New Design: The What & The Why

· Joanthan Poritsky

If this is your first time here, welcome. For repeat offenders, you’ll notice that the site has gotten a complete overhaul. This has been a long time coming and it has not been easy deciding a new look and feel for the candler blog. So while you’re here, take a look around and tell us what you think of our new digs. There are certainly going to be a few kinks to be ironed out now that we’ve gone live with this. We’ll get to everything, but don’t be shy, let us know when you find something that looks out of place. If you want to know the thinking behind this overhaul, and get a little history about the site too, click through for the full story.

First off, I’d like to tell you about the original site design. Based on Alex Smith’s Infimum theme, we built the site to have a lot of open space and focus everything on the writing. We wanted the reader to be engaged right off the bat with the words of each post. The photograph in the header is one that I took at a bar a few years ago. It is meant to coincide with the concept of an egg candler, which is where the site gets its name. Truth be told we had a lot of space in the header and I didn’t want to put an ad there, so I pulled a number of photos out of my collection and tried them all. The header was supposed to rotate through different photos, but the light bulb just stuck.


While the original site worked very nicely for a long while, it was limited in a number of respects. For one, the text came in too low on the page, meaning the header acted as a complete waste of space. Another problem was the single sidebar, which made site navigation very confusing. You would either have to scroll around to find something you wanted or just not get there at all. There were other bits of code that were a bit too much to bear for novices like us, but I don’t want to bore you with that.

Enter Mignolo’s Oulipo theme, one of the most enchanting wordpress themes I have ever come across. We have tweaked the original, but the idea is essentially the same: text is king but not at the expense of beauty. Navigation has now been made much simpler with pages on the left and widgets on the right. The base theme is extremely dynamic and it always let’s you know where you are and how you got there. The more you click around the more you’ll understand this concept.

We’re not designers here, we’re film critics, so that’s about as well as I can describe the redesign. the candler blog started in March of 2009 and has enjoyed a growing readership ever since. We hope you come back often to check up on what’s new, and we hope that this new design helps you find some of the great content we’ve generated since we started. Here’s to another year of blogging.