With my family out of town most of the weekend, I sat myself in front of this screen for a better part of 28 hours playing catch up and doing some much needed maintenance on this site. I know that some of you are tinkerers and somehow set time aside regularly to tweak and adjust but with client work, family time and the hundreds of other things I fill my days with, I rarely take the time to do proper adjustments.
The design itself hasn’t changed too much other than moving back to a three-column layout that I originally launched with. In doing so, quite a bit of time was spent having to go back and tweak older post images/videos to fit into the now skinnier main-column width. For the pixel nerds, I went from 700px down to 500px with a left column of 220px and a right of 180px. Mix in a little margin and you’ve got yourself a website. While it’s not built on the 960.gs, it is 960px wide. I also tweaked the font-size down slightly just to account for the new page length. Hope readability doesn’t become an issue.
I have intentions of building one of those Weightshift-based home pages like several of you have done but being as un-photogenic as I am, I don’t have a decent enough image to work with yet. Add to the fact that I’m slightly concerned with messing up my Google mojo by forcing my TLD to it, I might still end up doing it but it will probably be more like some of you who go with iam.christianross.net or me.christianross.net.
In lieu of creating a fancy full-screen background page, I spent a bit of time updating an About page with things that people might be interested in: standard bio info, places to connect with me, people I connect with regularly either online or off, my current setup and even a list of clients I have had the fortune to work with over the last few years. Granted, as it is for most, it serves as a list of clients that will garner more attention when new potential clients come knocking. I have plenty of Joe the Plumber’s I could include as well and have as much gratitude and respect for each of them and their business partnership.
Nothing fancy here but I did tweak my form a bit and have a little ways further to go with it. Right now it’s functioning well and in a better position than it was three days ago. Also added a reason for contacting with a little hidden feature if you’re actually contacting me for a quote.
With the addition of the about page, it gave me the opportunity to slim down my footer a bit. Again nothing out of the ordinary here but I feel like it breathes a little better now.
Similar to falling dominoes, several things were affected in the process. My previous search bar was in the footer but to free up space and make it slightly more noticeable for users, I moved it to the header bar. I didn’t like having five full words up in the navigation so I instead opted for a small icon and a hidden search bar that slides in and out as needed. Details.
If you’re visiting the site itself right now, you can probably see that I’ve avoided mentioning the newest addition to my site which comes in the form of a single ad in the right sidebar. While I can see that some might be off-put by this fact, I am quite excited about it and honored to have the opportunity to display it. The Fusion Ads network is an invite-only network and I am grateful that Chris and the other guys behind it felt my content was at high enough level to be included. You will never see more than one ad per page and you will probably find that many of them will actually be services or products that relate to you in some form or fashion.
As for placement, I originally designed the ad to align to the top of the most recent post or page title, it seemed like the most logical place. I wasn’t fully happy with the implementation and my feelings were solidified with a little push from Dave on what I should do with it. I decided that I wanted it to have a bit of interaction with the site so I reached out to Jonathan Christopher for a bit of help. I knew what I wanted and Jonathan was both quick to respond and helpful in his direction, can’t thank him enough for this one. Hopefully you’ve seen by now that when you scroll, the Fusion Ad box moves up the page to a certain spot and then stops and follows you down as you read more. Not only am I happy with this result, I was able to learn a bit in the process. Win, win.
My Work section badly needs an overhaul in both functionality and work displayed. I should probably just schedule some time in the next week or two to make it happen. I’ve also started jotting some notes and ideas for what I want to do with my actual business site which is in worse shape than this one itself was, cobbler’s kids.