Friday, February 01, 2008

New Day, New Design

As you can see, a new era has dawned, has it not? Now I realise that change isn't always popular, but I hope you will like the new design. Verity has already made clear that she hates it, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

The intention behind the design was to make the site look more newsy. In the next few weeks I hope to start some proper video content, and make the site pay for itself through increased advertising revenues.

The links section was getting far too unwieldy and over the next couple of weeks it will be transferred to a bespoke page, which is currently under construction.

I also have a new personal website at www.iaindale.co.uk which is there to promote my media and public speaking. The different sections in that site are linked above.

Anyway, let me know what you think and give me any suggestions as to how the new blog design and features can be improved or expanded.

Finally, thanks to Cassilis for the design. I really appreciate all his hard work.

PS having brought a European plug adaptor rather than a US one I can't use my laptop until I find somewhere to buy a power pack. Off to Pentagon City Mall first thing in the morning!

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

Classic spin! New Labour would be proud! Shield the damage over your judgement about Conway with timely redesign. The classic PR stunt. Of course these matters take months to plan but the day of the launch could not be better timed for you.

You should have watched Question Time last night. The audience reaction was a reflection on the damage Conway has done.

Also Cameron to be seen with Thatcher could hardly have been timed at a worse time. Reminds people of the old Tory ways. No wonder there was an embargo on the press notice.

Anyway Campbell would be proud. His spin theories are now practiced by you! I hope it pays off!

Anonymous said...

It's good.

Rush-is-Right said...

You should have waited until 1st of April.

Meanwhile, this link comes from Drudge..

http://tinyurl.com/ysl9ct

So McCain was ready to join the Dems, shock horror. Is anyone really surprised?

Alan Douglas said...

Iain,

Redesign is fine, but, forgive me, the photo of you in "King Kong" pose I'm SURE could be improved upon !

You must have one where you are seen as much more upstanding, rather than hunched forward ?

You don't have to print this comment !

Btw, I very much like the "politics/gossip/humour/commentary line - as we already know, your blog DOES deliver what it says on the tin.

Alan Douglas

PS added benefit - Richard North will hate it.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Loads more quickly than the old one, so for that reason alone I like it.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

Iain Said:
The intention behind the design was to make the site look more newsy. In the next few weeks I hope to start some proper video content, and make the site pay for itself through increased advertising revenues.

Isn't a web log supposed to be a place where you record your own thoughts, where you express your own feelings, where you say it as you think it is, without the constraints of the main stream media?

How can you continue to say this is Iain's view, if you have one hand tied behind your back by the need to make the site pay for itself through increased advertising revenues?

True Blogs should be free, not nobbled by their advertisers!

Anonymous said...

Howard, did I read Iain correctly or not?

He did not condone Conway's behaviour, he said that as he, Conway was a friend, he would not call for his resignation - I took that as the equivilent of abstaining when a matter affected you personally - but certain of us do have integrity and do just that!

WE all do things that are wrong and not all are lucky enough to have a friend who will point out the good side. Of course there are always those who know you when you are riding high and desert pdq when we sink!

I am glad that Conway resigned, so he should, but I know how difficult it can be for friends of those in disgrace. I was once publically threatened for refusing to ostracise a family I knew, but my integrity would not allow me to do so.

JuliaM said...

Nice, clean design. Very easy on the eye - your website designer has done you proud.

Laurence Boyce said...

Great stuff Iain. Badly needed, long overdue, blah blah blah. . . but you got there in the end! But hang on a minute, what’s this? Comments in a different style to the post? And you still can’t click on the post title. Ah well . . . :)

Barnacle Bill said...

I like it!

BOF2BS said...

Instant early morning reaction is favourable....... apart from the continuity of the Howards!

Anonymous said...

Best of wishes for the new design.

zendo said...

I really like the new design.

Anonymous said...

I like it! Very swish.

4x4 the people said...

New website looks great Iain. A Great Leap Forward.

If it's not too late maybe you could ask the concierge or housekeeping at your hotel if they have any UK->US adapters. They often get left behind by previous occupants along with mobile phone adapters.

Anonymous said...

it's too big for my screen, i can't see it all

Heresiarch said...

I had a makeover too, the other day, at my increasingly-popular "Heresy Corner" blog. Not quite as professional as Iain's beautiful new template, but it's early days!

Anonymous said...

It's nice and fresh and springlike - I like it! But please don't overdo the commercial stuff; it detracts from the message. Of course it's good to be able to get some revenue from the site, but I think the potential advert-clicker might also be distracted if there are too many clashing ads and links - resulting in lower revenue. A few ads, well-targeted at the audience is the aim!

Anyway, congratulations & keep the good work up!

Anonymous said...

Iain,

I like the layout but the blue is a bit too light and a bit too grey for my taste. I'm sure the content and the discussion will maintain their usual high standards. (You even get a better quality of trolling here than on some blogs.)

Anonymous said...

Are you online in America yet, Iain? Banging :)

Anonymous said...

Good stuff...can you start writing some interesting posts again now please

Man in a Shed said...

Now you could please all of the people all of the time by letting them chose the design they want to use ! Or would be being different things to different people be the realm of the Lib Dems ?

I get the feeling that your moving on in your career towards the MSM. Good luck, you'll be missed.

Anonymous said...

Looks fine to me ... ignore Verity - just an old reactionary !

William Gruff said...

I like it, though I'm not sure about the blue and green. I think you've succeeded admirably in making it look 'newsy'.

I would find it easier to 'read' were you to put a little more white space around the post titles but that's just carping. It looks good on a wide screen monitor too.

Well done, and what a surprise for breakfast.

Bob Piper said...

Cassilis has done a fine job and I'm sure people will be queuing up at his door for a redesign.

However, Liam is obsessed with small font sizes (get two men in a room and they are bound to argue about size, eh?) and like his own recent redesign, the new font size is just a bit too small.

Perhaps it is my eyesight fading as I enter my twilight years, but the previous font size was much easier to read.

Anonymous said...

Fiddling while Rome burns

Newmania said...

What a horrible shock. Your old look was “Nice cup of tea-ish”. This clinical threatening design approaches you with icy hauteur and sniffs,“ Can I help you?”, when what they mean is buy something or sod off.
Looks like Dale the virtual confidante is now Dale the “media “ entrepreneur.Oh how I hate change .I suggest we all click our ruby slippers together and repeat “ There’s no place like Conservative home ...there’s no place like Conservative Home ..there’s no place .... like Conservative Home , there`s no place.....”

Anonymous said...

I wonder about that picture of you standing on the cliffs in your bio section. Shouldn't you be looking out over the ocean? Keeping a vigil for the invading Eurohordes? Or are you contemplating this green and pleasant land with a tear in your eye and a lump in your throat? Or is a bit of Norfolk which is crumbling into the sea symbolic of our failing institutions and standards. What does it all mean?

Anonymous said...

I like it - but from an editing point of view in the Home section you say in the first paragraph that you've written nearly 30 books. While in the sixth paragraph you say you've written more than 20 books.
And then About section is stangely similar to the Biog Section.

Anonymous said...

If Verity dislikes it it must be OK. Keep up the good work.

4x4 the people said...

Iain, you had better put up a new post on the Conways or else this one is going to degenerate into a total trollfuck (pardon my language, its a reference to the latest Coen brothers film). Instead of people saying nice things about your new blog it will be full of people saying generally unpleasant things about your friends. As last night's QT showed it's not going away soon.

strapworld said...

howard said...

stop knocking Lady Thatcher. She is a far far better man than you will ever be!

I am rather sick of you leftie toads constantly suggesting that she is the problem the conservatives have had for the past ten or more years.

It was due to back stabbing cowards, like yourself, who never understood what a mess she inherited from the Labour Government after Callaghan and Wilson. Much as it will be for the next conservative government, when they actually get to see the books!

The people in the Conservative Party who, against the vast majority of members, stabbed Mrs Thatcher in the back, are the ones who you should be directing your abuse.

That it has taken Cameron this long to praise Baroness Thatcher is a damned disgrace. Better late than never. I only hope he learns from her that he will have to be jolly strong in power.

Fair weather tories like -howard said- should rejoin the LibDems.

Paul Linford said...

Really like it Iain.

Anonymous said...

"...make the site pay for itself"

It's on blogspot. It's free.

'Rules of Engagement': "...but if it is insulting to me or other people posting in the thread I reserve the right not to allow it through."

We'll see.

Anonymous said...

If it keeps verity away, then it can only be a good thing ! Yay !

Anonymous said...

Take no notice of Verity. The new design is fine, though I'm sure we've seen better recent photographs of you.

Anonymous said...

I take it you're locked into this dull blogger.com comment page regardless of your homepage styling?

Homepage looks good, very neat, though the photo of you is still underexposed!

Anonymous said...

Very News-at-Ten like. Which isn't a compliment, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Very nice, Iain.

It seems very reminiscent of the current Conservative branding style.

Paul Burgin said...

Will take a bit of getting used to, but I like it!

Anonymous said...

alwyn ap huw - It is a fair point you make, but Iain Dale has already sold out to the mainstream media, so he is not really an 'independent' blogger - if indeed he ever was.

Anonymous said...

Very nice design Mr. Dale.

Benny said...

This looks a lot more professional. Great design.

Anonymous said...

Nice redesign, easy on the eye etc etc. Iain time to change the picture, what about using the one in the attic?

Anonymous said...

I like your new design. It's much improved... Not entirely sure about your choice of colours and I think your photograph could be much improved.

It's not a radical change but it's sleeker and more stylish.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

PS> Don't go too corporate Iain - or you'll lose your personality and your appeal.

botogol said...

the sub-headings 'politics' 'gossip' 'humour' and 'commentary' should be clickable links to show posts that you have filed under those categories....

Anonymous said...

I like the old design but in reality I don't much care. I'll get used to the new one.

Hopi Sen said...

Iain,

Can't believe you haven't linked to cassilis on your front page blog roll - I mean I'm sure he was too modest to suggest it himself, but poor show old chap!

Anonymous said...

NIce design Iain, very smart. Now let's have a bit of the truith about Livingslime as well as Yankee stuff, please!

Anonymous said...

looks great Iain - I hope he's being paid for it!

Anonymous said...

"Verity has already made clear that she hates it"

You're only saying that to make the new design popular.

Archbishop Cranmer said...

His Grace congratulates on your makeover, and prays for a much-deserved increase to his meagre stipend in order that he may indulge in the same.

Deo volente!

Johnny Norfolk said...

Alwyn ap Huw.

Nothing in life is free as you put it. Perhaps you would like to make a contribution to Mr Dales running costs so he does not have to sell space.
These something for nothing people that this country is full of really **** me off.

You can never have 'earned' a living or you would not make remarks like that.

Anonymous said...

Could not one of the banner slogans read..

"Iain Dale : Ruthless self publicist"

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up from me - it looks great, a pleasant surprise, and as someone else said, it loads a lot quicker.

Enjoy Washington, I hope it's not too cold! And forget the diabetes for a bit, a few treats won't hurt you!!

Anonymous said...

Desperate Dan said ... "you say in the first paragraph that you've written nearly 30 books. While in the sixth paragraph you say you've written more than 20 books."

The two statements are not inconsistent.

Madasafish said...

It's better than the last one.

Pity the content has gone downhill fast.

This site used to be entertaining , amusing and usefully full of intersting stuff.

It's now become traditionally boring. A complete turn off.

Matt Dean said...

The blog looks great; clean & contemporary

Anonymous said...

I preferred it when the deckchairs faced aft.

Anonymous said...

Just a word of warning!
As you are just a member of the public it is your duty to declare all the income from the extra advertising etc..
However if you are successful in becoming an MP one day then different rules apply of course. As there are many anonymouses you should be OK for hiding where the dosh comes from... just pick a few of them. But in any case I'm sure there are still lots of loopholes left.

Sites OK!

Anonymous said...

Iain, shame on you for making me type the next sentence:

I agree with Verity.*

JJ

*for the first and last time, mind.

Anonymous said...

Stroll on. The site redesign merely enables more adverts to be better presented. You sell out.

Anonymous said...

It's actually now one of the best templates for Blogger I've seen well done. Only thing I'm not keen on is the font for blog headlines as it is a bit narrow, and the headline should perhaps be the most easily readable thing on the page.

Apart from that, it's a tour de force!

Tapestry said...

That's better. Still no picture of your dog though.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas Bennett - that was funny!

To those who claim I'm reactionary, frankly, I think the colours employed have a dated look about them. Pale turquoise and grey. Very Victorian. The graphics on the masthead are trite, trite, trite. I suppose we should be grateful there's no photo of Princess Diana anywhere on the page.

Unknown said...

Nice new design Iain. Makes it all a lot crisper.

Anonymous said...

Like the design, but your photo looks like you are sitting down on the loo trying to squeeze one out...

Anonymous said...

And your website says you've signed up for Specialist Speakers. Lucky you. I hope you have an enjoyable time speaking alongside Anita Roddick!

Anonymous said...

Can you make the text size bigger? It seems smaller and harder to read. Otherwise, i like it.

Anonymous said...

Colour scheme is washed out and a bit insipid to my eye - but chacun a son gout. Also agree with earlier poster that you need to go up a point or two with your font. The one you have chosen is a bit small on small screens.

Anonymous said...

I like the changes, site loads fast on mobile and laptop, font is hard to read on laptop, you need a better masthead pic of yourself, and content on left margin is smart.

Clothilde Simon said...

It's OK, I think. But why was it necessary to change it? As an sort-of Conservative, you should never change anything unless there is a good reason to!

Anonymous said...

Dreadful

Anonymous said...

WoW what a brilliant design for your blog, its wonderful!

George said...

Sorry, mate, but the design, particularly the font (Arial), is awful.

Arial is simply not a font to be taken seriously. A few studies have already shown that the best fonts to be used for websites are Georgia and Verdana, with one owner of a commercial site saying that her sales increased by 20% after making the switch to Georgia.

Please switch back to Georgia if you want your readers to keep coming back.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I don't know who Cassilis is but he must have had a nervous breakdown in DFS and then tried to recover in Argos. The new design is unfocused and tries to do everything at once.

Someone coming to this for the first time wouldn't know if you were some sort of pyramid selling scam or an agent for Man at C&A. Wearing a formal shirt without a tie is a sartorial no no. You look as if (to quote "The Thick of It") ...as if you have spent a night in the cells.

There are too many buttons to press and too many fripperies, reminiscent of the pages of the Daily Mail which advertise stairlifts and satin posing pouches.(Are you advertising Satin Posing Pouches yet or will it be those weird sonic things that scare cats off your lawn?)

Its an improvement, Jim, but not as we know it.

Anonymous said...

Also, and then I won't say another word, it is wrong to emphasise, in your masthead DALE because that is not your main identifier. In the future, there may be other famous Dales. You are known as Iain Dale. Not Iain DALE.

I can see that you don't want the Diary to interfere with your main identity, because you do other things, but emphasising Dale is counter productive.

And I still think the pale turquoise is too girly. And I still don't like that shoulder lurching in on the right. Your photo should be on the banner that everyone can see. I see it as a screened out background and the rest of the masthead overlaying it.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I love the blog, but this "new look" is dreadful. It makes the thing look cheap, trashy and tabloidy. Like something out of Murdoch Hell.

PLEASE reconsider!