Possibly doing a site redesign in the near future. Probably will get rid of all the ads and look something like this: http://t.co/4dnMNJ1V
I don’t normally like to give news updates like this, as I like to keep the site as content dense as possible, but welcome to SixPrizes version 3.0.
I had mentioned on Facebook several months ago that I might do a site redesign sometime this coming winter (as I get bored when it’s too cold to play outside). Well, come early October I was already feeling the effects of cabin fever and needed some way to channel my energy.
First I recoded/redesigned my personal site with a new and more professional WordPress framework (Genesis, if anyone is interested), which went smoother than anticipated, so I then decided I might as well have a go at redoing this site and its massive inner-workings.
I began recoding the old design right around Regionals earlier this month (as documented by the above tweet). It took me about a week to churn all the existing PHP code into something a little prettier (I barely knew how to code HTML when I started SixPrizes, and any PHP I was able to string together was pretty lame).
With the foundation of the site solidified, I really had nothing better to do than go ahead with the redesign, which I sort of (really) dreaded. I am more of a left-brain person, so doing artistic right-brain activities can be draining on me.
I forged ahead though, and started off creating a prototype of the new header:
Started working on the site redesign today. Here's a preview of the new header. pic.twitter.com/fJxzUfyi
Obviously I decided to ditch the black background, but I felt good about the direction I was heading with the aesthetics and I rolled with that momentum the past 9 days. A key point was when I stumbled upon a front page design I felt really good about:
I've made some progress on the site redesign the past couple days. Here's where I'm at right now with the front page. pic.twitter.com/aOrNWlhg
A few more days of cranking out code, one last-minute typeface audible, and voilà. You’re looking at the finished product.
Some things to note…
Believe it or not, I hate advertising and really do wish I never had to use Google ads on this site. But it was a necessary tool for SixPrizes to survive and allow me to put time into it.
I may put an ad in the footer at some point if I need to hit the payment threshold to receive any dough Google is holding from me, but I’m really hoping we can make this work without third party advertisements. I’m going to take an immediate hit though.
(You should check out AdBlock for Chrome, by the way. I started using it a few weeks ago and it’s awesome.)
Smart Phone and Tablet Friendly
I used to have a plugin which generated a “mobile” theme, but it didn’t look anything like the regular site and didn’t have as much functionality (I’m pretty sure you couldn’t rate posts with it). It probably loaded slow too. I wouldn’t really know though since my phone is from 2007.
(Gino Lombardi couldn’t believe I run a website and have a phone which can’t even take a picture.)
Anyway, I’ve ditched that approach and instead the site now has a “responsive design.” I doubt it’s perfect at the moment, but it should be usable. If you’re on a desktop or laptop computer reading this, try resizing your browser to a narrower width and you’ll see that the site is fluid and adjusts depending on how much space is allowed.
You should see a “Store” link in the navigation menu. My plan is to sell a few 6P branded items and hopefully make up some of the lost ad revenue. A lot of suggestions were made on the forums, but I’m 99% going to start off with dice.
The 6-side of the die will have the 6P logo. Cute, right?
I’m aiming to have those ready by the holiday season. New t-shirts might come later.
Let Me Know What You Think!
And finally, let me know what you think! I’m expecting a bug or two to be found as you guys and gals start playing around with this new design, so please let me know if you come across anything that seems weird. Assume I have no idea anything is amiss.
Also if you have any ideas on how to make it even better, let me know too! The next few days I’ll probably be tidying things up and want to make the site as great as possible. My goal is for it to continue to be a really cool place to submit, read, and discuss Pokémon TCG articles.
One thing in particular I had trouble with was figuring out good margins, line-height, and content width for posts, so if you’re a typography guru, let me know if you have any suggestions to improve readability.
6P of the Past
To conclude, here’s what SixPrizes looked like in 2009 (version 1.0):
Here’s a screencap from 2011 (version 2.0):
And today is Halloween 2012. Boo.