New Design And New Features On

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First off if the blog looks totally jacked up hold down shift and hit f5 (refresh)

So mid last week I went to unique blog designs (followed from john chow’s page) and I was really impressed. I have not seen such great designs since Chris (not Matt) Pearson used to do blog designs (does he do it anymore?). So I filled out there contact form and said I was looking to keep the same look and feel of my blog but polish it up a bit and said I thought we could find something that was mutually beneficial. Within like 1 hour Nate from unique blog designs contacted me and I told him I was really happy with my blog but I wanted to add in some new features like my friends latest posts and newest listings for sale from the marketplace and also readers favorite posts on my blog. I dont think I gave him much more then that to work with.

I swear to god at like a few hours later he sent me this back. I was really impressed and I said lets go with it.

Now keep in mind like they are designers and half the stuff that needed to be implemented was custom plugins I was going to have to write myself. So on sunday he sent it over and it was a little wide and other stuff that needed to be tweaked plus i still needed to write the code for the plugins so I started on it.

Here is some changes and new features of the blog. Most of these are things I have wanted to do for the last year but just never got around to it. I am very excited to bust them out finally.

Top Commentors – This will stay the same EXCEPT it will now be on all pages instead of just the front page. I am going to be playing with the formating with this over the next few days.

Favorite Posts
– These are the most read + commented posts in the last 2 years on this site.

Friends Posts – I have always thought blogrolls were kind of lame. Its just a linkfest right? I always wanted to instead show the latest post on my friends blog and link to it instead of just there site. I think its much more telling to see “How to rank in Google in 8 days” MUCH MORE then a link that says “Andy Beal” amirite?

Marketplace Listings – This shows the newest 5 listings in the marketplace. The marketplace page is now getting 3x more traffic then the main page of my blog =(. Well I guess that is a good thing ;). I think I might just go ahead and link directly to the page and below put a small (view all listings). (sugestion by jensense). I eventually might make my own classified section but I am not sure if that is a service that is really needed yet. I was thinking a flat listing fee of 10$ per item with maybe like a 1$ bump or something… Not a huge priority.

Latest Radio Shows – It never fails whenever I post a radio show I get emails about where the other ones can be found. I thought I would post the links from the feed in the footer (still tweaking this).

Latest q&a

the Question and Answer posts seem to have been a pretty big hit lately so I figure posting the latest ones would be cool. I will give it a test and see how it goes.

Other stuff in the footer I’m going to put something else in the footer… not quite sure what yet.

I have to say I really really love the new design. Its something I want to use. I love the marketplace listings (I do most of my commerce from those listings) and I really love the friend roll.

So what do you think?

153 thoughts on “New Design And New Features On

  1. Webd360

    It looks great, definitely keeping up with the latest trends in blog themes. Good job listening to your readers’ feedback from the original launch too; at first some things didn’t look good but now you’ve fixed them and it looks great :)

  2. Kanwal

    I have to say, thats’ quite impressive. What a lil’ bit of bevel and shading can do to a design…. hey unique blog designs will you spruce up my site design?

  3. Lyndon

    Love the new digs!!

    Makes me wish that I could afford their services :-( Guess I’ll just have to stick with my generic theme a bit longer.

  4. ToddW

    If you do decide to do your own marketplace $10 listing and $1 bump is a GREAT idea.

    I hate having to wade through all the CRAP for sale at DP and other forums that allow free website for sale ads. So much JUNK!

  5. TylerC

    A few things… Some of the comment links do not work correctly… More or less an annoyance they do not take you to the bottom to comment, they just go to the single post page. Add “#addcomment” to the links and it will take users right to the form.

    Whats Your Take, Your Take, and Comment Here (all 3) are just pointed to the post.

  6. John Patterson

    Good luck attracting new customers with that kind of snide remark… definitely makes me NOT want to work with your company.

  7. Mike - Twenty Steps

    I love the new “Friends Posts” feature. I ditched my blogroll ages ago for the simple reason that it didn’t really add value to my readers and wanted to come up with something that was more useful. I’ve been trying to come up with a way to do that and I think your idea really works.

    How have you done it? Is it one of your customised plugins?


    Yeah, I agree. I’ve found a few new parts to the Shoemoney site since the new design launched.

    The “Friend’s Posts” plugin is really cool as well. I must admit I’ve never clicked on any links in Shoemoney’s blogroll but have found some great blogs by clicking through the “Friends posts” section.

    Great job on the design and extra features.


    Just noticed that when on a single post page (such as the one you are on when reading this comment:) ) that there are no buttons to move to the previous or next post. You need to go back to the index to get to the next post (unless I’m going blind).

    Was this a design feature or just something that was overlooked?

  10. Nick Sullivan

    When I first saw it I didn’t like it that much, I didn’t like the two boxes above the main post area etc

    But now that it’s finished and all done, it definitely looks better. Feels tidy and clean and the big logo in the footer is awesome and the radio show links! I haven’t listened to most of them. Awesome improvements.

  11. Grivon

    I absolutely love it too!! Instantly did!! The only thing I DONT like is the “popular posts” section… they’re not so much the shoemoney reader’s favorite posts as they are posts that businessweek sent thousands of interested people to?!

    They look fairly accurate for now I just imagine/forsee problems if it’s dynamic don’t you??

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  13. king jacob

    Love the new design especially the friends post and marketplace, though the top of the post section is broke but that could just be the browser/OS Im using

  14. Funny T-shirts

    I second the idea. Jeremy, I think a service like this IS needed. The majority of the sites for-sale are horrible over at DP. Sitepoint is ok but it needs some competition!

  15. Knuckles10

    There is a bug on the post view (not the front page, the page where you see comments). Up the top it says “have something to add whats your take”. It looks like the comment count variable isn’t working there as it should be something like “99 people have something to add whats your take”

  16. eTown Landlord

    This is a really clean design and I like the feature to post your friends latest blog posts. I use an asp blogging system and wonder how hard it would be to port it to forest blog?

  17. eTown Landlord

    directory dude… quick question, Have you noticed a decline in your paid directory since google now discourages buying links? Email me, i’m super curious about this…

  18. eTown Landlord

    Two final comments. I love the latest radio shows box. Truly awesome Jeremy! I don’t like that you can’t see how many comments are in a thread. For some reason I like to know at a glance how mnay comments are in a particular thread.

  19. Mubin

    I like it, one thing I would suggest fixing though is this damn tab issue. When I leave a comment I like to just press tab and enter and leave the comment, at the moment I have to use my mouse. I know its really stupid but the way things are at the moment by pressing tab and enter it leads me to the top logo and if I press enter it will lead me to the main index and going back will make my comment disappear which can be a biatch sometimes considering the fact that sometimes comments are long….

  20. Modern Worker

    I dig this new design/layout, Shoe. Where you have placed links definitely encourages more page views because the content is more readily available. Awesomesauce, honestly.

  21. mike

    like the new design. I found 1 issue
    I use IE 6, when I clicked a link and came back, it’s color ( the underliine ) was white, I had to scroll over the text to know it was clickable.
    love your site

  22. SeanIM

    Nice new layout maing… Suggestion for footer? Maybe try testing a slim marketplace listing/favorite friends post/etc as sometimes people need to see triggers or nav elements a few times and at different parts of the page….oy, who am I telling this too!? :) Anyways, nice new look. :thumbsup :pimp

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  24. king jacob

    No, Ive never made a scraper, Im one of the few that actually think quality is more important than money plus Im not that ready to entrust my livelihood to robots yet.:D

  25. Vijay Teach Me

    A good designer can make a lot of difference congratulations to Nate. Maybe it is in the process, main logo on upper left hand is not clickable and navigation menu are not cursor friendly.


  26. Chris Guthrie

    The design looks pretty good. I see a few minor errors in IE 7 (like “Your email address” box is not large enough to display all the text. I like the color scheme though.

  27. Chris Guthrie

    Forgot to add, what’s really the point of the marketplace anyway though? It looks like it’s just an RSS feed of digitalpoint’s forums. If that’s all it is, I would agree that you should charge for listings.

  28. Chris P.

    Shoemoney — I definitely appreciate the shout-out you gave me here, but I’d like to point out one little detail… My name is actually Chris, not Matt :)

    And as far as work goes, I no longer design sites for clients, but that doesn’t mean I’m not keeping busy with my own projects. The latest (and most fun one) is Pro Pigskin Pick’em, a facebook app that allows you to pick NFL games against the spread and compete for serious prizes, like the $5,000 grand prize or a slew of other weekly prizes.

    Check it out! In fact, get everyone to check it out, because the season starts tomorrow night!

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  30. Michael

    Did I miss something? All the guy said was he could do a better job. Why start a design company if you think you’re not better than the competition? I say good job.

  31. Artifexus

    The new design is hot, Shoe! I definitely think Unique Blog Designs has a some really nice stuff. Don’t tell John Chow, but I think you got the better design…

  32. Dave Starr --- ROI Guy

    Love it Jeremy. It’s much updated yet still very readable. The “teaser” windows … friend’s posts and market place are essentially unique … wonder why no one thought of them? They, along with the “fav posts” idea are similar to what Darren tried to do with the old Problogger design. His new one, like JC’s is now all graphics and no substance. Once again I feel you hit the mark.

  33. sama

    I’m starting to like the new design… I’m finding old posts that’d i’d missed, one thing though. A button to go to the “next” newest from the one you are reading would be great. I was reading: “The $10,000.00 experiment with ppc Part 1″ but i cannot see the link on that page to get to Part 2. :-(

  34. ***V***

    Chris did a great job on this blog. I personally like John Chow’s design better.

    When’s the “latest q&a” going to be up and running?


  35. Seo Next

    Market place from DP threads is very good on top right and over all new design rocks.Your website colors and ad placements are very good , i think now many guys will change there blog design some thing like your blog.

  36. Aditya Kumar Singh

    Lemme contact UniqueBlogDesigns guy and ask them ……….. hey i wanna get a shoemoney like blog. Really good design. I will impressed with both and

    They took my next order already 😀

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  38. Greg-J

    With everyone drinking the kool-aide I think you need an honest opinion from someone who’s been in the design industry for well over a decade. I appreciate good-design so if that’s what I saw here, that’s what I would tell you. Complements are great, but you don’t learn anything from complements do you …

    Redesigns should always bring improvements in structure, readability and ease of navigation – of which this design does not. I really don’t like it at all. There’s contrast where there doesn’t need to be which distracts the eyes, and where there ought to be contrast there is none. To start with, black and blue designs are one of those color combinations you need to be very talented at in order to do properly. It’s a difficult combination to pull off for people with a lot of talent, and this one just doesn’t work at all.

    -The 0 offset outer shadow on the tabs in the header menu leave the menu items without distinction. Navigation elements need to be bluntly outlined and dicernable. It can be done with shadow’s and glow’s if the buttons/tabs are larger and the glow/shadow is thinner, but there’s not enough to work with up there right now.

    -The favorite posts and friend’s posts list-style needs to be put back in place or a top-or-bottom border should be adopted. Regardless of whether you’re cutting the text off before a link will span multiple lines, there’s nothing declaring that each line of text is an individual link, or a link at all for that matter. To me it just looks like two blocks of text made to be the color opposites of one-another for no apparent reason.

    -The Marketplace listings block is no better. Here you have 3 different design elements that hold the same type of elements – links – and they share nothing in common to let me know that. Having link blocks that are different colors is fine, but there needs to be a common element between them.

    -The block elements at the top that I just mentioned do not align with the content and navigational elements below. Staggered layout dividers are great, but they need to be deliberately staggered to work. It breaks the structure of the page when they’re misaligned because of design mistakes. The structure goes from an element with no outline, to an element with a shadow to elements with borders – for no structural reason.

    -The dark outlines serve no purpose and break the content up too much to be useful as informative dividers.

    -The level of outer and inner shadows makes it look like they just found layer blending options. Mixing inner and outer shadows on the same element is a no-no. It detracts from the content within the element to the point that the eyes will pass from the inner shadow to the outer shadow and past the content itself.

    You seem impressed by the fact that it was done in a matter of hours, but that’s not a good sign for, well, the reasons I’ve listed above. It was rushed and wasn’t thought through. The design was started right when the order came in without any forethought of what the purpose of the redesign should be. I’m still confused at how this is better in any way, shape or form over the old design other than introducing new elements to the site that could have been done using the old design elements.

    I mean no disrespect to the people who came up with this, but in all honesty it’s clunky, rushed and poorly thought out.

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  46. william

    All look’s good except your design block. Take a real close look at the name.
    I see hoemoney at 1st glance.
    Maybe it is just me.

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