This weekend I updated the template that I use on my blog. As I’m wont to do, freshening up the site turned my thoughts back to the the origins and history of my blog. Oh what a humble little blog we were back in 2003. Anyway, I decided to do a recap and share my little trip down memory lane.
After dabbling a little bit with Blogger, I decided to take the plunge and install MovableType on my own server at the end of 2002. After playing with the software and learning how to blog, I officially launched mashby.com on March 1, 2003.
The template I ended up using was a Blogger template called Autumn Hues by Martijn ten Napel. I liked that it was a clean design and that it used this new thing called Cascading Style Sheets.
Version 1.1 & 1.2
Over the years, I opted to change the color scheme a little bit to brighten things up a bit.
I was not the first person to own the domain mashby.com. Seems Marilyn Ashby registered the domain for her real estate business from 2001 – 2002. I picked up the domain in 2003.
I didn’t know this fact until I used the Wayback Machine to find some old screenshots
On September 13, 2008, I switched from MovableType to WordPress and switched the design of site while I was at it. I ended up choosing the theme Amazing Grace by Vladimir Prelovac.
Besides the fact that it was such a departure from my previous design, what I loved about the Amazing Grace theme was how modern it looked. The design was elegant with lots of color and images. It was such an improvement over the previous version of the site.
Which brings us to the current version. Although I had been a huge fan of the “Amazing Grace” theme, after all my tinkering and futzing about, I felt it was a little too busy. I was looking for something cleaner and more focused on the text of the entry.
Here’s a list of the themes that caught my eye:
- BlogTheme by Woo Themes
- Elegant Grunge by Michael Tyson
- Manifest by Jim Barraud
- Fontella by Horacio A. Bella
- Typography by miloIIIIVII
- Typographby Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Now that I’ve done this retrospective, it’s kind of funny to see that I my initial motivation was to move back to a typography based design. Forgetting that this is how the blog was originally designed.
Ultimately, I ended up choosing the theme OneRoom by Jeremie Tisseau. What drew me to this theme was the coloring and the clean lines. The copy takes center stage and then the left and right columns support the articles without pulling too much focus.
While I implementing the new template, I decided to simplify the extra bits that I had in the sidebars and take away as much as I could. Hopefully I’ve reached my goal and implemented a tight, clean, focused layout and design that makes reading these little missive’s a little bit easier.
Congrats brother! I like the new look! 🙂
Thanks Mike! Coming from you, that’s a HUGE compliment. Thank you.
Hey, where’s the colour scheme you borrowed from a cracker box? I liked that one…
I completely forgot about that never finished redesign!
I had worked on doing a complete redesign back when I was still on MovableType, sometime around 2004/2005. Anyway, the redesign was inspired by a box of Starr Ridge crackers, but alas I never finished it.
Thanks to your wonderful memory, I found the renderings that I did and threw the photos up on Flicker. You can find the first version at this link and then simply scroll through the photostream.
Really? It was never finished? Somehow in my head it was that design for a long time. Odd.
I can’t find the Amazon link on the new site. Can you put it on the left hand side by all the other links?