JoshBetz.com v3.0

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a new website layout and here it is. The logo at the top actually goes back few months when I started a new design to incorporate my portfolio into this website, but ended up ditching the design. After a recent design job, I decided to give it another go. This time I’m very pleased with the results. I took my time, for the most part, and tried not to rush anything. In the end, I couldn’t wait to push the site live though, and it currently is not completely finished. There are probably a handful of little things to go back and finish along with the only major part of the design to finish, the portfolio page. (more…)

Blog Upgrades for May 17th, 2009

I made some changes to the website today and I thought I’d go through an overview.

The first thing you will probably notice when coming to the website is the TweetMeme badges that I’ve put in. I’m not exactly sure how much I like them yet. They don’t look bad or anything, and they’re nice to have on the site, but they seem to slow down the page loads waiting for javascript to load the content from tweetmeme. If you don’t know what TweetMeme is, they’re just a site that keeps track of hot stories on twitter, much like how digg tracks stories, but TweetMeme does it automattically by watching retweets.

I also added a short URL to single posts. It’s alot like using tinyurl, except that you’re not relying on another site’s database to serve the links. It’s quite simple and much safer than using tinyurl or the digg bar. The default permalink style on WordPress blogs is “http://domain.tld/p=?<post-number>”. This is much shorter than the permalink styles that most of us use. It turns out that these links still work and actually redirect to the permalink structure that is setup.

The last thing I did today was change the way the date archive links are displayed on the archives page. I liked how Matt Mullenweg was displaying his links, so i copied him a little bit. This one was a little bit harder to setup, but with some searching through the WordPress documentation, I found some functions that helped me out. Now the links are displayed as “Year: January / February / March / etc…”. I put options in the function to optionally make the years links, choose the seperator, and a class name for the years. Each year is a list-item, so I have the function call enclosed by an unordered-list.
As I was making these new changes, I realized that I have good plugins in my functions.php file right now that I should probably publish as plugins. The first one is a change that I made last week that counts the number of images in a gallery. The second one returns a gallery thumbnail even if the first image in the gallery was removed, which i was having a hard time accomplishing with my last theme. And then that one for my archives.

New ‘REtro’ Theme

I just activated the new theme I’ve been working on for the past week. Even though it’s not 100% completed, I wanted to get it up so I could see how it acted live on the site. So far it seems to be working great. Here are the top 10 things I need to fix:

  1. Link Colors: The color that I picked for links is too light and needs to be a little darker on the white background.
  2. Pre-Load Navbar: There’s a delay when you mouse over the navbar right after the page loads. I need to preload the images on pageload so that they appear right away.
  3. The ‘the_tags()’ function seems to be broken on most pages. I’m not sure what’s going on with that, I’ll have to investigate.
  4. Hide overflow on #content.
  5. Put photo info in the sidebar on the individual photo pages.
  6. pre load down state of the search button
  7. display pingbacks and trackbacks
  8. make a submit button for the comments form and contact form
  9. make a “down-over” arrow for comment replies
  10. fix styling on the facebook connect button
The old theme with the new theme, side-by-side
The old theme with the new theme, side-by-side

Update: I also changed the upload sizes for gallery images, so I’m going to have to download the originals and batch contvert them to the new sizes. Should be fun!

Blog-Style Homepage, Again

So, I’m back to the original, blog-style homepage. I like the old homepage design I had, with the three little sections at the bottom, but I had nothing else to put there. It really just links to the blog. What’s the point? I want people to find the blog anyway, and then if they’re interested in finding out about me, or contacting me, or seeing my photos they’re there. The homepage was just two recent blog posts, a recent photo album, and a link to the blog.

I guess there’s still a possibility of me going back to that layout, so I still have that page on here for now, but the homepage goes back to the blog. Right now it makes more sense, and it’s easier for me. So that’s that.

Update: And… the old permalinks are still the same, so I don’t even have to worry about that. Good deal.