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Welcome to the New Devlounge

Welcome to the new version of Devlounge. I have revamped the design to make things easier for the people involved in running this site. The previous version, being a nice piece of work for sure (I doubt Splashpress would’ve bought it otherwise!), had been around for a while, and it’s always good to redefine oneself every now and then.

So here we are, with a new version of Devlounge, for all the right reasons, I hope.

More importantly, it was necessary for us to redesign so that Devlounge would fit better in the Splashpress network (which isn’t fully integrated yet), as well as find its new voice. You have probably noticed that we have experimented a bit with various types of content during the past month or so, and spoken directly to some of you to make sure that we’re reading things right. It’s always hard to butt in as the poor bloke in charge of a recently acquired site, especially when you haven’t bought it yourself.

So here we are, with a new version of Devlounge, for all the right reasons, I hope.

So What’s New?

Besides a visual overhaul, still pretty true to the Devlounge look and feel I’d say, the big news is the way the content is categorized. In the backend, a lot of old things and choices still lingered, which is fairly common for sites in constant evolution actually. The key is to focus it so that you can have actual use of things like categories, tags and so on. It’s only natural that things are piling up, so this week will involve me re-categorizing a lot of content to fit our main categories. These have been described earlier, in the sneak peak post, but here they are again:

  • Code focusing on PHP, CSS, XHTML and similar, tutorials and snippets
  • Design on trends, web 2.0, inspiration, critique and praise
  • Opinion being commentary on the web from the staff, will probably delay this one for focusing reasons
  • Publishing blog platforms, forum systems, open source applications as well as paid ones, things you need to publish a website, basically
  • Strategy for launch and relaunch, monetization and SEO, things to help you succeed
  • Webapps is about online tools, necessities, desktop replacements, cool apps, things like that

The reason is of course to make it easier for the readers to find what they’re looking for. I have chosen to put the menu to the right, in favor of the descriptive type, otherwise I’m a fan of horizontal menus.

So category listings with relevant content will be coming along during the week, as will a dedicated archive page, an author archives at that.

The front page is new as well. It’s not the version I showed in a concept mockup way back, but a more straight forward one, displaying the latest articles straight up, but having space for more visual pushes at the top. I expect to tweak this a bit, to find the way to manage it and use it. It’ll be one of those elements where you have to find your way.

What About the Content, People?!

Yes, I’m getting to that. The whole purpose with a redesign is to elevate the content, and I’ve had the feeling that we needed to do that all along. There’s a lot of cool features planned, including my promised ones on bbPress, and I’ve got some promising writers on the way in as well. The idea is to up the publishing schedule, and offer a solid mix of articles and posts in the topics described above.

The whole purpose with a redesign is to elevate the content

I’m also hoping to be able to look through and update the WordPress themes offered here on Devlounge, with better support. Still working on how to solve that.

And yes, the previous Devlounge design will be released for free! Just don’t expect it right away, there’s probably a lot of hacking and customization to do to get it download-worthy. After all, it was made for Devlounge, and not general use.

We’ll offer more downloadable content as well, as we get back into our groove. Expect cool stuff coming out of the article series planned for this Summer… Tease, tease indeed!

This Week Might Be Rocky

Finally, I’d like to warn you all that this week might be rocky, as I take the time to manage the content as well as clean up a few things. I wanted to get this version out in the open, for feedback (the comments are wide open for you!) and reflection. The idea is to make Devlounge great, and that will take some effort for sure.

Expect a follow-up post on the progress late this week, or (probably) early the next.


  1. By Hendrik posted on June 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm
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    Looks great from where I am standing. The boxes in the floating text (e.g. stating “The whole purpose with a redesign is to elevate the content”) seem to disturb the flow of the text a bit which I need to adjust to. The large image on the front page seems somewhat out of place. The worst is, however, that you are missing a gravatar ;)

    No, really great job! Love the new layout.

  2. By TDH posted on June 9, 2008 at 12:20 pm
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    Thanks for pointing out the Gravatar issue, I’ve gotten blind with this site right now. ;) It was a bug, should be fixed now.

    And yes, naturally there are a lot of things to get used to, some to fix, and others to applaud, hopefully. I’m a bit torn regarding the image on the front page myself, as I mentioned in the post, but maybe it’ll work out better being a bit smaller and with more work.

    Thanks for your comment and your kind words!

  3. By Karen posted on June 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm
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    I think it looks great! Like the image on the front as well but it could be smaller perhaps?

    Great job TDH!

  4. By J David posted on June 9, 2008 at 7:29 pm
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    I like it! Then again, this has always been one of my favorite sites in terms of the look. Always clean and simple, yet interesting.

  5. By Steven Finch posted on June 10, 2008 at 5:01 am
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    This is an interesting design. It is very plain. I did expect you to have 125 x 125 ads in the sidebar, but you have gone for the long and thin ads. Overall, i dont really like this design, i also think you have lost some of the branding with regards to the red being predominant on the site.

  6. By TDH posted on June 10, 2008 at 5:08 am
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    Thanks for the kind words.

    Yes Steven, you’re correct regarding the ads, however, we’ve got advertisers that bought the old format, so it’ll be around until those campaigns have ended.

  7. By JM posted on June 10, 2008 at 6:01 am
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    I agree on the splash image feeling out of place. After splashpress bought this site, although I’ve kept it in my reader, is no longer a blog I continually read, the exception being Friday Focus. Sporadic and changing posts are not how you keep readers during a ownership change, I appreciate trying to find the content right for the readers, but you had them in the first place, and I think it is a great oversight on splashpresses part. Regardless, I am sure that devlounge will regain readership with a different flair. Goodluck with the relaunch!

  8. By Mahesh posted on June 10, 2008 at 7:36 am
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    Where’s the navigation bar? Many other Things are missing here…But at the end excellent design Thord..I like the design…Just one question why dont you added a border to the article-post layout i mean it was there in previous layout and it was great..this time it is not here and it looks floating…But still design is smooth and white clean look that matches with devlounges design reputn..I’m not expecting old theme immediately but maybe at the end of august or so….this theme itself is clean,professional and clear…keep this professional look always on DL …i hate to see DL in dark colors or flashy CSS blocks as well….anyway wrapping up comment……

    Nice design Thord…(Thumbs Up)…

  9. By TDH posted on June 10, 2008 at 9:40 am
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    JM,
    Hopefully we’ll be able to bring you back then! Thanks for your well wishes.

    Mahesh,
    The reason for NOT having a border on the actual content on article pages is to make the move to the comments more free. I’m not really a big fan of putting borders on everything. Thanks for the kind words.

  10. By Jen posted on June 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm
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    Nice work on this redesign. I like most of the typography, the sharp contrast of colors and sizes, and the layout in general. It’s so easy to navigate. Very professional. I love the Friday Focus, so I hope you intend to keep that. My only little thing is that the line-height of the bullet lists seems a bit tight, but maybe that’s just because the rest of the text is set with a lot of space. Seemed a little odd, but no big deal. Overall, lovely!!! ~jen

  11. By TDH posted on June 12, 2008 at 6:51 am
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    Thanks for the kind words, Jen. Yes, Friday Focus is a nice feature so we won’t drop it. You can expect a new one tomorrow.

    I added some space for the list, did that do it for you? :)

  12. By Jen posted on June 13, 2008 at 1:57 am
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    Haha! I think it looks great. ;)

  13. By Bryce posted on June 13, 2008 at 2:39 am
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    Wow, nice job with the site!! I can’t wait for the old design to be released :)

  14. By TDH posted on June 13, 2008 at 4:42 am
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    Thanks Bryce! Yeah, I really hope I’ll have the opportunity to go through the old theme soon and release it. The other themes will get a small upgrade where necessary as well, to be 2.5 compliant.

  15. By AJ posted on June 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm
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    Thord, I have to say I happen to love the new design. I’ve been quietly checking back every once in a while to see when it would go live. It remained nice and clean, and I think the comments look extremely sick. Nice job!

  16. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on June 25, 2008 at 12:42 pm
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    Thanks AJ, appreciate it!

  17. By Tommy M posted on July 5, 2008 at 4:53 pm
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    Looking forward to your publishing, strategy, and opinion sections. Woohoo!

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