I've been working on a new layout for NeonDragonArt. The existing one has been in place for several years, and for several years it has been rather difficult to read the text or navigate. I'm hoping to install a wordpress system that will making updating the site less of a chore, and a layout that's very straight-forward and easy to move around. Here's a mock-up of what I'm working with thus far. Some things to note:The banner up top will randomly cycle through several images, but the dimensions and "NeonDragonArt" text will remain in the same locations throughout.
The main page is set up a bit like a blog. The subsections that you navigate through are not, and feature two columns: One large one for content, one small one for navigation & ads.
The main page will feature blog-style updates. Through an RSS feed, I hope to update NDA & my livejournal in one swoop. (basically any posts I make the the front page will be xposted to my livejournal. If you're currently following my livejournal it will appear no differently.
Since I do use Facebook, DA, and Twitter, I figured it was time to integrate those into easy-to-find navigation buttons instead of having text links hidden away under the misc menu inside the FAQ.
The blue horizontal menu bar will feature drop-downs. For example, if you hover over art you will be able to choose to view the art gallery by year or by subject. Hovering over the tutorials would give you access to the tutorial menu, the tutorial faq, and the coloring bin. ECT
There are some spaces for ads along the side. For now the ads are going to be me promoting my friends comics & items in my own store. In the future I may look into paid advertising. (no flash ads, things that are relevant to the site, such as comics, fantasy, & art) Whether the ads go live or not is still up in the air, but at least I'll have the php includes and space for them if I ever do decide to put them there.
Art updates are going to be much simpler on my end with the wordpress content management system. I'll also be able to add comment & sharing options for all art, comics, and tutorials, a feature I've been sorely missing since 2003 or so. Finally, the store is getting a much more traditional and functional cart system. One that is secure, easy-to-understand, and looks less like something that graced the web in 1995.
I want to repeat that this is not
the final layout as of yet. It is also the front page, which has the most links and content crammed into a small space. I've still got quite a bit of tweaking to do, but once I do and I'm able to get the new content management system installed and running, I'm looking forward to giving NeonDragonArt some long-overdue updates.
If you have any suggestions or feedback on things you like and things you don't, I'm all ears!