Website tweaks

I don’t often make big changes to my website. Usually I’ll just post pics to the photos page, or add a new line to my game log or update a few other snag-related lists, like this and this and this.

Well, I made a pretty big change this week. I’ve actually been working on my site nonstop for several days, and although the overall design looks the same, some of the content has been reorganized.
You know how there are eight main links at the top? I replaced the “Watching Baseball Smarter” link…
old_website_link.jpg
…with one that simply says “Books.” Check it out:
new_website_link.jpg
Now that I have a new book coming out (in 32 days!), it didn’t make sense to feature Watching Baseball Smarter. If you go to any page on my site and still see the old link at the top, try refreshing it, and if you still see it after that, let me know. It’s possible that I missed it somewhere. (In general, if you find any broken links, either on my blog or website, please let me know.)
Recently, if you did click the “Watching Baseball Smarter” link, you’d end up on a page that looked like this:

old_watching_baseball_smarter_page.jpg

Now that page looks like this:
new_watching_baseball_smarter_page.jpg
Better, right? As you can see, I made the boxes bigger, picked a better image for the “Media” category, and replaced “Watch With Zack” with “Fan mail.” (FYI: I’ll still be doing Watch With Zack games this season; I’m just not promoting it on this page any more.)
I also changed the Baseball collection page. It used to look like this…
old_baseball_collection_page1.jpg
…and then it briefly looked like this…
old_baseball_collection_page2.jpg
…and now it looks like this:
new_baseball_collection_page.jpg
I realize this isn’t quite as pretty as the original page — that green book was rather eye-catching — but I think the content/organization is better this way.
I still need to tweak my FAQs and make some other small changes, but that’s pretty much it for now.

7 Comments

I find the new layout of the website, better than before. It makes it easier to locate what you’re looking for. Just saw on Twitter, one of the first copies of The Baseball, with the actual final cover. Coolness. Also, I don’t know about you, but I think that it sucks that Andy Pettitte has decided to walk away from baseball. Damon and Ramirez to the Rays. Pettitte walking away from baseball. What’s next?
-Matt

Man, if you’re open to suggestions, I’d love to see a direct blog link on the homepage. My entry point is always zackhample.com (in the 5 years of following the blog, I’ve never once typed snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com into my browser). But then it’s always a stopover on the ‘contact’ page before getting to the blog. Not necessarily suggesting it be one of 8 tabs at the top, but to be able to go to zackhample.com and get straight to the blog from the homepage (especially when I’m trying to check the blog on the Blackberry), if you have the stats to support it as the most popular ‘destination’ on your site, I’ve got to imagine I’m not the only one who would welcome that minor change.

If anything, I strongly suggest changing the background color from grey to white. Besides that, looks good.

Hey Zack, I drove up to Raleigh tonight from Atlanta and thought of you when passing the exit for Guilford College. Led to a brief discussion about you with my friend Ally, whom you may remember from Turner Field. Can’t wait for the new book!
Matt H.

Hey Zack…here’s what your site looked like on Jan 24, 2001
http://replay.waybackmachine.org/200101240153/http://www.zackhample.com/

Zack,
Do you know of any commemorative balls that will be used in MLB in 2011?

-Garrett
http://www.mygameballs.com/baseballdata?db=garrett37

MATT-
Thanks very much. Glad you like it. But I’m not sorry to see Pettitte retire. The man used steroids. That’s really all I ever thought about toward the end of his career, once he “admitted” it.

DANR-
I appreciate the suggestion, but I’m probably going to leave things as they are for the time being. Can’t you just bookmark my blog and get there with one click of the mouse (or trackball)? I know it’d be nice to have a blog link on the homepage, but I don’t see an obvious place for it, and I don’t want to clutter it up visually. I love having LOTS of content, but also keeping things as visually simple as possible. I can’t stand websites like the New York Times that have eight million things going on in different boxes, with different tabs, different columns, photos, scrollbars, moving images, sound effects, etc. But again, thanks for suggesting it. Maybe someday.

BIG APPLE BLOGGER-
White? Really? White looks so plain and…vanilla. If the rest of the site were glitzier and more professional and more sleek, then I think white would work. But not as things stand. Not yet. Not now.

MATT H.-
I do remember Ally. Thanks for thinking of me and letting me know. I really need to get back down to Guilford for a visit.

CHRIS-
Good heavens. It’s amazing/funny/cool to see that now, but I was kinda hoping that that AWFUL version of my website was gone forever.

GARRETT-
It’ll be all the usual ones plus a 50th Anniversary ball for the Angels. You can find out more at bigleaguebaseballs.com — a great site that’s run by a friend of mine named Zach.

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