Cosmetic Lotro

New blog layout

When I started this blog I was pretty much clueless about blogging and CSS and had never even used Twitter before. But over the past year and half, this blog has been steadily maturing toward a popular resource for cosmetics and outfits in LOTRO. Many players visit this blog to find inspiration for an outfit of their own, information on a piece of armour, or a quick preview for the festival cosmetics. This fact didn’t totally hit home with me until I heard Sapience mention my blog on the latest community update. I mostly see my blog as my own private playground, where I can experiment with my outfits and express my creativity in digital screenshots (and I think it is important that it remains that way or I would loose my inspiration to do this), but I also realize that it is necessary for people who visit this blog, to find and view outfits easily (even the old and ugly ones!).

So in order to achieve that I have changed the blog theme again. I also returned to the dark background settings because that is what I like better. I am not completely done with the layout yet as I might need a header and perhaps some other visual items, but the main outline is in place now. The new blog theme has a grid system that you can switch to list view if you like that better, in the right corner of the main page. The grid view allows for a quick preview of the outfits without any text or scrolling and should make it easier to visually find what you are looking for. The menu to the left will navigate you through the outfits sorted by colour, race or theme, and if you are looking for a specific item you can use the search box.

I hope this change is for the better, if you have any suggestions for what I should add or switch around, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do within the limitations of this blog theme.

Happy outfitting!

~Hymne

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21 comments

  1. I think you’ve made another great adjusted theme 🙂 Although, I have to admit, I’m not sure which one I like best, this one or the previous one. They’re on a tie. One of the things I loved in your previous theme were the changing headers. You managed to get one specifically for each post and that was always inspiring and fun to see. I hope you can get that back. That would be great! Usually I’m not such a fan of black backgrounds, but with the other colors and the font you chose, it works very good. It’s a nice color combination and easy to read, while I usually find blogs/sites with a black background a bit harder to read. So, my compliments on that 🙂
    I was surprised to see the grid yesterday, but indeed it does give a quick overview. I don’t think I’ll ever turn it off, simply cause I love seeing your new outfits in a quick overview.
    Oh, and congrats on your mentioning in the Community update! That’s wonderful 🙂
    I can imagine it’s fun to play around with CSS and much more. It’s what I’ve been doing in the last couple of years too. Now that I know what I want with my own blog, I’m probably gonna play around too 🙂 Have fun with it!
    Although this is your private blog, you manage to make it very inviting and inspiring to everyone. You don’t force your opinions/experiences on us, you simply share them and your joy with and love for Lotro and that’s your strength! I think that’s why people love to visit your blog so, please keep that up 🙂 You’re doing such a wonderful job! Well, that’s all 🙂 Have fun!

    • I agree about the header images for the posts and I was very sad to let them go. There is just no theme in WordPress that includes ALL the features that I want and need. Themes with featured header images, don’t have the right content size. Themes with the right content size, have awful navigation tools, etc. etc. In the end I settled for giving up the featured headers in favour of the grid layout that provides a really good preview when browsing by category. I will have to make up for the missing headers some other way!
      Thank you for your kind comments, that was a very sweet thing to say. You made me smile 🙂
      Glad you’re back playing LOTRO and blogging again!

  2. This is a really nice, clean style with nice font types. It will lend itself towards highlighting the outfits without much visual distraction on the blog itself. The dark background is nice but my only thought would be the text colour (especially the orange blog title and yellow entries title, and somewhat the grey body text) could be brighter… stand out a bit more.

  3. Looking good! I like the grid layout too, but I’m going to put in a positive word about the grey body text colour. I like the dark background/grey text because this combination lets the pictures be the main focus. I feel like if the text is too bright, it can overwhelm the pictures, and in a blog that is mainly pictorial in presentation, I think that’s an important consideration.

    Also, I love many of your old outfits and don’t think they’re ugly at all! 😛

  4. I love the new layout, I think it should work quite well for the blog. Also, I absolutely LOVE the drop downs on the lefthand side – it makes it so easy to find outfits in specific colours, etc! That’s a great feature. Although I agree with Chocoholic, it’s a little sad to see the headers go. Keep it going though, looks great! 🙂

    • Thank you Katharine_Ann for taking the time to comment. The ease of navigation was my main reason for switching to this layout. I feel it takes preference of the header feature, even though that was wonderful in itself.

      • Elorthir

        I like the layout, but the links across the left aren’t working for me, no matter which browser I use. I click any of them and the result set is always empty.

      • Truly I wish I could help you with that, but everything works fine from my end and I work from 2 different PC’s and a laptop. Maybe some systems are having trouble with certain WordPress layouts. 😦

  5. You always make such beautiful blog designs. Honestly though your beautiful outfits and screenshots would make even the most bland blog layout gorgeous. I will miss your unique headers but this new style seems to allow people to get at all your blog content easier. Can’t wait to see what it will look like when you are all finished.

  6. Fairymore

    The design is certainly different than what I have seen on here before but I feel it is a step in the right direction. Makes me feel like this site is growing and maturing with time like a fine wine.

    As always good luck Hymne and best wishes for your blog.

  7. Pointy

    I like this new theme, it’s easy on the eyes. I was hoping after I saw it changing quite a bit, that you weren’t going to stick with the bright white one from yesterday. 😀 This particular one is nice and clean and precise, and the muted colours will go well with probably just about any outfit’s colour scheme. 🙂 I agree with an earlier commenter that the text (particularly the blog text itself) could do with being a bit brighter and more of a contrast to the background. 🙂

    One thing I did like about the old style was that the first, most recent, post was always visible in full on the front page, with the older ones condensed underneath that. Any plans for that to come back at all? 🙂

    • Hi Pointy, thank you for your feedback! I have set the blog text to a brighter hue of grey, but not white because that’s too much contrast. I hope it’s more readable now. My blog is a continuous project in process so who knows what I might change next, but with this theme the layout is going to remain in a grid format. It really helps when searching through outfits, but it doesn’t have the big frontpage post. Let’s see how long it lasts 🙂

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