DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Site Redesign

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Well sort of.. more like a design “refresh” really. DigWP.com launched in May 2009 with its first design. Then later that year it was redesigned for the launch of the book. The second (blue/grey) design was well-suited for the site and a natural progression from the first design, and the new design continues along the same path.

Here is the first design, fixed-width with 3D effects and focus on content:

DigWP Theme Version 1
DigWP v1, May 2009

Then later that year, the fixed-width blue/grey design brought it all together:

DigWP Theme Version 2
DigWP v2, September 2009

The new design is essentially the same basic layout, only responsive and with a bit of orange to attenuate a toned-down blue/grey palette:

DigWP Theme Version 3
DigWP v3, October 2013

As you can see, much of the previous design remains the same, with most of the work going into making things lighter, more streamlined, and responsive. Other theme changes include:

  • Image slider on the main book page
  • Reorganized/streamlined the Members Area
  • More prominent next/previous navigation for single posts
  • Added paged navigation for home page and archives
  • Dual search: direct WP search + alternate Google search

Beyond appearance, a lot of time was spent updating content, demos, examples, and so forth. Behind the scenes, we’re moving away from the E-junkie service and using a plugin for the purchases/transactions. Before the redesign we were using around 25 plugins, now there are 13, so lots of streamlining happening behind the scenes. It’s always good to get in there and clean things up.

The goal of the redesign is a better experience for visitors, so if anything isn’t working or could be improved usability/design-wise, suggestions are welcome!

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