Tag Archives: web design

New theme, old posts. Some early spring cleaning.

A bit of a change of a scenery today with a shiny new theme (let me know what you think!).

Some more details on the theme transition: I switched from Lightword over to Twenty Ten, with a few tweaks of my own via a custom child theme.  There’s a great tutorial on making child themes, super useful if you’re looking to customize a WordPress theme without having your changes overwritten each time the theme gets updated.  The images at the top were put together with some pseudo-Bokeh via a helpful Photoshop tutorial.

Now, what’s up with the new posts dated before this blog started?

Way back in 2007 I had my first blogging experience with a blog dedicated to chronicling a summer abroad in Madrid over at Windows Live Spaces.  With Spaces closing down later this month, I took the opportunity to upgrade my Space to WordPress.com then brought the posts over here to jckahn.com (a smooth process, I must say).  The imported posts are a little trip down memory lane — all of the posts are dated May and June 2007 and are tagged My Summer Abroad.

Got a website? Grade it.

websitegraderI’ve been getting a decent amount of traffic via search engines, which reminded me about a tool I used to use on website projects.  I’ve found it useful for the past few years, so figured I’d pass it along.

It’s called Website Grader and it helps you take care of some basic optimization for search engines.   Don’t worry, this isn’t the slimy, keyword-stuffing, link-whoring version of SEO.  This tool, made by the good people at HubSpot in Boston, just runs a bunch of tests on your site to see if how it fares in the eyes of a search engine.

When I was getting started looking at search engine performance, the advice on using the .htaccess file to unify the http://www. version of your site with the http:// one was particularly useful for me.  It also never hurts to have a tool remind you that you forgot to add meta tags to a page.

Anyway, give it a try and see how your sites fare.  You’ll either get a number to brag about or some insights in how to make your site easier on a search engine’s eyes.

I noticed today while perusing the site that HubSpot has set up a whole mess of graders on grader.com, anyone tried out any of the other graders?

The score for jckahn.com.

MSN begins preview of a new design & logo

11-03MSNLogo_smTonight, MSN announced a preview of the a new design for the site at http://www.msn.com/preview.aspx.  The new look is much cleaner and sports an updated logo.

One of the most exciting parts (aside from looking much nicer than its predecessor) is that it integrates social networking feeds (including Windows Live!) right into the page.  You can see what’s going on with your Messenger friends on the Windows Live tab, as well as look at your latest mail from Hotmail, see your Facebook newsfeed, and follow what your friends (or the prince of spam) are saying on Twitter.
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Some casual testing also reveals it to load about twice as fast as the current version.  I still think more options for customization would be good (I certainly don’t need so much Entertainment news), but the addition of local content and a local edition are cool.

All in all, a nice new look for one of the most visited sites on the Internet.