Nearing completion

The site redesign I’ve mentioned a few times is coming along nicely.  I’m to the point where I’m about ready to make the switch.

One thing I want to point out is that I will leave the functionality enabled that lets you switch between themes, so even after the upgrade you’ll be able to change back to the current them (and back and forth) if you wish.  Although the new default theme will require some changes to the site that will make the old theme look a bit odd in specific places, those issues will be aesthetic only and won’t impact functionality.  And they should be rather limited in scope for those who wind up staying with the old design.

Something else of importance: Because the new design requires more screen real estate, it’s not really going to work with resolutions below 1024×768.  The issue will mostly stem from images being too wide for the new content column.  Aside from that, there could be a few other minor hiccups, but that’s the only issue I see thus far with lower resolutions.  Thankfully, those using anything below 1024×768 comprise about six percent of my visitors, so it looks as though that won’t impact too many folks.

When I roll out the new design, it’s going to be under the premise of “try before you buy.”  That is, I’m going to make the change… and then I’m going to see how it goes.  If everyone hates it—especially me—then I’ll just switch back.  No harm done save the minor content changes needed in a handful of places to accommodate the old theme.

I suspect the new theme will be turned on before I’m completely happy with it.  That doesn’t mean there will be functionality issues, but, as was the case with the current theme, using it often highlights shortcomings that I’ll then go back and manipulate.  Ultimately, however, a large chunk of the preparatory work is already complete and the new face of xenogere is nearing its debut.  At least so far as getting it in place and using it for a while to see what changes need to be made, if any, and whether I’m even happy with it.  That will also give everyone an opportunity to decide if they absolutely hate it or not, and to say so if that’s the case.

The face lift will probably happen in the next three or four days.  That’s assuming nothing comes up in the meantime that diverts my attention away from the last few changes I need to make before going live.

Once that’s done, I’ll then dig into the categories and other structural changes I want to make on the content level.  I don’t know specifically what I’ll do in that regard, but I do know I’m not entirely happy with the current setup.  I’ll either come up with something better or will leave it as is.

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