Site Redesign: Everything's Bigger In Texas Edition

It has been almost 2 years since the last time I had a significant redesign of this blog. I figured it was time to start tinkering again. Instead of relying on the same blog theme and code base I have been working with for over 3 years now, I decided to use Chris Pearson's Thesis WordPress theme as my base. For one, Chris Pearson is also a fellow Georgia Tech alumnus. Second, the Thesis theme boasts a lot of features and is built from the ground up with SEO in mind. That being said, it's not free. I ponied up 164 greenbacks for the developer's option so I could deploy the theme on as many sites as I wanted. (Psst: If you're reading this in your RSS reader, you'll want to click-through this time.)

I purchased the theme last week and have been learning the ins and outs of the hook system and going about using custom CSS and functions. It took a little while to grasp but after 2 or 3 late night sessions I came up with the site you're looking at now. As you can tell from the title of this post, this version of PaulStamatiou.com is all about big. The highlight is increased readability through larger fonts, smooth typefaces and a wider layout. I'm looking forward to being able to put larger images within posts. I've been using Cabel's Fancy Zoom for a year now but it will be nice to also view large images without clicking.

PaulStamatiou.com Redesign, header

The redesign isn't completely over, it has just gotten to the point where I can show it off. I'm considering incorporating Facebook Connect into commenting. However, the biggest hurdle will be optimizing this theme for performance. I've already put some things on Amazon CloudFront, then I'll setup WP-Super-Cache and combine a bunch of the CSS files into one CloudFronted stylesheet. Oh and I'll need to revisit my CSS/image sprites tutorial to combine several images I'm using into one.

PaulStamatiou.com Redesign, header

I've also been interested in creating a sneeze page or two to help people easily find great articles hidden in my archives. And I'm thinking about removing post dates from URLs to make them shorter and a bit more search engine friendly, as outlined by Bruce Keener.

So that's it. Browse around, let me know what you like, what needs work, what's missing, et cetera. Thanks for reading all these years!

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"Site Redesign: Everything's Bigger In Texas Edition" by @Stammy

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