New blog design

New blog design

New blog design

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 22 2007 2:45 PM

New blog design

I redesigned the blog layout.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Duh.

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I did it for lots of reasons. One is that I didn't like the old design. I put it together myself based on someone else's design, and the person who coded the style originally had lots of weird stuff in it, making it really hard to adjust. Second, I wasn't happy with the layout; it was too scattered. Third, I had so many kludges in the WordPress code that I dreaded upgrades; it meant a lot of taking notes, rewriting, debugging. Now most of that sort of thing is located in the "theme", the style files. That'll make upgrades much smoother (and I'll note that this redesign was prompted in part due to pressure to upgrade to the latest WP release). Fourth, the big square Google ad is now gone, so the actual content of the post has physically moved up. Impact: more of the newest entry can be seen, so less scrolling for you.

One major difference, of course, is that the sidebars are now together on the right side. That should make it easier to read the content. A major change you might not actually notice is that the content section (where the blog entry sits) is now much wider; 570 pixels versus 485. That means images can be bigger, and on an astronomy blog that's important.

Another change is that the left sidebar menu is gone, and the menu to the main site is now located as a button at the top of the page, below the logo. I'm not thrilled with that aspect, but I'm trying to figure out a better way. I'm happy to hear suggestions!

I may still fiddle with things, like the colors and such. I'm thinking of making the gray darker. We'll see. I have some other changes coming, and I'll mention those when the time comes. For now, though, if anything goes wrong, post a comment. If you like or don't like something, post a comment. I may or may not do anything about it. :-)