You may have noticed that this site looks just a wee bit… different right now.
That is in fact intentional. I’ve been meaning to overhaul the look and feel and widgets and other things for quite some time now, and given that I have some time on my hands (long story, though to be very clear, no tequila, donkeys, or prisons were involved in any way whatsoever), I finally got around to doing something about it.
The posts layout is greatly improved to be MUCH less of an eyesore and much easier to navigate. The header has been updated and revamped to be more mobile- and tablet-friendly. The post design has also been updated with rounded borders and some nice subtle shadow effects.
You’ll also see that the sidebar has been significantly improved and changed. There is a small bio section which I may or may not expand upon to include actual biographical information (read: probably not gonna happen, I value my anonymity). The Recent Posts widget has thumbnails next to it and the Trending section shows you the most popular posts at any given moment.
Below that is a widget that at least one reader has requested but I never managed to implement it until now. (Sorry about that, PW. Been busy.) That widget allows you to subscribe to daily updates by email from the blog. Note – that just means you’ll be notified whenever a new article gets published. It DOES NOT mean that you will get newsletters or marketing emails from me, it’s literally just a widget that allows you to get new posts.
Next after that is a form that allows you to submit questions and feedback to me directly on the homepage itself without any messing about with email clients. I’ve tested that widget already, it works just fine.
Down at the bottom of the page you will see a form that will allow you to sign up for newsletters and emails from me. Rest assured that your email information is absolutely confidential. I will never, ever release or sell your information to anyone without your express written consent. I take the privacy of my readers and subscribers every bit as seriously as I do my own, so have no fear in this regard.
I’d appreciate it if you could test those out and let me know if those widgets work. I know that the contact form definitely works, but it would be very helpful if you could test the two subscription forms for me. MailChimp might like me to think that they work fine, but I’d like to be sure. If you would please hit the subscribe button there for each of those, I’d be greatly obliged.
I’d also like to thank reader and podcast subscriber Magister Ludi for his help in getting the Twitter cards setup for this blog. If you take post URLs from this blog and share them on Twitter, you will see a proper Twitter card come up, whereas previously apparently the setup looked pretty ugly. I don’t use Twatter, so I wouldn’t have a clue, but apparently some of you guys like to share my work on Twatter and Faceborg – much obliged to y’all for that, by the way – so the installation of the newest plugin should make sharing my content quite a lot simpler and easier and more visually appealing.
There are a lot more changes coming. This is but the beginning of a long series of updates that will get this place looking the way I actually want it structured and organised. Many of those changes will start with the organisation of the content in various pages.
You will already see that the old RULES OF THE BLOG page has been nuked – that’s because there is now a new “LAWS OF THE DOMAIN” sticky post that serves the exact same function, and anonymous commentary is impossible anyway given the requirements imposed by my WordPress settings and the fact that I personally moderate everything.
The Didact’s Ecumene page has been radically simplified and in its place are now a number of separate pages that organise the content by category. This is much easier to look at and handle. You can also take a look at the new Ecumene Council page to get an idea of all of the other ventures that I’ve gotten involved with, in terms of other websites and the content that I’ve created for them.
Sooner or later – hopefully a lot sooner than we would expect – there will be a page up where you can support my work through clicking on affiliate links and banners and ads and sending to cryptocurrency addresses and the like. I know most of you hate ads, so I’m keeping them mostly confined to just one part of the site.
Once I get a decent enough pool of subscribers going, I will also start using direct email marketing to provide readers with various updates and product ideas and so on.
The idea is to get to the point where these sites are self-sustaining. My Superb Shaving site is pretty close to that point, I think.
Most of the changes that you see here were executed using the Divi layout builder from Elegant Themes. If you’re planning on creating your own website, then give them a look – make sure you buy the lifetime-access, unlimited-site pack.
Overall, I have to say that I’m very happy with the way that self-hosted WordPress works. Moving away from that HORRID legacy Blogger infrastructure was unquestionably one of the best decisions that I have ever made (in a life filled with really bad ones).
Let me know what you think of the changes in the comments or via email.