Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection Redesigned, Now on WordPress

Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection, Now on WordPress

Today marks the first day that Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection is publishing on WordPress. After over four years publishing on Google’s Blogger platform I made the switch today over to WordPress. Aaron Brazell did the transfer for me for which I’m extremely grateful. Aaron is a pro and I’d highly recommend him should you have any web work that you might need done.

I’d also like to especially thank both Google and the Blogger team for providing me with the Blogger platform for so many years. The Blogger team was also very helpful with helping me to move my blog and as part of the process they fixed a Blogger limitation which limited transferring comments to 5,000 (turns out I’ve got 21,896 comments on my blog over the past four years).

The main reason that I moved over from Blogger to WordPress was due to comment spam. My blog has been very heavily hit by comment spam over the past year especially and without a tool like Akismet or an easy way to search and bulk delete spam comments Blogger wasn’t working for me in that regard. I am excited also though to begin working with all of the interesting tools and plug ins that seem to thrive in the WordPress Community.

I still need to do a few design tweaks to the layout of my new blog, do a little work with my archives and photos, get my blogroll back in place, etc. Aaron’s going to help me with some of this stuff in the next few days. As part of the change I decided to go with a white background instead of the dark blue background that I’d used for so many years. I originally picked the dark blue background because I thought photos looked better against a dark background, but over the years I had a lot of complaints from people who told me that it was harder for them to read my blog on a dark background. I wanted something that was super easy to read with the new blog and something that was very, very simple so I’m using the very basic plainscape theme. I also redesigned and added a new masthead to the blog.

Today I’ll probably spend a lot of time both exploring WordPress, as well as figuring out what cool new things, widgets, etc. that I can add to my blog. If anyone has any suggestions on features, widgets, etc. that you think I should be using feel free to let me know. Keep in mind though that I’m going for a very simple look and feel with the new blog design. I’ve got FriendFeed posts linked up to my blog posts already. I still need to add a FriendFeed badge as well which I’m hoping to be able to do later today.

Let me know what you think of the new design. Like it? Hate it? What improvements would you like to see on the blog or suggestions would you have for it?

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29 Comments

  1. Noel says:

    Love the new look TH!!!

  2. Hey Thomas,

    first impression: I like the simple design. Keep it this way. Looks good!

    Holger

  3. Shey says:

    Looking good Thomas!

  4. I’m partial to simple, so the new theme looks compliments your photos just fine. Kudos to Aaron for a smooth transition.

  5. JeffH says:

    Thomas, Looks great! I like the simple template you chose.

  6. Avelino says:

    I’ve loved WordPress for years, and I think you’ll find a lot of wonderful functionality you couldn’t in the Blogger instance.

    The new theme looks great, by the way. Congratulations!

  7. Justin Korn says:

    Welcome to WordPress! We’ve gotta meet up soon for another photo walk…

  8. I think you’ll like WordPress.

    I like the simplicity of the design, but I’m not a big fan of plain white backgrounds.

  9. I’m really happy with this transition. Glad you let me do it. As you mentioned, I am willing to work with any of your audience members on WordPress projects. Tell them to mention you and get 10% off my quote. 🙂

  10. admin says:

    Aaron, thanks so much for helping me out with this. I’ll definitely recommend you for anyone with WordPress projects! 🙂

  11. Greg Furry says:

    Like the new look. Nice to see a photo site that isn’t black. Only suggestion is for the archives. I prefer the single pull down menu instead of the giant list of dates. Keeps things cleaner.

    Keep up the good work and keep your head down when covering riots.

  12. admin says:

    Great suggestion Greg. I just changed the archive to the pull down menu type. Anyone know how I get my avatar to show up under my comments here as admin?

  13. Neil B. says:

    awesome! cool to see you now on WP.

    BTW… you can edit the ‘admin’ user to display your actual name instead of ‘admin’ like it does now.

  14. Shey says:

    Thomas — sign up at http://www.gravatar.com to get your avatar working.

  15. admin says:

    Thanks Shey. Turned out that I already had my avatar set up with gravatar, but that I was using my the wrong email address in the admin settings. Changed the email address and now I seem to have my avatar back. Avatars in WP comments are very cool.

  16. Ernie says:

    gotta tell you I’m likin’ it.

  17. jay says:

    it might be worth considering IntenseDebate (an Automattic company) – a terrific comments platform.
    http://www.intensedebate.com/

    The benefits would allow commenters to interact with each other here on your blog.

    Blog looks great!

  18. dj paine says:

    dude… it’s about time you moved to WP…. you won’t look back man.

    suggestions:
    get all those horribly distracting long lists in your sidebar cleaned up by either;
    doing them ALL as drop downs like the archives.
    setting them up on their own pages.
    the new theme is so clean and minimalist, you just need to get the sidebar cleaned up to fit in…

    also get DISQUS as the comments. hook it up with facebook and it’s awesome!!

  19. WordPress is great. And I really like the white background. It’s much more inviting.

  20. Tom says:

    Love the new blog look Thomas!

  21. shhexycorin says:

    Create an new admin user called Thomas Hawk.

    Don’t post with “admin”
    🙂

  22. Thomas Hawk says:

    Good point shhexy. Thanks!

  23. Plug1 says:

    yeah man, i think you made the right choice switching to WP. and your theme choice is very minimal looking. and i think that’s important for photo blogs, as to encourage the readers focus on the actual photography.

    that being said — i hope that you stay away from the ads. i was going to ask you about this, but how much revenue actually makes its way to your pocket? is it worth the visual clutter?

    regardless, nice re-skin. fresh, and clean.

  24. Mike Panic says:

    It’s about time!

  25. John Piercy says:

    Congrats TH ,, love the design .. Aaron did an amazing job,,
    Im sure you are pleased with this . Its impressive ..

    Thanks for the condolences … regarding my Mom ..
    I truly appreciate that

    continued success

    John Piercy

  26. John says:

    You should probably write one more post on the old platform, if you still can, to alert people subscribed to the new scheme. I had subscribed to your RSS feed and only just realised I hadn’t read any posts from you for a while. So I go to your site and see you’ve changed your software. Anyway, good luck with WP!

  27. Gary Denness says:

    +1 to what John said. I’d been wondering what happened to your blog for the last few weeks. Turns out you moved and I’ve missed a month and a half of your blogging!

  28. […] Thomas Hawk Digital Connection Redesigned Now on WordPress Posted by root 55 minutes ago (http://thomashawk.com) Today marks the first day that thomas hawk digital connection is publishing on wordpress the main reason that i moved over from blogger to wordpress was due to comment spam powered by wordpress and plainscape theme Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Thomas Hawk Digital Connection Redesigned Now on WordPress […]

  29. seo says:

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