New Home Page Tells More About Us

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Blog entry by Martin Sojka posted 06-27-2007 01:41 PM 1597 reads 0 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got an idea last week to make our home page more inviting to new visitors. The idea was to introduce our community – us – through showing what we love. All those “latest” boxes (projects, blogs, forums) were nice but was telling nothing special about us. Now we have 4 main sections on the home page:

  • we love to work the wood – featured LumberJock spotlight. This section shows 5 project of randomly selected LumberJock on each page reload. To have the opportunity to become featured you must of course have at least 5 projects posted.
  • we spend lots of time in our shops – shows 30 randomly selected workshops on the map
  • we love to write and share – presents 5 randomly selected blog series that have at least 3 parts. Write more and your chance to become featured on the home page increases.
  • oh… and we’re really active here at – enjoy – just our great Pulse view to show new visitors what’s happening on the site right now.

That’s it… pure and simple home page that immediately introduces us and presents the featured works and writings. I’d really love your feedback on this change.

I’ve also released two additional small design changes together with the home page redesign:

  1. enhanced LogoJock ;)
  2. “stores toolbar” was moved under the content of each page and instead I’ve added animated Announcements bar to the header. It highlights 3-5 important announcements and is very easy to update. Together with Debbie we want to keep it fresh and synchronized with all of our major events and offers. Thanks to this change we now also have much more room for the content at the top since the “stores toolbar” was quite large there.


44 comments so far

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4380 days

#1 posted 06-27-2007 02:24 PM

That is a great idea Martin , nice work once again .
Things just keep getting better all the time.

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4050 days

#2 posted 06-27-2007 02:52 PM

I really like the nw setup. Thank you for all the work that you do.

-- Hope Never fails

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4096 days

#3 posted 06-27-2007 03:31 PM

Thanks Martin. Innovative look.

One minor request, Can you please add a pulse link above the latest activity section. : ^)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4309 days

#4 posted 06-27-2007 03:32 PM

Sounds like a winner.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4035 days

#5 posted 06-27-2007 03:43 PM

LOL…I thought I was on the wrong site! Nice job Martin!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4160 days

#6 posted 06-27-2007 04:27 PM

Good Job Martin.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4066 days

#7 posted 06-27-2007 04:43 PM

To be a naysayer I like the new home page significantly less. I log onto lumberjocks multiple times during the day. I am interested in immediately seeing what’s new. New blog postings, new projects, new forum activity. Once I’ve seen someones shop on the map or profile it is not particularly interesting again.

I dont like to have to click the blogs link to find out if there are any new blog entries, then the forum link, then the project link. I’m not on constantly so the pulse is actually less valuable to me. There is a lot of chaff on the pulse, new members, posting to new members profiles, etc.

Is it possible to set up a personal profile homepage that just shows the latest of what I’m interested in, blogs, projects, forums? Kinda like the old homepage?


View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4235 days

#8 posted 06-27-2007 04:44 PM

close but no cigar. The four ideas and four frames work, but in one frame you need to list the, say, five newest additions like you’ve been doing. Or the one frame the one item that gets the most views, or the winners frome past challenges, or something. Top right needs pictures of wood stuff (my opinion).

Pictures are what is termed as “visual stimulation”. Take the Lumberjock frame and make it a banner wider and shorter (standard banner size and put it over the other four and in it’s place put the five most recent)

And I noticed that every time you open the page it shows a new jock and some of his work, can you make that refresh while you’re on the page?

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 4471 days

#9 posted 06-27-2007 04:57 PM

Thanks for the feedback everybody!

coloradoclimber, you can set your Pulse view to display ‘All except jocks’ (first dropdown). I will probably make this option as the default one. That should work for you.

I think that personalized Pulse page should serve as de facto home page for the active “members.. but if there is still need for special “members home page” I will listen ;) or maybe just page listing all of the latest posts – similar to pulse but without tracking comments and replies.. maybe new button at the top labeled LATEST. let’s keep this discussion going.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4298 days

#10 posted 06-27-2007 05:34 PM

I like it, I’m always open for new things. You keep us out of the rut.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 4108 days

#11 posted 06-27-2007 05:45 PM

I would like a button to for the latest additions, since that’s what I look at most often.

I was entertained that my Thorsen blog was one of the featured ones when I opened the site.

-- Chelle

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4137 days

#12 posted 06-27-2007 05:47 PM

Martin -

I like the new changes, but I also liked the old site. Changes always spark discussion. I think it is great that the site is dynamic and constantly improving. I appreciate all your hard work.

LumberJocks is the premier member based woodworking site IMHO.


View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4076 days

#13 posted 06-27-2007 06:27 PM

looks great—-I think the best part is that Martin is willing to keep trying new things—-unlike a cut piece of wood—-he can always change it back (although that is debatable with wood too)...or invent something new…your creativity is very clear…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4066 days

#14 posted 06-27-2007 06:31 PM

Ah-ha! I didn’t know you could do that. Thanks Martin. I’ll run with the pulse page ‘except jocks’ and see how that works for me. thanks again

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4096 days

#15 posted 06-27-2007 09:07 PM

As a frequent user, I was somewhat luke warm to the change because I am primarliy interested in seeing what is new and the old home page did that fairly well with summaries of what is new in each area. Perhaps if we had a similar summary page that users could choose as an alternative home page this would be better meet the needs of this segment of the user base.

I really do like the ability to see older content that the new home page brings and I think the page meets its objectives. It lets new and prospective users see the wealth of content on the site. I also belive it will help our community to grow.

I have asked Martin for an enhancement to the new home page to allow for users to scroll through “We love to work with wood” and “We love to write and share”. I would like to see something similar to shuffle where you can more quickly through this content or perhaps refresh it with a click of a button. What do you all think?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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