Know Your Audience: The Browser War

It never ceases to amaze me the different audience you see at different websites. Case Study:

For instance, this blog. I just recently launched this site as a means to release my WordPress themes and write tutorials and tips on web design, WordPress themes and blogging. Obviously, this blog appeals to a wide, but interestingly narrow audience. We’re talking about bloggers and designers, not amateurs.

Contrasting that, I did a WordPress theme for my church this past week to handle the new series called “GameTime“. It’s mostly using WordPress as a simple CMS to handle the various pages of content, but we also included a blog feature so we could publish updates to the members of the church. We’re not talking about a bunch of idiot visitors either. The people of NewSpring come from all kinds of backgrounds, including business professionals. Read More

Good Design Starts With the Homepage

I know there’s a lot of controversy over which part of your blog is most important.  Some people say that because most of your traffic is going to come from links to your individual posts through either search engines or links from other blogs.  Others say that because one of the most clicked links on your website is the “home” link, the homepage is the most important detail you should focus on.

While I don’t want to negate the importance of individual post page design, I personally find the homepage to be where you should spend the majority of your time designing.

The reason is simple (at least in my mind).  Once the homepage is taken care of, single post pages can be taken care of based on your homepage design.

See, web design is all about structure.  A “wireframe” if you will.  And if the structure of your homepage is in order, it can be copied (at least partially) for the structure of the single post template.

For instance … if you are designing a blog homepage, chances are you’ll have a header, navigation, a content column, and some sidebars.  Work on the homepage … get the layout hammered out … then use that layout as a guide for your single page template.  Replace “recent comments” with “popular posts”.  You get the idea.

I’m not saying one is more important than the other … I’m just saying to start with the homepage, and let the other page designs follow from the way your homepage flows.

Welcome to NathanRice.me

Over the past 10 months or so, I’ve jumped head first into the blogging world.  I started a personal blog in October … and little did I know the opportunities that little website would bring me.

Here I am nearly a year later, and it’s been a wild ride!

Back in February, I decided to take a shot at releasing a WordPress theme.  It was ugly, and it was rough, but I saw then how my pre-existing knowledge of web development could translate easily into theme development.  After that first theme, Cory Miller and I started RockinThemes.com, where we have released over 40 free WordPress themes.  We also started a custom theme and website development company and have done very well so far.

We’ve since invited new designers to join us at RT, making it a true multi-user theme release hub.

I’ve spent most of my time in the last few months running RockinThemes, but recently I got the idea that I needed to launch out with a site of my own where I would develop and support a small handful of my most popular themes.

And hence this site was born.

I won’t get too heavy on the details at the moment, but for the time being I’m thinking this will be a place where users can personally interact with me as I write tutorials on web design, WordPress development, and blogging.

As you can tell, the design is a work in progress.  I’ll be working on it sporadically for the next few days and weeks.

But for now, enjoy the new blog!  I hope you stick around and check back often.  In fact, I’d love it if you would go ahead and subscribe to my weekly email.  Since this a new blog, you can be one of the few people who can say you’ve read it from the very beginning! 🙂