I can’t believe it is already March. The months always seem to slip by too quickly, especially when you’re busy and 2012 has been shaping up to be a huge year for me. There’s some major changes going on that I want to tell you about.
Brand New Site Design
If you are reading this site, you’ll have noticed that the old design is now gone and it’s a brand new, flashy website. If you are reading this via e-mail or RSS, click over and some see the new website. While I enjoyed the old theme, it was showing its age, it was slow, and it wasn’t mobile friendly. It had outlived its usefulness and with so many hands tinkering the code over the years, there was nothing to do but start from scratch. It was time to grow up the website.
And the result is what you see here. With this new design, I cleaned up the white space on the website, compacted my sidebar, made the navigation bar easier to read, cleaned up the footer, and some other good small stuff but when I was making this new design, I wanted it to do four things to make it better for users:
- Load faster – My old site was slow and with so many scripts and plugins working at once, if you were on a slow connection, there was often no hope. Now must of my site loads in less than 2 seconds, which is still too slow for me but once I host my images on Amazon instead of locally, it will be even quicker.
- Better searching – You couldn’t find anything on the site before and when you did go searching the tag, category, and search result pages were such a mess it was hard to see if what came back was even what you wanted. Now, the site operates a lot better and it’s easier to search and find information. I’m making some changes over the next few months to make this even better.
- Work on mobile – You simply couldn’t view the site on mobile device before and this was one of the most important things I wanted done. Now, mobile viewing is built directly into the theme.
- More Social Sharing – The new site has added share buttons (including for the ever popular Pinterest) as I wanted to make it easier to share blog posts and articles you love.
There’s still some more tweaks and bugs to be fixed but then again there always is, isn’t there? But leave your feedback (good, bad, suggestions) on the new design.
I enjoyed the cartoon graphic of me traveling the world but it wasn’t really representative of what the website was about any more. I wanted something new that could emphasize my motto of “traveling better, cheaper and longer.” So I made a new logo which is now the picture in my header (and in this blog post). I like it a lot and think it’s a more accurate image of what happens here on the website.
Last week, I handed (e-mailed) my book manuscript to my editor at Penguin. There’s still a chapter and the appendixes to do but it feels good to have the weight of this book off my back. However, if you want to be in the book – there’s still time! I’m looking for reader quotes about how this website has helped you travel better and cheaper. Or has simply inspired you to take off and travel. If that’s happened, tell me! E-mail me a 4-6 sentences at nomadicmatt @ nomadicmatt (dot) com
I’d love to feature you in the book!
Lastly, I’m making changes to my newsletter. What was once a twice monthly newsletter is now going to be weekly. I keep finding myself coming across great travel deals but by the time my newsletter goes out, they’re expired. So in an effort to make my newsletter better and more relevant, I’m going to be doing it weekly to ensure that fewer great money saving deals get missed. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, you’re missing out on getting money saving deals so you can travel more. Sign up using the form below or up in the sidebar where it says “Get Free Updates.”
That’s it! Now that the book and site design is done, I’m going to be back into blogging in force! There’s a lot of articles coming out over the next month.