You may have noticed some slight changes to Just Creative Design over the past week which comes after I called for your feedback in the lucky dip draw that I held last month. On this subject when was the last time you asked what your readers wanted? Why don’t you offer a prize for some valuable feedback?
If you’re on a feed reader, why don’t you click through to see the changes to Just Creative Design.
Before and After
Below you can see a before and after screenshot of what JCD used to look like. Please ignore the half red circle on the before photo.
After receiving feedback on this post I updated the pink sidebars to something a bit less bright. I used the old grey sidebars however I put a pink underline and a slight grey gradient on it. I also added a bottom graphic to make it more like ‘pods’.You can see the changes below, or refresh. Your thoughts?
Side Bar Colour Changes
I changed the colours of the sidebar headers to JCD’s trademark pink colour as people suggested making the “site a bit less grey”, “more colourful”, “not so white”. What do you think?
David Airey also recently changed the colour of his website from a blue colour scheme to an orange one to reflect his work more accurately… Your website should reflect who you are. Lauren Marie from Creative Curio actually went a step further and redesigned her whole website to reflect herself more accurately. What is your website saying about you?
Remember that small gradual changes to your website overtime keep it fresh which in turn brings back visitors time and time again.
Probably the most common complaint I had from JCD readers when I gathered feedback was that JCD was too cluttered. To declutter I;
- Removed a lot of my advertisers (I had already given them 2 free months of advertising) and added an automated advertising system. Interested in advertising?
- Cut down on how many categories I had from 19 to 16. This still needs work.
- Cut down the recent articles from 10 to 6.
- Removed the massive subscriber button that I used to have (not shown in the before shot).
- Removed the ‘Subscribe to Just Creative Design’ text that used to be underneath my logo.
- Removed and reordered some articles in the popular articles list on the left side bar.
- Changed the size of my header / logo to much smaller.
- Changed font size down a size.
- Moved Google Search Bar up onto the menu.
- I optimised some of my pages better for search engines using some tips from our article, 10 SEO Rules for Designers.
- I will also be changing my post title images from the old pencil shaped box to a normal square box.
You may have also noticed that I added the Free Type Classification eBook badge and since then downloads have tripled. Are you offering anything free on your website?
I do plan to declutter JCD even more in the short future as well as add some new features however it all comes down to time… I really want to convert all the recent articles, categories and popular articles into one tabbed area to shorten the left sidebar as well as possibly get a community feed happening.
Over the past week Just Creative Design was upgraded from Google PageRank 3 to Google PR4 and we were also given some Google Sublinks (which you can see in the screenshot below). You can even reorganise the sublinks in Google’s Webmaster Tools, of which I am soon about to do.
To get your own sub links generally you have to have a certain amount of inbound links into your site, with a certain amount of authority in Googles search engine. I just got mine last week, after 7 months of being online so it did take a while.
Anyway just a short post to let you know of some small changes that I have made to improve JCD… both visible and some not so visible. What are your thoughts?