300 in 30 Days

Design Float has passed the 300 member mark and in only 30 days. This is far faster than I expected. I hope that everyone is continuing to find the site helpful and useful. Our repeat visitors is still increasing by about 25% a day which is a great sign. I also listen to the feedback I receive, so please feel free to use the contact form to send me any thoughts, suggestions, complaints, etc.

The Design Float Dashboard Widget (v1)

I spent some time this weekend learning about Dashboard Widgets and was able to successfully create version 1.0 of the Design Float Dashboard Widget. When installed, the widget allows you to choose from any of the Design Float categories and display the latest 10 published entries along with a brief description and the number of floats they have received. Enjoy!

» Download the Widget

Design Float Dashboard Widget

So I added some Adsense Ads…

Well I was trying to avoid adding Google Adsense to the site, but I’m not confident in the server setup that is currently powering Design Float. My email has been intermittent over the past couple of days and with the boost in traffic the site has received from the Smashing Magazine article, response and load times have increased more than I’d like. I’ve never really experimented with ads on a site so I’m giving them a shot to see whether or not they could potentially offset the cost of a dedicated or semi-dedicated server. I can’t currently afford the monthly bill for one, so I either need to offset the potential cost with advertising, or find someone to sponsor the site and donate more solid hosting.

If I don’t think the Google Ads will do enough to help, I’ll take them down and in the meantime if anyone knows of any kickass deals on reliable dedicated or semi-dedicated hosting, please let me know. I apologize to anyone who finds the ads particularly annoying, I tried to make them as subtle and tasteful as possible and, like I said, if I don’t think it’ll help they’ll be coming down.

Design Float Featured in Smashing Magazine

As I was obsessively checking my stats with Snoop, I realized an influx of visitors from Smashing Magazine. Turns out they have included Design Float in their “Best of July 2007” post. It’s nice to be recognized by a blog as popular and respectable as Smashing Magazine so thanks to the editors for including Design Float and I hope the exposure trickles down to all of the Design Float contributers and authors!

Introducing the Design Float Gallery

Since launching Design Float, I have received several requests for a Design Float gallery. Users have suggested that Design Float is already a great place to get all their design related news and that they wish there was a way to promote their projects as well.

At first I wasn’t too keen on the idea because there are already a million design showcases out there, but after realizing how easy it would be to incorporate this feature into Design Float (as well as automate it) I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

So I present to you: The Design Float Gallery

I have categorized the gallery into Websites and Print Design. That’s right, now all you print designers out there have a place to submit your designs. Now this project is new and I’m still figuring it all out, but so far it seems to be working well. So what are you waiting for? Go submit your websites and print designs!

Holy Downtime!

Well, as many of you may have noticed, DF has been down most of the weekend. I woke up Saturday morning to find a nice Internal Server Error page on Design Float and promptly proceeded to freak out. After restoring the previous nights backup, everything was back to normal. But that didn’t last long. When I got back home later on that day, the error was back. One more restore and we’re back online. Then I woke up Sunday morning to find that annoying error back again.

I believe I have traced the culprit to a configuration change I made that enabled gzip compression for the site’s Javascript files. I have disabled the setting in the database so I think we should be back to normal.

I apologize for anyone who tried to visit the site this weekend and found it out of commission. I guess it’s just one of those frustrations that goes along with running a website of this size and complexity.

Do visitors like Design Float?

Design Float has been live for exactly 20 days today. As I mentioned in my last post, the response has been tremendous. I’ve received tons of emails from visitors, the majority of them praising Design Float, and some of them giving me feedback that has lead to several small improvements around the site. Please keep the feedback coming! If you have sent me an email and I have not responded yet, I apologize as I’m getting backed up.

Even with all the positive feedback, my primary measure of whether or not visitors truly find Design Float useful is if they come back, so I decided to release a few snapshots illustrating what I feel is the success of Design Float so far:

Unique Visitor Snapshop

Repeat Visitor Snapshop

As you can see in the graphs, both the numbers of unique and repeat visitors are steadily increasing, with slight dips over the weekends. This is encouraging and I’m excited to see that people are finding the project useful enough to return.

Thank you again for all of those who are helping to build a successful resource and community for designers everywhere. I will continue to work on the bugs and to implement the suggestions I receive!

General Design Float Update

Well, Design Float has been up for 18 days so I figured I’d share a little update about how things are going. So far, we are off to a great start. The community really seems to be embracing the project and I have received plenty of positive feedback. I’m delighted that other designers are finding DF helpful and useful! I would also like to thank everyone who has contributed so far, and I hope that we continue to bring exposure to artists, designers, and authors who would otherwise have a difficult time gaining exposure.

I’m still working as often as I can to fix bugs and issues throughout the site. Some still outstanding issues that I haven’t had time to address, but hope to get resolved this weekend:

  1. Private Messages Don’t Work
  2. Minor display and style issues when viewing the various tabs from the profile page.
  3. Two step registration process will be condensed to one step.
  4. Live Feed section doesn’t have enough width to display properly.

If you discover any more annoying quirks, please don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll add them to the list of fixes.

Some General Stats:

  • There are currently 142 registered members!
  • Currently indexing 836 articles from accross the web!
  • We have 213 email subscribers and growing!
  • We’ve had over 8,000 unique visitors and over 30,000 pageviews!

Thank you again to all the users, supporters, and contributers!

The Design Float Blog

Well it looks like you found the “official” Design Float blog. Like the many authors that supply DF with it’s aggregated content, I enjoy to write as well. I will do my best to keep this blog updated regularly with anything useful, interesting, or fun that I might stumble across or discover.

Also look to this blog for any information related to DF including DF News and DF projects. I have ton of plans for Design Float and this is where I will preview any new functionality. I will also use this to communicate with the community for feedback, opinions, and recommendations related to DF as well as feature or change requests.

So subscribe to the feed or check back regularly and I hope that you continue to find Design Float helpful or useful!