Major Site Redesign

We decided to switch to a 2-column layout with only 1 sidebar, and we added some new features in the process. I’ll highlight the major changes.

The main content column is now wider, making the text easier to read with less scrolling. The remaining sidebar is a bit wider than the old sidebars were individually as well. We’ve moved a lot of the sidebar widgets, so that you’ll have ready access to the most relevant features and content depending on what you’re doing.

You will only see the blog archive widgets (for posts by date, author, categories, and tags) in the sidebar on the various archive pages, for when you’re actually browsing or searching the archives. We’ve long had our Tag Cloud page, also with a tag index, but now we’ve added a Blog Archives page. On this page we’ve embedded the Collapsing Archives, List Authors, and Collapsing Categories sidebar widgets with the Widgets on Pages plugin (and some custom css). When you have a hankering to browse or search the archives, check out these two pages.

By the way, in case you didn’t know, you can subscribe to author-specific and category-specific rss feeds, if you are especially interested in a particular author or topic, by right-clicking on the rss icon beside the author’s or category name, copying the url, and adding it manually to your favorite rss reader.

On all other pages with sidebars, you will find the recent posts and recent comments sidebar widgets. The site visitors and FeedBurner subscribers widgets have been moved to the About page. We switched to the Collapsing Links plugin to minimize the footprint of our blogroll.1

We removed our old popular posts widget from the sidebar entirely and switched to the Popular Posts plugin. Instead of displaying a small sidebar list of the most popular posts for the last 30 days, we recently created the Popular page where you will find lists of our most popular posts and pages (ranked by page views) for the current day, the last 7 days, the last 30 days, and all time.

We hope you’ll find the new layout cleaner and more attractive, providing easier access to more relevant content and features.

  1. It appears there is a strange bug that causes the Collapsing Links widget not to expand. It only seems to work when the Collapsing Archives or Collapsing Categories widget is in the sidebar with it. Hopefully the developer will have this bug fixed soon or we’ll revert to the default links widget.