ShanKrila has gotten a re-design and the new look is live on the blog now! I had used a highly customized Saur WordPress 3-column theme for a long time. I loved it and had a green/orange/white color theme going on representing the Indian flag. As much as I loved it, the theme had gotten too busy for my taste. There were too many things in the sidebars and footer. I had wanted to move to a 2-column theme for a while but never really found one that I could see ShanKrila in.
Finally, I won a copy of Fresh News by @adii in a contest and I was in love with it. The only problem was I loved the logo I had but it was in a green/gray shade and the new look I was going for called for a blue theme. Also, if you had wondered about the logo.. ShanKrila aims to be a shining beacon in this ocean that is the Internet focusing just on the gems that I share with you. Sounds like a cliche? It is.
That’s when my good friend Suren offered to help (meaning I dragged him kicking & screaming into this.. just kidding buddy!). As you can see, he masterfully re-did the logo to fit this theme like a hand in a glove. And the fun looking K in ShanKrila, yes sir, that’s me! If you are reading this in a Feed reader, I invite you to click over and take a peek and offer some feedback in the poll and/or comments.
To keep my rambling short, I am going to list a few changes/new features here:
- New logo, color scheme & cleaner navigation
- Featured Posts – showcasing the best posts of the week in the home page
- Dumped categories & use tags for main navigation.
- Tabbed interface in the sidebar removing the clutter
- New translation engine for different languages – I love everyone!
- Cleaned up the footer to focus on ShanKrila & our other blogs
- Shiny new ‘Social bookmarks‘ buttons that pop out when you hover your mouse over it (by @eight7teen)
- Twitter integration in comments – you can leave your Twitter ID while you comment and gain more exposure. It’s 2 fold – I can find you on Twitter and so can other readers. Go ahead, try it out.
- Minimal ads for regular readers – ads appear only after 7 days of publishing or if you came here through a search engine. I hope you don’t mind the others as they really help run this blog and make it better.
- Amazon integration – right now the blog sidebar has contextual Amazon products. I am in process of building ShanKrila’s Amazon Store – this will feature products I love & recommend to my friends. You can see the browse my favorite books, electronics, home stuff, gadgets, laptops, etc in the upcoming Amazon store.
DoFollow & KeywordLuv Discontinued
As you might have noticed the message in the Comments area, I have made a hard decision to discontinue being a DoFollow & KeywordLuv blog. I have been a DoFollow blog for almost 2 years now. I have benefitted and have shared this benefit with countless others. Plus, I was also sold to Stephen Cronin’s idea of KeywordLuv and have had it over 8-9 months here.
One thing that has grown to be a problem is that I am now listed on way too many DoFollow/KeywordLuv list of blogs. I am guilty of voluntarily asking to be added to some of these lists. Getting down to why I made this decision – I simply want to have a conversation with my readers. A real conversation. But, the comment sections have become unmanageable with the flood of comments from Internet Marketers. I have nothing against marketers but everyday my motivation to reply to comments have been waning and I have lost the enthusiasm to reply to comments where there is 100s of comments to moderate every week. It gets tiring.
And I often see that I had missed replying to a genuine question or concern from a reader whom I could have helped in a timely manner. I have not become too big to discontinue this. I only see this blog as an extension of me and I don’t like to see that it has become a one way street where I post and disappear. As with any other blog, the real value is in the comments. And the I would like to continue the conversation beyond the post whether you agree with my post or not.
However, I have CommentLuv – which shows your most recent post from your blog when you comment. Plus, the Twitter integration could help finding people with similar interests by checking out the comments or leaving yours as well.
Change – The Only Permanent Thing in Life
I have put some of the experience I have gained in the last 2 years of blogging trying to make this a place you want to hang out and find the information you need easily and quickly. There are still a few things left to do with this re-design effort
- A new About page with my picture in it – to give a more personal feel to it
- A new Advertise page with the new Ad options
- Fixing a few CSS bugs that show up when viewing the site in Internet Explorer
- Other bugs that I am not aware yet – please leave a comment if you found something broke in the site.
- Get unlisted from Dofollow/KeywordLuv blog lists
Google Adsense has been the main support for this blog so far and private advertising hasn’t been much of a contributor. But, that’s becuase I honestly haven’t pursued it as much as I should have. I hope to change that. I am also interested in seeing what kind of effect the re-design is going to have on Adsense earnings. I just want to say thanks to all my readers for motivating me to go that extra length. And to those readers who have loyally left comments because you wanted to converse, I am back. And I look forward to your comments.