As most of you know, this site is still finding its feet in terms of content, format, writers, and delivery. But things are starting to come together and I have a few announcements for you all!
First and foremost, I'd like to welcome a new regular tutorial writer to the team, all the way from sunny Brazil! His name is Zee and you may even be familiar with his excellent tutorials from his home site Abduzeedo. A couple of my favorites are Creating Smoke and Magic Lighting Effects.
Zee will be putting together a couple of fantastic tutorials every month and is the first step towards diversifying the voice on the site and making sure you don't all get sick of reading my ramblings!
Additionally a few tutorials have been sent in as guest contributions, and I'll be putting the first one up later this week. Don't forget if you'd like to write a guest tutorial, we will pay for anything we publish and you can get more details on our Write a Tutorial page.
Site Advertising and All
Currently the site's budget is ... erm .. limited so Zee and I will be the only regular writers, but I hope that as advertising starts selling and the site gets on to a roll this situation will change. Next week I'm going to be ditching AdSense as I think it looks a little cheap and doesn't really produce much income anyway. Instead we'll be switching to relevant affiliate programs like Arsenal (which as you probably know we've had on the site for some time). So we'll see how that goes; if nothing else it'll look a little prettier than ugly Adsense!
Additionally I'd like to thank all the people who have been donating with the Buy-Me-a-Coffee button down the bottom. There have been over 30 donations in the last month! This is so fantastic as it really says something about the audience here at Psdtuts+. There's not many sites out there where people voluntarily give money ... at least not many that I've heard of :-)
New Site Design
Recently I put up an article about web design and when the site was frontpaged on Digg, there were lots of comments about the quality of the PSDtuts design itself. Normally I ignore most comments on Digg as they don't exactly make you feel good, but in this case the criticisms of the site design were fairly well-founded. In particular, this brown on brown color scheme isn't very easy on the eye for people with low-contrast monitors. Additionally I have my own pet peeve which is that there is no strong brand here, the logo being a rather weak, forgettable bit of text.
So being a designer, I couldn't resist redesigning the site! The Photoshop layouts are all done and as soon as I get a chance, I'll be cutting it all up into Wordpress. Note that I have a history of taking a long time to do the actual building of sites so it may be a little while before I finish that!
And because this time I was organized, I've been screenshotting the design process along the way to write up a little tutorial on it when the whole thing is done. To give you a taste of what the new design is going to look like, here's a teaser screenshot...
The new design will have a clearer information design, easier to read tutorials, and two new exciting features:
Community Link Feed
I've never done it before, but I think I know a way to add a community link feed to the site so that anyone can add their favorite link or news item, and once a day they'll be screened and added to the site. That way as the PSDtuts grows, there will be an easy, accessible traffic source for our readers!
User Image Account
What is super cool about writing tutorials on a site like this is that readers take those ideas and methods away and then create their own versions, building on the tutorials and often improving them. For this reason we're going to open a public Flickr account for PSDtuts readers to add their images, which will then be piped through on to the site's sidebar.
Over time I hope to make this site more and more communal and get readers increasingly involved. At the end of the day the greatest asset a site like PSDtuts can possibly have is its community!
Happy Blog Action Day
Finally I'd like to mention that for those of you who hadn't heard, today is Blog Action Day, a day when over 16,000 bloggers are posting in unison about the environment. It's a really exciting initiative that a couple of other bloggers and I cofounded and which has grown rather huge, reaching a combined audience of - wait for it - 12.5 million people! PSDtuts isn't participating, but you can read about the initiative and what we've been up to over at NorthxEast, by visiting the Action Blog or by just visiting your favorite blog and reading their Blog Action Day post!
So a very happy Blog Action Day to you all!