Welcome to My New Online Home!

This is Dan Wilkinson, of Wilkinson Web Design. As you can see, he lives in the woods. It’s so sad. He’s such a talented web designer. I don’t know what happened to his life. But now he has to build all of his websites from his mobile phone. Doesn’t he do awesome work, though? Look at my brand-new website right here! Amazing, right? It took Dan two-and-a-half years to build it by tapping on his cell phone in the woods. But it was totally worth it, don’t you think?

I’d pay him for  building this site, but I know he’d only spend the money on weenies, toilet paper, and a razor for his head. So I dunno. We’ll see.

Ha, ha, ha. I’m sure Dan is laughing at this right now. Except that he has no sense of humor. So probably not. But I’m sure that somewhere, out in a meadow or underneath a tree, he’s right now staring at his phone, wondering if I’m being funny.

Okay, so seriously. About Our Man Dan. A while back I posted on my blog the founding tenets of ThruWay Christians. I got a crazy response to it; people loved it. So much so that, to be honest, I felt sort of morally obliged to create some kind of online place where the people who felt so enthusiastically about the document could hang out.

Out of nowhere Dan pretty immediately popped out of Facebook and volunteered to do it. Within, like, fifteen minutes, we had ThruwayChristians.com and the ThruWay Christian forum. (As you’ll see if you go there, I have about no idea what to actually do with TWC.com. But that’s another story.)

And Dan didn’t just build those sites. He took full responsibility for them. He dealt with the host, he told me what I was supposed to do, he coordinated with another awesome volunteer, Lisa Salazar, who stepped forward to design the fantastic TWC logo. And through it all Dan was just as pleasant as a warm afternoon breeze across one of the fields in which he wakes up every morning.

It was seriously impressive. It was Dan’s attitude that so bowled me over. Calm, kind, smart … sane. The guy was just … a miracle of even-keeledness.

And now he’s built me this site. Not for free or anything. Just because he’s homeless doesn’t mean he’s clueless.

The astounding thing about Dan is that he never, ever complains, or in any way seems even vaguely grumpy or snarky. You would not believe what he did to build this site. He migrated my site over from BlueHost, where it had been, to HostCo, where it is now. (HostCo rocks so hard I can’t even tell you. If you’re looking for the home for your site, benefit from the research that brought Dan to conclude HostCo was the way to go. He was right. It is. Those guys are amazing.) Dan set everything up; he hand-walked my site to its new server; he tested everything—and through it all he never for a moment failed to be anything but gracious, funny, helpful, patient, and mind-bogglingly knowledgeable.

A month or so later, I sort of all in a moment saw what I wanted for this website. So I sketched it out, sent that plan to Dan the man, and asked him if he thought it was anything he could build.

And just look what he did with it. The truly amazing thing about Dan is that he has infinite technical chops and extremely finely tuned aesthetic sensibilities. That such a rare combo. He’s an artist. And, again, through it all—through all my questions, all my phone calls, all my trying to help with the site and basically screwing up everything he’d built or was planning to—Dan remained unflaggingly easy going.

Plus, he enabled me to make awesome pull-quotes that in no way interfere with the flow of the text!

Could this site be more beautiful—not to mention functionally unique? See those six “Posts by Theme” boxes on the front page? Those aren’t just modular plug-ins. Dan built those. Just looking at them makes me want to hug Dan if he’d recently showered.

Obviously, you’re invited to poke around here all you want. Let me know if you find anything hinky; I’m sure we’ve still got some kinks to work out in this brand spanking new site. (Once we’re all stabilized here, we’re going to install on this blog the fully buffed-out Disqus comment management system. One of my primary motivations for getting this new site built was to give my phenomenal community of commenters a venue worthy of their work. I can’t wait till we get Disqus running here.)

Thank you for this, Dan Wilkinson. When I grow up, I want to have the quality of character anywhere near that which you possess.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://www.WhiteChocolateBunnies.com Fae Bunny

    That’s wonderful. Thanks for all you do Dan!

    God bless…

  • Laura

    Ok! I’m impressed or scared, brand NEW site, yet my name and email was already in; just waiting for this post. Cool

  • Kara

    Dunno how easy it might be to change, but as someone using a teeny-tiny netbook, I now have to scroll over to the right to see everything on the page, which is something of an annoyance. So Dan, if there were a way to make it scale, that would be awesome.

    (But it’s absolutely gorgeous, especially the color scheme, which displays better on my computer than the old green did.)

    • http://wilkinsonweb.com Dan Wilkinson

      Yeah, we went with a pretty wide design. But the future may hold some customization for those folks with tiny screens. Or John will buy you a bigger computer.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        See? No sense of humor.

      • DR

        I would like a 21″ iMac. Thanks John!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Another person with no sense of humor. What IS it with the kind of people I attract here?

  • http://www.sisterfriends-together.org Anita

    The real miracle of what Dan has done is that with this awesome looking blog he almost makes you look legit! :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I know!

      Wait.

      • Elizabeth

        I’ve been on Facebook too long. I just want to “like” this.

        • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

          me too!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            That’s why we’re getting Disqus! Then you WILL be able to like comments!

  • Laura

    This is so cool!

  • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

    I love you, John! I’d love to hang with you at a party!

    Great site.

    You make me smile (and I need as much of that as I can get!)

    Hell, yeah, I’ll read your stuff! (do I need to have a certain belief about hell, in order to use that word . . . ? Hell, no.)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I AM fun to hang out with a party. Or would be, I’m sure, if anyone would ever actually invite me to one.

  • Elizabeth

    Congratulations, John and Dan. Great work and a well-deserved home.

  • DR

    This is beautiful! And what a seamless migration, nice job Dan.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Right? The guy’s a genius. Thanks, DR.

  • John D

    Well, congrats on the new site, though I wouldn’t have even noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it. Your words are what bring people here, not some fancy graphics design. Your blog would be worth reading in plain text all caps!

    j

    • Diana A.

      Yes, indeed!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Thanks, you guys, very much.

  • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

    Dan, I just want you to know that I think your domicile looks quite lovely. Don’t let John dis your choice of al naturale . . . (though, technically you’d need to be naked in order to be completely al naturale . . . . you can fix that for your next photo!)

    • http://wilkinsonweb.com Dan Wilkinson

      You’re scaring me now! :)

      • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

        :-)

        Not to worry. I’m harmless. Feel free to dress however you wish!

        We all know you’re probably not wearing much while you’re sitting at your computer (I mean, who does?)

        Okay, sorry. No worries. Really. I’m presently clothed. Just feeling a little hysterical right now. (Nothing to do with you!)

        Good job on the site, by the way.

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    Very nice. Makes me wish I’d taken more Web Design (rather than Design for Print). Now I work at a barn. I’ve done some raw html site-design. Don’t tell me people code raw on a phone!

    That old timey Da Vinci-ish font… I think I might have that somewhere.

  • Eva

    Got to say, love the promise of a forum……

    I need a new time suck in my life.

  • http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com Charlotte Rains Dixon

    Really like the design, it is clean and easy to read and navigate–unlike so many websites I see. Good work!

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com Ric

    Nice, Dan. And John.

    It’s also cool to see another IT guy who enjoys getting out into the woods.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paulardoin Paul Ardoin

    I love the new design. Dan, you did a great job. 

  • Sylvie Galloway

    I really like the new design, and I think so too will all your readers. It will allow us to navigate content more easily plus I bet there are a lot of nice features we will be discovering along the way. Nicely done Dan, and congrats John on the upgrade.

  • AnnBear

    I really like the new site.  One of my favorite parts is the “by Theme” section at the bottom.  

  • Textjunkie

    Sadly, i usually read this through Google reader, and only pop over for comments…  But once I knew to come look,  whoo hoo, Dan!

  • Textjunkie

    oh, but hey, since I’m here–what happened to the arrows up top to move from one entry to the previous or later ones? That was SO USEFUL…  :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/João-Mattos/100000529160652 João Mattos

    Oi, oi, oi, what do I see here?!

    This is simply amazing – And that’s the only thing I can say, since everyone already said their share.

    Dan, John, congrats!

  • kim

    John,
    Great site. Need to put links to your current blogs. Minor point.
    Kim

  • kim

    John,
    Great site. Need to put links to your current blogs. Minor point.
    Kim


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