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.

  • Love the new design. Purple and black are so rad, sister! Hmm, when I think of the color combo of purple and black I think of tattoos.

    Love the bigger pics. Masthead is nice. I always loved your old ones… keep your mastheads as a changing feature. I am very interested in the new style section – this is a great addition.

    When people post I see in parentheses (not verified) what’s up with that? I am using Safari for Mac.


  • emg

    Nice job. Hang in there. Love reading your take on the world. Thanks for being you.

  • Jennifer

    Lovely. You guys do great work.

  • I love the new look and layout.

    Have you ever heard of a British group called ‘Hot Chip’? Try listening to their song ‘Over and Over’, I think you might like it. Let us know what you think.

    Any how, I love your site and will be back often.

    Take care.

  • Julia

    Comments! Are! Open! How fun is that. I love the new site and design. The Daily Style is such a great addition, and I love the background info on the daily pics now.


  • JR

    I love the redesign so much I want to show u MY titz 😉

  • Hey Heather.
    looks fabulous! easy to use and beautiful to the eye. Worth Jon losing a little hair over?

    YOUUUUUUU betcha!!!

    Peace and all the good things,
    in Brisbane Australia

  • Angela

    I like the new look – much cleaner, though having the
    ads on the right instead of left is distracting (of course
    they are meant to be). I think it takes away from the readability and photos – are you required by the advertisers to put them on the right?

  • J from Ireland

    Hi, Love the new design and love your blog, so honest and funny, Fair play to you!

  • Dawn

    I love it, and not just because purple is my favorite color.

  • Well, as a big Dooce fan I have to say congratulations on your new website. It is great in the way it is organized now and I really love your design section…so I am coming twice
    a day now probably! on the feedback side of things I found the ad a bit in “your face” when it comes to the top right box but as I understand this is what pay your bills and you can’t decide what goes on it, I am located in France and the ad is some nasty flashy window XP, so be it!
    Great work! I hope you celebrate the relaunch you two you certainly deserve it!

    Sylvie 😉

  • Terry

    I got your Chuckles calendar today… love that doggie’s face. Such a cool dude.

    Lulu has good delivery. Many thanks.

  • edyth

    Wow, comments are back! That is exciting. 🙂

  • I wasn’t gonna comment but then I saw the Daily Chuck and had to. My comment is: WOW. I didn’t think Chuck could look any more adorable, but the bigger photos have done it! He’s got the sweetest little doggie whiskers!! =D

  • Ariel

    Daily style is gonna ROCK MY WORLD!!!!!!!!!!

  • I think the redesign is nice! The color scheme kind of makes me think of Milky Way Dark candy bars, which may not have been what you were going for, but is delicious. Can’t wait to see more of this Daily Style feature.

  • Anonymous

    why does every comment have the number “1” to the lower left of it? Are we all that important or mentally offbalance that you have to make us each feel as though we simultaneously posted the very first post so that we don’t subsequently explode with anger and send venom filled emails?

    Seriously, love the new design. Much cleaner. Plus, its rather cool that you have an evil look on your face in the bio pic. Rather as though you’re saying “Screw you Bartlett High, and all your stupid patriotic colors and meaningless land debates”.

    Daily style is great too.

  • Nielle

    wonderful! fabulous! I’m very impressed. I’m a beginner with Drupal and reading Jon’s comments about how much work it was (for an experienced coder) I’m not too sure how I’ll fare. But it’s good to know it’s a CMS worth learning. I SO enjoy your photos and stories… thanks for bringing so much joy the world. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Slee

    Uhhhh. Can I get a tag index up in this mofo??? The archive layout is rough without one.

    otherwise, nice.

    Verrrrry nice.

  • Dawn

    I like the redesign. And even if I didn’t, who am I to complain? I don’t pay to read your site, and I read it because of your wit and way with words, not purple and black and squares.

  • Whitney

    I really like the Daily Links in with the rest of the postings. Wonderful!

  • nae

    Heather this new site is amazing! Congratulations to you and Jon!

  • I love what you’ve done with the place; it’s beautiful. I work with content management systems all day so I can appreciate how difficult it must have been to get it to the manageable state you now have it in. And it’s always a work in progress.

  • Flikka

    Well I love the new redesign! 🙂 Well done guys!

  • I happen to like purple.

    And Drupal rocks. And I sent you an e-mail about Mormon underwear. *snicker*

  • Anonymous

    Cool. I miss the links on the left side, but maybe I just can’t find them. Other than that, the site looks just fine. I really like the larger photos.

  • Christine

    Love the new layout! Great job!

    The video was HILARIOUS!!!

  • Hi Heather! I think you’re awesome. I’m an Australian midwife with 2 babies (a 4 month old and a one week old – we’re a lesbian couple). Our 4 month old has a torticollis too (they’re everywhere, hey?!). Sorry you’ve had a crap time recently. Your bloggy humour helps me get through the hard days… Thanks.

  • SlamorSpike

    I like the new look. Masthead reminds me of grape Ne-Hi.

  • Anonymous

    I like the links on the side bar. That way I could browse them without moving anything.

  • Amanda

    so, i LOVE CollegeHumor, and have seen that video about 2938472394872 times. i’m glad that you appreciate CH as much as i do.

  • solaana

    Not first. But, I like it, love the new daily design feature. The ads are big but since that’s how you get paid, go to. I also feel like the new masthead could use some glitter gently raining onto my keyboard, so if Jon could work on implementing that most important part of any website, really, I’d appreciate it.

  • Tim from Los Angeles

    thank you

  • Sara

    Is the font small? It doesn’t look small to me. This is going to be the same as everyone else’s comments, but I figure positive comments are always good! I hope they help soften the blows of the hatemail and stupid comments left just to piss you off. 🙂
    Love the new look. The only thing that isn’t spectacular is your links posts don’t look different than your regular, but y’all are working on that so awesome! The purple is nice. Don’t know what the big deal is about the purple. How could anyone not like purple?!
    Props to Jon, yourself, and everybody else that had a hand in the redesign!

  • Looks great — and I love the big photos!

  • kate

    I think it looks great!

  • AG

    Oh Heather, the redesign is gorgeous. I love purple and black and squares and it’s all great. Kudos to you for the design, and kudos to John for being able to figure it all out! Nice subject line, too. 😉

    BTW, I was so excited when you’d taken a picture of the barn in Herriman and posted it the other day. My family founded Herriman (I am descended from the Butterfields) and my grandparents lived there when they first got married; everyone in my family, including my father, is buried in what has become our family cemetery there. That barn could have been my family’s at one point–who knows!–but I thought it was so cool that you posted that picture.

  • If I had to read these, I would be curled up in a little ball, shrieking in circles in my head that only I could hear. Just perusing 50 random comments was enough to make me understand that there are enough conflicting messages here to choke a god damned horse.

    What came to mind is it doesn’t matter if people like the layout, they’ll get over it. Doesn’t matter if they like the font, or the photo of you (that’s really shitty of them to say though). Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one, and everyone’s looking for reasons to talk out of theirs, including me.

    Just do what you do. People will not abandon you. You are not our hostage. We love to read your thoughts and the way you look at the world. Your words have value to us. People hate change, but life is change (am reminding myself of Princess Bride here for some reason).

    I recommend that people lighten up, read the heartfelt, real words that come free of charge, right to your screen and at your own convenience. And unless you have helpful advice (this is of course debatable) as to how to fix a specific problem, then say thank you, if you must say anything at all. My opinion. From my own asshole.

  • Lizzy

    Finally I was so glad that I can comment now.. I used to always wonder how can i… and now its easy! oh and i totally like your new web page.. i think its looks great!

  • I think your new site looks great and I am finding it easier to navigate for me. Good job, great work! Always an inspiration

  • I do indeed love the new, wider photo possibilities. The bevelized, dropforeshadowed and gradientified (all official design terms) ads are hideous but of course I know that is not the fault of dooce. Great redesign.

  • No way I’m reading through all those comments so sorry if I’m being repetitive. I like the resdesign, particularly the ads all being on the right now. And I like purple. The only thing that is bugging me is the size of the post title, it seems like it needs to be one or two sizes smaller.
    (One more thing. When I just submitted this, it didn’t like my URL without http:// in front. No biggie but most sites don’t have a problem with inserting your URL starting with www.)

  • very nice change. I wish I was smart enough to pull something like this off.

  • Tracy

    Love the purple, love the black, love the squares, love everything!

    I really do enjoy reading your blog! It’s wonderful!

  • Coming here by way of Rita Arens at the Surrender,Dorothy blog ( She just wrote a very thoughtful, touching tribute to you – she talks about how with everything going on, you have still managed to keep your voice and be true to yourself. A very nice post.

    I am not a daily reader here, but must say that I will be adding the Daily Style to my reader – looks interesting.

  • Holy jumping vaginas, Batman. I love your new design. You, Jon, & the other gentlemen did an excellent job.

    Moreover, that video made me pee a little. And it’s not just because of my weak kegels, either.

    The 2nd time I watched it, I caught the chart at the end, “Amount of Friends You Had in High School.” Freakin’ brilliant. I don’t know if I will be able to resist posting this myself.

    And it’s way gay that the first commenter didn’t sarcastically type, “FIRST!!!” but actually did a real life version of it.

    I had a little spasm when I read that comments were open. But that’s just because you can’t type anything without my vagina turning it into… oh, nevermind.

    PS: I’m feeling all insecure about being “not verified.”

  • Erin

    I love it Heather. So chic! The comments section is crazy though….we are all showing up as number 1…Go us!!!

  • RzDrms

    wait! now they’re appearing. 🙁 even though i’ve cleared my cache and history tons of times today. confusing.

  • RzDrms

    no new daily pix today?

  • I like purple and black together, and the new design too.

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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