Big Changes at Nomadic Matt, Logos, and Book Manuscripts

nomadicmatt logoI 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.

New Logo
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.

Book Manuscript
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.

Happy Monday!


Safe travels,

Nomadic Matt

    • NomadicMatt

      Did you like the G Adventures trips? What do you think of the company? Would you travel with them again?

  1. Euan

    I like the new header and navigation but I still find the sidebar very full with lots of different things to click on and very little separation between them.

  2. Congrats on your relaunch. Working on mine as I am typing this 😉 Big PITA, hehe. Same here, working mainly on comment section, trying to reduce time while not using my normal server for serving pictures and make it more friendly to users (my search function died years ago ;-)).

    Best and drop me a line if you make it to China some day

  3. Jon @tantrictraveler

    Nice job Matt. Really looks sharp but I did enjoy the personality of the old animated image.

  4. Definitely some good changes for you. Deals will help travelers and site speed is definitely an issue many people are concerned with (I need to work on that as well).

    However, I will miss the cartoon logo! :)

  5. It looks awesome! Good on you for keeping things fresh and updated I honestly don’t know how you’ve got time to do so much. Do you ever sleep??!! :)

  6. Change is good Matt. I saw this first on my Android phone and looks gorgeous and useful on it. I didn’t know about you or your site until relatively recently but was bitten by the travel bug way back before. Although I don’t think I’m brave enough to become a full-time nomad, I have committed myself to go and explore as much as I can of this world over the last few years and every helpful resource, like your site, counts. I love that you have a sweet spot for my home country – Costa Rica. If you ever come back here let me know! Congrats!

  7. Congrats on your new look and feel. I can’t wait to look around. Also, a very huge congrats on the completion if you book. That’s wonderful.

  8. This is my second visit to your blog, so – just cannot remember the old design. But there were white spaces.
    The new design looks cool, the logo says it all! Keep it up.

  9. Hi Matt,

    Love the revamped site. I am sure it will come in really useful as we go about our location independent ventures with a baby. I have followed your site since the beginning and this is definitely the best revamp you have done so far.

    Would love your opinion on our blog

    We hope to put into action a lot of advice from your early ebooks that have been sitting on my laptop for too long!

    Congratulations on the book deal too, that must be a great feeling.

  10. NomadicMatt

    Thanks for the wonderful comments and insightful feedback. I’m still tweaking some bugs here! But glad everyone likes it, even if you miss the cartoon graphic! :)

    • Eric Blake

      Hi Matt… love the new look of your site! Truth be told… Ive been combing thru wordpress themes for a few months searching for something that looks like … well… like the template style you used on your page here.

      But Ive not come across anything that has the EXACT basic foundation of what I vision… until I saw your new site today.

      So I respectfully ask… Pretty please with sugar on top… would you be so kind as to share the name of the wordpress theme you used and customized for your site here? Would you share it with me … or privately to my email? Id really appreciate it. Thanks.

      — Eric Blake

  11. Paul

    Everything looks great!

    What are you using for the floating sidebar sharing widget on the left? Is that a WordPress plugin or something you created yourself? Care to share how to do it? I think it’s much better than having the sharing buttons on the top, easier to see and easier to share.

  12. Love the new theme! Just goes to show that minimal doesn’t always have to mean boring. Personally I do feel a bit more white-space is needed between sidebar widgets, but other than that well done! :)

  13. The layout is definitely less clustered…the minimalist look is great! Although I am going to miss your old banner with the cartoon illustrations. I also agree with Brandon Williams (above) about adding in extra white space, since everything bleeds together a bit too much.

    Other than that, I love it! I’ll be looking for your book out on the shelves :)

  14. Great looking new site and logo. I loved the little favicon icon.

    Now site looks clean and very nice. I am one of your inspired travel blogger. I have purchased your e-Book and loved it in one brief reading.

    Awesome work. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Love the font choice for the logo, and also, is the font for post titles new? It looks good. Also like how you incorporated the use of my favorite share of blue for “Matt.” It’s simple, yet catches the reader’s attention. Site is much easier on the eyes. Congrats on the progress for your book!

  16. Wow.. Ive only been gone for a short time and couldn’t believe this was the same NomadicMatt site that I used to read.. Absolutely love the design! I love how simple it is!

  17. Karrie

    Hi Matt,

    Congrats on your new design. I notice you are using copy doodles, is this program one that can be downloaded?

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