Back in action! New Blog Design!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m one of the Unique Blog Designs founders. I started this personal blog back in July of 2007, and had it running for a few months. With the launch of UBD, I ended up spending all of my time working on the business, and designing for clients of ours. A blog-hiatus ensued, if you will.

Finally, a few months ago I finally sat down and began working on my personal blog design which was in need of desperate help. There’s something wrong when you’re a blog designer who uses a free theme for your personal blog… Anyways, I spent an entire weekend working on this design, and it turned out very well. Most of the designs I produce are spec’ed out by our clients, so having free-reign was great.

99% of blogs have white or light backgrounds and dark text (for obvious reasons) but I decided against that. I really enjoy the look and feel of dark backgrounds, so I readily employed the look on this design. Initially, it was just the solid grey of the mid-section, but Nate Whitehill came up with the idea of having a concrete texture to give it a bit of an “urban” feel. Aside from that, colors just kind of flowed and I think I accomplished a good, clean feel for the blog.

Placing pictures at the beginning of posts is a very popular choice, and something I employed on my previous design. For this design, though, I decided to fix the picture element and use custom fields so that it fixes the image into place without me having to edit it within the post. The picture does a good job of visually separating the posts, which is something a lot of blogs have trouble with. Also, I wanted to make each element its own “island. This results in an easy-to-navigate layout with strong visual separation.

Magazine themes are all the rage, nowadays. Landing pages with videos, hordes of posts, ads, etc. are the “normal” for premium design. I wanted to veer away from that for a few reasons:

  • I don’t have too many readers yet, so no need for advertising.
  • I haven’t written too many posts, so no need for clever content navigation.
  • I don’t plan on doing regular podcasts or vlogging.
  • I just like the plain layout. 🙂

Now, that being said, I do have a few cool things going on here. First of which is the dom-tab element which features my favorite posts, recent comments, and popular posts. Dom-tabs are a great way to consolidate sidebar elements! Sometimes scrolling down for links or content can be a pain in the butt… or maybe I’m just e-lazy.

I’ve also truncated my posts, so you can navigate 3-per-page. Down at the bottom you’ll notice the page navigation tabs. I prefer this style of nav over the traditional “recent posts” element. Can’t say if there is any real benefit, I just like the look. ^_-

The last little bit that I customized was the social bookmarking at the end of posts. Nothing special… but it looks cool. I was getting tired of seeing the Share This or Add This buttons, albeit they do have awesome functionality.

Hopefully you’ll be coming back to check out my views on business, tips and tricks with design, wordpress help, and general ramblings.

Thanks for checking out my new blog design. I’ve left up all of my old posts so read back through for some cool tips and ramblings. Feel free to ask questions in the comments area, I’ll do my best to answer everyone.

32 thoughts on “Back in action! New Blog Design!

  1. Thanks, Kevin! Both for your compliments and that very kind write-up you just did!

    Whoops… favicon, indeed. ^_^

  2. Slick design. Very subtle and laid back.

    The reflections and shadows give it an interesting depth.

    I approve 🙂

  3. A lot of UBD designs just are not very good and are very similar with different side bars. They all use the same techniques and effects – right when you get to the page you know it’s a UBD theme w/o even going to the footer. While that can be a good thing, I do believe it’s not in this case – no variety at all.
    With that said, I do like this theme, it’s very well thought out.

  4. Roger: Thanks, bro!

    David: Coming from someone of your skill level and reputation, it’s a huge compliment. Thanks!

    Rummuser: Thank you for your compliment. I don’t understand the question, though…

    Chris: Thanks for your compliment. Haha long long time, indeed!

  5. This design rocks!! I love the little touches that make it complete, like the great comment design and the sharing / bookmarking icons at the bottom of the post. You took time with every detail. Sweet!

  6. Thanks, Andrew! I just checked out your blog and read about how your run your law practice. Very, very cool. You’re ahead of your time. 🙂

  7. This is one gnarly of ’em thumbs up moments.. emm do you intend to have a “Free version” lol.. anyway wish you the best in your entrepreneurial endeavors Matt!

  8. I am using the money marker theme on my new blog and its awesome and easy to use. Thank You! It made my life easy compared to other templates out there. I plan to look at your other templates to replace themes I have on other blogs.

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