My last couple weeks have been consumed by an infestation over at my side project, Hockey Gear HQ, which ultimately required burning the site to the ground and rebuilding it from scratch, making sure that my WordPress installation is air-tight this time around. I'm not completely done with the job yet, but the site is back up and running (quite safely I might add).
There was an opportunity in this effort, however, to freshen up the look of the place, which I was never quite happy with. So I've gone with the Genesis Theme Framework from StudioPress, using the News Child Theme, and I'm thrilled with it so far. The site not only looks more integrated and professional than my previous attempt, but the flexibility of the platform is amazing, I've only begun to dig into the various features that it offers.
In particular, I like the basic setup I've got in the main column, with the 5 most recent Featured articles showcased in a slider, below which two columns highlight recent posts from the Coupons and Reviews sections, because those are the two areas which I believe provide the most value to people stopping by the front page. I've got more work to do with navigation and adding some imagery, but so far I think it's already a big improvement over what I had before.
So while these last two weeks has been an experience that I would never have willingly gone through at this point in time, it's proven to contain some unexpected benefits. With two new products reviews coming in the next few days, and a host of ideas waiting in the queue, it should be a busy fall season at Hockey Gear HQ!
For those of you out there with sites of your own, how often do you take a fresh look at the design of your site, if ever? It's quite easy to set it up initially with a specific plan in place, but over time, the content & direction of the blog might take things in a new direction. Perhaps your design needs to keep up with the times...