If you have visited ClintonFitch.com over the course of the past few hours, you will notice a change is afoot. That change is an all new, lightweight and clean Material Design look to the site. This change has actually been in the works for several weeks now as I have been working on a theme that is based on the excellent WordPress theme built by Brad Williams. As with any site, any time you make a major change to the look and feel there are a lot of considerations that have to be taken into account: User experience, adverts, content flow and of course mobile look & feel. In this update, I think I’ve found the right balance but ultimately it is you, the readers, that have to make that decision. Feedback, as you would guess, is most welcome.
Why Change The Look of ClintonFitch.com At All?
Fundamentally there were two main drivers for making this change to ClintonFitch.com. First, the previous look and feel was simply too heavy for mobile users. While I had optimized the site to
know when you were on a mobile device, ultimately load times were just taking far to long. On average readers were having to wait 5-10 seconds for the site to load. That may not sound like much but it is an eternity in site design. This new theme loads much faster, generally in the 2-5 second range. That is largely due to the cleaner overall look and feel that has far fewer graphics involved on loading.
Second, I was inspired by my colleague and teammate here on the site Tricia. She is in the process of going through a similar process on her own blog and over the past several weeks we have been chatting about themes, designs and so forth. Ultimately she is still working on what her site is going to look like but really it was her that put the fire under me to make a change.
The Material Design Reflects The Content on ClintonFitch.com
As long time readers will know, the content of the site has changed a lot in the 14 years that it has been going. This site started out as a personal blog then moved to a PocketPC centric site before moving to Windows Phone. Starting in 2015 I moved to a more Android and Google centric view as I adopted this platform & ecosystem as my daily drivers. The time had come for the site’s design to reflect the content more accurately. This theme, I believe, accomplishes that goal.
It’s All About Mobile
I’ve briefly touched on this already but the need for having a site that is mobile optimized is critical. In reviewing the stats for ClintonFitch.com, over 65% of you this year have come to the site via a mobile device. That is a massive leap from the just 22% of 2013. By moving to this new look & feel, load times on phones and tablets is significantly faster and the overall user experience is fluidly optimized for mobile devices.
Feedback is Welcome!
Ultimately it is you, the readers, that make a site like mine a success. Your visits, linking, and clicking on ads are much appreciated. Thank you.
Equally, your feedback is important to me too. Tell me what you think of the new look either here or on Google+. I want to know what you think and want to hear your suggestions.
Thanks for following the site!