Here’s the review…
What is Elite By Design?
According to the About page Elite By Design is intended as, “freelance and web design community website where bloggers, web designers, and graphic artists can come to share innovative ideas and opinions.” It also appears to be a way for Brian to promote his services as a web designer. Brian was previously interviewed in this article, Interview: Brian from Elite By Design, if you would like to know more about him.
As you might expect from a site that features a web designer, Elite By Design sports a custom, 2 column, WordPress theme. The sidebar is on the right side. The color scheme is black and white with touches of gray and orange to give it personality. Faint gray divider lines help separate content areas. All in all, it’s a good looking, professional, theme.
The site navigation is good. Using the paging widget rather than the typical previous/next combo is a good touch but may become cumbersome as the amount of content increases. A sitemap plugin, which I typically recommend, might be useful although the paging widget comes close to providing the same thing.
Monetization is primarily private ad sales and affiliate offers. This is probably a good idea for this blog although, if it’s intended to be a showcase of Brian’s web design skills it might be better to drop the advertising and just sell services and themes. I’d also strongly recommend dropping the Text Link Ads affiliate offer button.
Brian has written some good articles on design as well as some on general blogging. One I had linked to earlier, Photoshop Resources, is a good list of Photoshop tools and plugins. Let’s see what else I found.
Another good list post, 170+ Must-Have Tools For The Beginning Blogger, proved to be quite popular.
In Navigation Bar In Photoshop - Tutorial, Brian shows you how to use Photoshop to create a web site navigation bar.
And, in Website Design For Blogs, Brian describes his ideas about designing WordPress themes.
A few notes on the content. Don’t put up the Digg button with zero diggs on a post. Also, don’t beg for stumbles in your posts. Both these may turn off social bookmarking visitors. I’d also recommend spending a higher percentage of time writing about design issues than blogging themed posts.
Elite By Design is an excellent showcase for Brian’s skills as a web designer. The only cautions I have would be to continue to have care with the monetization method used and to avoid some common pitfalls of social bookmarking promotion.
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