Welcome to the “new and improved” Phoenix Real Estate Guy!
Long time readers know I go through theme changes on a pretty regular basis. Anyone remember this one?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
That was circa 2005 / early 2006. Back when the University of Texas football team were the national champions. Since those days we’ve been through at least 5 major design changes and countless minor revisions.
Why Genesis and AgentPress?
Because I have mad respect for Brian Gardner (the creator of Genesis) and the Copyblogger Media team. Because I don’t have a designer’s mind, and they do. Because I want to do what I do best, create content and leave the look and feel of the site to the experts.
My last design put calls to action, and nothing but those calls to action, on the home page of the site. At the time that seemed like a good idea. It was kind of cool and different. But search results started to be impacted and it became apparent that I needed to get the content back on the home page where it could do its magic.
Enter Copyblogger Media, here’s what I wrote in my last post after the Great Blog Hacking of 2011:
If you’re not familiar with Copyblogger Media and names like Brian Clark, Sonia Simone, and Brian Gardner, well, you should be. These folks are internet studs. Their lead designer I’ve been working with, Rafal Tomal, is a freaking genius and is the man who has served up designs for a few little sites like Problogger.net, Copyblogger.com, ChrisBrogan.com, Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert, and real estate’s own Better Homes & Gardens blog Clean Slate blog (and others).
Four prominent calls to action (CTAs)on the Home page. These correspond, naturally, with what I want people to do when they come to this site is search for homes, get general real estate information, get specific info on short sales and learn about our brokerage. The ultimate goal of this site is to inform consumers and generate business for our agents. Prominent CTAs help in those endeavors. If you’re reading this in your reader or on the single-post page, head on over to the home page and check it out. We’ll wait…
Article titles/links and snippets on the home page – We serve at the pleasure of The Google.
Social Sharing and Social media isn’t going away. The ability for people to share content is important. It’s better now.
Revamped (and FAR less confusing/intrusive) navigation “ visitors need to be able to find what they are looking for.” That seems obvious. Yet it wasn’t really so swift in previous iterations. Of note – the nav structure isn’t where I want it yet. More on that below..
Wigitized Footer: Oddly, one of my favorite features. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and there are four sections for stuff. There will be much tweaking and playing in this area.
White space and typefont is your friend. “Cleaner” is better. And Rafal knows clean.
New Server, Copyblogger Media, who redesigned the site, stepped up big time immediately after the hack. They reached out and helped move the site to a stable, secure and highly optimized environment configured for Genesis. I can’t thank these folks enough. Not just for the redesign, but for lending a hand to someone they hardly know and really accelerating the redesign work.
Still to Come
Because of the aforementioned hack, we released the design a little early so we could get it all over to the new server. Some things (most notably navigation) isn’t quite there yet. That’s not Copyblogger Media’s fault, that’s all on me. I’ve got lots of ideas of how to get the right content in front of the right visitors. So stay tuned for that.
There could be the occasional photo or two that is missing in action. Moving a site the size of TPREG isn’t an easy thing to do, particularly when one realizes the horrific job I’ve done with file structure on my server. I’ve learned a lot since starting this thing over six years ago, but there were many remnants of the early days lying about. It’s quite likely that some links may point into the ether, some embedded charts and videos may not work. That sort of stuff.
Let Me Know What You Think!
I want to hear what you think about the design. Be honest. If you hate it, say so. If you love it, that’s great too. If you see something broken, I’d love to know. What would fill my world with awesome would be if you have suggestions and ideas. I like that kind of stuff. Can’t promise I can implement every thought, but I can promise you I’ll consider anything you have to offer.
Change is hard. This is a pretty radical change. It may take getting used to. But what we have here, I think, is an amazing foundation that is in place to bring you even more goodness over time.
As always, I appreciate each and every one of you. No redesign will ever change that. YOU are what gives me this platform out there on the world wide interwebs.
Thanks for stopping by our new digs! And stay tuned, it’s going to get better and better!