As someone who prefers to write and code, I get really hung up on creating a fresh website design. Every so often, however, I feel like I’ve really nailed it. Now is one of those times.
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Fresh Website Design
Recently, I took it upon myself to change the way pages and posts look on my website, and I’m quite happy with the change. Let’s take a look:
At the bottom of every article, I used to have an author bio which displayed information about the post author like a biography with a few social media links. As my number of authors grows, I’ve been finding it hard to get everyone to keep their bio up to date.
As a solution, I’ve chosen to remove the author bios altogether. That doesn’t mean their profiles are gone. Instead, each user has an author page which includes links to all of their articles. On this page, you’ll find a brief profile at the top. For example, check out my author page.
In addition to author bios, I’ve also removed all sharing icons and related articles. As much as I love Jetpack, I’ve found that both of these features are severely lacking. For instance, the sharing icons are extremely bare bones, and I don’t have many customization options. As a result, they look sort of out-of-place.
Meanwhile, the related articles give just as much trouble. On a desktop, they function fine. However, they don’t collapse well on a phone, and I think it looks bad.
As a result, I’ve removed both features in order to keep the article space clean as the theme intended.
Moved Jetpack Ads
The removal of the related posts and sharing icons has freed up some space for advertisements. Now, when you make it to the bottom of a post, you’ll be greeted by two advertisements just above the comments section. Personally, I think this is the least intrusive way to include ads, so I like it.
In addition, I’ve removed the large skyscraper ad from my sidebar. Now, users will be greeted with an ad-free webpage until they reach the bottom of an article.
Added Plugins for Removed Features
To compensate for the lack of share icons and related posts, I’ve chosen to install a couple new plugins: AddToAny and Contextual Related Posts. With these plugins, I was able to move all of those missing features to the sidebar.
Now, you be able to share any page from the sidebar. In addition, you’ll find that even pages have related articles now. Likewise, you can find all my social media accounts from the sidebar.
To make things even easier, I’ve added a nice photo of myself to the sidebar with a brief description of the site as well as links to what I think is important for a casual visitor. You can see all that stuff to the right of this article—or below if you’re on mobile.
We’ll see how the changes work out, but so far I’m very happy with them. Now, new users of the site will instantly see related articles as they’re reading. In addition, they’ll know exactly how they can support the site if they found value in it. That sure beats a giant skyscraper ad and a sad attempt at a call to action.
At any rate, let me know how you like the fresh website design below in the comments.