Testing a New Design, #1 (version 2)

EDIT 2 (2/14/10, 7:13 P.M.): We just may return to this one, but for now the poll and comments are closed, to avoid confusion with the theme that’s about to launch tonight.

EDIT (2/13/10, 9:08 P.M.): I made the main page text larger and darker to give you a better feel for the theme’s potential.

The graphic design I launched over two years ago, on January 14, 2008, has served us well through several hundred posts and several thousand comments. But it is becoming increasingly dated; it had not been updated for quite some time and has not been supported for current editions of WordPress for well over a year.

Over the next week or two, I will be working on a site redesign and testing different themes. Please share your opinion in the poll and/or the comments. Thanks!

Note: I will transplant our favorite sidebars, such as recent comments, to the winning design. I’m not disposed to put that effort into every theme, since that could result in spending more hours working on it than the hours it actually stays up!

[polldaddy poll=2693358]

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30 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I’m not too sure about this format. I like being able to see the last several posts without scrolling but the print is pretty small for me. I’ll be interested to see what other themes you will be trying out!

    • I can easily up the font size, if this one has an overall better response than the others.

  2. I think I could get used to this one. I didn’t care for the last one you tested, but I think I really like this one. Thanks for your hard work…this is one of my favorite SG sites.

  3. the print is to light for older eyes

    • I can probably fix that by upping the font size. What do you think about it otherwise?

      • It is a change I could get use too with a darker text.

      • I voted no without commenting early this morning, but it would be fine if the print were larger AND darker against that light slate background

  4. I’m actually a big fan of this. I can see a lot more stories at one time than I used to, and it’s really obvious how to get to the comments for each post. I can read any one of several stories and find the comments for them without scrolling to look for them. I like having the recent comments and links at the bottom. It’s also an easy navigation.

    • That was what caught my eye about this one.

  5. Love the format.
    What might make it easier to read is having contrasting background and text colors.

    • Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. A sharper black for the text?

      My first comment took a really long time to post; don’t know if it was just my computer or not.

      OK, this one is too.

    • If I keep it, I’ll be doing something about the text.

  6. Yeah, I guess I could get used to it! At least it doesn’t feel like I’ve gotten lost and ended up at someone else’s site. 🙂

    I voted “It’s OK.”

  7. How do I upload a profile image like Amy?

    • Probably it’s a universal gravatar – I think it’s Gravatar.com

    • LOL I didn’t realize I had one here now, but I uploaded it when I started a WordPress blog.

      Not sure whether I want to keep that with me wherever I go or not. 😕

      • You can certainly change it at gravatar.com if you’d like!

  8. I actually love the layout! It saves time by not having to scroll down to find recent entries. I also like that the recent comments are still on the homepage there at the bottom. I see that the print size and font was a problem for many that commented above, but it is not a problem for me personally. I can see everything just fine. From an appeal standpoint, I think it would serve you well, Daniel, to spruce it up a little bit when it comes to things like color and design. I think the layout is perfect and wonderfully functional. However the tan coloring and earthy design is somewhat monotonous and is not as appealing as a different, more bold color. I think if you chose something different, in that respect, it would make it stand out much more for the better. Just my humble opinion. Overall, it is a great change, Daniel!

    • And before I forget again, I’ve been meaning to ask you…is there a way to put an “edit” option on our posts. I cannot tell you how many time I click “add comment” before remembering to proof-read my comment and end up with a messy post. I type so fast, it’s easy to make errors! I would love for an “edit post” feature to be added.

      • I believe the only way to do that is to make commenting membership-based rather than anonymous-guest-who-provides-name-and-email-based.

  9. Daniel, I like this format a lot! The background is a little annoying however. Can you lighten the background?

    I can’t wait to see the next choice!!!

    • Thanks – I’ll keep looking! (And I might return here. We’ll see!)

  10. I don’t mind the formatting – but I don’t really think the look (background, colors, etc.) really fit you. Otherwise I think it’s a nice change!

    • I tend to go with either stately (the last one) or bold (the one I tested a week or two back). This isn’t either, but I like the multi-story layout.

  11. Love it Daniel! 🙂

  12. Daniel, the quality of the site and the ‘solidity’ of the news / info is without question one of the best SG sites. it is my no. 1 check out daily. The committment and consistency to such a quality blog is what makes it work, not the backgroud or design. i think this needs said. Thank you brother.

    That said, the background of the new design seems a bit ‘lite’ and not so ‘solid’, maybe there is an inportant psychological link here! i think the layout is ex and the navigation is simple. the text boxes maybe could be bolder and the contrast stronger, against a more, ahem, ‘solid’ background. More Glen Payne than Mark Lowry! [Love them both].

    • Thanks! And by the way, it is incredibly cool to have a reader stop by from South Africa!

  13. Thank you for darkening the font. The more I open this the more I like it – I open this site several times a day.