by derek on July 28, 2007 · 25 comments

Unless you are reading this via your RSS reader, you will have noticed that I have changed the theme of the site to something a little different.
In addition to the theme change, I finally took the plunge to upgrade my WordPress version to the latest version.
If you see anything screwy taking place, please leave a comment or contact me with the details. There has been quite a bit changed so I may have missed something in my testing. Although I did complete a good deal of testing on my XAMPP development playground that I had mentioned earlier.
Please share your thoughts about the new theme as well, I am very interested to hear what everyone thinks!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Brown Baron July 28, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Looking good so far!


derek July 28, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Thanks. My wife doesn’t care for it as she wanted me to go with something blue but we’ll see how this works out.


Saman Sadeghi July 31, 2007 at 1:22 pm

I really like this theme – blue would look good too!
Also, you should really install the All-In-One-SE plugin – get those posts to the top of the search engine ranks!


derek July 31, 2007 at 4:50 pm

I’ll have to give that plugin a try. I’ve actually been pretty pleased with my placement in the search engines on various topics.
On my personal finance site, I recently wrote a post on the Illinois 529 plan change and my rankings have been top 5 out of millions of results. I’ll have to see if All-in-One can help with this site.


Saman Sadeghi July 31, 2007 at 11:58 pm

It really can’t hurt!
You can choose to have the plugin use the first xxxxx number of words for descriptions but I decided to go back and edit all of my old post (for better SEO).
The biggest piece of advise I can give is: Make sure you are putting you post’s excerpt in the Optional Excerpt field and not the Description field (which is used for photo uploads)!

derek August 1, 2007 at 12:23 am

I need to investigate this plugin more to see what it does, as I don’t recall all of the details from John Chow’s mention of it awhile back.
Just as an example, here is a search for after dugg where my site comes up as the first result out of 2 million.
The title of my post is displayed before the site name and the excerpt is not the first xxxxx words but instead is the relevant piece of text given the search term.
While this is an isolated example, I am just trying to determine the true benefit of this plugin. I’m off to do my research.

Saman Sadeghi August 1, 2007 at 12:29 am

It would change the text to your excerpt (this happens in your feed and WordPress search box too) – there are a ton of configuration options too. I’m very impressed with it, but I haven’t done a before & after comparison….

Saman Sadeghi August 1, 2007 at 12:35 am

Here’s a search of my site, notice the 4-6 links. Those have been edited (I’m working on editing all 345 posts).

derek August 1, 2007 at 12:51 am

Okay, I’ve done a little more reading and search testing (things like site:dereksemmler.com) and I think I will give this plugin a try.
There are far too many posts that are not coming up with a relevant description. Thanks for the dialog Saman!

Saman Sadeghi August 1, 2007 at 12:53 am

Your welcome buddy!
(I just read my last comment and it didn’t make much sense – I need sleep!, but I guess you got my point)

Ms. Latina Renee July 29, 2007 at 2:40 am

Nice look! Blue would be great too.


Marc Eilbeck July 29, 2007 at 5:10 am

I like the old one better 😡


Chris Gray July 29, 2007 at 11:22 am

Again, I love the new theme…I’m diggin the color scheme. You’ve got RSS buttons prominently placed and navigation is clearly defined (something that I need to work on with my own theme). The only thing that I see is that your header (site name and tag line) have been made into an image (as opposed to plain text). I thought that I read somewhere that you should avoid using images for your header (as search engines add weight to your h1 tags). Also from a usability perspective, text is always preferred to graphics…but you did include alt text which is definitely a good thing. Overall, it’s a winner. Good work!


Brown Baron July 29, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Something blue? Hmm, I think I’ll stick with this one hehe.


Rose July 29, 2007 at 1:42 pm

I like the new changes. The only thing I do not like is the horizontal scroll bar.


derek July 29, 2007 at 9:33 pm

@Marc :: What was it about the old one that you liked? Or is it just everything about this one you don’t like?
@Chris :: The H1 tag is still there in the code, I have simply hidden it with CSS. So the search engines will still see my H1 blog name and tag line when the page is crawled but it is hidden from the user’s eye. That should work just fine from an SEO perspective, in theory at least.
@Brown Baron :: Lol, I know what you mean but I did see a few themes in blue that weren’t too bad.
@Rose :: Thanks. What resolution are you browsing at that there is a horizontal scroll? Or do you have your window shrunk down? I would have to guess you are browsing at 800×600 as this theme was set to a width of 855, which would result in a little bit of scroll.


Chris Gray July 29, 2007 at 9:49 pm

@Derek – Good trick, I will need to give that one a try sometime…thanks.
I know you are talking about my blue theme right? LOL!


derek July 29, 2007 at 10:03 pm

No problem, that is actually a tip that I had read on the site of Sadish, who has created quite a few great themes including the one used on my personal finance site and the one I had been using here.
Lol, your theme isn’t blue enough for my wife. She liked this dark blue theme which was actually done by the same guys as the theme I am using now.


Brown Baron July 30, 2007 at 12:02 am

Blue is actually my favorite color but that theme you just mentioned is a little too blue for me lol.


derek July 30, 2007 at 12:55 am

Lol, I know what you mean. I thought about playing around with that theme to take some of the blue out but there were a few features that I didn’t care for so I just moved on to a different theme.

Leo July 30, 2007 at 1:17 am

Your site definitely looks cleaner but I dunno about all the orange. A little too citrus for me 😉


Melanie July 30, 2007 at 1:23 am

Hi Derek – I like the new theme, particularly the footer, great idea, and makes it look a little different from other blogs.
Just wondering what you think of BlogCatalog, as opposed to MyBlogLog?


derek July 30, 2007 at 7:17 am

@Leo :: Thanks for the feedback. I think the orange takes some getting used to as it is a little different than what you see on many sites.
@Melanie :: Thanks! Lately I am not thinking too highly of BlogCatalog. I’ve written a few posts on my thoughts and more recently I have talked to someone that was banned from BC for suspect reasons. I’m still willing to give them a shot but I haven’t been doing much there at all.


ms danielle August 1, 2007 at 1:25 am

great job! your site looks so sleek now 😀 and the orange / grey color scheme always works. bravo


derek August 1, 2007 at 1:30 am

Thanks Danielle, I appreciate the feedback!


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