Recently I've felt like writing again, but I've felt frustrated with the way that my blog is designed, both in terms of how it looks and how it functions.
I started paulboxley.com in 2010 as a link dump – almost all posts were very short, usually consisting of just a link to another website, an image and a line or two of text.
I chose a 'masonry' style layout as it fitted the kind of content that I tended to post – a kind of personally hosted Pinterest.
There could be any number of columns depending on the width of the user's browser, and individual posts would span either one, two or three of these. Smaller posts would be nestled in around the larger ones.
The design was adequate when I only had shorter posts, but problems arose when I wrote longer blog posts – the smaller posts laid out around the edges would distract from the content of the main post.
I decided it would make more sense to switch to a new layout, and after a few experiments I opted for a three-column layout (degrading to two or one columns on smaller browser windows, but only ever three columns maximum).
Blog posts that I want the reader to focus on now take up all three columns, and link posts take up a single column.
Aside from the layout, the design of the website also needed refreshing, and I have to thank Jonathan Belton for his expert advice in this area! If there are any elements of this site that you think look great then please presume that they were Jonny's idea, and you can likewise presume that any parts that look less good are ones in which I did not listen to Jonny's advice. ;)
I've also made some other changes under the hood. Previously blog posts were stored in files in the git repo which kept things simple, but meant that I couldn't write new posts unless I was near a terminal. Now I'm using a database so I can write and edit posts in a browser (wow, it's like I'm in 2001)!
I'm also toying with the idea of adding comments to the site with something like Disqus. I would prefer if there were a straightforward way to integrate tweets-as-comments, but I'm not sure if such a solution exists. If you know of anything then please tweet me @baxt3r.
I hope you like the new design! Please let me know if you encounter any bugs or problems, and I hope to write again soon. :)