New Site Design for mikesalway.com.au

Hi all

I’m proud to announce a mini re-launch of my site, mikesalway.com.au, with a new theme framework and a new design.

Mike Salway logo

I originally launched this blog in October 2008 and had planned to re-do the design after the first year, but things got busy, my blogging became very sporadic, and now almost 2.5 years after its launch, I’ve finally made the time to update the theme and make some long overdue changes.

My requirements for a redesign were:

  • I wanted a theme and theme framework that gave me the ability to do more customisations through the admin interface without having to change as much PHP and CSS.
  • After creating the original theme almost from scratch, this time I wanted something which looked good and worked well straight ‘out of the box’. I didn’t want to spend weeks customising it to be ‘just right’. I guess my requirements are a bit simpler these days 🙂
  • I wanted a cleaner, fresher look and feel.

After looking around at a few premium themes and theme frameworks, I ended up going with the WooThemes – Premium WordPress Templates framework, with the Fresh Canvas theme.

I used WooThemes on my work blog, and liked what I saw so chose to use it for my personal blog as well.

So a list of all of the changes that I’ve made:

  • Different look and feel (though the header image is (mostly) the same)
  • Secondary navigation menu to navigate straight to images and posts containing the categories or tags of interest. For example, to see all of my Star Trail images and posts, you can go to the Star Trails menu under Star Scapes.
  • Featured post area on the homepage where I rotate some of my best/favourite/most popular posts
  • Magazine/news-site style excerpts on the homepage for the 10 most recent posts
  • New social sharing plugins to easily share or Like posts on Facebook, Twitter and Digg.
  • De-commission of the old Coppermine Gallery where my images used to be stored. Well, technically it’s still there (Gallery) but I haven’t uploaded any new images to it since early 2009. I’ve also removed the menu item for it. I’ll gradually move over the best of the old images and create them as posts in here.
  • Re-write of the About section, to take out the long laundry list of publications amongst other changes.
  • Some new widgets in the right column and in the footer (including my Shelfari bookshelf in the footer)
  • Upgraded to the latest WordPress (3.1).

I think that’s about it.

If you’re new to my site and didn’t see the old design, here’s a screenshot showing what it looked like about 12 hours ago 🙂

Mike Salway Original Design

Mike Salway Original Design

 

I hope that the redesign also inspires me to start blogging more often – that’s certainly the plan anyway.

If you’d like to subscribe to the blog (new content delivered to your feed reader or email), you can do so by RSS or Email using the ‘Connect’ widget in the footer or on the right. You can also find me on my social media profiles (though I don’t use Twitter at the moment).

I’d love to hear your feedback about the new design, good or bad. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Cheers

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