When I first decided to start writing about my travel experiences, I had no idea what I was doing. Hell truthfully I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing. The adventure part is easy…the hard part is finding time to write about them. But hey at least now I look more stylish while doing it! 😉
One thing I hate about nearly every travel blog out there is they all look exactly the same: menu up top, a new/featured post slider under that and a boring sidebar that always starts with the obligatory “about me” widget.
I wanted mine to be different.
So last week after building a new web site advertising my web design abilities and services, well I figured it was time to upgrade the HoliDaze as well. And behold, the new look is here! In fact the whole layout of the site has been redesigned to make it easier to navigate and find what interests you. Browse FriFotos, be inspired by up-and-coming travel bloggers, even live vicariously through me if you can’t travel just yet.
The Home Page
The first thing I did was completely trash the stereotypical home page design and come up with a completely new, dynamic one. Although it still highlights a few noteworthy items up top, this is not done in the traditional slider style. In fact the whole theme is built around the parallax idea. This means the backgrounds scroll as you scroll and the floating menu on the left stays with the screen, for even quicker home page navigation.
The main page also includes a full bio about myself and why I travel, as well as a map featuring my past, current, and future travel plans. Now I know what you’re thinking…what a minute, Derek always talks about how he never plans his travels. And you’re right, I don’t plan. But I at least kinda-sorta-maybe know what country I am in now and where I will might end up next. No guarantees, of course.
Here’s A Secret: I Hate Getting “Where Are You Now?” Tweets / Emails / Messages
Yes, I’m nomadic, sure, I move around a lot. But if you look through my last three tweets you’ll see a location hashtagged. Recently I joined Facebook and now post travel updates there. Hell I’m even on FourSquare and Path. So please, pretty pretty please, don’t ask me that question. Check the new home page instead Thanks for understanding!
Excerpts from my newest three posts are also show on the home page but below that there are other highlighted areas. These will change every month. I have also included a featured photos section towards the end of the main page that will be updated every few weeks.Presenting HoliDaze highlights and featured photos, both of which change monthly.[/caption]
Navigating The Site
Originally I focused most of my writing and attention on core part the HoliDaze site, which now has nearly 150 different authors. However now that I am on this 4-year 80-country RTW trek I decided that this adventure should be documented on the blog portion of the HoliDaze.
As such one of the biggest things I had to do with this upgrade is organize the site in a more friendly fashion and make navigating it a breeze. The old menu here only had a few simple links, most of them pointing back to theHoliDaze.com and not towards other sections of this blog. That has completely changed now. I’ve expanded the information contained within this blog to answer any questions you might have about me, my adventures, and my services.
Each Section Looks Completely Different
WordPress is great but one of it’s big limitations has always been that every page is forced to look exactly the same as every other — same layout, same sidebar, same everything. Luckily this has changed over the last year. Using the newest version of WordPress and some of the stylish new features available via plugin, now it is a breeze to make every page and post completely unique.
Each section and every category is many differences, some obvious and some subtle. For starters the sidebar is different with every page / post you view. Not only are the widgets diverse but in some sections the entire sidebar is wider or skinnier, on the left side instead of the right, maybe even not there at all. No dull repetitive layout here 😉
Over the next week or two I will be further tweaking and adjusting the new layout, along with adding a few more new sections and continuing to perfect the navigational menus. If you have any suggestions or thoughts please let me know!