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The KingdomGeek Redesign Launches!

If you’re a reader via a subscription feed, you’ll want to hop on over to the actual site to see this. I’m very pleased to present the redesign of KingdomGeek, and yes, I’m still rocking the Thesis theme framework.

I’m still working on some things behind the scenes, but I do plan on releasing my customizations for the curious once things calm down a bit. I’ve also tested the site in a variety of Mac browsers — Safari, Firefox, and OmniWeb. Looks good in all those. Feedback from Windows users is welcome.

Actually, all feedback is welcome, whether you’re a designer or not. I want the site to be pleasing to you my users — I don’t have to look at the front end of the site; you do.

So what do you think? Have I overlooked anything? Can anything be improved?

To give credit where it’s due, my design was heavily influenced by Good Bytes, although the styling code I’m using to achieve various effects is substantially different. The background image is a modified version of the image freely available at Cr103.

23 replies on “The KingdomGeek Redesign Launches!”

Rachael: I increased the size of the nav menu descriptions by a bit. I’m not sure what color to use instead of blue, so I’m gonna keep watch for suggestions. I’ve never been quite pleased with the link colors, so you’re not hurting my feelings. ;) Thanks for the comments, and for checking it out in Chrome! (I’m eagerly awaiting the Mac version of that one.)

Jamie: I’m using the opacity styling attribute to achieve part of that effect. I’m also not using Thesis’ nav menu at all. I hand-rolled my own, which was simpler for me than resetting/restyling Thesis’ menu. Plus, it’s just easier for me to manage my nav menu and everything else from one file within Dreamweaver. Going all the way into WordPress, going to the theme area, and changing settings there is just too darn time consuming. And all those seconds adds up, supposedly. :P

Sandi: Yes, that’s a real comment. :) Glad you like. I like the gray, but it may not stick around, especially if few others take too it. An attractive comments area is very important if I want to encourage the comments.

Rob: Thanks, dude. Really dig your site too. Love what you did with the footer. I haven’t been able to come up with much of anything to do with my footer area yet, so it sits down there with its bare boredom hanging out for all the world to see.

dude: It’s loading from another domain, so it won’t slow access to the content. Plus, I did everything I could to get the file size smaller. I’m using transparency around the edges so that the image blends into the background better, so I’m limited in the file types that I can use. Still, when I started out, I was dealing with something like a four meg image. Given the insane popularity of YouTube, I’m willing to bet that file size — especially for something as incidental as a background image — is becoming increasingly less of an issue. Still, I’m open to better alternatives. It’s all about moving onward and upward!

It’s a gorgeous design, and I love the background. The blue links are hurting my eyes though. ;)

Also, I can hardly read the italicized descriptions under your main nav links. I love the look of it, however.

(viewing it in Chrome, btw.)

John Walter: I know light-on-dark isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea, and it was a decision I mulled over for a bit before finally diving into it. Part of it was that light-on-dark is a quick and easy way to distinguish my site from a great many other Thesis installations. And if I can pull it off and make it look good after that, all the better.

Thanks for the color suggestions. I’m gonna be running my own private styling to see which color works best and should make those updates public tomorrow. I hope, anyway. :)

Really liking this new look! Love the nav bar… I might have to analyze your code & see what ya did for that.

Also — I agree with Rachael… the links are pretty difficult to read. Other than that… this mod rocks!

Loving the purple. Not crazy about the color behind the comments, but that is my personal pref. not an isssue with viewing. Does this count as a real comment? And I seem to remember something about you owing me a couple of posts :)

Hey, Rick – I’m a fan. I esp like the background and opaque content box. I agree with the other, though, that the blue link text is a little harsh. Very cool overall.

Thanks, Kris, for checking up on me. :) I swapped out “0.01em” for “1px.” And I have borders in Safari now. I have no idea how I didn’t notice that in testing.

Will: I am having an awesome day, thanks. :) Glad you liked the sidebar. I was particularly pleased with how well it turned out.

I’m not crazy about light-on-dark, but everyone else seems to enjoy ‘plums in outer space’, so…

For the links I might try a tan or light olive or lavenderish colour.

Going without the background image for a while. It makes it look a lot cleaner. Still want *something* in the background, though, so I’ll be playing with that soon enough. Suggestions, as always, are welcome.

Love the background – very cool. Have to agree with previous post about the purple links being hard on the eyes.

Viewing on my iMac and Macbook, both with glossy screens, the purple just isn’t working for me. Like the styling of the sidebar. Nice touch.

Have an awesome day!

Hey Rick, nice work. I especially like the nav and the occasional round corners I like a combo of square and round.

I mentioned on Twitter orange for links, but John’s idea of olive is good too, actually I think it’s better. Orange works, but is maybe too bright and distracting. Olive is more soothing.
Orange: #F26600
Slightly darker orange: #BF5000
Olive: #678507

Interesting… it seems that FF interprets a 0.01em border as 1px (you can’t display fractions of a pixel yet), but Safari interprets it as 0px. The borders don’t show in Safari… at least that’s what I’m seeing. I would prefer to see the borders I think.

Hi Rick, I really like your site re-do. I arrived here right before you removed the background image. The image really grabbed my attention, but I think the site looks great with or without it. I appreciate dark sites and love sophisticated color palettes. The olive green links are a winner with me!

I also want to say thank you very much for creating Thesis OpenHook. It sure does make things easier and has saved a lot of my time!

Hey Rick, thanks for the footer compliment! I was thinking, what if you used the same background image but just decreased its “fill” in photoshop or gimp. I think you’d get a softer and more subtle but still very cool image that wouldn’t distract from the content. I’d be glad to help out with the photoshop work if you’ve got too much on your plate.

I would go for a nicer and perhaps smaller font in the footer. Maybe Calibri or Candara would work.

Thanks everyone for your compliments. I think I really like the olive green links Kristarella came up with, so will be sticking with ’em for a while. I also made some background tweaks to prevent the background image from being so danged startling — it’s also a fraction of the file size it once was. =D

Still, it’s a bit dark, so I might try to find a suitably dark purple color that would work.

Thanks again, everyone, for your honest feedback!

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