TinkerTry.com 2.0

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 15 2013 (updated on Jan 28 2013) in
  • WebDesign
  • TinkerTry1
    June 1 2011 to January 14 2013
    January 15 2013 onward...

    Hope you like the new look and feel of all of TinkerTry, not just the new front page. The whole site has been reworked. Tried to avoid the redesign from being too jarring those already used to the site. With only about 75 minutes of downtime during the actual cut-over to the new, highly-customized WordPress theme.

    All the same content, but now getting much more organized. Easier to find stuff by discovery. Easier to search. And touch-friendly featured sliders.

    The goal was simple. To maintain all that was good, eliminate all that was bad, and be ready for all that growth in the future.

    Looking at my visitor logs, it appears that a vast majority have 1920x1080 or better screens. So the new design reflects that trend. Going a bit wider, for a more comfortable fit.

    A very special thanks to my site designer for his meticulous attention to detail, and tireless efforts to get this redesign launched. Downtime was kept down to about 90 minutes, from 10:15pm to 11:45pm eastern on January 14, 2013. My only downtime since site launch, back in June 2011.


    The front-end

    I like to tinker. I like to try out new things. Like you do. As is evident by your incredibly helpful comments. Those comments are what contribute to the success and growth of this site. I frankly never expected them to be so constructive. I'm gratefuly, and intentionally keeping those comments right up on my front page, the good and the bad.

    I'd like to highlight the left-most menu called Topics, a pictorial representation of focus areas. Trying to capture what this this site is all about, at-a-glance.

    TinkerTry 2.0 Topics Button

    The back-end

    To accommodate healthy growth, I've also re-invested in the site by boosting the back-end web server. Bluehost seems to be serving the content out pretty well, but I'll stay vigilant about my visitor experiences through analytics, and keeping an eye on uptime stats from Pingdom.

    Final thoughts

    Admittedly, for the next week or so, some articles might look a little rough around the edges. All remaining changes will be done while the site's live. Picture reformatting is still underway, as is ongoing tweaking of the featured slider. I would still very much would like to hear your honest feelings about the new look and feel, and your experiences visiting from a variety of devices. The mobile experience still has a way to go, admittedly.

    Looking forward to the 2-year anniversary of TinkerTry coming up this June 1, 2013. Of course, I have you all to thank for my continued growth, and optimism.

    Jan 16 2013 Update:
    Had to move from tinkertry.com to www.tinkertry.com for entire site, to allow proper integration of some CDN testing I'm doing. All old non-www URLs work just fine.

    Also, if you have any issues with caching such as this URL showing up in your browser:
    please just click on the TinkerTry logo at top left to work around it.  To clean that issue up for good, flush the browser cache, or removing any bookmarks or recent Apps views.

    Jan 28 2013 Update:
    handling any leftover http://www.tinkertry.com/wp-content/w3tc/pgcache/_index.html_gzip requests through simple redirection to www.tinkertry.com.