Felt an urge to redecorate the other day, and so I threw some new paint on this old thing. I trimmed a lot of fat, went all HTML5, completely ignored Internet Explorer, threw in a Google web-font and made the site all responsive and scaling to smartphones. It was liberating. If you’re reading this in a feed-reader, I invite you to jump out of it for a brief gander.

For a while I’ve been working on the be-all end-all WordPress theme, a parent theme framework with all sorts of other buzzwords not including synergy. For this theme, however, I simply threw it all out and started with a mix of TwentyEleven (excellent HTML5 base) and the deprecated fallback theme you’re not actually supposed to use (turns out the fallback comments form was much to my liking; don’t worry, I copied the files to my theme directory).

I also deactivated a bunch of plugins. I’ve been a tremendous fan of Subscribe To Comments ever since I switched from Movable Type almost a decade ago (how time flies), but since the introduction of email subscriptions in Jetpack, that plugin is more-so a must-have for me (not to mention the fact that the stats module is now some of my bread and a lot of my butter). I have a bunch of to-do’s still, mostly related to finding a decent way to make my photos section interesting again.

Then of course, I’ve turned down the lights, something you either love or hate. I’ve found myself reading a lot on my smartphone, and somehow it works for me when the little device emits less light in my face. Black will do that to you, and I’m told it’s always a good choice. Plus, I’m a big fan of feed-readers (not so much Google Reader anymore), so if you prefer a white background you may go right back to your reader of choice and I will harbor no ill will towards you.

Part of my urge to redesign has been my want of going long-form. This blog has gone through a lot of iterations based on my whim at the time. Currently, this quote by Brent Simmons appeals to me:

Twitter and Facebook are great for organizing a revolution. Blogs are for explaining why we need one.

I’m not looking to start a revolution, and the truth is I may blog way less these days now that I’m juggling a toddler and a fantastic job. But what I do write, I want to keep, store, cross-reference and archive.

11 thoughts on “Redesigned”

  1. James says:

    I’m loving the redesign, well done!

    I’m really partial to dark themes lately, as I just made a similar change myself. It’s nothing as cool as this redesign, but I think I’m just getting tired of bright websites.

    1. Joen says:

      Thanks James.

      I’m also running TwentyEleven on my photoblog (in a dark configuration). And I used some of it as a base for this one. Can you tell that I’m a fan?

      It’s also remarkable what a good font can to for you.

      1. James says:

        Twenty Eleven in definitely a great theme, and so easy to customize. In a way, it makes me eager to see how they’ll top it with Twenty Twelve.

        Fonts of the lifeline of any design. I used to disagree, but after mucking around with a few this year, I’m a complete font convert. What good is a design if you can’t read it? And, with so many easy tools out there (Typekit and Google Web Fonts to name a few), there’s hardly an excuse to settle for a basic font.

      2. Joen says:

        I agree. Who would’a thought that we’d ever get proper webfonts?

  2. Very nice, very smooth on the eyes. Nice work Joen!

    When can we launch this theme on 🙂

    1. Joen says:

      If you promise to work in a couple of color themes other than black, I’ll send you a zip right now.

  3. Very very nice indeed. I love the empty space and uncluttered feel of it. Nice job!

    1. Joen says:

      Thanks Donncha!

  4. lewism says:

    Beautiful & I love the graphic at the top which looks a little like Laputa.

    1. Joen says:

      Thank you!

      The graphic at the top is actually a cubist version of a flying tree I made a while back.

  5. Ben says:

    I am in the process of redesigning my website as well. Like you I am going html5, and responsive – and I am trimming all sorts of visual clutter to make the design a lot simpler (although not this simple :))

    Thanks for the tip on the jetpack notifications thing – I haven’t used that before so will give it a go.

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