Last week I quietly re-launched carriedils.com. I say “quietly” because I knew there were bugs and I didn’t want to broadcast to the world. So why the heck did I launch an unfinished site? Well, I’d rather push something out the door that’s not 100% polished than sit on it indefinitely. As Matt Muellenweg put it so well, if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.
You may not give a rat’s patootie about the new look around here, in which case, I suggest leaving to view this video. For those of you who are curious, I’d like to share the reasons behind what I did and how I hope that better serves the needs of you, my readers. To do my telling, I’ll start with an old English rhyme referring to what a bride should wear for good luck on her wedding day.
I started with something old… my blog. Everything’s still pretty much the same except for more well-defined category navigation and an added search component (the fact that I turned to Google to find my content instead of using my site was a clue that it was time to add better search).
A few months ago I started a weekly podcast called Genesis Office Hours. Each week I go live on the air with successful folks in the WordPress community and take questions sent in via our Google+ community or Twitter (#gohchat).
Let me tell you something: I’m having a blast doing the podcast and participation/engagement continues to grow. But you’d never know it from looking at my website. From now on, I’ll highlight upcoming podcasts on the home page and use a dedicated podcast page as a launchpad for folks to find episodes live (and past).
An important thing to note: I’ll no longer send out my show notes to my regular blog subscribers. Instead, I’ve set up a separate email list just for GOH folks and I’ll send a reminder email before each episode if you want to tune in to watch or have questions for the guests. I really hope you’ll join in one of these Thursdays – I guarantee you a fun show and you might even learn something. 😉
Once upon a time, there was a podcast that was so amazing that the only title that could reflect the level of awesome that was WP Bacon. But then the amazing creators of WP Bacon moved on to other projects … and left a pretty sweet theme behind. So, I borrowed some inspiration and code base from the WP Bacon theme.
I deconstructed it thoroughly and put it back together again with the components that made sense for this site. Mostly, I loved the podcast archives layout, so thanks to Rob Neu for creating the wheel that enabled me not to have to re-create a wheel. Or something like that.
Earlier this year I shared that web accessibility was on my mind. Making my site more accessible has stayed on the front burner, so part of the ongoing improvements to my theme (and content) will involve tackling poor accessibility one issue at a time. The first issue out the gate (and where the “something blue” comes from) is my color scheme. For folks who can’t decipher colors well, contrast is very important. To help with readability, I used a color contrast checker to help select the colors for the site.
I still have a lot of improvements to make where accessibility is concerned, but we each have to start somewhere, right?
So this is it!
If you’re still around for the end of this article, thanks for sticking with me through the changes and please let me know if there’s something else you’d like to see on carriedils.com.