An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation


I know, I know, you don’t like purple. Or black. And that font over there is too small to read. And don’t even get you started on squares, they’re almost as bad as having to walk around with a rock in your shoe. These are all valid complaints and are being taken very seriously. Or at least, somewhat seriously, because there was this one email that was very passionate in its hatred of this change, and she was all DIE! DIE! DIE! and then there at the bottom was her signature followed by a quote from Jesus.

I’m going to let Jon talk about all the technical issues surrounding this redesign and why we decided to go with a different content management system, because all I did was draw up a design in Photoshop and say MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THIS. He has been knee-deep in code for almost two months now, and the only way we were able to launch the new design this soon and not, say, after we had both died of old age is because he had help from two expert developers, Ben Durbin and Bill Bostick. The amount and quality of work that they did was indispensable, cannot recommend them enough, and mostly I just want to thank them for all the support they gave Jon because without them he would have gone completely bald.

Yesterday as we neared the final stretch I decided to take Leta out to run some errands so Jon could project manage those last few tasks without being distracted by the sound of her body tossing itself on the floor. He briefly got up from this desk to kiss me goodbye when I noticed two giant sweat stains underneath his arms, and I was all, are you running on a treadmill while coding my website? Isn’t that complicated? And he’s all, yes I’m running on a treadmill, WITH MY BRAIN.

So what did I hope to accomplish with this redesign? First and foremost, I wanted to be able to post bigger photographs. That was a huge problem with the previous design, and for years I could only post photos that were 450 pixels wide. Which is why I always posted vertical photos, just to get as much out of those 450 pixels as possible. Now the width is almost double that, which gives me so much more freedom with the camera.

Two, I wanted to start a Daily Style section, some place to store my thoughts and photographs on the design of things in everyday life. When brainstorming ways to incorporate that into the site it made sense to make it a feature like the Daily Photo and Daily Chuck, mainly because I wanted it to include a photograph I’d taken of the object myself to emphasize the fact that these are things I use, these are things in my home.

Three, the Daily Links section has moved from the sidebar into the main content column. This is to give those links more emphasis, and sometime this week the background color of those entries will change color a tiny bit to differentiate them from the other posts. Also coming this week: a “previous” and “next” button at the bottom of all the posts for easier navigation and a redirected RSS feed (so you won’t have to re-subscribe to it).

Finally, I’m hoping to be able to open comments more frequently with this redesign. In recent months when I opened comments my server would crash under the 17 million scripts that ran to publish a single comment, and often people would think that their comment hadn’t published only to have it publish ten times in a row. That had everything to do with how the pages were built, and we think we’ve solved this problem.

Soon we’ll find out because I’m going to open up comments on this post to get your feedback, and I just totally winced writing that. Please be gentle for I am a delicate flower. Also, before you leave a comment you are required to watch this video. Twice. (video is not completely safe for work, but worth getting yelled at for it)

Also also, while comments are open, is there any question you’d like to see answered in the FAQ? Other than SHOW US YR TITZZ!!!!!!!!!! Because that question is getting old.

  • Katie

    Just wanted to say – LOVE the pretty handsoap!

    Thank you for classing up my bathroom 🙂

  • I love it. Fuck everyone else who thinks they should get a say in your site design. If they hate it, let them get their own site and design it any fucking way they want to.

  • Angie

    I’m just a working Mom in Iowa who knows nothing about how one of these things is created, but I love it. However, you could write things on a blank white screen and I would come back every day because of your words, not because something is or isn’t purple/black. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  • rachel

    I actually think the new site design is fantabulistic. It’s so great I had to go out and sort of coin a new word. And I even like your spam catcher thing.

    Er. And randomly weird as I sound, I’m not high on anything. I’m just weird like that. Probably because I’m so happy you’ve got comments open and I get to tell you that I love your blog like you wouldn’t believe.

    And now I’m going to bang my head against a wall because I sound like an idiot. Sorry!

  • I’m sure someone has already asked, but… now I see you have a registered trademark by Dooce — did you just register the name or had you done it before and just didn’t display the little R?

    Hmmm, and I can’t find the daily links. Maybe I didn’t look for it enough.

  • Personally, I think you should reply to each and every comment individually. I mean, it’s only polite.

    Seriously: I think it’s a lovely, clean, simple design – kudos to Jon, and kudos to me for using the word “kudos” in a sentence. Three times.

  • This is fantastic. You are my hero! 🙂

  • ColleenP

    I love the new layout, its much cleaner and easier to navigate. Great job! One suggestion for the Shop – in addition to the calendar of Chuckles, maybe you could do a GEORGE! calendar. Monthly GEORGE! – drinking beer, sleeping on the sofa, belching, etc. I think it would totally sell out….

  • Question for the FAQ:
    Are you, your daughter, your dog, or your husband ever recognized in public? It seems like you should have some fun stories about this. Although I would feel rather awkward to come up to you in an airport and tell you that I read your website EVERY FREAKING DAY LIKE A BIG STALKER.

    Thanks for being the best productivity-reducer in my daily work life. You make me and my family laugh CONSTANTLY. What a gift you have.

  • Michael

    (I haven’t read all the comments, yet, so if I’m suggesting something that’s already been mentioned, apologies to everybody involved.)

    I first loaded your new design today. Random thoughts:

    If you take what’s now the square-shaped ad column area, and convert it into where all the side ads (and Chuckles calendar link) fit into one column instead of the current two (thanks to vertical rectangular ads), it would allow more width for text, not to mention photos in, say, the Leta Monthly Newsletters.

    Also, the page doesn’t auto-expand its width when the browser is expanded lengthwise past ~1024 pixels. This means I have a load of whitespace on the sides of my 1400×1050 monitor (if I expand Firefox to fill the entire monitor).

    Also, I really liked the font (and colors) of the post titles in the previous design. The new ones look too standard.

    Overall, it might have taken a lot of work to get to the new code, BUT I, as a non-webdesign-expert, just looking at the new main page, can’t understand where it all went, just some of it: I do like some of the new features, such as the “back” and “forward” buttons on “Daily” photos, wider “Daily” photos (but that in itself’s only because I have SWEET SWEET BROADBAND), and the like.

    Potential FAQ Question: What are your top 5 favorite TV shows? (If KSL news is one of them, you might as well link to that hilarious post about it (“Best Show on Earth”).)

  • Terri

    I’m liking the new design. Love the purple. Really love the video. NOT FIRST!

  • tbrannies

    I like it, even though purple does make Baby Jesus cry. Just a little bit. I do a little graphic and web design myself, so I know the pit stains of which you speak. Your mastheads are always great. Ignore the haters and keep up the good work.

  • Sher

    How about I just show my titzzz on your new blog?…just a thought.

  • Anonymous


  • kristi

    Any design is fine with me as long as there is Daily Chuck! And now he’s bigger! Love it!

  • i’m not sure you’ll get to this (you’ve nearly 1000 to read before mine) but i like the changes. the site is cleaner with fewer distractions, though i did like the larger banner on the other.

    tell jon he’s done a stellar job. and then treat him to a steak dinner with lots of beer. then bring him home and take advantage of him.

  • Kim in VA

    I think the new site looks great! I love the big pictures.


  • kbrown

    I have loved your site for so long. My biggest disappointment with the new site is the flashing ads. I understand the need but it felt so pure before. I refuse to click on any flashing ad on any site, they drive me crazy. I’m sure you will find a happy middle ground and I will adjust to the ads!

  • Hi Heather! I’ve been a regular reader of yours for a while now, but have never said so. Anyway. I love the new look of things here. Simply put: purple is fabulous!

  • Miso

    Love the redesign, Delicate Flower. Fabulous job. I only wish the links weren’t mixed into the posts. I liked how they were featured off to the side and super easy to find. Plus your stellar writing deserves it’s own attention, the links are a whole nuther ball game. Regardless, you rock.

  • I think the Daily Style section is brilliant. I’ve already got thumb cramps from clicky-clicking through it. I did prefer seeing the Daily Links in the sidebar all together, but if you are changing the background on those entries, maybe that’ll work just as well. And another vote for purple. I don’t mind it one bit. In fact, I’m wearing a purple t-shirt right now. 🙂

  • It looks great! I love the purple!

  • THis rocks!
    I as a mom enjoy reading you soo much!
    Love the new site!
    A mom with nasty depression and three boys..egaH!

  • Anonymous


  • first, i know what a moefoe redesigning online is, it’s taken me months and many visits to lynda and i still don’t have it right. congratulations jon! oh how i wish i could whip something up in photoshop and tell someone to make it so.
    the purple and black, me no likee…sorry. the design, however, is sweet and thanks for the daily style. more goodness from the minds of dooce!!


  • Brea in Santa Barbara

    Not that this matters, 300 and some-odd comments after my original one – but my apologies for mispelling Jon’s name in my praise to your kick-ass blog. John would be my husbands name…

    And at your recommendation, I’ve watched that video clip prolly 6 times now – the clip and the sequel to it just get better and better. “LOL that she wants is another baby, she’s gone tomorrow boy…”

  • Wow! It’s really well done. (Said the person who knows f*ck-all about code.)
    I like the open feel it has. And purple? Well, purple rocks my socks.
    Good job!

  • Well, if you’re still reading comments after receiving 900 of them, that just boggles the mind. I can’t even read a third of ’em!
    Heather and Jon, I love the new design.

    The only thing I don’t like, and won’t EVER like, are animated ads that blink, blink, blink… gawd, that’s annoying.

    I’ve used a few of your links (not ads) to purchase things such as a great purse from seabreeze studio and I also received the FLOR catalog in the mail, which I intend to order from soon.
    So thanks for great links, great writing and hugs to Leta and the Congressdog! 😉

  • Laura

    LOVE the new site… and the new sassy picture too!

  • Rachelle

    I’ve been lurking here for about a year and have read pretty much everything you’ve posted by now.

    So for my first comment ever, I’ll simply say I like the new layout.

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    Love it. Love the purple and black and I love the emphasis on the masthead and the links at the top now. I am mad jealous of your design skillz. Or something. Looks great!

  • Nel

    your site is awesome. i like the new look. i first came to your site for my women studies class and now im like, addicted or something. its like The Hills.
    Keep it real!
    and Leta is cool.

  • Jill

    Well done you if you get this far! 🙂

    1. Love the new design – it’s very sleek and clean. Colours are great – sharp, crisp, and slick again. Great job guys!
    2. Photos… new sizes? Drooooooooooooooool. Site redesign was worth it for this alone!
    3. Will also miss the dooce sig in the masthead background, but will cope. Your mastheads are always fabulous anyway with or without.
    4. Only two minor negative comments – first is the post headlines appear *really* large, especially when you have a title running to several words. I’m on a Mac viewing at 1920 x 1200, so just wondering how that will resolve for less fortunate creatures viewing at lower resolutions?
    5. Second comment may be a CSS issue still needing resolution, or it could be intentional. At top of page, alignment between top of latest post and the Chuckles/Google columns is out – columns 2 & 3 a good 60px or more lower.

    I wondered why the Flikr bar disappeared to a less prominent position, but I thought about it for a bit and think that perhaps what you’ve accomplished with this redesign is to really consolidate Dooce as a brand. The Dooce brand is less to do with Leta and more of a personal statement (incorporating motherhood amongst many other things), in which your style and aesthetic viewpoint of life is filtered through very well with your main “Daily Photo” categories at the top of the page. Overall I think the new look and feel is strong and confident, and you’ve “found your voice” visually to back up your great writing style.

    Well done to all involved… now crack open the beer!

  • Lisa g

    Heather I love the new site =)

  • I like it! Now, where in the world do I find the part of the website where you send us to the pages you have been sent to.
    Does that make sense?

  • The video rocks! Love the purple. Reeeeally love the new big photo format! 🙂

  • I totally love it. The colors are great, it is easy to navigate, fun, and I do like the larger pictures. I am trying to find a template that will allow for larger photos as well.


  • I don’t know why so many people have a problem with black and purple. It’s not as if it’s going to stay that way forever.

    The first thing I noticed with this new design is that the ads REALLY stand out at me. Before I used to ignore them unless they were some flashy thing (or, even better, they didn’t load), but they stand out now. I can’t decide if it’s because the space is bigger, or because the top of the ad ‘box’ isn’t level with the top of the text (which is really bugging me). The slight gradient gray also bugs me a lot, but I often read in RSS anyway so I’m not complaining too much.

    That being said, you could make this eye-searingly painful and of course I’ll put up with it and keep coming back, if you keep posting.

  • damn, heather, you got more comments than perez.

    you know, not that i’d know *anything* about that.

  • You are the best! Beautiful page, beautiful additions, congratulations.
    Oh – and one more thing, who the hell thinks they have any reason or right to comment on your eyebrows? People are stupid.
    Thank you for all that you share, you make me feel better about being a mom.

  • Rosemary

    I really like the creativity of the new site. I did want to let you know that it isn’t all working properly. I had been visiting since sunday (when I saw the new site) and wondering why you hadn’t posted any words, or new photos, only to find that I had to Ctrl refresh the main page. I am not sure if this is going to be a regular thing to see new content, but it is a problem.

    Also, find something, anything to put in the sidebar after you are finished with your adds and flickr photos. I hate seeing that blank wasted space as I scroll down the page. Maybe just a neat squidfingers pattern to run through the emptiness would make my mind feel a little more at ease.

    I also love the larger photos, the look fantastic.

  • Hannah Scruton

    Love the new sites especially the bigger pcitures and their comments.
    Daily Chuck is awesome. Any news on the book.

    I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder recurrent type a few years ago and have been takins meds for 4 years but I have a huge fear of post partum depression and going off my meds. You had written about going off with this second preganncy, sorry to hear about the miscarriage, is there any advice or anything you did to prepare to go off your meds? I imagine that I would need to be in a space where I could completely concentrate on my health.

    anyways thank you for wrting.

  • Winter Curnow

    looooove it!! (the video AND the changes!)
    I like the boxes.

    I did like how flowy and soft your old setup was. A bit feminine but this one just screams FUNKY! (which suits you!) BRING ON THE FUNK!

  • and we all get to be #1 !!!


  • I think it looks beautiful. And that video was awesome, yo.

  • kiwi

    I love the new layout and love that you linked to Streeter & Anil. I hope you’ve watched the prank war.

  • MemphisEatsMahSoul

    I like it! I especially love the Style pix. Yuh huh.

  • First off, it doesn’t really matter what I think of the new layout and design. People are going to continue to read your blog no matter what..and if they don’t there are always two more NEW readers to take their place.

    That being said..I think the new design looks great.

  • jen

    I love purple and I love black so you’ve immediately won me. A woman I used to work with came up to me at a work function once and said, ‘Did you know that purple and black are lesbian colours?’ I was wearing purple and black that day and I didn’t know if she was asking me about my sexual preference or what. Perhaps she was trying to crack onto me?

    Back to the site – I know redoing a site is bloody hard work as I’ve just done mine so well done to everyone.

  • yeah…dont really like the new layout that much. but its not mine, so who cares? still like the content.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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