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Underground Film Journal: New, Improved (Hopefully) Homepage

Underground Film Journal homepage 2010 version

Last night, I launched a new design for the homepage for the Underground Film Journal. If you read the site solely through a feed, please go check it out. (If you want to.)

I’ve been frustrated by the homepage for awhile in that I could really only post two items a day without things dropping off very quickly. So, to improve on that, I’ve gone for a three-column look with two of those columns containing the most recent posts. I’ve also separated out the Online Cinema category so that there will always be a video at the top of the homepage no matter what else I may post during the day.

I’ve also added a new category that I’m currently calling “Indie Film News.” Yeah, I need to branch out a little bit and include some stuff that doesn’t fit into my definition of “underground film.” Well, some underground-ish news may fall into that category, too. It’s a spot I can drop quickie news items when I don’t have the time and/or inclination to devote to what I’m now calling “Feature Articles” on the homepage.

For the past year or so, the Underground Film Journal has been focused on writing about the “big items” and I’m finally conceding that in order to get more traffic and pageviews I need to file more posts in general. The side of me that most people see on the site is the happy-to-celebrate-art guy, but down below I’m really just another greedy, pageview-hungry webmaster. And what I really like about the new homepage is that it’ll still look pretty diverse and dense even if I don’t have the time to update much. (That’s the plan, anyway.)

But, what I REALLY like about the new homepage is that I think it gives the site the look of other film sites that have multiple authors in order to create so much content. It’s still just me, though. And will stay that way.

And for those who may be interested in the technical details: Over the years, I’ve really fallen in love with the WordPress CMS and particularly the way it’s evolved in how data can be displayed. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with truly understanding “the loop” and this new homepage takes advantage of being able to create multiple loops to build each section. Excluding categories, focusing on just one category, off-setting a list of post links: There’s just so much flexibility to really create any homepage you want if you really take the time to figure out how the program works.

In 2010, I feel like I’ve finally created the website I envisioned back in 2002. Yeah, ok, it’s taken me awhile, but better late than never.

Finally, I still think the homepage looks a little “busy,” so I’ll probably be tweaking the design over the next few days and weeks, but I’m happy enough with it for now.


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