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Sunday, December 4, 2005

Introducing a new front page.

Those of you who read Philocrites by RSS or entry-by-entry won't notice this change right away, but those of you who come to the front page will notice some significant changes. Several months ago I started redesigning the basic structure of this site as I learned about newer approaches to structural markup and cascading stylesheets. I think I've finished fiddling and want to see what you think.

The new three-column format brings new comments higher on the page, making it easier for you to keep up with other readers' responses. It also introduces a photograph of yours truly; thanks to Nancy Pierce for capturing this photo at the UUA's 2005 General Assembly and letting me use it here. The "Keeping Up" column also highlights articles I'm tracking in my Scrapbook, Miscellany, and Portfolio miniblogs. (Scrapbook quotes brief passages from articles I found interesting, but doesn't include commentary or comments. Miscellany is even simpler, and a tad less serious. Portfolio tracks my own published writing.) And, as you'll see, the new format introduces advertising to the front page and moves the Search bar all the way to the bottom. Close readers will notice that you can now sign up to advertise directly on this site through Google's AdSense program.

The new design should work better on non-browser readers, and should — if I've learned my lessons right — scale nicely in a range of browsers. If something doesn't look right, though, please leave a note telling me what operating system and browser you're using. I hope you like it!

Recommended reading: Bulletproof Web Design by Dan Cedarholm and "Fixed or Fluid Width? Elastic!" by Roger Johansson.

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 4 December 2005 at 6:18 PM

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Jeff Wilson:

December 5, 2005 09:45 AM | Permalink for this comment

On my uncle's Dell PC, running Internet Explorer, the sidebar doesn't appear until the bottom of the page, after all the posts in the left-hand column. This is only happening on the front page: here on the "Introducing a new front page" sub-page the sidebar is right where it should be. Just FYI.


December 5, 2005 07:21 PM | Permalink for this comment

Things should be working better for IE for Windows.

Shawn Anthony:

December 5, 2005 07:38 PM | Permalink for this comment

Wow! The front page looks great Chris! Good job. It has a nice balance/flow to it. The nav links at the top (under the header) have opened up a whole new Philocrites world to me, thanks. The live-action shot of you is icing on the cake! Again, great redesign.

Dan Harper:

December 6, 2005 11:04 PM | Permalink for this comment

Nice redesign of the front page. Easier to navigate, keeps the focus on the content. Looks good, too!

And thanks for the link to the Johansson article. I missed this one before. Very helpful.


December 7, 2005 10:28 PM | Permalink for this comment

Okay, I tweaked the front page just a bit more.

Brian Duffin:

December 9, 2005 05:17 PM | Permalink for this comment

Well done! My only [constructive] critique would be with the site header. You might consider using a banner with a picture (something that conveys who/what Philocrites is all about) and the site name/tag line done with Photoshop.

In all, I wish my blog looked and functioned like yours does!


December 9, 2005 05:42 PM | Permalink for this comment

Ah, Brian, that's where it would help if I owned Photoshop or knew how to make spiffy graphics! Alas!

Dudley Jones:

December 9, 2005 10:15 PM | Permalink for this comment


I have always liked the basic layout of your blog / website - it has lots of neat links to interesting places. There is one thing that I really hate on a web site, and you do not do it - blinking / flashing / moving stuff - I find it terrible distracting, because whenever it blinks or flashes or moves, something in my brain clicks and my attention goes to the active element. This makes focused thought impossible. It may be that this issue is generational - people who grow up with computer games may be better at task-switching/ multi-tasking. Be that as it may, your site does not have such material on it, and I appreciate that. (I was going to make nasty remarks about some other sites, but caught myself in time.)

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