New Layout, New Beginning

Image Credit

Hi everyone! 😀 First off, sorry for the slow updates lately. I’ve been busy working on a number of things, many of which are meant to lay out the foundation for a better path ahead with PE. Today I’m super excited to unveil one of the things I have been working on: a brand new layout for Personal Excellence! 😀

PE New Layout - 2016 (Screenshot)

New layout for Personal Excellence

This new layout is already live as of today, November 21, 2016 — so if you’re reading this post on PE now, you should be seeing it. If not, clear your browser cache. If you’re reading this message in your inbox or feed reader, check out the new layout now by surfing over to personalexcellence.co.

In total, this layout took me about one full month to design and code, including the creation of graphics, though I started working it since 2 months ago. It’s custom coded by myself, so you won’t find it in any theme directories. Several things different about this layout vs. the previous one:

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  • There’s no longer any sidebar. This was a hard call I made to reduce clutter and focus on content.
  • The colors are cleaner, with white and black serving as the base colors and maroon as an accent, whereas maroon was the base color in the previous layout.
  • There’s only one top navigation bar now, whereas there were two previously.
  • The overall layout is more visual, with each post/page having an image banner. The main site sections all have a custom image banner now.
  • Our logo is now just “Personal Excellence” without any image or symbol. Again, this is part of simplification.
  • This wouldn’t make a difference to any of you, but I’ve coded this theme much more neatly than before, and also in line with recent HTML5 standards and WordPress features. This will make updating easier moving forward, which means more time for the things that matter.

Comparison:

PE in 2016 (Screenshot)

Old layout – from 2009 till 2016

PE New Layout - 2016 (Screenshot)

New layout as of Nov 21, 2016

Like with the previous layout, the new layout is mobile responsive and can be viewed on PC and mobile devices, though it will obviously look best on larger screens. If something looks wrong, let me know. I may continue to tweak things here and there, but this is pretty much the final look.

In creating this new layout, I also took time to rewrite several sections:

  • The About section has been rewritten and features a new design. Do check it out! 🙂 I share my story, why I created PE, and how PE works.
  • The Privacy Policy has been majorly updated to reflect our information collection and usage practices. Please read it to familiarize yourself with our data collection practices.
  • The Courses section now features a personal message from me, with a new look.
  • We have a new Videos section which I plan to update with new videos in time to come.
  • Media section — I’ve organized my past media features into TV, Radio, and Print medias for easy browsing.

All in all, my goal in creating this new layout is (a) to have a clean look that cuts through the clutter of today’s online world, (b) for me to easily maintain and update the site, (c) to make it easier for you to access my best content. What do you think about this new look? Let me know via the Ask Celes form – I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you see any issue or something that looks wonky/wrong, let me know via the form too!

New Host, New Server, Better Security

In other news, I’m excited to share that we are now with a new host and on a dedicated server! 😀 My previous host has become unreliable in recent years, and after researching online and realizing that it was a company-wide issue, I decided that it was better to switch hosts before things got worse. PE was also becoming incredibly slow with frequent downtime even though we were operating well within server limits, and after many months of trying to diagnose the issue and getting unhelpful solutions from my host, I thought it was best to just switch to a new host and move from a shared VPS plan to a dedicated server with lots of room for traffic spikes.

The result: everything is now lightning fast compared to before. I’m able to do site tweaks, troubleshoot, and post content much easily. If you’ve been surfing the site in the past months, you should notice a speed improvement now compared to two months ago!

I’ve also secured the entire site with SSL — secure sockets layer — to enhance the security of the site, plus taken other security and anti-spam measures. You will see that PE’s web address now shows up as https:// in the front instead of http://. This means that all the data that passes between your browser and our web server will go through an encryption process, which significantly increases the privacy and integrity of the data.

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All in all, the server upgrade alone has doubled our hosting overhead to several thousands of dollars a year, but I see this as a necessary investment to give you the best site usage experience and to expand and grow PE moving forward.

New Release: Live a Better Life in 30 Days

On a separate note, I’m excited to announce that the new version of Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program (30DLBL) has now been released! I’m excited to launch this in time for you to do the program in December, as a year-end roundup. 😀

  • For those of you who haven’t gotten the program, head over to my newly revamped 30DLBL sales page to read about 30DLBL and get it there. The new version is already live, and if you bought the program on/after November 16, you already have the new version.
  • For those of you who already have the program, I’ll be giving a free upgrade to recent buyers and a limited-time upgrade option (for a fee) for older customers. This announcement will only be sent via the PE newsletter, so subscribe here to be on the list. I will be sending out the email update on Thursday (Nov 24), 8am Singapore time, so stay tuned for the mailer after you subscribe. I will not be resending the mailer after that.

Next up, I’ll be working on the new version of 30BBM, and hope to release it by the end of the year. Like with 30DLBL, very recent buyers will get the upgrade for free, so if you like, you can get both 30DLBL and 30BBM now for a 10% discount (scroll down to the end of the 30DLBL sales page for the link) and you’ll get the upgraded version of 30BBM free when it’s out.

Thanks everyone for your support! 🙂 I’m still alive and am working hard to lay out the best foundations for the site, rather than participating in the echo chambers of the online world and entering into a meaningless cycle of frivolous updates. I hope that you guys will see the payoff in time to come. Thank you!

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