Bringing my old blog design up to date -- seeking advice!
July 8, 2024 12:33 PM   Subscribe

For many, many years, I've kept a travel blog. It's a purely noncommercial thing, mostly a way for friends and family to know what we are up to and a way to keep track of our travel writing and photography for our future selves. It's time for a re-design and I'm hoping for advice on what aspects of layout, fonts, color use, etc. will make the site look fresher and more up to date.

Front page
Example Post Page
Example Category Page
Misc Page

I already know it's too slow and that will definitely be improved, so no comments on that please.

I hope this post is permitted and doesn't count as self-promotion or something. If so, please remove it, or course.

Thanks in advance!
posted by quiet wanderer to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I like your website and think it's fine the way it is. What websites are you looking at that you want yours to look like?
posted by olopua at 1:31 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]

I agree with olopua; it looks good, and is easy to navigate. I don't think it needs much. I like the way your Malaysia post links to other Malaysia posts and galleries. It's nicely visual.

One easy update would be the typeface on "The Slow Road". That brush script is a bit dated nor does it match anything else on the page. Maybe you could commission someone to create a simple logo for you? You could also try swapping the fonts used on the site overall, for a quick refresh.

If you want more updating, you could browse around Wordpress and check out the many templates they have available (whether you end up building your site in Wordpress or not, they can still give you some ideas of up-to-date design).
posted by hydra77 at 2:06 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

I agree that it looks fine as is! Looking at it really quickly, it looks like you're using wordpress and GeneratePress as your theme, so you're already doing pretty well. GeneratePress is known for being a light weight and extremely customizable theme, so I suspect your speed issues are from your hosting provider and maybe a lack of caching, but thats not what you're asking about here. Since you are using GeneratePress, if you really want a new look I'd make a backup of your site and then try one of the prebuilt layouts they have here ( and see if any of them resonate with you. You can always tweak colors and fonts after that. But do make a backup before you make any drastic changes!!
posted by cgg at 2:09 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I also agree that the site is great as-is! (I view MeFi in classic mode though, so I like “older” website styles so maybe I’m not your target audience for this question). I really enjoyed browsing through, and I appreciate how well things are linked and indexed by country. One feature I might like, for the photo galleries, would be to have an “album page” where all of the photos in that gallery are visible in one spot. I don’t mind having to click in/scroll through for the caption (and thank you for captioning!) but it would be nice to be able to just select one photo of something interesting from the whole bunch, or to get a sense of the whole gallery.
posted by alygator at 3:24 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also agreeing that the site is quite serviceable as is. Here are a few smaller details:

One thing that jumped out at me is that the thumbnails for the galleries on your home page are quite small. It might make sense to make those larger to feature the photographs a little more, maybe four featured galleries at the same size as the top two blog posts below. Same on the favourites page and elsewhere — and the blog posts on the favourites page could also benefit from larger preview images.

The explore by topic block at the bottom of the page is a little hard to parse and would benefit from some spacing between the elements.

It would be nice if the Read more about X sections didn't cut off the titles of each item after a few words.

Some of the spacing for small images within posts goes a little wonky on mobile and some of the font sizes (e.g. previous and next post) could use an adjustment for mobile.

I think the site in general uses a lot of italics, which aren't the easiest to read. If you want more variety, you could choose a different font or vary the font weight rather than using italics.
posted by ssg at 3:36 PM on July 8

Best answer: Your blog looks wonderful on a Windows 10 computer running Google Chrome. I don't think it needs a major overhaul. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Too many times, people (or organizations) try to improve a site, and the result is worse than the original. I'm currently dealing with this situation at work.
posted by alex1965 at 8:56 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]

I also like your website! The location map is great, and the sliding graphic at the top is great. You don't need to change too much.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:22 PM on July 9

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! Sounds like people like the site in general, but you've also given me some good tips on what to improve.
posted by quiet wanderer at 12:34 PM on July 10

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