It's been a while since I posted here. It feels like I'm starting all over again. And I am, to some extent. One of the things that I have decided to change was the old design. I think this is the fourth time that I've done this since I gave birth to The Yoboo. Some might say that it's little too often seeing as this blog barely has 6 months. But I was just not happy with it's overall look and feel. So I decided to go for a design that someone else created. And this is it.
Aside from the layout, other things have been changed as well. Most of them involve removal of a lot of elements the former Yoboo had. Here's a list of the changes:
- First of all, the design change. I looked around for a nice looking Blogger template, but I couldn't find one that would be as pleasing as this one. It's called Minyx and you can get it here. I like the fact that it's clean, not overcrowded. At least that's my opinion.
- Removal of a lot of the elements that were present on the old blog:
- Kontera In-Text Advertising - it just didn't work for me. I didn't earn a single dollar from that. I guess it's aimed at high traffic web sites. Hence, useless for The Yoboo. On top of that, even I find it intrusive.
- BlogRush - I don't think I've received any visitors that would be interested in anything that's posted on this blog. Maybe I don't know how to make use of link-baiting. Or maybe people are just too used to seeing that widget and don't pay attention to it anymore.
- Sphere - "connects your current articles to contextually relevant content from your archives as well as from Blog Posts, Media Articles, Video, Photos, and Ads from across the Web" - that may be so, but I never used it on other blogs. I didn't even see it on that many web sites. The idea behind it is nice and I might even go back to it some day.
- Entrecard - I guess I don't have to tell you what this is. As I already said in an older post, the bounce rate is indeed huge from this. You might even get a visitor that's not in such a hurry to "drop and go" once in a while. But that wouldn't happen very often. It seems it has worked out for others, but you have to put a lot of effort into promoting yourself through their system. And I just don't have the time to do that. So I decided to quit and removed the widget.
- Statcounter - a nice analytics tool. One of the first ones I've tried and it works out great. Unfortunately, I'm addicted to Google and I'll stick to Google Analytics. For a while I had both of them running at the same time. Pointless, I know.
- Change in ad positions - I decided to do a little more research, but I didn't overdo it. I found out that the highest paying AdSense are the 300x250 boxes so I changed the one I had with one that can fit this new template. I have also added a big bottom banner, so it wouldn't bother anyone. And a post footer via FeedBurner, just to cover the maximum of 3 ad boxes possible on a single page.
These changes were made because of several reasons. One of them is the fact that The Yoboo is my first project that I tried to make it work this hard. So I guess I owe it to myself to keep going. Another reason was the fact that I ran the old layout through a test at websiteoptimization.com and I was not at all happy with the result. Even in this time of high speed Internet connections, we still need to consider the optimization of a web site. And with this new template, I'm happy to say that things are looking better. They're far from perfect but we still need to consider looks. But at least I've noticed a drop in the amount of requests needed to display the page, the size and number of the scripts and the total page size the user needs to download. I'm sure I can tweak those a little more if I try, without affecting quality. But it's pretty good for now.
I said in the beginning on this post that it feels for me that it's a new start. It could be because it's spring. But I decided to grant this project a little more attention. That's going to be a little harder since I already started another blog, Fresh IT News. But I hope I'll manage to keep both of them as active as I possibly can.
That's about it for now. I'm going to make sure I haven't messed up tot many thing when I changed the template. See you soon.