So here it is…
What is PlainBeta?
According to the about page, this blog is about web and graphic design and blogging. The purpose of the blog is to help establish Brian as an authority on blog and web design. Judging from what I see here, he’s well on his way to this goal.
PlainBeta uses a 3 column theme with a right and left sidebars with the content in the middle. It is a minimalist theme but not overly so. The layout is rather unique so when you arrive on the site you immediately can tell it’s different from most other WordPress sites. According to this post, The New Design and an Analysis of it’s Neat Features, this theme is a recent change.
The site navigation is good with recent and popular posts right up front as well as a category listing. The popular post section is particularly interesting since it uses thumbnail logos for each post. Unfortunately the category list doesn’t work right on the entries that contain two words, such as “Web Design”. I’d guess this minor bug got missed in the recent theme update. The only navigation addition that might be of use would be a sitemap plugin.
Monetization is also minimalist, offering only two private sale ad blocks. This should be fine if the goal with this site is to establish authority in the field of web design. Eventually I could see Brian offering eBooks on web design or individual contract/consulting services through this site.
PlainBeta’s content is, of course, primarily about web design. Let’s take a look at a few articles.
In Do You DoFollow? Brian explains a little bit about the Google NoFollow system and how to modify the LinkLove WordPress plugin to accept a lower number of comments before disabling NoFollow.
The article A Few Components of ‘Good’ Web Design covers talks about Brian’s design philosophy.
And, lastly A Comprehensive List of Design Showcases is a nice list of design resources.
I did think some of the other articles I read were a little thin on detail and didn’t get their point out, leaving the reader to fill in the blanks mentally.
I really liked the unique, minimalist, design of this blog. The main thing I think that could be improved on it would be stronger written content. With a little more improved, authoritative, content this blog could easily become a showcase on web and blog design.
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