Every now and then, I get frustrated with the way my web site looks. I toss a stick of dynamite at it and start fresh.
This weekend I splurged on the Headway WordPress theme, a premium theme that has a slick GUI editor. I can make different pages look wildly different without too much effort.
Here’s some of the changes so far:
Reorganized links across the top – I used to organize pages by popularity, but screw that. I’m going for more logical organization now, so I’ve got links for About Me, Books, Consulting, SQL Server Articles, SQL Server Training Videos, Twitter, and Upcoming Events. The Consulting and Videos sections are new, and I’ll be fleshing those out more over the coming weeks. Yes, I still work for Quest full time, but I do consulting in my spare time.
Featured Video on the home page – I’m uploading more stuff onto YouTube now that they support high definition video.
Rotating “Featured Posts” and “Woohoo!” sections – as you watch the page, some parts of it rotate every few seconds. I used to have logos for the Microsoft MVP program, Tom LaRock’s blog rankings, my book, etc, and now those all just rotate. It’s slow enough that it’s not too obnoxious.
Magazine-style home page and SQL Articles page – I’ve got a lot of buried treasure in the site: articles people find via Google, but they don’t find when navigating through BrentOzar.com’s menus. I’m starting to expose more of the popular articles through these browsable pages. I’ll add thumbnail images for them, but probably not until the next version of Headway. Headway 1.6 doesn’t pay attention to WordPress 2.9’s awesome new thumbnail functionality.
I’m still working on it, but I had to stop pouring effort into it and get back to my MCM studying. The jury’s still out on Headway. The visual designer loads and refreshes very slowly, it’s got a steep learning curve, and some things don’t seem to work the way I would expect. It doesn’t play nice in any way, shape, or form with the DB Cache Reloaded plugin – Headway’s Visual Editor tool barfs all over itself when the cache is on. I have to keep remembering to disable the cache when I’m editing the site, or else things keep exploding.
If you take the Headway plunge, back up your database first. Headway says it uses the search engine meta tag information from the All-in-One SEO plugin, but that was not the case for me. I appear to have lost all my SEO work on posts. Not a big deal – I’ve got daily database backups – but I’m guessing not everyone is so fortunate.