Beyond the Rhetoric officially launched in March 2006, migrating over to WordPress the year after that. Version 3.0 of the blog was unleashed in 2008, thanks to some great work by my friend Matt Freedman. Curiously, that was actually the last major update. Up until a couple days ago, I was using a theme that was eight years old. That’s an eternity in blogging years!

So, I decided late last year that this blog needed a makeover. I had originally considered doing the work myself, but in the end, I decided to hire my friend Lesley Chang to help with the process. And by “help,” I mean do practically everything.

Did you know it was Lesley who came up with the “coffee stain” MK logo that I continue to use to this day for my freelance writing business? With some assistance from my friend Joshua Denney, we’ve translated some of that aesthetic to the Beyond the Rhetoric “thinker” logo too. Do you like it?

Some of the new features on this new blog theme include:

  • Mobile-friendly, fully responsive design
  • Homepage slider with most recent posts
  • Social sharing buttons at top and bottom of each post
  • Reorganized post categories
  • Category navigation in header
  • Magazine style homepage with category sections
  • “Zoom” animation on featured images and homepage
  • Twitter and Facebook widgets in sidebar
  • Instagram feed in footer
  • Social media profile links at top and bottom of page

Aside from the obvious aesthetic differences, the other biggest change was how we went about reorganizing the category structure. Instead of simply a series of “top level” categories, now there are fewer “top level” categories and more “subcategories.” This required some moving around, plus the creation of new “top level” categories like “Just Dad Things” and “Perspectives.”

There are still a few more changes and updates I need to make, but what do you think? I’m always open to feedback! And if you’re interested in rocking out a new theme for your own website or blog, be sure to give Lesley a holler and tell her I sent you.

For posterity, here’s a walk down memory lane with previous iterations of this blog.

Beyond the Rhetoric 2006

August 2006

Beyond the Rhetoric 2007

March 2007

Beyond the Rhetoric 2008

December 2008

Beyond the Rhetoric, circa 2016

October 2016

Beyond the Rhetoric 2017

Current (January 2017)

We’ve come a long way, baby.