Photo by Donna

The bright colors and bright minds I found in Ixtapa convinced me that I needed to brighten and clean up my blog.  The grays and and boxes were heavy and that combined with this winter that’s already too long, made me hunger for a lot of clean white space.  So I asked my friend Joe to give me that.  I also put one of my favorite kitchen tools as a graphic because I love the lines of that spoon.  Often I’ll read something or hear something that I want to get down or get out and it doesn’t really fit in a regular post.  So Joe created place in the right column for these kinds of smaller thoughts.  I don’t know if it will prove useful.  Comments are such an important and valued part of this blog, I’ve included a box below the comments box to check if you’d like to be alerted to further comments; you can also respond directly to individual comments.  Donna’s blog has gone away for a few days and will emerge as a separate, unique page.  Just finished breakfast to find that not only had Donna shot a great unexpected photo of sauteed grits cake, sausage and a poached egg, but that the new site had gone live as well.  Busy morning! We’re always evolving.  Hope this new evolution of the blog is easier to read and shows off Donna’s photographs to their fullest.

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140 Wonderful responses to “New Site Design!”

  • Kathleen

    I have to agree with the sans serif fans…for onscreen reading of blocks of text (in contrast to what works for print media), I find that serifs tend to detract from rather than enhance readability. But my main problem with this font (Goudy Old Style?) is that it’s a little too lightweight against the stark white. I would not want to see a larger typeface, just one that’s a bit heavier.

    And for what it’s worth, I liked the gray. I can understand your wanting a change, and I’ll read it regardless (unless the eyestrain gets to be too much!), but I hope that you’ll consider a few further refinements before you settle on something permanently.

  • Mimi

    Good job sir! I love it. The ads make more sense now, they are in their own space and they look inviting instead of “in your face” I love the white space and the micro blog. There is some sort of Feng Shui now, I don’t know if it is a balance or the colors, but, wow!! Pretty blog!

  • Rose

    I’m a huge fan of change and find myself constantly altering my layout as I grow and develop as a food blogger. This layout feels fresh, clean and bright. I love the white space as well. The font is a little hard to read for some reason, even though it’s a perfectly beautiful font. A+ on the 3 columns and Hooray for change!

  • Nancy

    Like the new look!!! Also like the Micro Blog section – I think it will be great for you to be able to follow up on previous posts, questions, etc. while not interfering with whatever your topic is in the main post.
    Re: salt – I have to say that the NY Times is wrong. As a dietetics student, I’ve read most of the research on the sodium/health debate and we do know that reducing sodium intake reduces high blood pressure – the NIH study was conclusive on that point. That does not mean however that sodium is “bad” or that everyone needs to reduce their sodium intake! It simply means that for those with high blood pressure, sodium intake needs to be considered – along with overall diet, weight and exercise. Our government however, in their “infinite wisdom” is always looking for the simple answer to problems that are not simple and thus seems to think that by declaring sodium the enemy, this nation’s health problems will be solved. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Each person’s physiology is a little bit different and even though we can agree on some general guidelines (i.e eating lots of fruits and vegetables is good) the exact combination for each person to control their hypertension will be different. Some people can control it just by losing weight and exercising. Some have to be more vigilant about sodium – but that doesn’t mean eliminating it altogether. Even the DASH diet plan (which is what came out of the NIH study) doesn’t call for eliminating salt and in fact states that the vast majority of sodium in the American diet comes from processed food which is exactly your point. What it does say is to restrict added salt to about a teaspoon per day. For me, I control my hypertension through (1) exercise, and (2) weight. I don’t stress over sodium but do watch my intake – mainly by avoiding fast food and cooking most meals at home. I do season my food with salt and enjoy a small sprinkle of fleur de sel on a good steak!

  • Stephanie Manley

    So content for your site, why not do a blog roll and let us know who you are reading. I would love to see what you think is important, and what you enjoy. I like the whitespace, and the design.

  • luis

    You are the architect of your own destiny bro. If you ask me… videos were a big hit.. Huge hit. Yours and Master Pardus… Huge.

  • Forrest

    I really miss the links to blog subjects and the other foodblog links you used to have on the sidebars. I don’t think they necessarily need to be on the front page, but it was a nice resource. I do like the new brighter design though.

  • ruhlman

    I will get the links back on there! Had no idea people liked them!

    About the RSS feed, other popular bloggers recommended I require people using feed and email to go to the site to read entire post. Sorry. The nature of the beast.

    Thank you everyone for your comments!

    • John V

      Michael, I’m a huge fan (I in fact own ALL your books, not just the cooking ones). I even bought the Ratio app for my iPhone! But you WILL lose readers if you don’t put the full post in your RSS feed. Do you get more value from the <50% that will click through to the full site compared to the 100% that used to read your full posts in their feed reader? How many readers will drop you from their feed reader over time b/c it's just too much of a pain to click over? I don't know what the numbers will actually look like for you and I do know that it sounds like a minor thing, but don't underestimate what a pain it is for readers to navigate to the site to read the full posts. If lost advertising is the key issue, add some ads into your RSS feed using feedburner or something like it. I really, really doubt it will be worth it in the long run to make it MORE DIFFICULT for people to read your content, learn what you're up to, and follow the Michael Ruhlman brand. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to follow you – that's why you have a blog and are so active on twitter and facebook! Would you make people go to blog.ruhlman.com to read your tweets? Of course not! So don't add an extra step for us to read your blog. Just my two cents…

    • Chip

      Hey, it is your blog and you don’t have to justify any decision you make. However, I hope you have a better reason than other popular bloggers’ recommendation. Why listen to their recommendation when I know other popular bloggers would recommend the opposite? It is definitely not the nature of the beast, it is a decision.

      You will lose readers when it make it more difficult for folks to read your work, so I assume there are other benefits that outweigh the loss. I’m curious what you think those benefits will be.

    • Henry

      Thankfully I was scanning through the other comments for this post before I put my two cents worth in, but they are the same as a few others apparently. I found your blogroll to be a wonderful stepping stone for a number of other blogs that I have found to be exceptional. So much so that I ended up using your site as a homepage for almost all of my culinary based reading.
      By all means, please reinstall.
      As far as the new look goes, quite nice and bright, so much so I might have to turn the contrast down on my screen though.

    • Jacqueline

      I also wish for the full post in RSS feed again. I love reading your thoughts, and do it on my phone, via Google Reader. If it’s ad revenue you’re looking for, other blogs do full posts with adverts. If it’s to highlight the photography, those who want to see detail will go to the website unprompted. When I click from Google Reader to view your posts on the website, I’ll need to zoom and won’t see ads or special content anyway.

      To be frank, amongst the 80 feeds I subscribe to, the blogs I read most often (like WSJ: Law Blog, Slashdot, Herbivoracious, Design Milk) provide full content in feeds.

      That being said, well done on the artistic decisions. It looks great.

    • Dustin B

      Lemmings!

      Seriously, I just have to add in my vote here. I love reading your blog, and I will be very disappointed if the full RSS feed does not return. I’m with others in saying I’d be perfectly happy if you just wanted to include some ads in the feed — wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. But if I have to click through to get to the full posts and the beautiful images I love so much, alas, I likely will not.

      Viva RSS!

  • Chris

    Please, turn the full RSS feed back on. Please. You can even put ads in it if you want. I’d love to hear who “other popular bloggers” are and what they have to say, but I can guarantee you that your readership will go down if you start putting up barriers and inconveniences such as partial RSS feeds.

    Just look around the web for “partial rss feeds.” I don’t know any content reader who likes them.

  • Brooke @ Food Woolf

    I really love the site’s redesign. The colors really do lighten things up and makes your prose even more wonderful to read. Thank you so much for getting rid of all that grey. It’s refreshing to see that your site finally reflects your bright and charming personality.

    Cheers!

  • DW

    Lots of good points here. My thoughts:

    1. I like the new colors, it’s easier to read although I had no major complaints about the old one.
    2. I would change the font, not a big fan of this one.
    3. Bring back the full RSS feed. What you gain in site traffic you’ll lose in readers who will unsubscribe. I guess it comes down to what your true reason for doing this is, to make money or to educate as many people as possible.
    4. I’d rather see an actual post for each of the mini blog / side posts. Not a fan of that idea.
    5. I miss the blog roll and would like to see links to previous posts and / or subjects

  • Rhonda

    Michael;

    I say this with love — I wish you had never gone to that blogging camp.

    I know you met some fantastically talented people and had a good time.

    The Food Blogs that are great out there are the ones written by people who do it as an aside such as “White On Rice Couple” who make their living by photography, David Lebovitz, who is a Chef and writer and Matt Armendariz (hope I spelled his name right) who is a photographer.

    I love to visit this site before and sometimes after a hectic work day. It now seems scattered and unfocused. I liked the old style. Not the new “Mommy Blog”.

    I want to find things. I want to re-visit technique posts, I want to re-visit food discussions. I want links to other Chefs.

    I don’t understand the microblog. I understand that it is an aside conversation but you are already dealing with predominantly ADD people and this is yet another distraction.

    It is my hope that you go back to the format of a writer who also publishes a Blog and not a “Blogger”.

    I have never thought of you as a “Blogger”. I have always thought of you as an exceptionally talented writer who also happened to be an exceptionally talented cook. The Blog was a gift to the world and a way to sell your books.

    I could be wrong. Probably am. But I miss you.

    – R

  • marla {family fresh cooking}

    Love the new changes!! Yes, you now have a much cleaner looking, fresher, captivating site. White backgrounds really illuminate our blog posts. We want to see the photos in all their glory. There is a good reason museums show artwork against white walls :)

  • Citrus

    Maybe this is a silly question, but where exactly did Donna’s blog go? I was really appreciating that her posts were mixed in with yours. Now, I can’t find a link to her new blog anywhere on this page! I’m kind of surprised it’s not in your blogroll on the right column. Drop your wife some dap, man! :)

    • Dustin B

      I second that I enjoyed Donna’s posts being intermixed with Michael’s. That’s partly because I am both a food nerd and a photography nerd. It was always fun to read her take on “setting up the shot” as it pertained to his most recent post.