Personal Reflections

A word about the new design

I have been meaning to change things around here for a while. What started off as a good design has gradually ended up as cluttered, slow, and with multiple ads shoved down its throat. Much of the slowness resulted from the fact that on pageload your browser would scamper off to fetch ads from multiple ad networks. After a point, I realized that all of this was diverging away from the real reason why I started blogging – to display content that I write and like.

So I evaluated the effectiveness of the various ad networks that I was using the result was unequivocal. Barring Google AdSense, every other ad network else is a pile of horsedung that can’t even scratch out a few dollars. Off with their head then. Google AdSense on the other hand is very effective and it pays the bills, so that stays.

When I started to look for a new design, I wanted one that pulled focus towards the content on the blog, rather than navigational elements that are extraneous to the design. This theme that I’m using now is called ‘Wu Wei‘, and it has been designed by Jeff Ngan – apparently according to Taoist principles. (Although, I’m fairly sure the book of Taoist design principles has nothing to say on the subject of AdSense. I had to wing it when integrating ads into my blog.)

Love this new theme!

Update: I forgot to add this. You might have also noticed that I have changed my filing system. The number of categories has been stripped down to a bare minimum. Specific topics that I used to speak about earlier are being tagged as such instead.

Update 2: Shucks, I keep forgetting stuff. Another change that I have made is that I’ve reduced the number of plugins used to just a few backend ones (for better database management, sitemap generation et al). So when you load the page, you don’t have to wait for sharing / PDF printing / podcasting / contact form etc plugins to process the page and then send it your browser. While there were people who were using sharing / PDF printing, if someone wants to really share a link they’ll go ahead and do so anyway. For the rest – and majority – of the readers, reducing plugin usage will significantly speed up pageload speeds. As it is the theme is lean on resources.

(I hope this I’ve covered everything and this is the last ‘update’ I need to make to this blog post.)

9 replies on “A word about the new design”

That’s the point of this design. Less use of colour, or distracting navigation elements, so that people can focus on reading content. For quickly navigating to a particular post on coming to the blog the search option right at the top is the best anyway. I think hardly anyone would be using category / tag / archive pages for navigation.

Perplexingly, the day I changed my theme spam comments shot up significantly on my blog. I take this is a sign from the spammer community that they like this theme too.

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