TBP Redesign: Final Thoughts

The blog redesign is now just about finished. There are still a handful of tweaks left, but I am 90% of the way there.  The feedback from readers — see this and this — was very helpful.

I have seen immediate improvement in the site:  The main page loads 4X faster; it now generates much more detailed page analytics (what people are and are not clicking on/reading); the page views/visitor have increased. The average length of time per post has also increased.

Based on your comments and emails, here are the changes I implemented:

• Changed the color scheme from candy color to something more subdued

• Reduced the size of the artwork (“marginalia”)

• Reduced the size and color of the navigation links in the header

• Removed the Twitter/Facebook/G+/Linked In  icons from all 10 home page posts (only on the top/open post)

• Removed superfluous content in the sidebar

• Reduced the number of adverts on the page;

Since the last few iterations, the site is light and fast and pleasing to the eye.

I still think the navigation links up top are too big and spread out – since the way I run my business is strictly word of mouth and referral, I prefer these to be smaller and less in your face. Also, I think I can get rid of “Home” and just go with: Asset Management/Speaking/Book /Contact.

I still have a few other things left to tweak:

• Reduced the size of icons next to each headline ((I’d like to make those icons about 30-40% less large on the page as well)

• Reduce navigation links down a font size

• Replace blue Favicon with old color (black & tan)

• Make the “Read More” red or more visible

The 5 little icons correlate to the tabs in the old design. According to Google Analytics, those old icons were hardly clicked. The reason, I assume, is as soon as you scrolled an inch or two, they were off your screen.

Your most emailed questions and their answers are after the jump . . .

Q: I don’t like clicking to open each new post.

A:When we had all 10 posts open, it loaded very slowly. The new version does not have to load 10 posts of graphics, charts, videos, etc. And, I now get analytics as to what specific posts you folks actually are reading. Its a huge improvement

Q: I am reluctant to click on something that I may not like.

A: You have to have a wee bit of faith in me that I ain’t publish crap — I would hope that after 11 years, 25,000 posts and a 137 million page views, I have earned at least a teeny bit of trust. Besides, its a click — what’s that cost you?

Q: I might be interested in posts if you gave me more info — a teaser paragraph

A: That’s a really good idea. Currently, the teaser intro is automated (the first XX words), but I can use a specific excerpt as a teaser (I just have to remember to cut & paste it each post).

Q: Sometimes the home page loads slowly.

A: Its likely the adverts. When we see an add slowing the site down it gets tossed. (Please email me if an ad is problematic)

Q: Could you set it up so that the post expands within the open page like Andrew Sullivan or FT Alphaville does?

A: I am looking into that; but note that Sullivan is now a subscription site. He bills his readers for the extra bandwidth programming costs!

Q: I don’t care for the mobile site you developed with OnSwipe. 

A: I love it! Its functional, easy to navigate and looks great, Besides, you can always default back to the desktop version.


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