WOO HOO!!! I am jumping up and down with excitement!!! Something I started in the fall is finally done.
Over the weekend, my blog re-design was launched.
I have never concentrated on my computer screen and the back end of my blog as much as I had to do the past two weeks. I’ve been trying to get everything right for the design from colors, fonts, text sizes, photo resizing, new graphics, and cleaning up old stuff that is no longer needed.
I didn’t have a spare moment to do anything else, hence the reason you didn’t see any posts from me in awhile.
I didn’t do the tech stuff required for the redesign – that is way over my skill set. My developer, the WP Barista, did all the technical coding and the layout has been optimized for mobile devices.
This year marks my 10th year of blogging and the second redesign of my blog. If any of you have been with me from the beginning you may remember when my blog looked like a spiral notebook. I loved this design, but the spiral took up too much space on the page for the content and photos to fit. I made the decision to remove it back in 2014.
The reason for the redesign this time is that tech and the online world has changed a lot. The biggest change is the shift in how readers use the internet now. Desktops and laptops used to be the norm, but with the rise of mobile devices, Google has changed how they scan over sites for their search engine.
Google, Bing and other search engines now rate a site by the mobile performance first. It is more important to make sure that a site is fast and easy to read on a mobile device. My blog design had some catching up to do.
I still have minor adjustments to make – like color, size of the social sharing buttons on the iPad view, fonts, and adding a SEARCH BAR on the top of the screen on mobile. There are also a few navigation tweaks but by the end of the week they should all be fixed.
If you see anything wonky, please let me know.
Let me give you a tour of the new design.
The new HOME page is grand central station. You can get anywhere on my site from the HOME page.
The design is optimized for mobile devices. Everything a reader needs to navigate the site is easy to get to in a few different ways. The row of 3 photos along the top will change from time to time. They are not clickable and are only intended to preview the site content.
One of the features I wanted to keep was the option to read the blog in the standard blog style or “blog view” where the most recent post is at the top of the page, followed by other posts in order of date posted.
If you click “VIEW MORE RECENT POSTS” it will take you to the standard blog view, bypassing the home page.
How to Move Around the Site Using the Navigation Bar
The navigation bar along the top is standard with drop downs to show more categories. A few of the categories along the navigation bar have a little “down” symbol. When you click one of these categories, it will open up to show more categories to click on.
To get back to the HOME page from any post or page, click on the In My Own Style logo or the word HOME. Both are in the upper left hand corner on every post and page.
On the Home Page:
You can also use the Browse Categories section on the HOME page to find what you are looking for. Click on any of the images to be taken to the posts in the category marked.
New SHOP Section:
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is…. “Where did you get______?”
My SHOP used to be buried deep in the blog. Having a few preview links to items on the home page make it easy to find the SHOP pages now. I am working on developing the SHOP pages by room to make it even easier for readers to find items you see in my posts.
How the New Blog Design Looks On Mobile Devices
The site will look slightly different on mobile devices where the content is all in one column. The navigation bars are hidden to save room on the smaller screens.
To find the navigation bars, simply click on one of the two areas where you see 3 horizontal bars.
When you open up the site from your phone you will land on the HOME page. You can click on the MENU to navigate to the category you want or to go to the “blog view”, click the VIEW MORE RECENT POSTS >> and you will be taken to the view of my blog that you are used to seeing where the most recent post is first, followed by the others in order of date posted.
Just like on the desktop/laptop version, the top navigation bar will get you to basic pages on my blog.
The navigation bar that says MENU is where you will find the main way to navigate around my site when on your phone. There is also a SEARCH BAR here when you click on this MENU navigation bar.
To navigate to other categories – you can scroll down the home page to the photos with the name of each category on them, or go to one of two navigation bars.
This screenshot shows what will open when you click the 3 horizontal lines under my logo that says MENU. Once this menu opens up you click on where you want to go.
The MENU navigation bar dropdown look like this.
At the bottom of the page, there are a few other ways to get around the site. You can use the SEARCH BAR, ARCHIVES, the CATEGORY drop down boxes. When you click over Select Month or Select Category a new window will open up that you scroll through to find what you want. Once you choose, hit done and off you go to the category in which you are interested.
After years of planning to write more about decorating in the way of ebooks, I finally created one. I plan to write more and will offer them to email subscribers. If you are already a subscriber then you saw that I put the link to the ebook in my last email to you.
The ebook can be found in the new, Subscriber’s Free Resource Library. To have access to it you will need a password. This allows me to have a special place just for subscribers. I plan to add more to the library over time with all types of goodies that I think you may enjoy.
And lastly, you may have noticed pink hydrangeas in a few different spots on the new site design. These are where you can Subscribe to get my latest posts and updates in your inbox. I love hydrangeas and instead of making a plain graphic to subscribe, I wanted to create something pretty. ;-)
So that’s a brief look at the new design. I know everything may not be working perfectly yet. Please let me know if you see anything that doesn’t seem quite right or doesn’t work when clicked on.
I felt off the past two weeks working so hard on the back end of the blog and not posting any new projects. I am very happy to get back into posting on a regular schedule this week. :-)
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