Excitement #1: The Redesign

Since the end of September, I’ve been working with a brilliant web designer named Ralph on redesigning my site. Ralph responded to my “Redesign” post telling me that he and his wife were big fans and that he’d had a lot of experience and could really help me organize things better. And that, clearly, he has. I’m in love with this redesign and let me tell you some of its features:

– The thing I’m loving the most, right off the bat, is the rotating banner. That’s right: we have three banners in rotation with the possibility of adding more. It was my idea to stab the duck (sorry vegetarians); and I have to give credit for the flying bagels to Kirk and the flying fish to my brother. Maybe somewhere along the line we’ll add more, but for now you should reload the site a few times so you can see them all and bask in their glory.

– Since it’s the request I get most often, we added a search feature to the upper right of the site. Unfortunately, since I was dropped from Google we’re using Yahoo’s less reliable output. But for now it should help you navigate my archives and find results for things like “lemon” and “pudding” or “lemon pudding.” [I’ve never made lemon pudding so don’t really search for that.]

– Graphically speaking, the colors are brighter and there are little icons on all the sidebar categories. They’re so adorable I want to pinch their cheeks. The fonts, too, are cleaner and more soothing to the eye. Ahhhh, aren’t you relaxed?

– The organization of the sidebars makes lots more sense. Now you get my five favorite movies and songs with the option of clicking for more. The links on the left are internal links and the links on the right are external links (taking you away from the site).

– Perhaps the best thing, in terms of scanning my past, is the way Ralph made it so my archive categories won’t crash your computer. If you click Eating New York, for example, you’ll get taken to a page where you’ll see all my New York restaurant review titles and the first paragraph, but no browser-crashing pictures. Same for all the other categories.

Overall, it’s just thrilling to have something so familiar look so fresh and alive. I didn’t want to ruin the good stuff we already had going on but I didn’t want to cling to the past either. So I owe Ralph a huge thank you for his amazing work in making that happen. Thanks Ralph! I feel like a born-again blogger.

21 thoughts on “Excitement #1: The Redesign”

  1. I’m not seeing any banner, although the other stuff is showing for me. I’m using IE, too. Do you have any idea what the problem is, Adam?

  2. I forgot to tell you that Ralph had the same problem in Safari (I use Safari and I’m not having that problem). He suggests you clear your cache, close your browser, restart your computer and try again. Hopefully that will work!

  3. I hit the “refresh” button on my Netscape browser, and now I can see the new design.

    Ummm…Adam, why would a kind, sensitive, non-violent guy like you want to show yourself to the world as spearing a live (OK live cartoon) duck? Spearing a flying bagel, OK. Spearing a living creature, even a cartoon version of it, NOT OK

    I still love you, but please change that banner.

  4. First, the site does works in IE, Firefox, and Safari, and even Netscape. I’ve looked at the site this morning in all of them this morning.

    The problem some people may be experiencing with the banner is most likely due the new site trying to access the old stylesheet. The stylesheet is a single file of associated code that controls the layout, colors, background images, etc on all pages of the site.

    There are two separate issues regarding the stylesheet. First, you may have the old stylesheet lodged in your browsers cache. Often just clearing the browsers cache and refreshing the page will fix the problem. In IE, Tools > Internet Options. In Firefox, Tools > Options. In Safari, “Clear Cache” in main menu. Secondly, the new pages trying to access the old stylesheet may be a function of how Typepad serves up files. The old stylesheet may be logged in a cache on their servers. Some files are cached on a server near you, so the site loads faster and also to distribute the burden on TypePad servers. This should be updated already, but it may depend on where you are. Eventually the changes will filter through. If the top banner is missing and sidebar links are green, and not gray, it’s a cache problem. Not much I can do on my end. I recommend clearing your cache and closing your browser, and maybe even restarting your computer. I had to restart my Powerbook to get the site going in Safari, which for some reason is being especially stubborn about letting go of the old stylesheet. If none of this works, you might to have to wait and try again later or tomorrow.

    The third issue is regarding JavaScript, which is a type of code that is used to make the banners rotate when the site is refreshed or the user moves to another page. (Yes kids, there are three fabulous new banners!) If you are seeing the site without the top banner, but you see little icons (like tiny vegetables and lamb chops) next to the sidebar navigation headers, it means you’ve disabled JavaScript in your browser. There’s really no reason to have it disabled, and I recommend un-disabling it, or re-enabling it, whichever. (Tools > Options) I will try to add a line of code later tonight that will allow the site to show a static banner for those who have JavaScript turned off.

    If you continue to have problems. Shoot me an email, and I’ll try to help you figure it out.

  5. Loves it. Love the banners, love the layout. Wow, how ingenious – left for intra-site and right for outtie! ;)

    To fellow posters – I’m sorry, but getting upset over a depiction of Amateur Gourmet/Kong spearing a cartoon duck with a big fake fork is beyond ridiculous.

  6. Excellent redesign! I’m with Jane… the banners are not violent or offensive — they’re funny! Looking forward to more new banners in the future (how about your famous caramel corn? Or Lolita stealing her rightful salmon entree?)

  7. maryjane in spain

    Loving your work! Kudos to the collaboration – it’s all there, but better.

    I couldn’t imagine how you could keep the kitch of the header and make it cool at the same time…and you’ve managed to do it 3x !

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