Java, Sneezing, and a Better Blog

Photo Credit scukrov @ stockfresh

Continuing my quest to better my blog on days 4 and 5 I worked on setting up topical pages and reworking my header graphic.  Here’s what I did and why.

Setting Up Topical Pages

This is using the ideas in ProBlogger’s “Sneeze Pages” concept.

The goal is to make it super easy to find the best resources I offer by topic instead of just seeing a list of my most recent posts on a topic.

I’ve changed the bar just under my header graphic to go to these new pages by topic instead of my old blog categories.

So, for example, you’ll get this: (work in progress :-) )

Instead of this:

Reworking the Header Graphic

This was my old blog header:

And the new one:

Some of the changes I made:

  • new photo (I wasn’t crazy about the old one)
  • less text, it was too much!
  • more personality
  • easier to tell right away what topics you’ll find on my site

Here’s a video of my changes and some of my reasoning:

What do you think?  Am I moving the right direction?  Are any of these tips helpful for your own blog?

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jaime. Jaime said: RT @michelleshaeffr: Blog: Java, Sneezing, and a Better Blog #blogboost […]

  2. I love your header! It’s definitely much easier to tell at a quick glance what you’re site’s about and the sort of atmosphere you want to create for people. I also love the idea of sneeze pages. I used that idea on one of my sites, but I plan to use them more. I agree that it’s an easier method of navigation.

  3. LOVE the new header! Much more ‘You’ :) It makes everything look fresh and clean. The “sneeze” pages are pretty awesome too. I get frustrated with some blogs and navigation just going straight to categories, it does make it hard to find things despite the idea that it might actually help. Good job :)

  4. Hi Michelle, I love the styling of your site. Do you mind me asking what theme / template you have used? :)

    1. Hi Trudy, I don’t mind at all. I’m not much good at keeping resources secret. LOL It’s the Gazette theme from WooThemes. I really like it. I’ve also used a lot of the Studio Press themes and they’re excellent.

  5. Michelle,

    I do like your new header and the changes you made in your navigation bar. Much easier to navigate. I like your new pic too. Much funner…you.

  6. Michelle,

    Missed saying that I do love your sneeze pages. I have noticed this in several big blogs. It is like a site map and so much easier. I also on my list of things to do.

    I really like seeing the changes and your think on making them. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Sheila. It’s more fun since I get to share what I’m doing and why.

      And I’ve been paying more attention myself to the layout/design/usability on blogs I visit and watching what’s working. Who am I to argue with smart people/success? LOL

  7. Lookin’ way cool – especially your header! You’re right. It seems a lot easier to navigate around here and I, for one, am grateful you’re working diligently to make these changes, Michelle. Why? Because I pop over here a lot to look for stuff, that’s why!

    However, I must be honest. If you hadn’t decided to do the remodel, I would still stop by and spend as much time as I needed to find what I was looking for. You’re worth it.

    1. Thanks, Melanie. I appreciate that! I hope it will make things easier to find though because if I can’t find it on my own blog… that tells me I’ve got a problem to fix. LOL

  8. Hi, i do like your layout/set up however One thing that is extremely annoying to me is the fact that right here on the left where there is the facebook share and the other things under it like submit, tweets, email alerts. it is in the same exact area that ALL your actual text for each post is, so it it covering up the entire post and i have to keep scrolling up/down to figure out just a few words to see what the post is about. i think the sharing thing on the bottom is quite enough without the side things too.

    1. Hey Mari, I appreciate the feedback. I’ve had one other reader mention that to me and I’m looking at options to get it to auto-hide itself if someone’s on a narrow screen. :)

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