Well what do you think? Poll…

[poll id=”28″]

Folks first off, I did not design the header, trust me my design skills are nowhere near that well-developed. I had this one designed by vonWaltoncreative  they do all sorts of things, from web-design, and logos to business cards. They have over 30 years of experience, and do work for John Deere, Dan Post, Laredo, Dingo, and McRae Industrial footwear brands.

Check them out vonWaltoncreative  and don’t forget to let them know that you saw their work on TheSurvivalistBlog.net…

Note that they are working on several designs for the blog and we are testing to see what works and what doesn’t.

Comments

  1. Rune Dimmick says:

    Very nice. The wolf was a little aggressive. This looks like a careful guy, preparing prudently against life’s trials. I hope it works for you.

    There are several prepper blogs that are more off-putting than the wolf was, at least to me. I wonder that any one that isn’t already fairly hardcore gives them even a second of time.

  2. Backwoods Prepper says:

    I think the header is really nice it’s a keeper. I sure do love big chocolate bars ;).

  3. I like it, but would like to wait and see all of them before I say which one I like the best. Let us know the bounce rate, that was interesting.

    Thanks, for what you do.

    BUDDY

  4. Looks all right, more corporate, more like an outdoor magazine for urban dwellers with 4 wheel drives that never leave the pavement. What can I say, I liked the wolf.

    • tommy2rs,

      You just don’t like change… In a couple of days you’ll be like wow!

      • The header really doesn’t matter, its the content that makes the site. You could put up rainbows, unicorns and leprechauns and I’d still read the content. Might block that image but I’d still read the content….lol

        But I still like the wolf better.

      • I really don’t like change, either, however, this one is pretty cool.

    • Kinda partial to the wolf too… but that’s just me. I have one tatted on my arm LOL

    • Gimme back the wolf.

      • Kitchen Witch says:

        I liked the Wolf as well.

        • Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, is what we are taught! But, everyone judges a book by it’s cover…….right? Like it a lot, ..keep going back to look! Missing the wolf a little…is the ‘pack’ going to move inside to the frequent visitors? either way I visit for the info.

          M.D. , I think began this mission to get more ‘hits that stay’…just looked again….looks good.

          The red info banner on the right…..just a thought….”Emergency networking” preparing…etc…..would something more “Tech” grab attentions….I dunno..?

  5. I sent a couple in but that’s way above my skill level! Well done!

  6. button crazy says:

    I like it. I want see the others also.

    • Millie in KY says:

      I like the wolf but liked the one you had with less writing on it. This one’s not bad though. I’ll tell you when I see the others.

  7. What’s it say in the paw print?

    Definitely professional looking and covers all the bases.

  8. ladyhawthorne says:

    It looks very professional and I think it gets the message across very well. This is a place for everyone, families included to learn & share.

  9. littleone says:

    i have been here for sometime, but in the shadows. Decided to give 0.02$ worth. i liked the wolf better, this one reminds me of a 4×4 that never sees dirt.

  10. MENTALMATT says:

    I really like it, just my two cents….

  11. First off, too dark and hard to pick up. Your topics beg light, bright and natural.

    The first thing advertising agencies do when they get a new account is try to change the appearance of the client’s logotypes or what-ever, to assert their arrival. Don’t fall into that vat. Build on what works, what people are telling you, and what telegraphs what you want to show you are. The “bar” thingie just doesn’t do you justice. It only looks like something someone did because they can.

  12. Judy, another one says:

    I like it. But I liked the last one, too, and the one before that one and so on and so forth! The question is do you like it?

  13. Hunker-Down says:

    I have the same viewpoint as tommy2rs. It reminds me of a club for big $$$ people.

    I would like to see a ‘we ain’t got no money’ picture, although I have no idea what that might be.

  14. Don’t like it. Too cluttered and the name gets lost in the clutter. Sorry, just my opinion.

    • As with Oldokie, I think it is too cluttered. In photography the phrase “less is more” is used in framing a scene. Take away some of the items along the edge and lighten the brown area a little. Keep the verbage on the right.

      Ok, some of us are a little cluttered around our areas too.

      I miss the wolf but the paw print fits the header.

    • I have to agree with you, Oldokie.

  15. I did like the wolf, but this is pretty sharp.

  16. Thomas T. Tinker says:

    You are heading in the right direction MD>>>>>>>>>>. Thanks for keeping the Paw print Sir.

  17. swt'tater says:

    I do like it, but I’d lighten the brown a little. I thought it was a tombstone @ first glance…lol

  18. Anothermom says:

    Ok-I didn’t see any chocolate bars–did I miss one of them?

    Anyway, I think it is a little crowded, you really have to look at it to find the title, but I do like the paw print. I also like the red box on the side, that tells me what your site is all about.

  19. Header is good , just needs to be bigger as its hard to read that small .

  20. Shiloh pack says:

    I like it, but I’m more partial to wolves. But, with a pack of shepherds I should be partial to wolves. lol

  21. Another thought… without the wolf… how are we the “Wolf Pack”?

    • SW,

      There is a wolf print in the header…

      • Just to play devils advocate… could be a dog print ;)

        • SW,

          It’s not – but I guess that is a matter of interpretation… Look down in the sidebar where you can Join the wolf pack.

          • Like I said…. I was just playing devils advocate. Before there was a wolf in he header and “join the wolf pack”…. so the two fell together pretty good. Now there is a canine paw print.

            The new header DOES look professional… but just a little cluttered around the edges. I understand the effect the designer was going for though.

            As for joining… I already get ever post sent to my email client **thumbs up**

            • SW,

              You would be surprised at the folks that have sent emails complaining that the “link” in the header (the paw print) did not work. It was confusing to a lot of folks. And others complained that the wolf had nothing to do with prepping… and that it was a turn-off…

              When you’re bounce for new visitors is over 90% when they land on a page that is exactly what they “googled” for something needs to be tweaked…
              But it should be noted that we are not alone – I had a link to the others blogs stats (it has been changed) and their bounce rate was like 95%.

  22. M.D.
    Too bad they couldn’t have included a chicken element within the logo to highlight your girls and independent homesteader lifestyle a bit more. Looks a bit like a corporate type logo, I like the paw print it’s cool looking but it’s only my 2 cents worth.

  23. Content beats pizzazz, but guess you have to try something to decrease the bounce rate. Look forward to seeing the rest, but the old one was fine for me.

    • Hey MD, OT, but been trying to reply to R Dover in the WDYDTPTW thread to give him a link for Plavix and it just won’t go through, even in different browers and after a reboot. No errors, and I get a comment id on the page reload after hitting submit (#comment-205569). Any new rules about comments, like links getting flagged as spam or something?

  24. georgeislearning says:

    make the site wider. I’m after information not a header or ad’s

  25. i like it but miss the wolf!! see how many hits you lose with this one! i’m here for the comraderie and info anyway!!

  26. I like it. I wish it was taller so I could see more of the items. I like the rustic board and I could see the wording just fine. I saw it right away even though my eyes are used to looking down for the next posting.

    I like this more than the other blogs. Their radioactive symbol or disaster logos just rub me the wrong way. I don’t like maps as a background because it is too busy and I am not lost.
    I can’t wait to see the rest.

  27. Rourke, I was fine with the priginal formatnd ok with this one. I haven a clue
    as to how people design these.Whatever facilitates fluency for you is what matters to me. Thanks. Arlene

    • Backwoods Prepper says:

      smh another lost blogger lol.. who is Rourke aint he that guy that runs Modern Survival Online.

  28. Well folks one thing is certain from the poll results and that is that as a majority The Wolf Pack like the new header. Out of 134 votes only 20 don’t like it.

    I think it looks clean and professional – like we know what we’re doing we and can help you learn those skills. I think the colors are good and match the site as a whole. The paw print says Wolf Pack and the writing on the right makes it easy for folks to know what we are about at a glance.

    • Backwoods Prepper says:

      Hey MD how hard would it be to get a like button for peoples comments that would be cool. with a little tally for # of likes.

  29. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Looks pretty good, but I am looking forward to seeing the others also. I didnt mind the old one with the wolf’s head in it, but nothing wrong with a change.

  30. Tom Arnold says:

    Personally, I think it looks too corporate – it looks like you’ve sold out. Otherwise, I think it’s too dark & cluttered. After you mentioned it, I noticed the .net in the paw print, but until you pointed it out, I just thought it was a pad in the print. It’s really lost by being so small and the contrast doesn’t let it stand out.

    After I looked at it a while, I realized it was a wooden board as the background, but on first glance, it looks like a brass nameplate. I think that’s what makes it look so corporate to me.

  31. i really like the new header. it sure does ad a ‘we know what we are doing here” kind of flavor. if you have another one designed,i think showing a small cabin with a garden on the side and some chickens in the front yard would convey what seems to be the most common thread among us subscribers, a need want and desire to be self sufficient and secure,perhaps even off grid.

  32. Hey MD, you have to do what is best for your business and it never, ever hurts to try a new creative. One comment only. since there is no wolf in the heading, why don’t ya drop one in on the smaller heading by where it says “join the wolfpack” as at the moment that heading doesn’t tie the wolfpack blog group back to your heading. That way if you wanted to eventually transition off the”wolfpack” them you would be on your way?

  33. I think this looks very professional. I think it will communicate a sense of expertise and experience that may cause the bouncers to stay.

    Two thumbs up.

  34. The wolf was fine – I liked her. This is too. It’s your blog, I care more about the content than the header.

  35. Didn’t we determine that most of us here have INTJ personality types. If so, we don’t pay much attention to things like headers and if fact the typical INTJ wouldn’t have noticed the change. And if the new design is pointed out, the response is often “that’s something new”. LOL

    I know that I am here for the content and the community. As long as the header/graphics isn’t distracting, I don’t much care. With that said, having examined the header carefully, it looks like a big chocolate bar. Yum.

    Sorry, M.D., I wish I could be more help here. I voted that I liked the header just fine–but I liked the wolf and the paw print just as well.

  36. To be honest, I liked the wolf much more. This new one….well…to me it is a little to yuppie or PC if you will. Sorry…I still will visit your sire daily though.

  37. I’m not going to vote because I fall somewhere in between the two. I do like it but as several have mentioned the color scheme could be lightened up some – not a lot but enough to make the contrast a little more noticeable. If the header was a little wider (top to bottom) it would look a little less cluttered and the important part – the name – would be easier to see. That’s just my 2 cents. I think I ended up on this site originally because I was looking for storage ideas. Maybe finding out why people come to start with will help with the bounce back rate.

  38. I prefer the wolf

  39. I would go with: pray – plan – prepare – survive
    God bless.

  40. I almost all of it. The ‘woodcarved’ title looks great. The scattering of little survival odds&ends add a lot. But what’s that blue thing on the lower center? I’m sure once I’m told, it’ll be obvious, but for now, it’s just a distraction. I am NOT a gun nut who believes all answers can be found at the end of a barrel, but firearms are clearly a large part of this blog, and prepping and survival in general. I would suggest getting rid of the blue thing and replacing it with something firearms related: a holster, a bore brush, an unexpended round…something. Small gripe, all else is great.

  41. Amaury Murgado says:

    I would like to see you keep the wolf and have it incorporated in to the design. The wold is very special creature and it speaks to strength and wisdom. It can function as an individual or in a group. I can think of no better symbol for what you (we) do. Though I agree that content is more important, symbols are very much a part of our culture and heritage. The symbol is the beginning of the message and is the first thing new people see. It is also what the members of the group want to seen as part of. Just my thoughts, thanks for asking.

  42. HomeINsteader says:

    But it does, at first glance, closely resemble a big chocolate bar. Nothing wrong with that! I’m thinking of the M&M’s commercial with the hunky guy asking if the M&M’s brain is chocolate, too……now you know where my mind resides!

  43. Shotgun Chel says:

    First time to post here, been lurking & learning for a while. :) Spotted the shotgun shell right away (of course!) but am a bit confused by the blue package in the lower center. Is it a condom per chance? I had recently considered adding them to our “Trade Items” preps.
    Thank you, M.D. for even asking all of us for our opinions and then acting on them. If only our “esteemed leaders” would try doing the same…..

  44. Annie Nonymous says:

    WOW!!! MD, I really like that one – 4 stars and 2 thumbs up and a 1/2″ group at 200m to boot! Annie

  45. riverrider says:

    i kinda liked the life ring, beach ball one you used a week or so ago. looked “funner”. whimsical i think its called. to me, this ones boring. but hey, can’t please some folks, right? it does look more professional. good luck with the hit count.

  46. riverrider says:

    you know what i’d like? a “top” button at the bottom.

  47. Petticoat Prepper says:

    Yep, like the go to the top button. Awesome job on picking up 100 newbies!!! As an additional thought on the header. While we all come for the content and community; new folks are just looking for one specific answer. The ‘chocolate bar’ header is less intense. I couldn’t tell you what the header was on my first visit maybe for those that really pay attention this one is more welcoming and less intimidating.

    We’ve all been prepping for a while, when you’re new to it everything in here could be scary. Ok, I think I’ve given $.06 worth so I’ll stop now.

  48. I like it, but then again I did not like the wolf. I know its silly, but I couldn’t get past sheep v. wolves thing (my sheep will know my voice etc)….soooo anywhooo

    The new header gives one the impression of competency and professionalism. The content will handle any concerns about “selling out”, whatever that means.

  49. Overall, I really like it MD :-)

    For ease of initial comprehending/reading – the first thing someone sees – I would lighten up the dark wood logo-just a shade.

    AND could you put the wolf where it says “Join the wolf pack”? :-)

    The wolf is part of ‘the pack’…. watching, intelligent, strong….the wolf is good. Just a smaller wolf, please?

    Hopefully now you will not get the high bounce (I did not know about the ‘bounce thing’ – kinda cool). This site has has never appeared (to me) like some of the extremist looking blogs that have gobs of guns, knives & rambo looking preppers anyways.

    thanks again for keeping this blog up MD.

    • Who needs gobs of guns, knives and rambo looking preppers when you have that “T” word that River likes :)

  50. momengineer says:

    have you changed your “google reader” settings as well? it isn’t showing the whole post any more…which is the primary way I read blogs…..

    • Tom Arnold says:

      I emailed MD about this a couple of days ago but haven’t heard backyet. Going to summaries on the RSS feed is another thing that is making the blog feel like it’s selling out to corporate sponsors. This always felt like a place run by an expert, now it’s beginning to feel like a business driven to increase advertising returns and not as much a helpful resource. I’m probably wrong but that’s the way it feels.

      • Tom,

        Same blog, same content… things change, some folks like those changes some don’t that’s just the way it is.

        • Tom Arnold says:

          Please don’t get me wrong, it’s your blog to do with as you please, of course. Just saying the summary articles are annoying. But looking at today’s feed, it looks like you’ve turned them back on. Thanks

  51. M.D.,
    I like the header that’s up today.
    I know this has been something of an issue for you for a long time, and I understand the importance of an attractive and inviting home page. But…(always gonna be a but) I also think it’s important to maintain a consistent, long term identity. The “Golden Arches” are immediately recognizable because they’ve been around so long.
    It seems you’re anxious about increasing readership, and rightly so. I can’t help but believe that you’re going to realize that increase with patience and perseverance. This is the best resource I have seen for any topic I have ever tried to research. I’m not trying to pump sunshine up your skirt, just the fact as I see it.
    Personally, I’m most interested in content, which you provide extremely well, so the header debate is much ado about nothing for me. I worry that trying to attract people that think some of the previous headers have been “off-putting” are the same kind of people that don’t see anything wrong with political correctness, telling people what size soda they should drink or how many squares of toilet paper to use.
    Remember, prepping requires planning, thinking and that nasty four letter word….work. I’d bet many of those that “bounce in and out” just aren’t ready for what goes on here…..but they’ll be back in their own time. Hopefully there will still be time.

  52. farmmomwannabe says:

    Love the new banner. You must have lightened/brightened it because the view I’m getting is quite clear and professional looking. The seed packet, bungee, and fishing lure add a family-friendly, self-sufficient feel which may lessen bounces. Look forward to seeing more! I do miss the wolf, maybe you could add a wolf image in the “Subscribe to” area? You are doing a great job, MD, we appreciate your hard work.

  53. M.D.

    Your poll should have included a 3rd choice – I LOVE it!

  54. IF you move the wolf circle from the left side bottom to just under join the wolf pack I think it would look better and convey the message of what we do. It would look neater. Just an opinion.

    God bless, Linda Lou

  55. Shades of Green says:

    MD ,
    I like it alot. Very clean and neat. No one says you have to be a messy prepper.If you want them to tweak it a bit for all those who feel it is to clean, have the designer make the brown board a little more rustic , take the blue thing away and add a portion of a chicken ( live of course ) and maybe toss of sprinkle of dirt somewhere on it. Maybe this will appease them. I like it though. Wonerful job.

  56. Shades of Green says:

    MD ,
    I meant to ask you also. Whenever I post it always says my post is waiting for moderation. Does this happen with all comments? I thought I subscribed to your site . Please let me know.

  57. I don’t tend to fix things that are doing fine. New way looks nice the old way looked nice. If you have a wad of money burning a hole in your pocket and it makes you feel better MD then be proud and enjoy it. I prefer this blog stay smarter than prettier. Thanks for the good content my friend.

  58. JeffintheWest says:

    If your objective is to get people to pause for a few seconds and maybe actually click on some content, this header is more likely to do it than the last one. Plus it provides a much better graphic set in terms of the kinds of things Preppers do (seeds, compass, rope, knife, fishing lure and even woodworking!) which provides a graphic “grab” for, say, someone who likes to fish. It also de-emphasizes guns (which are tied in too many people’s minds with a lunatic fringe of uber-survivalists thanks to shows like “Doomsday Preppers” and the liberal media assault on the Second Amendment) which will thus make it less likely that the “low-information” types who only know what they’ve heard on CNN and MSNBC will exit before at least glancing at an article or two. (For the record, I do NOT believe guns or the people who use them are inherently evil, in fact, quite the reverse.)

    Finally the overall impression is one of warmth as opposed to cold (the simple difference caused by choice of colors) and it looks like you might be about to go fishing with Grandpa instead of being about to confront a wolf with your bare hands. (Though I did like the wolf, dammit. But then, I’ve always liked wolves…and at least you still have the paw-print.)

    All in all, I’d have to say it’s a very positive change with a much “friendlier” vibe, keeping in mind what you said about reducing your bounce rate.

  59. I liked the wolf too but I understand the change and the new header looks really nice.

  60. the “blue thing” is a solar panel.. LOL!

  61. MountainSurvivor says:

    M.D.,
    You had better really give this some thought. The header, though it does not display that wonderful wolf, their work truly represents everything your blog has been trying to get across since you started it. Fishing…garden…tools…rope…knife…compass…etc…everything survival…and a very nice site title with paw print right beside it. I know a good header when the professionals create one and, man, I am telling you, that won’t run off too many people and how can any down-to-earth guy or gal not feel welcome and at home with something like that. If this were my blog, I’d surely settle with it and know that I have a respectable modern everyone-friendly site.

    • MountainSurvivor,

      Thank you – those were my thoughts also when I first saw the header… And it still screams Wolf Pack with the paw print so we get the best of both worlds… The wolf header that I used for so long was a stock image off of a free header site that anyone could use and I have seen several other blogs (not survival related) using the same header.

      • If you’re wanting a wolf that is not stock… I have hundreds of wolf images that I took on a wolf photography trip. With me being a semi-professional photographer (cant make a living at it just yet, but working on it)… they are high end images. I’d donate one to the cause ;)

  62. I must say as a longtime lurker I never even noticed the change until I read the “what do you think” poll. Obviously I am here for the content not the asthetics, but yes I like it. Since I am “out of the closet” thanks to MD and so many of you for your help in my journey to provide/ protect my family.

  63. Ak cowboy says:

    It isn’t the header that makes this work. Word of mouth is the best advertisement. And last but not least is, content is why people share, recommend & and read daily.

    Keep up the good work
    We’ll keep sharing!
    Mike

  64. Lake Lili says:

    Still miss the wolf… otherwise great! Kudos to vonWalton.

  65. Soggy Prepper says:

    I love the new header, it looks terrific!
    I’m glad you kept the paw print to still reflect the wolf pack also.

  66. Encourager says:

    I had to laugh when folks said it looked like a chocolate bar. Married to a woodworker, I only saw the woodworking. I am ambivalent about the new header…just not sure. I realize all the outside edges are showing prepping areas, but it is a bit busy? It’s okay, but just okay, IMHO.

    Also, has the comment section gotten narrower? I see these dark grey areas on each side, then the ads, then the comment section. The comment section looks a bit squeezed. Maybe it is just me.

    • Encourager,

      It’s just you – LOL. The comment line are there to help make the comments and replies to those comments easier to follow…

      • Encourager says:

        Sigh, okay. Its just me…one of those days. Just glad all this rain and 55* is not 25* and all snow. It would be half way up the house by now. Crazy weather for MI.

        Hmmmm…actually the new header is growing on me…I’ve been sitting here staring at it for awhile.

        • Encourager says:

          p.s. I do like that big, burgandy button that send ya to the top! Wheeeeee~

          • HomeINsteader says:

            Stop playin’ with the buttons, Encourager. OH, wait…didn’t I just hit “Report Comment” when I wanted “Reply”?… : )

        • HomeINsteader says:

          I think we’ll be duckin’ tornadoes between tonight and tomorrow; feel better now?! ; )

          • Encourager says:

            No! Don’t need any of those tornadoes. In the next 24 hours we will go from a low of in the 50’s to in the teens. Seriously, this is gettin’ ridiculous.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Agreed!

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              Batten down the hatches Maties. We probably won’t see a tornado but tomorrow we are supposed to get high winds and gusts to 60mph after parts of MS and TN get twisted..Good luck and keep the faith. I will be praying for you all

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Thank you, TG-Ma; we both know the power of prayer!

  67. Nice work! The header is definitely a keeper. It reflects the purpose of this blog, and the layout for the blog is crisp and easy to navigate. I like it!

  68. It looks like the logo may have been “lightened up” a bit to make the wood grain show up more and the .net to be easier to see. Looking good brother! Looking good!!!!

  69. HomeINsteader says:

    I miss the chocolate bar. (Chuckle.)

  70. Tactical G-Ma says:

    MD,
    I like it but miss a wolf higher on the page. I especially like the tab to go to top of page.
    Keep going and you’ll be too high brow for the likes of us low lifes. Lol!
    Good job.

  71. livinglife says:

    simple, rugged, not glitzy. Perfect.

  72. I like it. Seems ever so slightly cluttered. The first thing that captured my attention, though, is it seems vaguely red, white and blue. I realize this blog is multi-national and everyone is welcome here to learn and share but the blog does originate in these United States. I appreciate the hint of patriotism.

  73. SurvivorDan says:

    Gone for a week and what happens! Thought I was on the wrong site. Not sure but I am no graphic designer either. I want whatever is good for you MD. Give er a try. Congrats on the new look.

  74. I have been reading and gleaning info from your wonderful site and great posters for months… I have learned so much, and have so much more to learn…I have decided to come out from the shadows and join y’all…I really liked the wolf, it is cunning, self-reliant, resilient, and a survivalist…I, however did not judge the site by the wolf, but by it’s excellent content… I was in no way offended by the wolf, and frankly have had enough of political correctness…If the new logo helps you, then yippee…I did like bctruckers comment about a cabin, garden, and chickens…I guess you have to keep it simple though… You have gained new people… so the bounce rate has improved.

  75. As a long time reader, I’m with those who don’t pay much attention to the header. In fact, I hadn’t noticed the changes since my eyes focus immediately on the articles. I do remember that the wolf was initially a draw for me, didn’t put me off – but I’m odd that way.
    I’m for whatever brings MD readership and keeps the site up. Encouraging folks to participate who bring knowledge and ‘out of the box’ thinking is advantageous to mission / goal of being self-sufficient.
    I do find it very community minded that MD cares what his pack thinks. It’s what brings me back here.

    Thanks, MD, for all you do – many blessings to you & yours.

  76. Mary in mn says:

    I like it. Very nice looking.
    Warm and inviting.
    I don’t see how anyone could be put off by it.
    Nice job.

  77. MD,
    I like the new one a little better,it looks more outdoorsy,less agressive,more mainstream and all-encompasing. I do love the patch with the wolf and barb wire,definitely keep that around.

  78. Pilgrimsteader says:

    I think the ‘chocolate bar’ header is impressive. It’s clean and clear, and brings in a variety of items that are part of our lifestyle.

    I am glad to see that your willing to experiment on the layout. The feedback from taking the risk will point you in right direction.

    Things I would like to see:
    -Increase the width in the body area. It will make the content a priority by emphasizing its space.
    -Increase the overall page width.
    -Change the sponsors banners to something like 250×125 (or even 100). More banners per page, and make use of added space, while cleaning up their appearance.
    -Move the ‘Popular Posts’ up top for newcomers.
    -Do away with ‘Recent Posts’ as the teaser layout shows this anyway.

    Ultimately what you do is your decision. I totally love the common sense approach, and I think that it should be emphasized. I think the changes you are making will grow the blog to the level it should be at.