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).
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?