new blog layout part one

what i wanted this blog to look like

As I have mentioned, from my participation in NaBloPoMo I won a blog makeover from Jessica at Kerflop. We’re done, this is it! I have gotten a couple inquiries as to how the process went, who did what, etc. So here you go. Part one of two.

On my side, before I started bothering Jessica too much, I did my homework. I checked out Kerflop and was happy to see that she shared the same priorities of making a site clean, clear, validated and accessible. I made a list of priorities of what I wanted. I polled my readers to see what they wanted in a blog.

On Jessica’s side, she checked in with what she would/could provide, the parameters of the prize, and provided a list of handy questions to ask myself about what I wanted. Since I had a clear idea of the visuals, I relied on her to provide rock-solid coding, CSS and plugins.

With that in mind, I opened Photoshop and, basically, scanned in and drew what I wanted my banner and blog to look like. I flattened it, made it a JPEG (which you can see here full size or at the top of this post), and sent it over to Jessica for review. Per her request, I sent her the Photoshop file (in layers) to pull whatever raw images she needed.

Jessica added these plugins (otherwise, the blog is hardcoded by her):

  • fArc – shows the archive sorted by month and year with permalink to comments and posts. I dug the way Kerflop’s archives looked, so she made it happen.
  • Subscribe to Comments – allows commenters to check a box before commenting and get e-mail notification of further comments.

It was a novel, unsettling, and fun role to play — that of the client. I got to be super low-tech and say things like “skootch the text box over” or “give that an airier feeling”. Reviewing our emails now, I think I was probably an annoying but not a “problem” client. I am amazed at her efficiency and highly recommend her!

Update 2009: I would be remiss in mentioning three plugins that I have subsequently added and really rely on:

Tomorrow: what’s all that stuff in the banner?