Taking The New Theme Out For A Test Drive

Like Our New Look?

Welcome to the new John Chow dot Com! I hope you like our new look. The new theme was designed and coded by Nate Whitehill of Unique Blog Design. Nate came to me with the idea of doing a new theme a week ago. I told him to do up a rough and if I like what I see, we’ll continue. As you can guess, I liked what I saw.

The new theme has been tested on the latest version of FireFox, IE7 and IE6. If you’re using any other browser, we can’t guarantee it’ll look right. Changes to the blog include a popular articles section, newsletter (which you should sign up for even if you already have the ebook), a new sponsors section and other stuff that I’m sure you’re discover as you explore it more.


Welcome New John Chow dot Com Sponsors

I sent out ten emails to past advertisers asking if they would like to sponsor the new blog. I was hoping to sell six buttons from the deal. Instead, it got oversold. Rather than turn away advertisers I decided to increase the number of buttons to accommodate everyone. It sure it nice to launch a new theme with all ad spots sold out! Please welcome our new sponsors.

I like to thank our new sponsors for helping to sell out all the ad spots even before the new look went live. Should an ad button become available in the future, a new advertiser can buy it for $500 per month.

The Paint Is still Drying

We’ve tested the theme extensively on the test server to make sure everything worked. However, there is always the possibility that something got passed us. Please check out the new home and tell me what you think. If you spot any errors, please let me know as well.

I want to thank Nate Whitehill for his work on this new theme. If you’re looking for someone who can design and code, Nate is your man!

267 thoughts on “Taking The New Theme Out For A Test Drive”

  1. Kirenia says:

    Oh, noooo… I copied your old layout only 5 days ago…

    1. Cash Quests says:

      This new one is going to pretty hard to copy! Looks awesome πŸ™‚

      1. Nuts & Milk says:

        I agree! Wonder what will happen to the cows??? :mrgreen:

        1. Cash Quests says:

          I think the new theme has pretty much made hamburgers out of them! πŸ™‚

          1. Nuts & Milk says:

            I guess they’ll put up picture of a buffalo as the new blog header :mrgreen:

          2. Cash Quests says:

            John Buffalo dot com is taken….although you could probably buy it for a few cents….

          3. Lance says:

            wow! Great theme and new car too..

        2. Wahlau.NET says:

          i had the same question on my mind too..haha

      2. Ron says:

        When I first looked at the theme, I was like “This looks sort of like nate’s style…” and then it actually was designed by him heh. Good work, looks nice.

    2. Debo Hobo says:

      It’s gorgeuos. But I’m still wondering is that you in the driver’s seat? I can’t tell.

      1. Cash Quests says:

        Looks like Darren Rowse to me! πŸ˜€

        1. blogcrowds says:

          Yes a cross between Darren’s and Nate’s own with the three sections up top. Way too busy up top for my taste.

      2. Simon says:

        I wouldn’t say gorgeous, more business like maybe

    3. Wow! Very impressive. I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like the new design but I think I do. I’m not quite sure about pushing the content down practically below the fold but this definitely presents a ton of information and has great call to actions. Man…

      1. John Chow says:

        Actually, the content has only been push down 120 pixels. In the old layout, the content didn’t start until after the Search Engine Guide banner. I guess with all the stuff at the top, people think it has been pushed down a lot when it really hasn’t.

        1. Wow, it definitely seems like more. Also though I forgot that I have two tool bars taking up space on my view so it probably isn’t very close to the fold at all.

  2. Ed Lau says:

    Looks good. I gotta remember to make my theme 1024 one of these days.

    1. Geedos says:

      I’m viewing at a screen resolution of 1024 by 768 and I get a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the page which is really annoying.

      1. Yeah, it’s kind of annoying. It looks like it can be fixed as well.

        1. Softsled says:

          scrool bar here too….

          1. Cash Quests says:

            Hey! I’ve got a scroll bar on the right of my screen too! This new theme is crazy! πŸ˜‰

      2. I see the scroll bar as well but really, is it that big of a deal?

      3. John Chow says:

        You are right. We will fix that.

      4. Simon says:

        Yeah me too, I hate that πŸ‘Ώ

    2. Tyler Ingram says:

      I find the most people are running 1024×768. Though just because its 1024 doesn’t mean people should make their sites the maximum width! I tend to stick to 800 or 900px wide. People who are running resolutions lower then 1024×768 should really be looking to upgrade their monitor and video card (if it doesn’t support that resolution…)

  3. Tim Spangler says:

    Awesome stuff, John and Nate. My only suggestion would be to move the MyBlogLog widget up above the fold or immediately below the sponsors. It’s very lonely down there!

    1. Yeah – I agree with you. Other than that, the whole site is far cleaner and better optimized. Loading times are down and now I don’t have any AdSense glitches when scrolling down a page. πŸ˜‰

      Hoorah for Nate!

    2. Geedos says:

      Agree. It gets lost down there at the bottom of the page and due to the amount of comments this blog gets, it might never get seen by many people.

      Also the sidebar looks a bit barren without it.

      1. Cash Quests says:

        Mybloglog widgets don’t make money. And they send your traffic to other people’s sites.

        Maybe you should think about *why* it is at the bottom!!

        1. Geedos says:

          Good point. But what about the user experience?

          It was on the sidebar before and I don’t think it drove people away from the site in their thousands?

          1. Cash Quests says:

            User experience??? This site is designed to be an evil *money maker*. That’s why every month John reports on how much revenue increased, *not* how much user experience increased! 😈

          2. Geedos says:

            Ah, you’re right – clearly I’m getting confused because the two aren’t connected in any way are they? πŸ™„

            Infact, using your philosophy there’s lots of space not fully utilised. Lets bin off the image of the car because you can cram a load more ads in there. There’s some free white space at the top right above the subscribe section – lets stuff in a couple of ads instead. And finally what about all that space at the bottom of the right hand sidebar??? Room for a load more sponsored links.

            Ah yes, that’d be much better wouldn’t it.

          3. Simon says:

            Agreed, I liked the mybloglog widget, now the only way to get your few minutes of fame is by commenting a lot. πŸ‘Ώ

        2. ray says:

          good point, they only serve teh purpose of tracking what your readers are doing. Chow ,i love the car you have at the banner. very cool!.

    3. KingJacob says:

      I disagree, mybloglog looks good down there and when you put it on the side, you look like everyother blog in the world.

  4. Awesome new look! The zonda pic looks sweet and I really like how it flows. All the right elements none of the bad ones! I’m sure you enjoyed the extra ad space as well! πŸ˜€

    1. I dig it! it looks really nice!

  5. maurizio says:

    Ops. I wrote my comment on the previous post cause this one wasn’t here.
    So forget about the search box. Now it’s ok (and I see there is the search button too..I should have waited 5min)

    Anyway I still think it’s too professional looking. I prefer the old one because it feels more like a friend’s site.
    I one of those guy who trust more friends than big corporation.

    1. Indeed the new theme feels less personal.

      1. Mat says:


        and the actual content is so far down that it doesn’t catch the eye

        Expect most of your random visitors to close this without reading an article and getting hooked

    2. Cash Quests says:

      Too professional looking??? So he should keep the site looking amateur so you can sleep well at night in the belief that you have a friend??

      1. maurizio says:

        You don’t get what I meant.
        Other people got it though…

        1. Cash Quests says:

          I know what you meant. But maybe you don’t know what I meant….

        2. No, I think we understood what you meant just fine. We just think you’re wrong πŸ˜‰

    3. Too professional? To me it looks like he’s made enough money to be able to afford a really nice blog design (which he has). I could see if it looked as sterile as a dentist’s office but that’s not at all the case.

      Now the content being so far down is a legitimate concern and I’m not sure I’ve decided on that part one way or the other. But too professionall…. I guess that just proves that you really can’t please everyone

      1. Simon says:

        the content being a little further down is not really an issue for me, I actually like it, it adds to the professionalism.

    4. Joshua says:

      I wouldn’t trust the guy, he’s evil! 😈

    5. Simon says:

      I do agree that it looks a little less personal, but I think professional is good

  6. tory says:

    I’m sorry I don’t like it. It looks too busy and just like all the other sites. I also agree with the comments about it’s far less personal.

    But what do you care, it’s all about the money isn’t it?

    1. It’s busy and a lot of people are going to have to scroll to get to your first post but it does stand out as a custom template. Will be interesting to see how it affects John’s earnings?

    2. Have to agree; site is very busy above the fold. Color scheme wasn’t altered to much. Although I like the idea of a fresh new look, may have to agree with others that the previous design was better. Again, I throw me idea of having a cometition to “Pimp My Site” just to see what you get back.

      1. competition … sorry about the typo.

    3. Simon says:

      It is all about the money, that’s why most people read this blog in the first place.

  7. Don’t like the new design, but its definitely more profitable with the extra ad real estate.

    1. Nuts & Milk says:

      At least its original! And not fake like your blog’s feed count :mrgreen:

      1. Navjot Singh says:

        Theme is not completely original. Its a makeover of MistyLook Theme. Post area and comments area are exactly like the previous one. Simple Post area vs modern sidebar?? Not a good combination. I thought you were getting a entirely new theme.

        1. Simon says:

          Original? No, it looks a lot like Nate

    2. KingJacob says:

      And having a few referall buttons above the fold should increase referall earnings as well.

      1. Simon says:

        John will probably make more money from that.

  8. chinaboy says:

    too many colors and pictures on the top, makes me anxious.

    maybe you can move “popular articles” and “ebook” to the right bar.

    1. Cash Quests says:

      There are drugs for anxiety. If a website makes you anxious you should really consider getting some counselling. 😈

  9. Rea Maor says:

    Errr… header-is-too-loaded-can’t-go-any-farther-must-click-on-X-sign

    1. I prefer it, to be perfectly honest. Nice change, with the ‘3-bar’ style extra navigation at the top!

      1. Simon says:

        Yeah the header looks better and more professional

  10. josera says:

    At the beginning i thought i was in a wrong page, with so many ads. But the new design is comfortable and nice. i think i’m getting used to it.

  11. chinaboy says:

    BTW, john, last time I said you should set a like techcrunch sponsor spot. Did what I said give you an idea?

    1. Cash Quests says:

      Yeah, I’m sure it was because of you. Because no other sites have it and I’m sure John wouldn’t have come up with the idea himself.

      1. chinaboy says:

        Cash Quests, I am just kidding. But you are so aggressive.

        1. Cash Quests says:

          Hey, I was kidding too!!

    2. John Chow says:

      Thanks for the idea. :mrgreen:

  12. awflasher says:

    The new theme seems a little slow … I don’t know why.

    1. Weird – it’s been loading faster for me… The old theme was incredibly buggy. Be interesting to see what everyone else makes of it.

    2. Indeed it does load a bit slow (for some visitors).

      As previously posted about asking if rather John would like some recommendations I thought it would be better to already write it, there are some interesting points that could improve the load speed and some other important parts for search engines.

      I would like John to read whats wrong with John Chows new theme, this is just my point of view on making these minor changes to improve the layout. I like the design tho.

      1. GrunGee says:

        1st Rule in SEO is 301 either the www or non-www version of your domain to the other. 2nd Rule 301 the index file to root domain.

    3. Click Input says:

      Loading a lot slower for me… my browser even seems struggling to load the page. Maybe it’s because of the 50 billion comments.

      1. Simon says:

        Loading slower for me, but I think thats also because of the amount of comments lately.

        1. Damn it really is going slow, you need to fix that John

  13. Knuckles10 says:

    The top seems a little too busy as others mentioned. I have to scan around the screen to find where the content went. I’ll probably get used to it really soon and actually like it, but thats my first impression. As for the footer. I really really really like it for some reason. Its functional, organized and looks cool.

    I can see overall this whole layout allows for more ad real-estate and thus more profitable. Good luck to you for increased earnings πŸ™‚

  14. Nomar says:

    Man, this new design really rocks !! Great improvement for John Chow dot Com !!

  15. Click Input says:

    The header is extremely busy and something happened to the top commentators… I lost like 30 comments!

    1. Yeah,
      Getting comments nuked was kind of annoying.

      1. Click Input says:

        Looks like it’s only some people… one dude is on 54 like before!

        1. I lost some comments too. But it is okey πŸ˜‰

    2. KingJacob says:

      Thats cause it only counts comments from x days ago.

      1. Simon says:

        Thats an interesting point, does anybody know when the comments get reset? Or how many days it counts comments for.

  16. Mike Zak says:

    Man, I don’t like new design at all.
    You always boasted you can make lots of money without cramming your site with ads. But now you have done exactly the opposite.

    No content above the fold, I can survive, there was hardly any content above the fold in the old theme too.
    But even second page is 50% advertisements.
    And as everybody said before, too much colors=pain in the eye.
    Crammed first page = Too much too bear, I’m getting out!
    Overall, the site looks like a cheesy sales page.

    John, you disappointed me.
    You probably will make more money then you made before, and maybe that’s the only thing that really matters for you, but you always stated user integrity is even above revenue, and right now you are doing the opposite.

    1. The first post starts above the fold, there are links to his popular posts above the fold and it highlights his call’s to action much better. The content is all still there, and unfortunately I think a lot of people like the new theme so really he’s improving the user experience or “integrity” as you call it.

      1. Simon says:

        Overall I agree, the new one is better

  17. Michael S. says:

    DonΒ΄t like it, the top part is too big. Above the fold I can only read the article title.

    Plus, it looks too commercial with all those ads,a affiliate links and ebook offering.

    The blog actually looks more “busy” than the former theme.

    1. Simon says:

      It is busy but it looks neat and that’s what counts.

  18. Wai says:

    Its looking good. Better than the last overused theme you had

  19. tim says:

    quite impressive, but its a little bit complicated compare to your last theme 😈

    –blog for dream–

  20. Fahmishah says:

    wow…really like it…now look professional..

  21. Brajeshwar says:

    This one look more cleaner, modular and much “better than before”.

  22. chinaboy says:

    If it’s still this way, no change, I mean, full of ads, no content at first screen, too much colors and flash. I guess I will read your blog on RSS Reader much more than web. And I will leave less comments either.

  23. SeoVibe says:

    Hey John,
    Two thumbs up from me. It looks like your ebook will get a boost while you build the email list. πŸ‘Ώ I’m guessing you’ll see a boost on the affiliate refferals too in their new location. You’ll keep us posted on any increase or decrease in profit right ? πŸ˜€

    One question, correct me if i’m wrong but is it the same theme made wider with a new header and footer?

    One suggestion. The theme was slow to load for me too so i did some digging. w3c.org reports 160 code errors. Gotta fix those!

    1. John’s going to be adding $7500 to his blog revenue this month πŸ™‚ Good stuff!

    2. KingJacob says:

      Definently a good idea with the ebook because I never even new you had an ebook until someone used it as an example for turning your blog into a book on another blog.

  24. Hey John,
    Congratulations for the new theme, i Like it. the over all look is great and pleasant to surf with.

    I took a short look to the code and there are some things i don’t like (but they might be necessary for you) as for example the (for me) excessive use of javascript inside the page (i would rather create a .js file for each javascript and link to it), i also notice some empty divs, i would recommend you use and style the hr (breakers) from css like hr { display:none; clear:both }.

    There are some other small things that i could note in the code, but lets leave it aside. The design is cool..and i like how all things are aligned (actually, i wanted to create a wider sidebar or another column of sidebar on my own blog too as i mentioned i will recode the blog on my previous comment).

    Good go John πŸ˜‰ and congrats also for the new advertisers…seems like the income for this month with the ad flip and these sponsors will grow for a bit.

  25. Like others have said, too busy. Sorry, but it reminds me of pr0n site trying to peddle its wares at every turn. But then what do I know? I’m not a dot com mogul after all.

  26. Wallace says:

    um, not my cup of tea.

  27. Awsome. I like it.

  28. Hoo says:

    Nice quality site. Awesome! How much did you pay for it?

  29. GettyCash says:

    The new look is great.. I like it. I also want to change my blog template too.. πŸ˜€

  30. Rhys says:

    I love it.

    Copied by “make money online” bloggers in 3….2….

    1. This isn’t a free template, so anyone that copies it could see a DMCA coming from John πŸ™‚

      1. Rhys says:

        True, but there’s nothing stopping somebody with a bit of HTML coding a similar one.

  31. Geedos says:

    I’m looking at this with Firefox version and have a couple of problems.

    Firstly, it took ages to load – substantially longer than the previous theme. Secondly, there’s no visible content in the Recommended Moneymakers section at the top of the page and nothing underneath the John Chow dot Com Sponsors. I’m not sure if this is an error or if there’s just nothing in there yet?

    Finally I don’t think the bottom footer is necessary – I would have ignored the content there had it not been for making this comment when it suddenly came into view. Why not put this content onto the sidebar?

    My first impressions on the design are “not sure”. Maybe it’ll grow on me.

    1. Whilst everybody digs deep to see why this template is slower I’d say it’s fairly obvious, it’s a lot more image intensive? It’s not the size of the images that cause the problem (for us broadband users) but rather the number of sim connections to download the images. A page with one hundred 1k images on a popular site takes a lot longer than a page with 1 100k image.

      Anyway, a liitle bit of design over function in my opinion but each to their own and at least John has his unqiue bit of cyberspace back.

  32. Pujiono says:

    Well, personally I do not like this new theme. I seems that you are greedy by displaying many banners everywhere. But, I know this is your own blog and you have 100% rights to do whatever you want to do. Congrats on your new theme.

  33. Bryce says:

    It does stand out, I agree – but it looks way to commercial. And I am absolutely pissed off at the whole – look at all my affiliate links, sign up for my email because I am the nearest thing to god himself and then if you want scroll down for the actual blog content.

    The old blog design was personal, not commercial.

    1. John is running a commercial site, he’s trying to make as much money as possible with his blog….

      It’s a commercial site.

      1. It is not actually a commercial site, but anyway the look of the design is very pleasant and it doesn’t have that ROUGH commercial look. Yet i would insist in the code, there are few things i would definitively recommend him to change them for better performance with search engines, and yet he will be able to keep the same look.

        John, if you want to hear what I could advice, just drop me an email or let me know here and i will write you a detailed email.

        1. John Chow says:

          I read your post. Good stuff. Nate will be the one making the changes since he coded it.

  34. Manidip says:

    I am from India.Let me elaborate.
    I am β€œtrying” to get success in internet marketing business for nearly about 2 years.But still I didn’t able to start this in real.I mean it β€œin real”.
    Actually I know a fair bit of Adsense,Adwords,Article Marketing,Blogging etc….

    Adsense: Need A website
    Adwords: Too Costly
    Article :Not a born writer.
    Blogging:No Topic which I am Passionate about.

    Actually I am earning right now $100 per month.As I am the only member earning in my family , it is very difficult to compete in adwords or PPC.
    Now my family needs are getting higher and higher , so please believe me I am just exausted.I need to take rest to get rid off from my nightmare of family burden.It is now untolerable.

    I request you to help me atleast to get $100 per month more to fullfill my family needs.I do not want car , home at all. I just want my family to stand firm in the crowd. That’s it.
    Will you please do me a favour by helping me to get there.If you say type your name thousand times I will do that blindly.
    Please help me.

    1.I am not able to find my niche.
    2. I am weak in english.
    3. I am not a good writer.
    4. Adwords is too costly.
    5. Really love to be affiliate.

    After reading this you might think that my callibre is all against to become successfull internet marketer,Right ?
    But I can’t help it.
    So please please guide me sir step by step.
    I promise I will follow you blindly.
    Thank you
    Kind Regards
    Manidip Chakraborty
    [email protected]

    1. KingJacob says:

      Thats probally the longest piece of comment spam Ive ever seen, Also mr Chakraborty its a bad idea to post a link to your email especially on a tech related site as thats a good way to get alot of spam.

  35. DrMBW says:

    John, Very impressive new look: contemporary, crisp, and bold. Kudos to you and to Unique blog designs for the fresh and daring style! 😎

  36. ian says:

    I like the look of it, but at 1024×768, virtually all of the page is occupied with ads and no real content, I think it is going too far with the ads. I prefer the old layout.

  37. Valentin says:

    Valentin said : Holly Cow ! I reach here after click on a google ads and first I think I reach a JC clone (read parody) site.

    77/Aa-873#b3 (an alien) said : Well, Valentin, maybe you don`t like it, but at least this new design had made true your request to put that e-book in more visible spot ..

    Valentin said : Ya, ok, but Holly Screwdriver, this layout is LAME.

    iDevil`s Advocate said : Sorry I interrupt your dialogue, guys, but you miss one detail.

    Valentin said : What detail ?

    77/Aa-873#b3 (an alien) said : What do you mean, which detail we miss ?

    iDevil`s Advocate said : Maybe john Chow want to close, to sell this … then he made it to look as a christmas tree …

    (above dialogue was registred by CIA Β©. All rights reserved. Once you read it, we`ll know and will watch you closely.)

  38. Awesome! Wide is the way to go. πŸ™‚

    It sure will take some getting used to. With my resolution (1152 x 864) I see part of the first post above the fold.

    I believe it does not compromise user experience, even with the ad space being pushed that much.

  39. Rich Minx says:

    I like it, apart from having to scroll down to read the first post. It shaves precious seconds off my procrastination time.

  40. HMTKSteve says:

    John, you are breaking the first rule of blogging. Never make your readers have to page down before they can see your content.

    When I come to a site and nothing but ads shows up because the content is below the fold I go somewhere else.

    1. This design is optimized for larger resolutions. I guess that’s a forward thinking plan for the future.

      1. Geedos says:

        That may be so, but sites need to be aimed at the here and now rather than “the future”.

        It’s great if designs are optimised for larger resolutions but if the majority of readers are using lower resolutions it doesn’t really matter, it just degrades the user experience.

        1. HMTKSteve says:

          you could put some code into the theme that checks for a users screen size and then sends the appropriate CSS

  41. Josh says:

    1. Takes forever to load
    2. The first thing you see is a handful of busy advertisements, no content until you scroll down.
    3. Speaking of scrolling, you’ve got a horizontal scroll bar to view all your overbooked ads in a 1024×768 resolution.
    4. I agree with one of the comments from yesterday- I am really turned off by all the hundred dollar bills in the header.
    5. Now you’ve got to subscribe in order to download the e-book? What a shame.
    I know that every change takes some getting used to, so you will have a lot of initial complaints. However, it is very apparent that this new theme has been totally designed for ADVERTISERS and not for READERS, and without the READERS you have no ADVERTISERS.
    Seems very corporate and impersonal. Very “I make a ton of money” in your face.
    While we’re on the subject, I never seem to read any content on your blog anymore that is beneficial to ME…. all of your content now is about YOU. Where you eat, who you get together with, how much money you make from your advertisers… I don’t see any more really useful tips or articles coming from this site much anymore. πŸ™ Seems to have strayed way off course from what put you where you are, and that’s not good.
    I’m not here to bash you, just giving my overall perspective on things.

  42. Marco says:

    Looks a bit cluttered IMHO, and I agree with HMTKSteve: the top menu is a bit too big…

    On the other hand it looks much more modern, cleaner, and cooler this way! But I already feel nostalgia for the old theme… 😈

  43. Budget Babe says:

    Personally I like it. The colours are gorgeous! At first I was taken slightly aback but then got into it. Much much better than your previous layout and it’s contemporary and spunky. You got my vote Mr Chow!

  44. Rudi says:

    I like the new lay out. Looks awsome. πŸ™‚

  45. Softsled says:

    John, I like the fresh new look, but I agree with some of the other commentor’s about being able to view the post above the fold. Only the headline shows up above the fold. You might consider getting Nate to “crunch” some of the headings down so at least the ad in the first post is visible above the fold.

  46. Simon Ward says:

    I love the new theme. It’s 1000’s of times better than your old theme. All those JohnChow copy cats will struggle to find, make a theme as pro as this, out with the misty whatever themes! Yay

  47. yeah this one is quite full on. Will be good for the $$$ but not sure if its good for the readers

  48. Excellent new look! Clean and sharp!

  49. Tom says:

    I don’t like the new look, too busy looking and just visually assaulting.

    1. Jack Book says:

      yes. too crowded. πŸ™

  50. Marco says:

    John, a thought just occurred to me: did you time the release of the new theme with the airing of your 2nd “Lab with Leo” episode? I caught it last night on G4TechTV Canada…

    1. John Chow says:

      No, I didn’t know I was going to be on the Lab last night.

      1. Marco says:

        Ah I see. Good timing though, now all the new visitors you’ll get from ‘The Lab’ will arrive with the brand new theme in place. :mrgreen:

  51. Poker Sharks says:

    I like the way John always sits out the initial flurry of comments regarding a theme change. Remember when it all went blue? There was outrage but it all soon subsided.

    My only obervation would be the banner that used to be above every 1st post has now been pushed up to the top banner. Not quite as good a place so they might notice reduced traffic.

    Apart from that this seems like a great natural progression for the blog and will open up a whole new revenue stream with those magic square advert boxes. Lets see how long it takes to go from $500 a box to $10,000 a month like tech crunch – probably a fair while but the old blog could never have made $100,000+ a month, this one has the potential.

    Good job i say – oh and how much did it cost? Or was it the usual, ill give you traffic and new orders and i get a free theme? Actually scratch that, i think i already know the answer.

  52. BeachBum says:

    I give it a 6 out of 10. At first glance it looks more like a commercial loaded with ads site. The old design had more of a focus on content with ads mixed in. This looks like ads with a little bit of content mixed in. If traffic continues to rise and income goes up as well, then you did the right thing.


  53. Binoj says:

    Hi John,
    Over all it’s ok. But header part is cluttered. And I suggest each heading should be bold and bigger. But the layout is nice.

    Thanks John
    Binoj, Web Designer

  54. Hey guys, I am the theme designer. Nice to hear everyone’s feedback – both the positive AND negative! πŸ™‚


    1. Cash Quests says:

      You rock Nate. The new theme is simply awesome and will be a real money maker. The negative numbskulls can talk about a drop in the user experience all they want but there’s always a trade-off and this theme is perfect for John Chow dot com. Well done! πŸ™‚

      1. Valentin says:

        Comment by Cash Quests
        2007-08-22 04:35:32
        You rock Nate. The new theme is simply awesome and will be a real money maker. The negative numbskulls can talk about a drop in the user experience all they want but there’s always a trade-off and this theme is perfect for John Chow dot com. Well done!


        1. numbskull 25 up, 3 down
        – a foolish or stupid person; an idiot.
        – someone with a numb skull, i.e. someone who feels no pain when you whack them repeatedly upside the head.
        2. numbskull 3 up, 7 down
        – that knuckleheaded dude who scrawls his name on the walls,not a graph artist.. numbskull is the true vandal.
        (curtoasy of urban dictionary


        Sorry to ask you, casH-quesT, but are you trained lawyer ?
        Doesn`t matter, try say loud and clear several times this :
        lawyer liar lawyer liar lawyer liar lawyer liar lawyer liar …
        Got it ? No ? I`m not surprised …

        However, I feel – while I`m second to say it here but sure many others gave up to say it – you are a bit to agressive and self-confident. Yet, is normal behave for one who have hidden comments link on his “blog” – like you did. Would you be so kind to let me know when is your 14 years anniversary ?

        Feel free to take a long vacation, I have good – great news : nobody will miss you.

        iDevil`s Advocate Β© – protected by lex talionis

    2. Good work Nate! Seems like you made a template for John that fits quite well with his blog. I like the simplicity and improvement from the previous cluttered design.

      Although I would disagree with:
      – no round corners
      – color combinations (blues and oranges are all of different tone – should have been of same color different shade imo)
      – especially the rss icons are too ugly!

    3. Joshua says:

      As soon as the page started loading I knew it was you! You and your ‘announcement’!

      Nice work Nate Dogg 😈

  55. Sebbi says:

    Oh no … now it’s even more cluttered with ads. Urg, still gone read you via RSS though …

  56. Great new theme! I like the look, but as some has pointed out before, the scrool bar at the bottom is no fun.

  57. Eljon says:

    sir, i think some part of the new theme is making the pages load slowly…

  58. Dice says:

    I like the design and I think it was needed for Johnchow.com to expand.

  59. Marco says:

    Well, I liked it a lot, but it definitely seems more suited for those with higher screen resolutions, like the owner of this site.

    Is there a woman inside the car?

    1. Nuts & Milk says:

      Yes! She too has a higher resolution monitor! Time to change yours ! 😈

  60. Starboykb says:

    Wow, I have to say it look much better and faster load time in my browser. BTW whats with the forum? I think comment should be enough. πŸ™‚ Anyway, my own idea only.

    1. Poker Sharks says:

      What forum?

      I dont see one…

      1. John Chow says:

        I think he is talking about the Blogging Tips forum. They are a sponsor, but it’s not my forum.

  61. This is Fantastic! I’m Jealous.

  62. dolphine says:

    Hi, like the new layout.

    The left side – main content section looks neat and nice. However, the right side looks rather cluttered with all the sponsored ads and so on.

  63. Angela says:

    Nate did an awesome job! It looks great.

  64. Swiss_Mouse says:

    Above the fold is busy, but with 7000 rss readers and advertisers paying…hard to argue with maxing it out for $. Good Luck.

  65. KingJacob says:

    I like it, you certainly put all the important stuff above the fold.

  66. ray says:

    very cool, plus something new for us to look at

  67. brain says:

    OhOh,, maybe john want be fast a millionare? :mrgreen:

    I like the new style, (with a lot more Ads), first i thought iΒ΄m on the wrong website. But if you keep the great the content and your own style to write, i will ever still be a amazed reader of your blog.

    What you do here is a very big dream for me. iΒ΄ve read the post with the noname blog and was shocked that people said a good blog must bring $3000 a month to be a good blog. Man in my country i would do all and anything to get one time $1000 a month.
    Here in my country itΒ΄s better to die then life with $100-$200 a month. I worked 15hours every day(29Days a month) and earned $100-$200 for that. ThatΒ΄s a very bad and sad life here.
    so i read every day your blog and try to learn anything from you.

    sorry for that big comment post, i want just whish you the best for life, family and your blog. hope you get a lot more success.
    keep up with it and thanks for the grat stuff to read for me.


  68. Eric says:

    John, Nate,
    Nice work you’ve done.
    It sure is an improvement for the site imho.
    I’ve ran the site in Maxthon browser and everything looks great!!

  69. James Storr says:

    I really dont like it, its not clear, go back to the old one. If it stays like this i will be less tempted to visit your blog!

  70. Nuts & Milk says:

    Do we see him crossing the $20,000 barrier next month itself?

  71. Tim McSween says:

    Great look! I like the wider format with more Ad space.

  72. Chris Austin says:

    It is certainly attractive but I am afraid that it is “too busy” for my taste. Also, I have a hard time reading/seeing the “featured sites” sections.

  73. Colors and theme are nice an clean, does seem to be a little ad heavy above the fold. First time users may be a little put off and think it is a MFA and not the awesome content site it really is.

  74. The new design is awesome!

    Sly from Slyvisions.com

  75. Celebrienne says:

    I like and hate your new theme, John. I so knew this one was made by Nate before I even read your post.

    I like the new colors and the overall layout. The blog has a nice professional touch now.

    The right side though is way too cluttered and really confusing. De-clutter it by switching the logos in the “Recommended Moneymakers”-section to text or at least grayscale them.

    The blue date line is a big real estate waster, it narrows your content area and pushes posts more below the fold. I’d say get rid of it.

    I’m also an admirer of the “Myriad”-font, but turning headlines into images just for the look of it is so 2005 *g* πŸ˜‰

    Oh yeah, the money in the header is kinda cheesy, don’t you think? ^.~

    Anyway, good luck with your new look, evil man! πŸ˜€

  76. iComunik says:

    I have to say that the new site looks great. Maybe the number of advertisers increased, but that is part of a success site. Now my “home made” blog template looks so ugly.!! better save some money and hire a pro.

  77. Alan says:

    I like the new theme! πŸ™‚
    However, if he could make it “liquid” (I think that’s what it’s called) to where it fits on any screen without having a scrollbar at the bottom, that would be cool. I could understand how that could be hard to do though, with all the content that needs to take up a certain amount of space on the sidebar.

    Nice new theme!

  78. This should have happened a year ago! πŸ˜†

  79. Egonitron says:

    it’s great technically, but it’s extremely cluttered and distracting. Sorry, I’m not a huge fan, especially at the top.

  80. Ismu says:

    congrates on your new design … looks OK to me …

    One question & please answer me πŸ™„
    why do you use direct link for google adsense referral instead of using the generated code from adsense ❓

    I guess you are not afraid that google will ban your adsense account because of this as you already managed to get direct advertisers πŸ™„

    1. John Chow says:

      It’s not a direct, it’s a redirect

  81. Roberta says:

    It’s very busy and I’m not sure where to look first. The advertiser sidebar looks like the one on Problogger….I like the footer area, it looks good.

  82. proof says:

    I like the design better then the old one


  83. Chris says:

    Looking at the screenshot, all I can say is I’m glad I use adblock :mrgreen:

    Now we know why Kumiko turned off her comments anyway, it’s so she can spend all of her time abusing the commenters here πŸ˜†

  84. mike says:

    always one step ahead. Nate did a great job

  85. Congrats John on your launch. As a sponsor, I can testify that the Ad Buttons are working! I’ll email you separately about locking in the unit for a longer term.

  86. Hector says:

    I agree it has an influence from ProBlogger although improved.

    I think that the first half of the screen is heavily loaded with images and ads, I would make them smaller so that the content of the first post comes up a little bit higher

  87. Jayce says:

    I think one has to scroll down too far to get to the content, and that’s why I come to your blog… The content.

  88. Bloggeries says:

    Love the new design John! I think you are going to be happy with it. You hav alot more information on the page now than before and it doesn’t look that cluttered at all.

    Great theme!

  89. HMTKSteve says:

    Changes I would make:

    1) in header, put the “misc ramblings…” bit to the right og johnchow.com to make that area a little smaller in the height department.

    2) Move the popular articles and eBook blocks to the sidebar. This would result in the content being above the fold for those of us who use smaller screen settings.

    3) Get rid of the seperate column for the date. If you want to use something snazzy like a date box do something like the way it is done on Dad’s Word. As it is right now you are wasting space.

    4) you have a ton of wasted space in the sidebar, why not put the MBL box back over there?

    5) why is the category listing at the bottom of the sidebar?

  90. I would change the post titles. They are a bit hard to read with that light blue color, a darker blue or a bigger font size might help.

    I would also remove the date column, but John seems to have chosen to keep the width of the post area.

  91. Mauro says:

    The theme looks good on 1280×1024, but really bad on 1024×768 (most popular screen resolution).

    1. Jon Lee says:

      Looks fine on 1024×768 for me… just a little cluttered

  92. vangardx says:

    hello john, nice theme you have, look professional and organized πŸ˜€

  93. thatedeguy says:

    I’m curious to see what the TLA advertisers will think being pushed down below the fold.

    1. KingJacob says:

      There is a TLA ad above the fold its right below the auctionad button. If thats below the fold for you, its because of your screen resolution.

      1. Reread the comment again. The text link ADVERTISERS… the people who have purchased text links from John through TLA. Their ads have been moved further down the page and thus probably will receive fewer clicks etc.

        TLA doesn’t care where John puts the ads for their service because he’s an affiliate and they only pay for signups.

    2. The sponsors will probably make John more money, so I don’t think he minds pushing TLA down.

  94. TheLoopLife says:

    John, you tested it in multiple browsers but did you test it in multiple resolutions? I’m in 1024×768 and when I first load the page I cant even see the first post. The header is a bit large.

    But other than that, looks great!

  95. Jen Koretsky says:

    John I love you and your blog, but I’m afraid this design doesn’t do it for me! πŸ™ I’m instantly overwhelmed with everything going on above the fold, and if I didn’t know the site already, I might not scroll down to get to the posts. I really liked the clean design from before.

    Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback – hope it helps.

  96. AWESOME redesign… it seems like a faze that the big money bloggers are going through…. who’s next Shoemoney????

  97. kenny says:

    Love the new look, change is good! However, the thick bar on the left of the content seems like a waste of space just to hold the date of the post.

  98. Casey says:

    At first, I found the new design extremely overwhelming. There is SO much going on at the top, but I think I’m getting used to it. One suggestion I would make is to change the post title. Make it a bit bigger and thicker.

  99. Chris says:

    Still love the Pagani Zonda 😈

  100. Andrew says:

    cool !! Great theme

  101. Nabloid.com says:

    New theme looks great! Finally it looks as professional as it should being a site as popular as it is!

    Now you’ll have to do a new design of TTZ and start getting more content published on it or it’ll fall behind! lol.

  102. Ramil says:

    It looks nice πŸ™‚

    At 1024×768 resolution, FireFox, there’s a horizontal scrollbar present. I think it should not be there.

    Out Of Topic Suggestion:
    If possible, paginating the comments would save loading time :mrgreen:

    1. Good idea for the comments. It gets crazy on a post like this.

  103. Great theme! It looks very nice πŸ˜€

  104. eddie says:

    very nice.
    its better than the old one.

  105. Eugene says:

    My first impression of the new theme…a little bit cluttered, too many stuff on the sidebar but after several minutes of browsing, it actually looks pretty good. Maybe just needed to get used to the new design.

    Good update. πŸ™‚

  106. Eugene says:

    One minor glitch…cant really call it a glitch but perhaps you can do something about it. I’m on Safari with 1048 x * resolution the page has horizontal scroll. Maybe the content wrap is too big…just a thought to help improve visitors experience..thats all.


  107. Paul. says:

    I like it all except for the $100 bills in the top left corner. They look cheesy.

  108. Oh wow, just noticed the footer… I like that as well. The text under the Recommended Moneymakers is a bit small for my taste but all in all, I like it.

  109. roc21 says:

    I like it all, Good update. πŸ™„

  110. xd1 says:

    I like it, but I would remove auctionads from recommended money makers.

    1. Click Input says:

      lol, probably agreed… at least for now.

  111. rahul says:

    changes are welcome but some changes I suggest , “car ” in header is taking too much space ( though it’s really eye catching ) , plus I know sponsors paying 500 $/month but there rectangle ads can be little shrinked & links section should be in sidebar ,not just sitting in bottom 😎

    just my views & thoughts πŸ™„

  112. thien says:

    hey john ure new theme kicks ass…

  113. I LOVE the new look. I just loaded it up, and was taken back. I forgot that you were switching themes. It’s nice to look at. I just loaded it up and sat here staring for a few moments and was mesmorized πŸ™‚

  114. Guk says:

    Way too complicated for me…luckily Google Reader exists!

    1. Geedos says:

      Hehe! πŸ™‚

      It’ll be interesting to see how the RSS subscription is affected by this. Judging from a couple of comments so far it may drive more people to view the site through RSS?

  115. Joel Mueller says:

    Your site is a community site — lots of people reading and commenting. So instead of giving today’s date (or the date of the posting) such high real estate, it would be really cool to instead see the NUMBER of comments made for that post. And of course, hyperlink it to the comments section.

    The date posting really isn’t very important for a site like yours. But if you feel the community is important, then give the comments # a higher profile. Your users will like it!

  116. Sergio says:

    I was wondering when you were going to get a new theme. πŸ™‚
    Everything looks great. The only thing I don’t like is the post and comments rss buttons. They look a bit 2000ish.

  117. JK says:

    I like that you always keep a car in the banner

  118. Dave says:

    Is this the side of a NASCAR car or a blog? John, you should know better and focus on content rather than the advertisements.

  119. Jacob says:

    Yeah, I have to agree with everyone else. This is a really great design.

  120. JW says:

    Hey John,
    Nice look. One humble suggestion I have is to get rid of the Zonda pic and push your content higher above the fold.

    The top is valuable web real estate, and you shouldn’t waste it on a generic pic. Also, you should consider making some kind of highly brandable logo… something like the logo @ therichjerk.com

  121. kanute says:

    Nice theme even though my new theme is better. could have simply asked and i would have done a better job…. πŸ˜†
    Kabatology:Open Source, Linux

  122. Love the new layout John. Looks awesome!

  123. HalOtis says:

    Good work Nate. It looks much more refined.

  124. Eric says:

    Much better John! Keep it up!


  125. Ash Haque says:

    Your old design looks like crap compared to this one, two thumbs up

  126. mahdi yusuf says:

    finally god knows how long it took to get down here to comment! nice stuff! πŸ˜€ make that money maker!

  127. Tay says:

    I absolutely love this theme. It’s clean and organized but very web 2.0 at the same time. Sharp, bright, but still simple enough not to be too flashy. It’s just right! Great job Nate. πŸ™‚

    I also like how there are the popular articles and subscribe sections. I’m looking to eventually do something like that with my own blog.

    Fantastic work, Nate. John, I think you have a keeper. πŸ™‚

  128. Alopecia says:

    This looks great !!!!!!!!!! I have no words to describe.

  129. Nate did a good job. The new blog design is pretty sweet! I was impressed when I opened it up today and saw the new arrangement. I like it.

  130. Venter says:

    John, new theme looks excellent, nicely customized by Nate. Cheers Mate Dave..P.S – Nate might be hearing from me ;).

  131. Jimson Lee says:

    This reminds me of “Tom’s Hardware page” about 10 years ago. It was written by a German Doctor who enjoyed PC hardware in his spare time. It used to be a great site with all the latest PC hardware news… then one day – bang – it was just full of ads & affiliates.

    That was my user experience, and it reminded me of that day.

  132. milo says:

    Congrats, the second top site with a “Nascar” style.

  133. U-R-A-Dot-Com-Poser says:

    No matter how many times you re-design this site, your still a big fake, just like your other friends who claim to be DOT-SCUM-MOGULS.

    First of all, you NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING a REAL DOT-COM MOGUL. The word “MOGUL” is reserved for VERY RICH AND POWERFUL people. John Chow is neither any of them. REAL DOT-COM MOGULS are billionaires, people who’ve taken their companies to astronomical levels (ie. Google). Associating yourself with such an EXCLUSIVE group is not only laughable but also very pathetic and makes you look like a big time POSER (no matter what your Get-Rich-Scheme, click able ads or E-Book may claim).

    Just because you make more than 5K or even 20K a month still doesn’t make you a MOGUL but more like a wanna-be rich boy, who likes to blog about exotic cars (that you can never afford) or cheesy five-star restaurants that not one cares about.

    Unless, you can prove to the world and your little penises (followers) that the Almighty John Chow is a real DOT COM MOGUL….Your nothing but a walking infomercial that people laugh about on late night TV.

    Why don’t you walk into a Ferrari dealership and buy a F430 with Cash? Where is your 20 million dollar mansion? Where is your vacation home in Colorado or Hawaii? If you really had these luxurious toys, you’d also be arrogant enough to show it off to the entire world and post a video on YouTube.

    YOU LIKE TO TALK BIG but don’t have the money or market dominance to prove it. The real John Chow probably drives a Mini-van and has mortgage payments to make.

    So, unless you can prove to world that you’re a REAL DOT-COM MOGUL, all your talk is a bunch of hot air. I would rather take advice from some real DOT-COM-BILLIONAIRE than some middle-age fortune teller who’s looking more like a used car salesman everyday.

    1. Chrisl says:

      Have you read John’s about page? This blog is only a hobby you tool…. πŸ˜†

    2. Troll.

      I’m actually suprised that I haven’t seen too many trolls posting on your blog yet, but I suppose I was bound to see one eventually. Why don’t you spend less time berating others and more time on trying to be successful yourself?

  134. I like the new theme a lot, but I really think you should buy one of the super cars that you feature in your header sometime πŸ˜› Perhaps when you’re up to six figures a month you’ll do it?

  135. IE7 still gives javascript errors – John at Sitefever traced it back to the Avatars plugin. It might be worth trying to solve, else IE users that have error alerts turned on (as any good webmaster should), gets spammed with an error dialog for every comment :/

  136. Tyler Ingram says:

    Hey John how come your theme uses American money instead of Canadian money in the images?
    Is our money not good enough? πŸ™‚

Comments are closed.