My site is boring, LET ME MAKE IT PRETTY

Yes, there is a new banner. Isn’t it spiffy? You can thank the wonderful slodwick (whose site is still being built!) for designing the one here and the one over on Mark Reads.

Over the next couple of days, I’ll be trying out a few themes and seeing what I can change around here. My designer that I “hired” last year dropped off the face of the planet, so that’s why these sites are so BORING TO THE EYES.

So yes! Despite that I know very little, I’m going to try to spruce up the place. Please use the comments below to provide feedback as I fool around with things. I want to make sure the site is still readable and accessible on multiple devices and for those who might have difficulty reading on the web.

That is all! Thanks!

UPDATE: Ok, so I’ve obviously started to update things around here. Please use the comments of this post to point out any and all bugs or gripes/complaints about accessibility or irritating new things that pop up. I’d like to accomodate everyone! Thanks!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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419 Responses to My site is boring, LET ME MAKE IT PRETTY

  1. Spugsy says:

    Very nice! Although the first time I saw it, I thought you were watching something called "Shit just got real"!

  2. Randomcheeses says:

    The new banner is really cool!

  3. lunylucy says:

    I do love the new banners! I don't know if the site needs much sprucing up but I'm a fan of minimalism. Less is more and such.

  4. Anseflans says:

    It's a splendid banner indeed, Mark! I think all the Marktians will agree with me.

  5. ldwy says:

    I like this new banner very much, and I love the Markreads one even more.

    I'll definitely try to give feedback on themes and backgrounds and whatnot as you test them. But to start, sometimes (for backgrounds especially) something relatively simple makes it easier to read against, in my opinion. But it'll be really fun to see what you try out! Great banners 🙂

  6. HieronymusGrbrd says:

    I can only repeat what was alreadysaid. I like this banner. I love the banner on Mark Reads. Keep it simple.

  7. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    The only advice I can offer comes from The Producers…

    Make it light, make it bright, make it gay! 🙂

  8. Albion19 says:

    I don't know if it's just me but I would like the comment box to be the same as it is over on Mark Reads, with the Youtube embed etc. If that's possible?

  9. cjm62790 says:

    I personally love the site as it is. That being said, it is YOUR site. So do what you see fit. Change can be a good thing. 🙂 Looking forward to your next post!

  10. fuchsia says:

    I noticed the new banners this morning, but I’m on my phone so I don’t know how the sites look “normally”, will check them out later!

    The only issue I have with the sites on my phone seems to be an IntenseDebate problem, maybe not your site layout specifically, but there’s no way to log into my account when I’m on my phone. I’m not using the mobile version of WordPress or anything, so it just seems to be a weird fluke, but I know other people have the same issue.

    • Openattheclose says:

      I have this problem as well. At first I thought it was just my iphone being weird, but I can log into intense debate just fine from the phone, I just can't post here with it. I can also post and see gifs and images with my phone on other sites, such as the spoiler blog, but not on this one, so I think it may be a wordpress problem?

      I really love the new banners Mark!

      • Fuchsia says:

        Yes, same here. And I have a Droid, so it's not just an iPhone thing. (And see, I never got this comment because I wasn't logged in to make the original one… which is mostly why I care about logging in!)

  11. arctic_hare says:

    Eh, simplicity is fine! I love the new banners, particularly the one over at Mark Reads. Only layout request I would have is nothing too bright and/or busy, bothers my eyes.

  12. E.L.S.O.S says:

    What did you use when you built the sites? From the look of things you used WordPress (Blogger is the other popular builder) and you can find free templates and themes all over the internet that are pretty much copy and paste ready for you. Just find something that says it is two bars with space for a banner and you'll end up with something that has the rough format of what is here already and then all you'll have to care about is it it looks pretty to you or not.

  13. dahliabeard says:

    I love the new banners, especially the Mark Reads one.

    Just don't make it too exciting to the eyes. It makes me sad when a forum/blog that I like gets a new layout that is painful to look at.

  14. knut_knut says:

    I lurve the new banners!

  15. E.Ric says:

    You're kidding right? Your site is awesome — all great content, no filler, no distracting flashy thingies. I wish the entire internet looked like your site.

  16. amandajane5 says:

    OMG hi slodwick! It's always lovely to see your fandom friends in completely unexpected places! I haven't seen you since my Clex days!

  17. @RabidLemur says:

    The new banners are lovely! Especially the Mark Reads one.

  18. Lady X says:

    YESSS! I would be fine with you sprucing up the site on Mark Watches but not anything too drastic on Mark Reads,please? Also epic win for the banner!

  19. E.Ric says:

    Dear Mark,

    The old set-up made it easy to see at a glance whether there was any new content, and the order by date of your posts. The new boxes are not as intuitive. Any chance they could be placed in a more straightforward newest to oldest manner?

    As always, love the actual reviews no matter what the set up looks like.


    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Hmm. I was hoping this wouldn't be a problem, but I guess it is.

      If I remove the scrolling through the top box so that it's just one static review (AKA the newest one), would that make more linear sense?

      This specific theme is not made to be like a blog. I could do it by eliminating that large box at the top, but then it looks like a bunch of awkward rectangles.

      I'll be changing it in the next couple minutes, so let me know if that looks much better to you.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Ok, change made. No scrolling, newest post will be the single giant banner at the top, which will change when there's a new post.

        • ldwy says:

          I saw the first setup, and now I've seen this one. I think it's really good. Makes the newest post readily obvious, but you've still got the boxes underneath for previous posts and the filters at the top. I think it was a good change.

        • E.Ric says:


          That helped a lot. It's clear now which post is newest.


  20. knut_knut says:

    Although I like this new new setup, it's not as easy to find new posts at a glance 🙁

  21. Anne says:

    Hey Mark, can you make a direct link to your old HP and Twilight posts?

  22. ldwy says:

    This takes a little getting used to (because I am so slow when it comes to change) but first impression is that I like it! I like the bit on the bottom that links to your twitter, bio, markreads, etc.

    I love that there's an image associated with each review, very cool.

  23. Openattheclose says:

    Mark, I have never been able to log in to intense debate from your site with my iphone, but I can log in to other sites (like the spoiler blog) just fine with my iphone. Is there anyway you can look into what is causing this? I have tried everything, syncing my word press account, logging into and then going to your site, but nothing works. Also, I cannot upvote or even see rankings or gifs when I am on the iphone.

    I like the new setup a lot!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      OH MY GOD I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. Also with my iPad!

      I will get on it IMMEDIATELY.

      • Openattheclose says:

        THANK YOU VERY MUCH! At first I thought it was my iphone being weird, but someone else said they had the same problem with their droid as well.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          HATRED. I'll make sure IntenseDebate knows!

          • psycicflower says:

            Yes I have the same problem on an android phone so I'm thinking IntenseDebate just doesn't like mobile internet of any kind.

            • Openattheclose says:

              That's what I thought too, but it works on the spoiler blog (which is blogspot/intense debate). That's why I think it might be word press maybe?

      • monkeybutter says:

        I think it happens on all mobile devices. But yay! Thank you for looking into it!

  24. bookling says:

    I like this new layout now that there are images! Earlier today it was just the boxes and looked funny, but I like it now. The one featured post at the top is nice, too, so the newest post is obvious. The only downside is that the banner is now gone, but I really like the addition of the images for each post, so I can live with it.

  25. Stephanie says:

    I'm liking the new layout, but I miss the banner 🙁
    Are you going to change the theme for Mark Reads as well?

  26. echinodermata says:

    Twilight links on this site don't go anywhere, so that should probably be updated – either link it to something or delete the links.

    One suggestion: since Serenity is listed as a subset of Firefly, you may want to consider making Classic Who a subset of Doctor Who.

    And a pet peeve: I'm personally a little annoyed at how there's no direct link to Mark Reads from this site and that you have to go to the intermediate on this site to get there. Maybe you could include a small sidebar or something with direct links to other sites/projects? And if you do end up doing that, it might be good to link to the spoiler blog.

    EDIT: Also, the Mark Reads page on this site has the "suggestions" page comments, which is weird and maybe a mistake?

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      I was just going to come on and suggest having 'Classic Who' as a subset of Doctor Who, and I agree that it would be nice to have a direct link to Mark Watches.

      Loving the new layout, though!

  27. anissa says:

    asldjfasjaosidfjsiodf i love this new setup <3

  28. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    Not sure I like the new typeface, although I think my eyes are slowly adjusting to it.

    Other than that, on is there any way you could make the Doctor Who boxes blue instead of black?

  29. monkeybutter says:

    I think this is a definite improvement! My only complaints are about the top of the page: I wish the title stood out a little more and that there was more space between "Mark Watches" and "Shit just got real." They look crowded.

  30. pandalilies says:

    On the rotating banner for Mark Watches (that currently has the "midnight" review up at the top) it cycles to a second, but blank banner, and it's messing up the span/width. I don't know if i'm the only one with this problem, but I viewed it on safari, firefox, and IE and still get this weird stumpy second box that makes the forward/backward arrows unusable.
    It made it a little difficult to see that the midnight review had actually updated.

  31. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    ALL ARE FIXED. Let me know if this satisfies you, my lovely Watcher!

  32. @Lady_Fiona says:

    All i can advise is don't make it complicated, if it gets complicated for someone to try and find your next review or whatever, then they will give up and leave.

    • @Lady_Fiona says:

      I've done an ICT course at college and regarding web design, the user should be able to find what they are looking for in 3 clicks of the mouse.

  33. Roxanne says:

    I really like what you've done with the place. Like, right now. Granted it's a huge change but it's simple, pretty with the picture for each episode, and maybe easier to go through the pages.

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