Blog Review: PlainBeta

Brian requested a Free Blog Review of his blog, PlainBeta

So here it is…

What is PlainBeta?

Blog Review: 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.

Site Design/Theme

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.

Get Your Site Reviewed

If you would like your blog reviewed by me for free, just like Brian did, use my Free Blog Review page to request one. 


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Comment by Brian Purkiss
2008-01-02 02:44:18

Thank you so much for the review!

It gave me a great look at my blog from a new outsider’s opinion!

I was not aware of those glitches in the categories. Thanks for the heads up, they’re fixed.

You’re right, I am thinking about writing an eBook. And I’m actually finishing up my first Wordpress template. :-)

Thanks for the pointers on my articles.
In the not-so-distant past I had really poor attempts at blog posts. But, I’ve been trying to improve the quality, and I’ve increased my traffic immensely. :-)
I am always trying to improve the quality of my posts.

Thanks for the tips!

Comment by jfc
2008-01-02 07:31:26

Hi Brian,

Your theme was quite impressive. It’s always good to see something new and original.

Writing good articles is always a challenge. I could see the improvement in your more recent articles.

Your free 125×125 ad is running now.

Comment by Brian Purkiss
2008-01-05 09:15:25

Thanks so much!

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Comment by jfc
2008-01-09 11:45:35


This is an example of what not to do when it comes to promoting a site. Throwing spammy comments into entirely unrelated posts is a waste of time. You’ll get sent to the Akismet spam filter quickly or, worse, somebody will replace your link with a link for a similar company that paid for a review on their site. :twisted:

You see, if you had been smart, you could have paid for a review like Bad Credit Offers did. It would have been “nofollowed” but it still would have been yet another doorway page to your site.

Or, if you didn’t mind waiting a month or so and had a decent enough mini-site or niche blog to qualify, I would have reviewed it for free which would have meant at least 4 FOLLOWED links with targeted keywords like Brian got in his review. But Noooo, you had to go the comment spam route. Too bad.

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