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    Give your Suggestions and Win ShoutMeLoud Thesis Skin for Free

    By in Shoutmeloud

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    If you are a regular reader of ShoutMeLoud, you might be familiar with ShoutMeLoud skin which we have live at this moment. We are working on new Thesis skin design for ShoutMeLoud and it’s live on our Test server.

    We are running a simple contest in order to make our theme more feature rich and perfect. This time our main focus is content and readability. We are focusing more on resource page like WordPress Guide which you can see beside logo. Also, we are focusing more on Email subscription and you can see prominent placement below logo.

    SML Hp new thumb Give your Suggestions and Win ShoutMeLoud Thesis Skin for Free

    Click on image for full-preview

    What’s in for you?

    Well the changes are something which will keep happening over the time,  but before we move ahead with our new skin, we would like to get feedback, suggestion and ideas from ShoutMeLoud readers. You can review the demo site and start suggesting things which make sense to you.

    You can start commenting with list of changes that you would like to suggest.

    For example:

    In single post related post with thumbnail can have following title: “Related topic” “Might be interested in reading”, or round it with blue color box.

    For single post or for homepage you can try this font with following font size and this will help in readability.

    So you are free to suggest anything which you like. If you don’t like the new theme, we will love to hear to that too.

    Contest:

    This is technically not a contest but something that I would always expect from ShoutMeLoud readers. All are free to participate and winner will get our current ShoutMeLoud skin for his blog. We will be selecting one winner who provide us with best Feedback, suggestion and ideas or help us in any ways, by recreating a mockup. For example, many people are saying logo is not blending with the new design, so you have freedom to create a new logo and tip us for the same.

    Winner will be selected by me based on his suggestion’s and ideas. We will personally, install and configure the new skin for free or you can use it for your blog giveaway. 

    This is quick contest and we will be taking feedback till Friday 18th November 2011 midnight. Do let us know what all things you would like to see in new theme and what all changes you would like to make and suggest.

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    Article by

    Harsh has written 1264 articles.

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    { 47 comments… read them below or add one }

    Suraj @Seekably

    Nice going Harsh, always loved your dedication and work! You are an idol for all bloggers out there.

    About the skin – Its totally rocks, although I want to make couple of suggestions,
    1. The logo in the center feels a little awkward, as people are used to the logo to be always in the top left. its like speedometer in tata nano placed at center, where as all other cars have in at one side…it may take a while getting used to it.
    2. The popular posts, recent post, random post….their is no much of transition between those pages…it would be better if their would some slide transitions between those popular, recent items.

    Overall great work mate!

    Reply

    Harsh Agrawal

    @Suraj
    Thanks for your feedback and kind words…
    I know the logo in the mid is something people are not used to..but it’s like I’m trying something new and it’s good to try new things…You never know when people will start following it and this new design might become a trend settler.. :)
    2) I’m making little change in recent/random/popular post and will be updated on demo site today…

    Reply

    Krunal Soni

    Header part is too bad; allow some more content than put a “read more” make your staff photos in sidebar with some different style not like a page, make a little bit large font for menu bar, layout is very crowdies make it simple in some part.

    Reply

    Harsh Agrawal

    @Krunal Thanks for your feedback but for now we not planning to make any major changes in the header…In coming days we might change out logo to blend well with the over all design.. Will try to add some effects like hover effect which will be useful…
    Thanks for your feedback. :)

    Reply

    Mohsin Ali Waheed

    I think that you are wasting too much space for Newsletter. I know the importance but give it top right side of your theme. Secondly try to remove(if you can) the top 728*90 banner its just look ac-ward. Third tip that add more stuff in Stay Connected box like Why you are not promoting your blog via You-tube videos.

    Reply

    Harsh Agrawal

    @Mohsin
    Some of your point regarding Youtube is useful…
    For now, we have to stick with this header design and will see how it works…. As many people liked the new design and once you get use to new design, you won’t mind seeing it… Wait for a week time and do let us know your feedback when theme is live :)

    Reply

    Anand Kumar

    Harsh, As I have suggested on FB add some border to “Popular Random and Recent” widget on sidebar.

    Also I feel that the bluebar on top will making SML logo dull. I think you should add some bright colorful border around the logo.

    This is not for the reward, just a few suggestions. :)

    Reply

    Harsh Agrawal

    Thanks Anand…Making some more changes in sidebar so every widget will be more prominent and will look more clean..Right now it’s looking busy …
    Thanks for your feedback :)

    Reply

    Anand Kumar

    I have just rechecked the demo site. Now looks better. :)

    Reply

    Rajesh Kumar

    Design is awesome but blue color of links like posts title is not much eye catching. why don’t you try it with black.

    Reply

    Harsh Agrawal

    Thanks Rajesh.. Will increase the font size like we have it here on SML.. That will make it more prominent…

    Reply

    Jasmeet Singh

    Nice work Harsh. A new theme for the blog is always refreshing. Yours is also very refreshing to eyes. Specially, the footer design is great :)
    List of suggestion.
    1.Logo placement is very creative,but the Look itself is 2d, It would be better if you give it 3d look.
    2.About the typography of nav-bar ,Make it bold-face.
    3.Make the right sidebar smaller in width just as to fit the add units(media sponser).
    4. Increased font size in right sidebar might make more readable.
    5.(At below)Pagination bar can be put above the content units(WordPress guide etc.)and these units can be made six in number based upon the six category you have(viz. Facebook, twitter, wordpress, blogging, make-money ,seo)
    6.One more change can be made to the colour of Stay connected box in sidebar .Make it more blended to the theme.
    7.To Socialize it more, i think there might some options in it.( Its optional ,it works fine with this much also)

    Reply

    Rajesh Kumar

    Just check the top right hand corner area also. there is a problem

    Reply

    Harsh Agrawal

    @Rajesh I don’t see any prob..Which particular element you referring to??

    Reply

    Tushar

    Hi Harsh

    1] I liked the box behind the logo. Somehow it matches with the blog name since it has projection type feel to it.

    2] Since the logo position is in middle without much padding around it – the logo looks scattered. I would suggest you to reduce the size even more or try a new look for the logo (if possible)

    3] Sidebar is much large in size, I think it can be reduced by 70 pixels from right side.

    4] You can simply increase the content width to push sidebar on right by 70 pix may be, which should look much better

    5] Popular, recent & random widget needs a little border around, right now they look too far & floating without content which is not the case.

    6] I am liking the color scheme very much. Also if you could use light grey to add in this scheme like for read-more button & may for comments icon then this little change can give nice depth as well.

    7] Yes, similar stories can be replaced with More Related Posts & thumbnail size for these can be reduced to 80×90 px from 120+

    8] Level 1 heading can be bold. right now I miss it when i go to single post view

    9] UL list with blue square dots instead of black

    Footer part looks neat .

    I hope these suggestions help it improve nicer approach. :)

    Reply

    Kulwant Nagi

    Make the wrap box shadow… it will be very nice…

    Reply

    Sumanth

    Glad to hear that you are going to redesign Shoumeloud.. After looking the demo site i have few suggestions ,hope u will consider them..
    The logo in center of header looks awesome but it looks better if you have hover effects for the social sharing icons on both sides of it.
    Coming to the nav bar the color of the bar looks dull and even the shape of search bar looks awkward..Its better u have a search box with sharp edges which suits the navbar..
    The news letter subscription looks much more pretty if you keep a less weight image in it.
    Readability of the font is good.no need to worry about that..
    I feel like you shud have the articles in groups at the centre of the page and not at the bottom..It will difficult for all to scroll till down to find the top articles in those groups.

    Reply

    Akash Kumar

    Hi Harsh,

    I have been reading your blog for some time now, and I like many of the posts you make. As far as the new theme is concerned following are my suggestions, please don’t feel offended if you don’t agree with me its just my personal point of view.

    1. The new placement of the logo doesn’t look good, most of the people are used to seeing the logo of the site they visit at the top. It affects the credibility of a site/blog if it places ads above his own site’s logo. The earlier placement of logo and banner ad was better.

    2. You can have the logo at the top and leave that space free from ads. Instead you can provide an option for users to follow you, or signup or whatever is the best you think. And place an ad with a higher resolution below. Check searchenginewatch.com for example, for what I meant. They have their logo at the top with a search bar in the right, then have a few navigational links below it and then full ad. But that looks good.

    2. I think adding a feature to every post where people can like and dislike would be really cool. I am not talking about the FB likes but the likes and dislikes of your own. Where people can simply like or dislike a post. You can also maintain your most popular posts by the number of likes the post gets.

    3. You can add a few more social bookmarking services like Delicious and Reddit they can also send a lot of traffic.

    Just what I could think of.

    Reply

    Balaji

    Everything is great and readable as of now :)

    My suggestions are as follows,

    Make little bit brighter on “Sign-up for FREE weekly Newsletter.” text box
    Yellow border of it isn’t looks cool and background text is very lighter :(

    Add some navigation icons to fulfill the null space.

    Thanks !

    Reply

    Dhaval Parikh

    Hey,

    Your header going out of design.

    Reply

    Homeforgeeks

    Hey Harsh!
    Nice to see the new design…as now a days evry new blogger was using the SML theme…and it was becoming a Lot common!.
    now getting to the main part of my suggestion!
    1}Logo:I think the way you have placed logo is just truly incredeble,its just that you should just change the Colour of “ME” to blue colour so that it suits the blue presence of the design.{Y not use the SML 3d Thumbnail that you use in your posts :-)}
    2}The newsletter part looks a bit dull now..actually its not even seen like its for signing up!..
    so just make the colour of the newsletter part a Bit catchy..like a Darkish Blue would also do,make that “GO” button something different like “Get In Now” or “Get Instant Acs”ess
    2}On the homepage,below your every post add +1 Button Too…as you itself now the importance of +1 Button nowadays. :p
    3}The menu part:The menu is just awsm{Beside Logo}…just if you can tinker a Bit like whenever some1 hover over that menu..it should pop a Bit{Like how Heart Beats :-) }
    4}The sidebar Part:The sidebar just looks to big..i think its of 400Pixel{correct me if i m wrong},if you can just shorten it a bit something of 300-320,so that you 125*125 ads getting the padding as well as it does not look scattered!
    5}SOcialize part:-if you can add more social Butons like YOUTUBE,LINKEDIN,G+Page,..etc..the list goes on!
    6}RECENT/RANDOM/POPULAR post part need to have some kind of border..as others have also suggested…and if you can increase the font size a Bit..and if possible even add thumbnail to it like i have at my blog.
    7}if you starter guide be 3 in no.,6 would be too much…and would eventually lead to readers not able to see your footer!..and use that rightside space that is being left !!!
    Sorry if i pointed out too many mistakes!!!!
    And hope so i do win it..as i also badly need it!!!

    Reply

    Shubham

    It would be great if you place that black floating bar on top of the page like facebook has!
    In the homepage teaser you could even add a Google+ share button along with fb and twitter.
    You could make the logo same size as the blue bar along it, so as to make it look more attractive! Ofcourse, with a new new design you should try a new logo which matches with some blends of blue! Or you can use the shadows as used in the 4 categories titles below teasers on homepage as the current one doesn’t look attractive enough!
    As you have a multi-author blog it would be great if you add the author’s avator beside title on homepage as you have now!
    You could ever give the teasers a shadow look as you’ve given in callingallgeeks instead of dotted lines!
    You could give some designed or colored box for Previous post and next post on post entries.
    In the author box, if you have the twitter icon life facebook and google+ it would look much better! And you can even add one subscribe option there.
    Underline URL on hover would look nice!
    You could ever add a new designed email subscribe box below post.
    You can add Fb, twitter, google+ or maybe subscribe option on homepage beside logo.
    On teaser title you can even add different color on hover or maybe bold instead of box-filled colors!
    Rest all the things look good including page navigation, footer etc.
    Regards

    Reply

    Ujjwal Kumar

    See Harsh, I will be honest. Your current design is awesome so you will need something that is more awesome than the current skin. The new skin does look good but IMHO its not upto the mark. Following are my suggestions:
    1> The “Sign-up for FREE weekly Newsletter.” box below the nav menu looks like a forum login box. It doesn’t look that much good. You need to work more on it.
    2> The sidebar is little bit more wider. This makes the 125×125 ad boxes look a little odd and theres some space left in there.
    3> The Popular, recent & random widget needs more work. How about adding borders? That’ll make them look better.
    4> The new color scheme makes the blog look more brighter and its also easy on eyes. But its kind of bluish everywhere. It would be good if you experiment with more colors.

    Everything else looks good to me. The footer part looks tidy.
    Keep up the good work.
    :D

    Reply

    Anupum Pant

    I love the way Google ads on the top bar have been added. They blend in really well.
    The only thing I feel needs to be changed in the whole page is…the banner just below it, the sign up for a newsletter banner…I think the text boxes for the ‘name’ and ‘email’ should be a little smaller and fit in an imaginary box that equals to the width of the sidebar extended. At this moment it looks a bit weighing to the center and the design there looks a bit messed up.
    Also the text in the same banner “Sign-up for FREE weekly Newsletter.” could be aligned with the heading or remain in the right most only. So the left side can be used for top stories like Engadget… separated totally with the sign-up banner.
    Cheers :)

    Reply

    Mayur

    Try to implement Jquery snippets wherever possible..
    e.g; for commenting system, share buttons etc. you can use one jquery link entitled “Give Comment” , when user clicks on it, one jquery popups will be prompted to submit comment information.
    it will decrease queries of comment forms loaded with each page. in fact, if user clicks jquery elements then only queries will be loaded.. :)

    Reply

    Rahul

    1. For Popular recent Random add thumbnails to those widgets.
    2. Sign up for Free Weekly Newsletter should have a graphic behind…make it pop out more..
    3. If Possible add a next post slider widget at the bottom just like u see in Mashable.
    4.AND THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: When someone scrolls down the Shout me loud header with the icons of Wordpress and Make Money…..basically the entire header…should be in a fixed HTML frame so that it is always visible. For reference you can see Tech Crunch how their main header remains constant while scrolling down.

    I PROMISE YOU THIS WILL IMPROVE YOUR SITE A LOT, HARSH

    Reply

    Chiranjeev

    Nice Design,
    However, here is my suggestion for this new theme as below..
    1. The whole part of your header should be change into the new design
    2. The logo looks well only in the left side of header it too should be.
    3. Place header ad (728*90) in place of just right side of Logo.
    4. Change your logo by ad (728*90) it is now follow (468*60).
    5. No need to such a big subscribion box below the navigation, Already it has used twice first one is sidebar and 2nd one below each post.

    Reply

    Praveen Rajarao

    Harsh – First things first, I like your idea of getting a feedback from your followers and readers before publishing your new skin. This is an awesome exercise and you will gain a lot of confidence from most of us.
    Most of the features have already been covered by all your friends in the above comments, i would like to add my few cents to it(they are not only suggestions for changes, but also some commendations on the new design)
    1. Actually, i do like your new logo, it looks like an outward projected closet with a widescreen TV announcing the website. The only change I would suggest is the first character – “[” which seems a bit out of place with the rest of the text.
    2. The different sections for WordPress, FB, Twitter looks great and stands out to the reader. I wouldnt change much on that.
    3. You can think of highlighting your menu items and make them more prominent, it is almost blended with the Google Ads bar below it.
    4. I like the move for “Write For ShoutmeLoud” from the menu to your sidebar, it is more prominent and gets its desired attention.
    5. I feel FB and Twitter links are duplicated in the header and the sidebar, but doesnt matter much i suppose.
    6. The only major change I would suggest is to make your home page display all your posts as maybe in a tabulated form of featured images. That may be of your liking or not, but I feel those styles are picking up and readers feel more obligated to click on the images rather than read the short excerpts of our posts.

    Anyway, these are my thoughts, and may not reflect your vision for the blog. All the very best with the changes.
    Praveen

    Reply

    KBharath

    The New Thesis Skin for ShoutMeLoud is Awesome and Looking Great.

    Suggestion 1) The Similar Post Above the Author Box is Not Good if it Goes Below The Author Box with Only Images and The Text should appear after hover in the baloon will be great.

    Rather than This Every thing is Perfect and the Logo in Middle of the Top Nav is Innovative and Unique Idea.

    ShoutMeloud Rocks…….:)

    It Would be Great if you plan and release some Free or Paid Thesis Skins if not the Great Skins atleast the Basic Thesis Skins from Dear Harsh Agarwal would be Great……:)

    Reply

    Avinash

    Harsh, the theme is really good.I have 2 suggestions

    1.Try customizing the comment section highlighting admin comments or post author comments

    2. Make available easy links wrapped with the content like EMail, Print, etc.,

    Here are screen shots of these implementations i’ve seen :
    http://min.us/lJ9ZA5ffa5kbu and http://min.us/lbw8bTIysNnVX4

    Reply

    jayaar

    Hello Harsh,
    It is only natural that we need some changes and no wonder you wanted this in your site.
    The new one is just fantastic! However, I could see that some alternations could make it look more impressive and user friendly.
    1. The logo’s frame and mount are good but the logo looks quite brighter than needed in that place. It looks as if it is hiding something behind. I feel like pushing it to a side to see what is behind it.
    2.Either the navigation bar or the fonts there could be given a brighter shade.
    3.And similarly google ads color and fonts there could be altered.
    4.The email subscription widgets could be slightly smaller and the border colors of the subscription widget and ‘stay connected’ border color do not match the site.
    I feel that these changes would make a great difference to the look of the site.
    Thanks for giving an opportunity to make me shout loud in this contest!
    regards………

    Reply

    Navin

    Harsh, that’s a fantabulously designed thesis skin. I love the colour combination. I have one suggestion you can implement this so your visitors don’t need to scroll more.

    I think your sidebar width is too much, I can clearly see the extra space after 125×125 ad widgets and other social media links. If you could change the size into 320px it would look better than now. Also If you have plan to add 300*250 ad slots it will look better. If you change your sidebar width, your main content width will increase and the post length reduces.

    It’s just my opinion you might have different view of idea to implement sidebar.

    Reply

    CA Karan Batra

    Harsh, the new theme looks fantabulous and I would also like to have one for myself :)

    And its good to hear and see that your new custom layout is more reader friendly with focus on content and the new subscribtion will surely help you gain more followers. And you could see a change in the no. of subscribers in a very short period of time.

    As for the 728*90 Size Top Banner, I feel it would be better if you could replace it with 2 468*60 banners as that location is one of the highest paying location and adding 2 banners in that location would surely help you earn more Revenue without disturbing the Article Content

    Reply

    Sunny Gupta

    Hi Harsh,

    I will suggest you to Shift Logo area to top, make logo little bigger and the area where ads are place should be below Logo area.
    It is looking as it the ad is logo.

    Thanks.

    Reply

    tatya

    sir i always love your creativity and this new SML theme is too good . that popular post there no background like earlier . i like yellow background which is there for old SML theme .
    footer is too good ….. and no issue about theme.

    Reply

    Ramnadh

    It is looking pretty good.
    You should add some hover effects or pretty back ground color to featured on the top.

    I strongly recommend you to remove dots from recent, popular and random posts(display:block)
    Top nav pretty super. Try to move top ad on left or right side. So you can use the vacant space.
    bread crumbs looks pretty ordinary. Give some background color

    Reply

    Praveen

    Harsh the new themes look pretty neat and clean :)
    I would like to add some suggestions.
    1. In header the Logo is different but can be placed at left side. In center it looks little odd.
    2. The Make Money Icon placed in header is cool ;) Try the similar style(i.e circle shape inside a square button) to all other buttons(Facebook, Twitter, Blogger..Etc)
    3. The Stay connected Title in White text looks dull. It can be changed to Black color.
    4. Likewise the sidebar text links looks dull.
    5. Similar stories looks good :)
    6. Again the Footer Title in white can be changed to Black.

    I hope these small modifications will make your site look much better :)

    Reply

    Swarup

    The new theme looks great. I just wanted to suggest you
    1. In home page add number of comments before read more button (like old SML theme)
    2. The right site of header section is not well formed, just look at the SEO option – http://i.imgur.com/z7lOy.png
    3. Highlight Admin/Authors comment
    4. Background colour of STAY CONNECTED not well matched with blog clolour scheme.
    5. Add a feature post bar bellow weekly newsletter section.

    Reply

    Atish

    Hi Harsh, First of all I will say it will be great to see the new design but I Will say the logo is not matching with the theme. You need to think about it. Overall design is great.

    Reply

    Kuldeep Khatri

    (1) The logo is between “read our complete wordpress guide” seems a bit awkward.
    ((2) Try working qith random/popular posts!!
    (3) Try removing that big banner!!! Try something link promoting with youtube videos!!!
    (4) Try introducing adsense videos to increase clicks!!!
    (5) Create an attractive newsletter that is subscription box!!
    (6)Try working upon your site’s loading time!!!

    Reply

    Ashesh

    hi
    Everything feels positive . Just one thing………….
    You should work on header part , thought!!! its taking too much space.

    Reply

    [email protected]

    Nice theme.
    1.You can make some changes to the shoutmeloud logo and give it some new look along with the new theme..
    2.Changes to the footer colour may get more attention to categories and releted posts in footer.
    Thanks.

    Reply

    Ramnadh

    Haiii i have some more suggestions. Make a look at the two images rather than explaining alot. I think it should help you. Colors are more will suit more for your theme. So please make a look at this. Here is the two links of screen shots
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4xKd6joX8wI/TsnBrNK4KeI/AAAAAAAAAVM/N0nQCgPb8f8/s1600/shoutdreams1.png
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-o8NV8yMP-9U/TsnBlFbRfgI/AAAAAAAAAVE/YRJPwyWRGOQ/s1600/shotdreams2.png

    Reply

    Ramnadh
    Mark

    One suggestion. Work on your logo it doesn’t suit the blogs’ theme and also shift it to correct place.

    Reply

    Amit

    Anyways I like the logo as well as theme ,Logo should be stand out of the blog and it does ..Nice theme

    Reply

    Prince

    all things are correct !! nothing to change according to me, excepting speed.
    yeah… you must use CDN services to speed up your blog faster..

    What you think about it ?

    Reply

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