Under a new blog design

A detail of my new blog theme

When I started thinking about printing some new business cards last September, it also seemed a good time to refresh the design and structure of my blog.

Coming up with business cards proved quite easy. Getting original designs created for me by freelance Wellington graphic designer Luke Kelly, and taking a file to the printers couldn’t have been simpler or more rewarding. Luke’s work has attracted a lot of clucks and gabbles of content since I’ve been handing out my new cards.

Updating my blog has taken a while longer. Mostly this is because I’ve been busy so squeezed testing, tweaking and rewriting around my paid work. It’s also because of planned and unplanned interruptions, including a holiday in December and January, and then, a second big earthquake striking in Christchurch on 22 February 2011.

The quake didn’t affect me directly, but it affected my web designer Michelle Sullivan from Web Matters Ltd. She had no power, water and faced general havoc at her home. Rather than dwelling on the destruction, Michelle borrowed a workspace elsewhere and dived back into things: she was back on board for her clients on 28 February.

Even though I’m reasonably familiar with WordPress plugins, widgets and so on, I needed Michelle’s help with coding page layouts and translating scribbled notes about structure into a working website.

One of my final touches was incorporating something so visitors could get a sense of who I am (for those of you who haven’t met me in person). I opted for a caricature, produced by Nathan at CaricatureKing. My partner Roz laughed loudly when she saw the caricature. “Perhaps it might be good if you join the spy trade and would like to disguise your identity”, she jested. I prodded her back and we had an argument about artistic interpretation.

You’ll find all my existing posts and resources on the blog but with the old clutter gone, and some new ways of staying touch added. As well as standard RSS, you can now be notified of every new update by email, and you can subscribe to an email newsletter I’ll (irregularly) send out. This volume will be slight and quarterly.

I’ve done a fair amount of testing on different browsers, operating systems, etc. A few helpers have reviewed the website too. However, try as I might, I probably haven’t found every gremlin. If the website doesn’t work for you in some way, I’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch using Contact form, or the Feedback button on the right.

With my update blog now live, I’m not short of things to do: like writing new content, monitoring visitor use patterns, trialling new or updated plugins, and more promotion. For now, I’ll pause for a moment to celebrate. A big thanks to everyone who helped with this iteration of my blog. I’m looking forward to many, many blog fueled years under my new theme.

PS You’re really welcome to comment anything I write, tell a friend about my blog, help yourself to resources, suggest an idea for topics I could cover, or get in touch about my services.


Share this article

4 thoughts on “Under a new blog design

  1. Michelle

    Great to see the site live! Thanks for the mention, and looking forward to seeing the blog evolve from here. Oh and I think the Caricature was a great final touch!

    Reply
  2. Stuart

    Wow, looks really great Stephen – I especially like the brown footer block, double right-hand column layout, repeated tree logo, nice big fonts and the caricature.

    All the best from Oxfam New Zealand!

    Reply
  3. Alexandra

    I like your new site very much. Feels open, clean and personal. Nice to read your acknowledgements of who helped too. Well done you.
    Cheers
    Alexandra

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *