey-Paughn (1 comments.) says:

    I absolutely love it! The new-styled logo is gorgeous, I really like having today’s hot posts at the top, and the whole thing feels so much cleaner and fresher.

  23. Rodrigo P. Ghedin (1 comments.) says:

    Awesome layout!


  24. MrCorey (4 comments.) says:

    This design reminds me of the old one, before the first big redesign. The logo looks more like the old one than the previous design. I think that you’re heading int he right direction with this one. Its clean and easier to navigate than before. Great work!

  25. Christopher Anderton (1 comments.) says:

    I like it. The only thing i miss is to see full posts instead off that extra click.

  26. Daus (3 comments.) says:

    Absolutely better than before, cleaner.

  27. Kill Ugly Radio (1 comments.) says:

    I love, I really do, but all these people above saying this a “wonderful”, “cleaner”, “awesomer” design are just out to get their shiny personal URL posted and clicked upon.

    Really now. Truth be told: this new “layout” is all about facilitating advertising spots — and there is nothing wrong with that. Regardless, I really do appreciate any content posted here and shall continue to follow — via RSS :-)

  28. Scott (3 comments.) says:

    A much welcome facelift!!! Looks nice. Light and easy. I like it!

  29. Lorelle (10 comments.) says:

    Dang, I hate it when great minds link a like. :D You’ve made some design choices that I have been working to integrate into some of my own designs, but definitely better, my friend. Well done.

    As usual, you are setting the bar higher, challenging us all. Thanks for the kick in the butt.

  30. ian (7 comments.) says:

    FYI … I have the search form bug in Google Chrome too.

  31. Darryl (3 comments.) says:

    I like this design much more than the previous one. It’s cleaner and more professional for a site that gets as much traffic as this one does from the WordPress dashboard.

  32. Darryl (3 comments.) says:

    BTW, I just looked at the site in IE and I see what you mean by the search box bug. Gotta be a CSS issue.

  33. Shirley (4 comments.) says:

    Well, I did like the other theme a bit better, but this is not bad. It’s not that much of a change where I have the urge to run to the nearest bucket… lol. But yes, there are a few bugs.

  34. DoubleJ (1 comments.) says:

    I really like the new layout, I mostly get here via the feed in the adminpanel of my wordpress install, and the posts are easier to read now, then it was before.

    However I do have a point of critisism regarding the header, “Today’s popular posts” piece is to me one big mass of characters and not very clear, I think there are just to much listed there, maybe a bit more space between them would be nice.

  35. Chris Bryant (12 comments.) says:

    I like it, though it’s broken in Firefox Shiretoko- Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv:1.9.1b3pre) Gecko/20090214 Shiretoko/3.1b3pre.

    But- that is probably on my end.

  36. Jauhari (8 comments.) says:

    Square effect is cools ;)

  37. Matt (2 comments.) says:

    I think it’s great and very clean. Good job.

  38. miss Dolby (1 comments.) says:

    Well done. Keep up the good work! And greetings from the Netherlands!

  39. Rajesh (35 comments.) says:

    as i mentioned already, this a very cool new theme here…clean and beautiful to look at…and at the same time, it is very close to a minimalistic look…congragulations once again…

  40. The Frosty @WPCult (11 comments.) says:

    Hey WBTC,
    Really liking the new site. It is really clean, and somehow doesn’t seem as jumbled together. :)

  41. Jenny (28 comments.) says:

    beautiful theme. i love it.


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