A new lick of paint

September 29, 2012

So as you might have noticed, I have redesigned The Watchful Ear again. This is the fourth look that the blog has had now, if you count the barely designed at all first incarnation of the site. I have redesigned the site this time for a number of reasons. As I have now stopped writing here every day there will be less meaningless posts, and the content should at least appear a little more professional. This then allows me to make the site more of a magazine style affair than the previous diary-like approach to things. I hope to approach some elements of  the blog a little differently over the next few months as well, and a fresh start to the site will assist with this also.  The last design was also put together in a hurry after its predecessor fell apart following a server upgrade, and it has never fully worked properly, from my end at least. Just recently it had begun to corrupt a little as well as the theme software became a little outdated, so an overhaul was long overdue anyway. I would also be not telling the truth if I didn’t admit that I rather enjoy designing websites as well, so in many ways the new, somewhat different look to the blog just reflects me keeping myself amused.

So the front page here looks very different, with a lot of little images and without a long stream of text the minute you log in. The idea is that visitors will be encouraged to browse around different posts rather than merely read the latest review, but fear not regular readers, the latest post will always appear in the top left hand corner of the site, and if you don’t log in for a few days and are worried about missing anything there is still a chronological list of recent posts at the foot of the page. Not everything works here yet, and I will be continuing to refine the site for several weeks. Once everything is done there will be a fully operational and accurate indexing system, and every review post will be relabelled and categorised so as to be easier to find and easier to track down for those arriving here via search engines. I have begun reformatting every one of the 1500 posts here, and have completed the last few months of material already so that everything linked to from the current front page works properly with the new site, but anyone that looked back through the archives of the site over the last six months or so will have noticed a number of corruptions making text difficult to read, and it will take me quite a while to go back over everything here and fix it all, but I intend to do so.

The new layout here then for review posts is designed to be very minimal and clean, hopefully making for a more readable experience. Older posts that I have not been able to go back and fix yet will show an additional unwanted image for a while until I have  sorted them out, and some old reviews with particularly small images may look a bit blurry until everything is resolved, but I hope that in general the site not only looks nicer but also is easier to read. Feedback is of course welcome. Leave a comment below or drop me an email with your thoughts if you wish. There will be reviews posted here both tomorrow and Sunday as well.

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