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I hope you didn’t mind the interruption over the past week, but some big new changes were being implemented around the site!
I shared a bunch of sneak peeks about a week ago on Periscope (@uglyducklingDIY), but after months of working on various ideas tearing me in every direction, my new blog design is up and running (with a new logo too!).
You may have seen some hints that this was coming when I started using new fonts for images such as the poison ivy post earlier this month. As you can probably see now, they were done in anticipation of matching the new header and fonts.
In a word, I’m thrilled to finally have this in place. It’s a BIG change compared to the old design, but I like the departure and injection of the new while still keeping some elements I wanted to hold on to (like the duck logo getting some nice wood grain at the top). And even though a hint of messy and disheveled has always been a part of this site (because—well—I’m the author of it, and that is simply a part of who I am… a hot baked crunchy mess), I felt it was time to go a little cleaner now that the house is less of the 1980s pit that it used to be. Updated house, updated design—makes sense, right?
As my own blog designer, it can be a little tough to settle on a concept and commit to it, which is why my personal blog designs take a lot longer than they usually do for my clients (you wouldn’t necessarily think that would be the case when it’s two voices vs. just my own, but going in a single direction and providing guidance is a lot easier than being 100% judge and jury for a new design… especially a logo!). My biggest issue is usually committing to the design long-term since I know how easy it is to change the code on the back end; the urge to make another tweak is often too tempting to ignore. But now I’ve finally settled on something that doesn’t frustrate me every day, so I think this one’s a keeper.
I won’t bore you with too many details of how I go about building these things, but the House Tour and Project Gallery were concentrated on for getting some new features structure-wise (I try to focus on ease of use as a visitor and what I like to see when I visit other blogs as a reader). There’s also whole new concept for the home page to make things a little cleaner and more compatible for mobile visitors (Tip: if you have a blog, it’s a good idea to take a look at the popular screen sizes of those who visit your site and compare to other data points in your analytics for where problem areas might be). Now that I have these things more of the way I’d like them, perhaps they’ll be easier for me to keep these other pages updated.
Another new feature I decided to bring back from older blog days is a list of things I love down at the bottom of the site. Too often I get bogged down in what’s yet to be done around the house, so I never really take the time to point out trends and items that I’ve been window shopping lately. Even though what you’ll see in this section is largely affiliate-based (which just means that if you clicked on it and purchased something, I’d get a few cents for referring you to the item), these are all items I would really like to spend the million dollars I don’t have on decor items each week. I also stuck it at the bottom for the same reason… it’s just there if you wanted to browse and check it out without leaving the site (most of you don’t hang out at a site’s footer anyway, so this was my way of making it more visually interesting). No joke, at least one of the things you see in the snippet below is in my home as we speak (I want all copper kitchen things!). So I’m basically saying this is addictive and I’m apparently a bad influence on my own self.
If you see something going a little wonky in the next couple of days, try to ignore it for the next week or so… there’s a good chance I’ve already caught it and am just waiting on my brain to work out the fix for it (unless you can’t actually access the site or something… definitely let me know about that!). There is still some testing on mobile devices that need to be completed now that things are live too, so there are probably going to be a few adjustments coming for that as well. Not unlike the usual way DIY shenanigans work, if you think about it.
I hope you guys like the new changes. Of course, I know that some folks will simply not like it because there are those that hate change in all its forms, and that’s ok. But to me, it’s kind of like staring at old wallpaper. Sometimes you just have to switch things up and get it the hell out of there because you’re sick of looking at it all the time. I’ll be back to the usual DIY mess tomorrow. Happy Monday!