Nice2All.com – about WordPress with friendly attitude

Lyndi’s blog sadly had since perished.

nice2all_icon Nice2All is blog managed by Lyndi Geldenhuis that covers WordPress themes, tips and some extra stuff on top.

Lyndi is one of my most active readers (so am I to her blog) and I was glad to up our interaction a bit by exchanging reviews (and maybe more contributions which I will keep under wraps for now).

Content

Blog covers all things WordPress. It has an interesting twist to it because Lyndi, being PHP programmer by profession, approaches it from PHP viewpoint. Plenty of people in blogosphere came to PHP by using WordPress but here it’s opposite case.

Style is not overly technical with occasional code snippets and a lot of thoughts on usability aspects and balance of features between plugins and native WordPress abilities. It’s less of an beating old things and more about WordPress as blog-powering engine.

Design

Recent redesign was a switch from freely distributed AquaBlock Theme (by Lyndi) to new theme exclusive to Nice2All (by Lyndi as well). It’s an improvement in my opinion because AquaBlock is general purpose theme and kinda not interesting enough for original blog.

New theme has more bright spots and very interesting color balance. Still I feel like some unneeded AquaBlock legacy crawled in it. It’s hard to describe in words so screenshot time.

nice2all_design

Left is header, right is footer. Maybe it’s my perception but it’s hard to match the havles.

Lyndi, being able to code, uses some interesting tweaks like having side-blog in sidebar and plenty of elements showing on index page only. It’s cool but kinda subtle (especially for people landing on post pages like most do). I don’t see much reasons to hide parts of blog on single post pages.

I am not saying this often but sidebar is lacking stuff. :) 125×125 block is fine but lower it turns in wall of text with numerous excerpts. I know overall style is pretty formal but I’d expect more wacky experimental stuff from blog that has strong development for WordPress streak.

Branding

Lyndi is not original founder of blog, it was passed to her few months ago. It was very hard to put my opinion in words but I think that in branding aspect Lyndi herself is bigger brand than Nice2All .

Blogs have personalities and Nice2All has split one at moment with blog part being weaker than blogger. It would take time for this period to pass and while it’s often better to keep established branding… in this case I think it could use a nuke and fresh start. :)

Overall

Nice2All is not-so-usual blog on WordPress filled with plenty of value. Content is excellent but form it is being packed in lacks flair a bit. Watching new blog grow is interesting but common. Watching old blog change is rare and fascinating experience – join me in it .

This review was written both as part of my Blogging Idol promotional offers  and returning favor to Lyndi’s Blog Reviews project.

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9 Comments

  • Nice review Rarst. I checked her blog before as I saw her commenting in here a lot. I am not too much into wordpress themes as I’m not developing any and not looking for a new theme right now, but her website looks all good.

    One suggestion though, I suggest you guys don’t do mutual reviews on the same day…It’s just weird to get on her blog and the first post is a blog review of your blog…Kind of “well that’s where I’m coming from!” hehe ;)

  • @Ben

    Same day is best way to do it. Improves blogger bonding. :)

  • @Lyndi

    I think that if officially longest comment ever on my blog. :)

    I didn’t notice those were WP colors, lol. Maybe you should include WP logo in same colors for logic leap?

    Good luck with new blog, it will be very interesting to compare it with Nice2All. :)

  • Thanks for a very honest review. You have mentioned a lot of points that have made me think indeed. I will most probably think about all these for awhile, but for now, please allow me to reply to some of the points mentioned.

    I cannot take any credit for the ‘color balance’. The blog is all about WordPress and the colors used are the exact official WP colors.

    The blog is still very new and the most visitors do not land on the single pages. The main page is still by far the most pouplar page (EC plays a big role in this). This will change with time. The idea of showing certain things on the main page only, was done to cut down on the duplicated content. I will re-think this whole idea.

    ‘Experimental stuff’, this is not quite true, I don’t think. The blog currently uses every single new feature that is scheduled for WP 2.7 and even already includes some of the stuff scheduled for use in versions post 2.7. It is however this very ‘experimental stuff’ that is causing the blandness or the ‘wall of text’.

    The asides and popular posts shown on the sidebar are coded to use custom fields to display images on every excerpt. For some or other strange reason this stuff works on the test site but does not work on the live site which is running on WP 2.7 beta 1. This will be corrected as soon as I can figure out what is going on.

    I also cannot fully agree with you on the ‘branding’ bit. The previous owner blogged about website accessibility. I have now changed the direction to WordPress. At the moment the blog stats show that the site is now only about 30% of what it was when it was run by the previous owner. I still have a lot of work to do.

    I am planning another blog which will be my own from scratch. All I can say about this at present is that it will not involve coding in any way and it will most probably not even be a WP blog. All of this is still a secret, so please don’t tell anyone.

    Thanks again for the review, I am off to go and have a look at the things you pointed out. Sorry for the long comment but we women are supposed to have a lot to say. :-)

  • I second Ben on the idea of doing reciprocal reviews and launching it on the same day. That’s what I did with Jeremy’s and we both got the exposure pretty well. So it’s a win-win for both parties.

    Anyway, nice review, Rarst. I remember seeing her avatar somewhere and she definitely looks gorgeous….so is her site.

    Yan

  • I have implemented some of your suggestions on my blog. The entire footer is now shown on all pages. Thumbnails now appear in the various excerpts shown on the sidebar. On the popular posts this works well but on the asides there is an occasional glitch in that the wrong custom field is picked up. I will get this worked out soon, I hope.

  • I knew you said you had done a review of Nice2All but didn’t realize it was done today :)

    I’ve been a follower of Nice2All since it was Sailor’s blog. He was an inspiration to many people and encouraged us all to bigger and better things. In giving the blog to Lyndi, he gave her a springboard and a “fan base” which most new bloggers take quite awhile to get. She has honored his gift by keeping his ideals of web accessibility to all in the forefront of her at all times. She has kept the fan base and improved on it with her great coding, generosity and intelligence.

    It’s been exciting seeing the changes she has wrought in the blog. She has some unique ideas and her skills are evident in every bit of code and theme she has released.

    I’ll be very interested in seeing the new blog when it’s launched and made public. I have no doubts that it, too will be a favorite stopping place for many.

    ê¿ê

  • Rarst very good review. and i agree with you . i think lyndi’s comment is the longest one :)

  • @Lyndi

    Now it looks way more lively on single post pages, good work.

    @Yan

    Ben’s idea is not to launch them on second day. I don’t get if you are rooting for same day or not? :)

    @Margaret

    That what link I posted there was for. :) Glad to see you commenting here, welcome to blog.

    @Nihar

    Did my best, it was pretty hard review to write. Took me some time and lot of editing.

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