New layout

New layout

Update: For you Windows Explorer users, I think I’ve found the problem with the display in your browser. If it still looks funky to you, please drop a comment or email.

I know I’ll regret asking this again, but what do you think?

I decided to go with a three-column layout because I found the two columns a bit stifling and crowded. So much of the left column’s content got shoved pretty far down the page and no one could find it. Three columns don’t take up much more space and should fit most computer monitors fine, at least if your computer was purchased in this century.

The new layout required a change to the banner up top, something a little wider. Since so many people disliked the old one, I’m sure they’ll be happier now. … Yes?

I searched far and wide for something appropriate. Melanie counseled against anything that would be too cliche, like a saint’s statue or a stained glass window or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve never wanted the blog to be a cliche, right from the fact that the name is simply Bettnet.com, not some really cool Latin phrase.

The problem is that the banner has to be very wide but not too tall and it’s hard to find something that will look good within that limitation. Thankfully I remembered the panorama photo I took during our honeymoon on Prince Edward Island in August 2005. This photo looks out over a farm that overlooks the Northumberland Straits, just up the road from the Anne of Green Gables homestead. And it fits perfectly.

You may or may not have noticed a few other tweaks I’ve made in recent weeks. I’ve adjusted the typefaces and font sizes for readability and changed the blockquotes to set them off a little bit and started incorporating pullquotes in certain long blog entries.

Hope you like it.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
23 comments
  • Well, my first time with your new layout, what is, I guess, the center column—the stuff I came to look at—was shoved down a ways, so I had to scroll down for it. Oh well.

    I don’t get excited about this stuff, and wouldn’t have said anything…except you asked.

  • The layout look is off for me.  The advertisment at the top of the blog (4marks) goes into your banner and I had to scroll down a ways to read the first post.  I think I would like the change if it came out correctly.

  • I never liked the “tippy-Rome” photo, but you knew that. The new photo is pleasant, but what does it tell us about Dom & Co? Nothing much. But hey, it’s your blog, man. I’m just glad you post interesting things.

  • Ed: Thanks. Well, not all branding is directly about content. Much of it is about creating an emotional connection. At least that’s what I learned working for an ad agency some time ago.

  • It’s been good to see the various tweaks in formatting.  At the moment, the flickr photos in the left and right columns are identical, so I assume one of them isn’t intended to be permanent.

  • Ah yes, those were meant to be commented out, but IE was choking on the comment tag and when I fixed it…. etc.

    I wish Internet Explorer would disappear from the face of the earth. Whenever I’ve had blog template problems, invariably it’s been IE at the root of it.

  • I’m glad you asked because I’ve been wanting to tell you how much I like the new blog head typeface and the pull-quote treatment.

    And, speaking of branding, I always thought this blog, in whatever layout, says much about “Dom & Co.,” Ed.

    Capitalizing on the uniqueness of Dom’s last name via the signature, and title of “bettnet” is a ten-strike. And, consistently, the stated content of the blog mirrors the owner: faith, “family, politics, books, sports, fun.”

    By keeping these three elements, Dom can change the layout in just about anyway (save, perhaps, publishing everything upside down) and the i.d. is still there.

  • The wide layout is unconventional: it seems to demand that the reader maximize the window “landscape” style. 

    (Sorry, Reader, you’re not allowed to do anything else on your 15” laptop screen while you read Bettnet.)

    It’s not a show-stopper, though.  Since the material in the right column isn’t as important as the posts in the middle, I can just let the right column “fall off the edge”.

  • Hmm, not sure I’d agree it’s “unconventional,” since there are many blogs (not “blogger.com” ones usually) that use the three-column layout. In fact, I may suggest that three-columns is more common than two, which was one of the impetus’ for the change.

  • I like the three column layout.  It looks better tahn before but the top post covers up bettnet.com on the banner and the banner flowes into the right column.

  • Steve: I’ve now tested this on every conceivable version of Internet Explorer plus a bunch of Linux and Mac and other Windows browsers. What browser and version are you using?

  • On Firefox there is no top banner and no Bettnet up top.  Just a big white space that looks like something is missing.  Also it’s painfully slow to load.

  • Carrie: Could you be more specific about your set up? I’ve tested it in Firefox on both Macs and PCs. What version of Firefox are you using? What operating system? Windows XP, Mac OS X?

  • Carrie, if you’re running ad-blocking software, try disabling it temporarily.  I had to do that to see the top banner photo.

  • Well, I’m using Firefox 2.0.0.3 with Windows XP, and I can see the banner up top—but the center column has been pushed down beneath the right-hand column.

  • It looks better.  The left column doesn’t go up into the banner but the banner still goes into the right coulmn just a little.  Not a big thing.  I have the latest version of IE.  I enjoy the new fresh look.  Just in time for Easter!

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