You guys! Thank you all for your kind & supportive words this week about the new design (you really are too sweet)!! I’ve never done anything like this before – unless you consider the Angelfire page I had in 8th grade with a twinkling star background and crazy animated dividers everywhere. Thankfully, in my old age, I’ve opted to go with a cleaner – and less animated – look, which I think is something we can all appreciate.
Now it’s time to take a closer look at things. Last Summer, I did a re-design – and It was my first dabble into the scary world of CSS. Considering what the theme originally looked like (it was the K2-lite theme if you were wondering), I’d say it was a good starting point when it came to learning what was possible through CSS. Sadly, the design had some tragic flaws that I think I’ve been able to squash.
The first big issue was always with the fonts and text. I never had this problem on my screen but I would get comments or emails from people saying that my font was too small or that the text was overlapping. Let’s just say I was not a fan of that and it was sort of a nightmare because I could never figure out what was wrong since it was loading nicely on my laptop and work computer. I think the colors loaded okay but that sea foam green look I had going was completely inspired by Shelly (still love her color) but not really what I wanted to go with on the blog. It was fun for a while :)
Most importantly, I wasn’t able to do what I really wanted with my blog because it was still on wordpress.com (which I still love and think is a great place to start out). Hence, the big switch to wordpress.org – which I have mentioned roughly a million times, so I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it. With the encouragement of a few of you and a coworker to show me what the heck behind the scenes would look like, I decided to put on my big girl pants and go for it.
The process wasn’t as painful as I imagined it would be. I researched hosts, picked the one I liked the best (BlueHost if you’re curious), and signed up. I was given a temporary URL so I was able to start playing around with different looks (I must have uploaded at least 6 themes before choosing one I liked). Once I decided on a look and everything was in the correct place, I started the dirty work of exporting all of my posts from the wordpress.com site and uploading them onto the wordpress.org site. Since I already owned my domain, I had to figure out how to make my new site become the default (this step required a lot of Google searching and calling customer service – twice) but everything was quickly fixed.
In terms of looks, I started playing with layouts back in November on InDesign but it was long before that – back in August! – that I designed this new popcorn icon. As someone who studied art history, going with a cubist-styled icon felt like the right approach. That icon is what really helped steer me in the right direction. I cannot even begin to tell you how many theme layouts and color schemes I tried out but ultimately, I opted to go with something a little cleaner.
All my social buttons are now at the top of the page, versus the sidebar. They’re a lovely shade of green now, but otherwise the same. The only new one is the heart at the end, which is for bloglovin’. I noticed that a few readers were coming in through that site so I thought I’d make it easier for everyone who uses that site.
There are some new features on the side bar, like my instagram feed. That was very exciting for me because I’ve always thought that was a cool feature.
I also took the time to clean up the links. Some are new favorites, some are old favorites, but now that they’re in two columns I think it makes the blog look a little bit neater. I’m sure this list will only grow since I’m always finding new blogs to read.
On the side bar you’ll notice that I’ve also added an Amazon widget and a link to an Amazon Store - which was fun to create. The items on the site will be rotated monthly, but all of the items in the shop and on the widget are items that Joe and I own and love. These links will contain affiliates (you can read more information on that here). If things go well with this, I’ll probably start welcoming Sponsors… though that’s going to be a few months away at best.
I’m still working on cleaning up the pages in an effort to clean up he blog (spoiler: I’m working on a Wedding page that’ll have all the info & crafts in one place!) but so far, I’m loving the way this all looks.
Now, let’s get back to blogging :)