I am in the midst of doing something of a spring clean at home. The hobby room has just been done and I am now trying to bring some sort of order to the kitchen, largely by trying to make better use of the pantry. The living room is next, though that really doesn’t need much done to it.
In addition to the efforts to reorganise the house, I’ve also done a bit of a reorganisation of the blog. I was getting a bit tired of how it looked and some little things were starting to niggle at me. After I’d made the changes, it occurred to me that the blog hadn’t really changed that much since it started back in 2016. Naturally, I hopped into the Wayback Machine to go take a peek at how we used to look!
Look at the corners of those images! How fancy were we, pals? Oh, my, so dainty! Looking at it now, I don’t get why I was so attached to that cracked leather-style background, but it would stay right up until this very week!
I did switch things up a little in 2018, however:
I switch layouts, largely because I was getting sick of those featured images with the odd corners. I switched to the theme that I would keep right up until earlier today. I liked how it used the featured images, overlaying the article slightly over the picture. The side bar, although you cannot see it here, was also a bit better. And hey, look, I brought that stupid background texture with me! Yay!
The other big addition that this layout brought was in the banner images. I had a lot of fun choosing making banners for the blog. I put a lot of time into them and was delighted than they would appear on a rotation. I could do similar with this layout, but it takes up a lot of space and you have to scroll pretty far to get to the content. Here are some of the banners I’m going to miss:
They’re cool! I especially love the Snakes and Ladders, Triple Triad, and Rick & Morty ones. I like that the board game shelf picture and the Rick and Morty banner were both from photos that I took, as well!
A year or so later I added in another new element to the blog in the form of our featured content block:
I really liked this addition. I liked that it set my proper, original content apart from the roundup posts and bundle reviews. I liked that I could put an article up front and be proud to show it off. Yeah, this was cool!
The thing is, but this point the blog had been around since 2016 and, left unminded, that longevity was hurting some of the layout. The archive widgets in the sidebar and in the footer were huge, listing dozens upon dozens of individual months, stretching the page down and down and down. It was distorting the layout.
There was a simple solution to this, of course. I just had to switch the archive to be a dropdown menu, rather than one big, long, always-visible list. But, wait, hold on a second. If I’m in here anyway, moving things around and making changes, how about just changing things up anyway?
I’m a lot happier with our new look. It feel neater and tighter. I like the triple clumns of content, and the trio of featured articles. I could put a banner at the top, like I did previously, but I actually like the simplicity of not having it there.
I like the the sidebar and footer are both tidier, and I love how the article are presented, using their featured images and showing preview text on a mouseover. The new layout actually has me a bit more enthused about the blog, generally!
So there we are, a nice new layout for this new decade. Chuffed.