Well here we are. After a year on and off, the redesign of UltraLinx is ready. This was probably one of the toughest projects I've done. When redesigning a site that has dynamic content, thousands of images, and millions of visitors it's so important to get as much as you can right. With such a large site there will inevitably be some bits which are broken (I would really appreciate if you could report a bug when you see one).
Why did it take so long?
As some of you may already know I run UltraLinx single handedly while also creating themes, running a new site I launched recently called BlazePress and doing freelance work whenever I find a slot. So yeah I'm pretty busy and my schedule is loaded nearly constantly. It's what has taken this redesign so long.
Another reason it took so long was because I tried so many designs to then scrap them half way through. As a designer I'm never happy with my work, I'm sure many suffer from the same issue. I realised I was wasting a ton of time so I knew I just had to do a design and stick with it. The difference being with this site is that I've designed it in a way which will make it really easy to change elements whenever I need to.
The site being responsive was of course one of the main features - it was probably one of the most requested features too. I designed it to fit both on tablets and mobile. The content itself also loads much quicker so that you guys can see it right away. You may notice though that not everything is 'retina' and this is purely to save bandwidth. With 'retina' images being double the size in pixels, it means they're also larger in file size. It's a right pain to download massive retina images on a 3G connection.
From now on you'll also see more wider posts. On the old site you'd sometimes see a wide post for an infographic or review but now we're going to be using them much more often. A good example of a wide post is our Moto X Review. There will be some other post formats coming but they're still being finalised.
What does the future hold for UltraLinx?
Well UltraLinx will always be my baby and I will keep running it, posting stuff regularly. But my focus has somewhat shifted away from the blog. I now focus much more on BlazePress, the themes business and my freelance work. BlazePress in the short half a year it's been live is already bringing in more visitors than UltraLinx! It's become much more of a mainstream site where we post stuff freely and can post stuff that otherwise wouldn't fit on UltraLinx. My themes business and freelance work help me keep my design, development, marketing and general business skills in check - they're skills that you can never stop learning and will only make you better at what you do.
Finally, thank you. I am so grateful for how far I've come and how much I've achieved in such a short amount of time. There are currently five of us working on UltraLinx, BlazePress and the themes business. This was my first ever project and it's just snowballed into many other projects over the past two years. None of it would have been possible if it weren't for this blog and everyone who visits it regularly.
Now for those who want to know some of the technical stuff. UltraLinx uses WordPress as a CMS. The theme/design has been built from scratch. It's hosted on MediaTemple's Premium WordPress hosting service. Using Mashshare/SharedCount to get the share count for posts. The Yoast SEO plugin is my go to plugin for SEO stuff. Those floating social buttons you see on the left side of posts are from a plugin called Sharebar. If there's another technical details you want to know, just leave them in the comments below.