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’tis the season for redesigning?

Posted February 5th, 2009. Filed under Personal

I’m going with a mostly text minimalist theme called Grady.  I’ve already done a pretty good amount of customization (most notably, killing the sidebar, resizing the content area, making this a single column theme).  I needed a test post, so this is a test post about testing my new design. :)

Index page
Title of the page. In place, SEO stuff is missing though?  Page title’s for individual posts seem to be broken, to be fixed (high importance).
Site name. Check, clickable.
Description/tag line. Replaced by twitter status, looks to be working just fine.
Header image. No header image, by design.
Favicon. Present and accounted for.
Excerpts, Thumbnails and Full Posts. The index is showing full posts, no excerpts here :)
Post Titles/Permalinks. Permalinks working, single post pages look fine.
Comment links. Comment counts are good.  Comment form works.
Categories/Tags.  Category links displayed and working.  No tag links, by design.
Meta description. Meta-tags in source are intact.
Index sidebar (s), navigation links and footer
Widget enabled theme. Sidebar (painstakingly) removed from this theme, by design.
Widget order. See above.
Links in widgets the sidebar. See above.
Site wide navigation Relocated to the header.  Navigation looks good and works well.
Archive pages - tags, categories, sitemap, and date based
Index page tests.  Category archives only, again by design.  Other posts are listed chronologically but there is no date-based archive (who wants to see what I posted in March 2008?)
Single Post pages
Title bar. Sitename is missing.  SEO plugin needs some checking.
Post Title. Post Title is present and clickable.
Comment links. No comment links near the title.  This is OK, I think.  There are comment links near the title on the blog front page and the comment form itself is below the post on single post pages, where you would expect to find it.  Comment counts are working.
Next/Previous post links. Displayed below the post, work well.
Page layout. Again, no sidebars, header navigation present, footer present.
Categories and tags. Category displayed and clickable, possibly a spacing issue though for the category name.
Breadcrumbs. None.
Comment and Trackbacks
Comment form. Present, functional.
Comments. Comments and comment counts work.  Gravatars missing!  Another “must fix”.
Trackbacks. Trackbacks work fine.
Test comment. Test comment submitted, fine.
Comment feed. Comment feed works, but perhaps I should make it more discoverable?
Subscribe by email. Email subscriptions broken?  Will investigate this one too.
Comment subscriptions. Subscribe to comments option
Regular pages
Comments on pages.  Disabled
Sidebars. None :)
Page hierarchy. Is the hierarchy displayed the way you want it to be? How about your permalink?
Repeat all the tests for the single post pages.
Images and image links
Images. Images load, alt text works.
Larger image. Images link to themselves, works.
RSS feed
New post. Rss feed functional, full posts.
RSS Link.  Double checked, working
Errors and Redirects
404 page.  404 page works well, usefulness++.
Redirects.  None.
Contact form (if applicable)
Send a test email. Contact form works, could use some restyling to match the rest of the theme.
Confirmation. Required field check works, confirmation appears appropriately.  Restyling is in order, again.

8 Responses so far

  1. Steven F says:

    Theme is nifty, but I still read your (and other) blog via google reader. I only see your theme now that I’m telling you I never see your theme.

    Aahh, now I get it 😎

  2. Steven F says:

    also, can all of the comments for your blog be RSS’d, sort of like Disqus? I don’t want to RSS for each blog post’s comments.

  3. Dan Hughes says:

    Hey man. The old feed is indeed still working… at least it did til this post. Did you change it after? Make a new post so I can tell 😛

  4. kwjr says:

    Yea, the old feed is working. For some reason, i couldn’t get feedburner to update properly, then realized I hadn’t migrated my account to Google, so I finally did migrate and they spat a new feed URL back at me with all my posts in it. I assumed that meant I had a new feed URL, but turns out the old one works just fine. So, um, yea… ignore my email 😛

  5. This is probably the tallest comment form I’ve ever seen. It takes up more than a screenful on my rather tall monitor.

    The header is rather tall too, IMO.

    And why’s the search button at the top redirect you all the way to the bottom? Novel, but I dunno. I kinda side with Mark Pilgrim on this one: “Site search form? Already exposed via OpenSearch. Axed. (This is a bit harsh. I suspect very few people know what it means when their search box starts blushing blue — that they can drop down the list of search providers and add a site search. But my access logs show very few people use my site search in the first place; many, many more people simply use a general-purpose search engine with the words “diveintomark” or “mark pilgrim” appended to their query.)”

    I like dated permalinks, but these are good too. Hopefully you made sure the old permalinks still work? If not, perhaps the Redirection plugin would be useful to you: http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/redirection/

    Granted, I would take some offense to you saying these sorts of things about my current design, so feel free to delete this comment. 😉

  6. Also, moderation? Get Spam Karma 2 and don’t worry about moderation. Ever. 😉

  7. @Steve: Yeah, the comments feed is available through the browser.

  8. kwjr says:

    Answers for Andrew :)

    Yes the comment form is tall. This is the theme’s default setup, not my design. I do intend to tweak it, but for the record, on my screen which is only 800 pixels tall, i can see everything from the “Leave Your Own Comment” heading down to the Submit button and the “Notify me…” check box on one screen. Just sayin’ 😛

    The header doesn’t feel too tall to me (what is it with you and hating tall headers? (6)) This theme emphasizes white space, so its really not a “tall” header, its just spacious. I like it. I might tweak it a bit, but don’t expect to see it too much smaller.

    Concerning the search box, NO ONE uses the search box on my blog. I know I’ve definitely never used a search box on someone’s personal blog. I tend to use Google Reader’s search. If I’m looking for something on a blog, chances are highly like it’s a blog to which I am subscribed. I’m ok with my search box being out of the way at the bottom of the screen. When you don’t have a sidebar to work with, search needs to go in either the header or footer. The footer is a better solution than letting an unused search box eat up valuable first-screenful real estate in the header. I’d much rather have the extra whitespace in the header.

    My permalinks are handled by the All in One SEO pack plugin. It handles the redirection thing just fine. That plugin (and this permalink structure) has done wonders for my search engine rank. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/ I’m currently the 4th result returned by the “Kenneth Wilson” query. I used to be on the 3rd page of results (behind Nobel winners and lawyers and car dealers).

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