A "New!" Page

Creating a new home page for Sketchbook B

I’ve had Sketchbook B since 2008. And for the entire life of the site, it’s been pretty much the same structure — the home* page is the main blog page. During the summer, I started experimenting with a new page design that could replace the home page. I wanted to figure out a way to quickly highlight everything that is on Sketchbook B, not just the blog.

The site has been hosted on Squarespace for the last 8 years and has migrated from version 4 through version 7. As a result, I’ve never completely taken advantage of some of the newer, more powerful options that are available.

Squarespace lets you easily pull in and format content from other pages on your site. So I was able to create a page with summary blocks for blog posts, recurring series, my typeface designs and social content like Instagram. 

It took me a little while to figure out exactly what I wanted and make sure the new page rendered the way I wanted it to on mobile. Squarespace does a great job of building a responsive site, but some of the individual summary blocks didn’t always behave in mobile or tablet views the way I expected.

As a result of the tinkering, I started playing with custom CSS in Squarespace. I had forgotten how customizable everything is and I can’t wait to experiment with it some more.

A “New!” page is now in the navigation.** I'm going to continue to work on it, but I like it enough to make it the first thing a visitor sees when they type in sketchbookb.com. The blog page remains at the same address: sketchbookb.com/journal. If you prefer the other view, just bookmark it and it will be like nothing has changed.

* I hate the term home page. It seems so old to me. When I first started playing on the internet in the late 90s, “webmasters” built and maintained “homepages.” But alas, I don’t have a better term. Maybe landing page?

** Yes, the "New!" includes an exclamation point. I don't normally use exclamation points, but I liked it here...

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he tinkers with the site design of Sketchbook B. Follow Bob on Twitter and Instagram.