San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor The White Oaks Blog gets a new coat of paint… | The White Oaks Blog
San Carlos Real Estate July 20, 2009

The White Oaks Blog gets a new coat of paint…

by Chuck Gillooley

paint brushTime for a change…

Since I created this site back in October of 2007, I have been using the same background (theme) for the blog with only a few minor tweaks.   While this theme worked marvelously for me, I decided that after nearly two years of the same look and feel it was time to change the site up a bit.   After looking at literally hundreds of different blog themes, I settled on the one you’re looking at right now.  Ironically, this theme was created by Nurudin Jauhari, who also created the old White Oaks Blog theme.  Talk about taking a big circle…

New Structure

The structure of the new blog is what is known as a “magazine style” where the posts are grouped together as summaries.   This allows the reader to glance at a particular topic and decide if the they want to dive deeper into the topic (in much the same fashion that you’d read a newspaper.)  The articles are on all on top of the site, and the MLS home search, links, etc are all on the bottom.  This layout is generally easier to navigate and more pleasing to the eye.   Note that if you subscribe to the site via email or a feed reader, you shouldn’t notice a difference.

What do you think?

But it’s not what I think that’s important…it’s your opinion that matters.  So, what do think of the new look?  Vote on the poll below, or leave a comment on the site. I’d love to know what you think.

Do you like the new look of the White Oaks Blog?

  • No, the old site was better. (70%, 21 Votes)
  • Yes, I prefer the new look. (27%, 8 Votes)
  • I don't know (or don't care!) (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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Comments 8
  • Um, Chuck, I love your blog, but I’m not too keen on the new look. The old blog was easy on the eyes and it was intuitive. The new layout is difficult to look at, especially towards the bottom of the page where there are columns next to columns of links.
    I know it’s still the same information, but the old theme was well-balanced, with the meat of each blog entry right in the middle of the page. But either way, I’ll keep reading. Thanks for the site!

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    • Hi BA Mom,

      Thanks for your honest feedback — that’s exactly what I’m looking for. I’m certainly not tied to the new look, or into making a change at all. If it looks to be an unpopular decision, I have no problem switching it back to the old format. Ironically, I have had others tell me that the old format was too busy too, especially on the sidebars.

      Thanks again — keep the feedback coming.

      Chuck

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      • I hear you, Chuck. Layouts are really subjective and it’s six of one, half-dozen of the other!
        A quick note on the minor tweak you’ve done: Making the current blog post top, centered, and on its own is a great way to get the reader’s eye to fall naturally on the most recent news. Thanks.

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        • Thanks for the feedback. My goal with this site has always been to pack in as much pertinent information as possible about San Carlos. The challenge I have had (and continue to have) on this site is how to present that info without making it too complicated or confusing.

          This new layout allows me to put more information in the site, while separating the posts from all the links. But I hear your concern about there being too much down below, and I’m working to thin it out a bit to make it more appealing, without losing too much info.

          Thanks again!

          CG

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  • I like the new look at the top of the page for news, but I think the bottom looks really cluttered and some useful information gets lost (like the poll, twitter, your RSS feed, and the comments)

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    • Hey Keith,

      Thanks for your feedback. This site is almost the opposite of the predecessor — the posts are easier to read, but the link area down below does get a little busy.

      I’m investigating whether I can expand the background to cover the entire width of the computer screen (fluid width) And then move one of the columns below up to the right side of the posts. That way, it will allow the important stuff to stay close to the top, and it will also un-clutter the bottom.

      Chuck

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  • The new look is really noisy on my computer — it makes it harder for me to figure out what is the important to me stuff, namely your writing, I love your blog, but there’s too much *stuff* here.

    Everything below the video — except your smiling face — should go! I copy-pasted the stuff that didn’t add value for me.

    o The Technology Center
    + Blog Tips
    + Spotlight on Cool Websites

    *
    The Very Latest
    *
    RSS Mercury News Real Estate
    o June new home sales rise 11 percent, largest spike in nearly nine years
    o California budget crisis brings critics of Prop. 13 to the fore
    o Harney: Tax credits give buyers incentives to be energy efficient
    o Who sold what, published July 25
    *
    RSS CNN Money: Real Estate
    o A deal on a retirement home
    o New home sales: ‘Really good news’
    o Profit from commercial real estate’s fall
    o 5 new online tools for homebuyers
    *
    Blogs and Websites
    o Absolutely Foster City Blog
    o Chuck’s Real Estate Website
    o Emerald Hills Blog
    o My Reviews on Yelp!
    o Remodeling Magazine
    o San Francisco Peninsula Blog
    o San Jose Sharks Blog
    *
    Local School Websites
    o Brittan Acres Elementary School
    o Carlmont High School
    o Central Middle School
    o Mark Olbert’s Blog
    o San Carlos Educational Foundation
    o San Carlos School District
    o Sequoia High School Website
    o Sequoia Union High School District
    o Seth Rosenblatt’s Blog
    o Tierra Linda Middle School
    o White Oaks Elementary School
    *
    San Carlos Sites of Interest
    o City of San Carlos Website
    o Eaton Hills 4-H Club
    o Firehawks Lacrosse Club
    o Local Hiking Trails
    o San Carlos AYSO
    o San Carlos Chamber of Commerce
    o San Carlos Children’s Theater
    o San Carlos Little Leauge
    o San Carlos Park & Rec Foundation
    o San Carlos Together
    o San Carlos/Belmont Mother’s Club
    o White Oaks Neighborhood Organization
    *
    Spotlight Websites
    o 94070.org — Your Guide to San Carlos Non-Profit Organizations
    o Burbed.com
    o Fire Dispatch
    o Lookiloos
    o TechCrunch

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    • Jonquil,

      Thanks for taking the time to provide specific feedback. I cut out most of the content in the lower half of the site that you mentioned in your comment. Let me know what you think of the bottom half now.

      Also, what’s your opinion of how the articles are presented at the top? Is it easier to read this way, or the old way?

      Thanks again,

      Chuck

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