World of Matticus Gets a New Face Lift

World of Matticus Gets a New Face Lift

rebirth

Of course, sneaky tech savvy blog readers (or even Google RSS readers) would have been able to access the blog while I was undergoing upgrades. That flimsy placeholder page does absolutely nothing to restrict people. Need to find me a maintenance mo

If my blog was my toon, I’d go all out on it trying to maximize rep and getting all the necessary gear to make it better. Looking at it now, I think I did a pretty good job! You can tell what how much a blogger loves their work by not only the way they write but how they present it.

Let’s discuss the set bonuses features about the new look, eh?

Front page
  • Same blue Matticus: The blues are staying. It’s the official colors of the Alliance and it’ll be the official colors of Matticus.
  • Featured video: On the right side, Wyn and I have the option of embedding interesting videos there that we think our readers would love. They don’t have to be necessarily WoW related. For example, if you play it now you’ll recognize the tune from the Macbook Air commercial (which I believe is very fitting for the occasion).
  • Individual author avatars: This wasn’t a problem months ago as I was the only writer. But with the embrace of a coblogger and accepting guest posts, identity becomes much more important. Cemented with 110 x 110 pixels of writers.
  • Headline ticker: Don’t miss out on the latest highlight reel posts. You’ll notice the massive billboard-like plugin at the top. It will cycle through 5 recent posts that we think you’ll enjoy!
  • Advertising: Yes, advertising has become a little more prominent. They won’t interfere with the content (due to tactical and strategic placement). However, if you don’t want to be exposed to them, why not subscribe to my RSS Feed or via EMail above instead?
  • Expanded blogroll: The recommended reading on the sidebar has been expanded to encompass more blogs. Criteria? Bribery.
  • Tag cloud: Categories have disappeared from the side. Instead, you can find random “streams of thought”. The cloud functions as a keyword type thing. Actively discussed topics are the ones that are in large fonts.
  • Refined categories: Instead of being on the side, categories now appear at the top beneath the pages. Mousing over them reveals a javascript powered drop down menu that will take you to the posts that match what you’re dying to find out more of.
Article page

I’ve not only refined the look of the blog, but I’ve taken care to add extra details to the post pages themselves. Take a gander:

  • Breadcrumb trail: Never get lost again! A breadcrumb trail at the top of each post will let you know where you are at all times.
  • Related Articles: Not sure where to go after you’re done? At the bottom of every post has a list of suggested reading to follow up on.
  • Share this: If you like a particular article or post, why not share it with a friend or guildmate? Supports multiple avenues like Digg, Stumbleupon, and Technorati. You can even share it on your Blogger or WordPress blog (Twitter and Typepad too!)
  • Gravatar support: Gravatar support has finally been implemented. Now you can have your own cool image to help distinguish you from the rest!
  • Comment and trackback separation: In the past, I found it confusing to read through comments and click on trackback links from other blogs. Sometimes I would forget to visit the other blogs because I was so enamored with the comments. No more! When viewing posts, you’ll see the comments by readers first and then link backs from other blogs and sites at the bottom.
  • Commentluv support: Not exactly new, but I never announced it either. If you’re a blogger who posts a comment, the blog will automatically try to pull the latest headline from your blog.
Temporary
  • Banner and header: That will change. I’m going to try and enlist the design skills and support of the same guy that designed the Plusheal banner.
  • Twitter: I found a nifty spot for it in the top right corner. I did a lot of changes to it but I can’t see the little Twitterbird icon. I hope it shows up. Otherwise people will wonder what that random block of text means.

Whew. Time spent? Well over 20 hours. Now I can stop tinkering, coding, and tweaking and get back to the real fun stuff of writing posts!

Actually, I’m late for my raid. Oof!

An Explanation is in Order for the New Look

In short, my blog broke. Something bad happened with the numerous scripts that has occurred. As such, this has forced my hand. I’ve been meaning to work on a new layout for some time over the winter break before New Years. Now technical difficulties have ramped up the schedule a lot. School just started for me so I’ll need to work swiftly. I had narrowed down my theme choices to a few and this was one of them. Customization tends to take a bit of time. This will be no different.

So if you’re reading this in a feedreader or via email, please keep it up.

What this means to you

Absolutely nothing. What this means is that some functionality is reduced. No Twitterfeed, no recommended readings, no recent posts, etc.

I’m so embarrassed. Bear with me. Thank goodness for four day weekends.