For the past several months I’ve been quietly working on a new site design that I’m very excited to be launching today. It has been a labor of love, full of all kinds of decisions. I wanted to share a little about the process I went through and take a moment to thank the fabulous folks who helped me along the way.
In the summer of 2011, I had the crazy idea to start a food blog. The idea didn’t come to me on my own. It was at the regular insistence of my oldest son – “Mom, you need to have a blog” – that I finally began to embrace the idea. I jumped into it, head first, with zero knowledge or really any clue as to what I was getting myself into. I had never touched WordPress and the terminology being thrown around by others in the blogging community was mind boggling.
The first task at hand was to locate a designer to help me get this thing going. When I first contacted Jennette Fulda of MakeWorthy Media, I was a mom of four mostly grown boys who thought it’d be cool to start a blog, and instead of laughing and running the other direction, she wanted to help me! I knew from the get-go she was my gal. She was a calming and nurturing force in the midst of a very complicated and confusing new world.
And, you know what? It is cool to have a blog. Very, very cool.
Together we came up with the design for the site and on August 14, 2011, she set me free upon the world. Over the course of the past three years I had her do some tweaking, but the basic look, feel, and layout of the site remained the same. It was a comfy, cozy first home and it will always hold a special place in my heart but the times they are a changin’ and I’m a changin’ right along with them. Precisely three years and one month from the date of my original blog launch, I am launching my brand new site design.
The process of building a new site is daunting to say the least. I had a clear idea of what I wanted as far as functionality was concerned but I really had no clue what I wanted when it came to the design aspect. I knew I wanted it fresher, lighter, brighter, and pretty. Although I’ve got a much stronger knowledge base then I did when I first started out, I could not have done this without help.
Enter Boy #2 and his girlfriend, aka Jake and Mina. I knew it would come in handy to have these highly talented Animation/Illustration students at my disposal one of these days. They worked with me on the logo, colors, and all those little nit-picky things that end up taking so much time. Jake, who had absolutely no prior experience with WordPress, blew me away by downloading my new theme and the Genesis framework and getting to work on customizing the theme to my liking. Meanwhile, I found out just how much patience Mina has while we worked together on my logo. Do you have any idea how many fonts there are out there? So…many…fonts. Working with them allowed me to get many of the decisions out of the way with my family as a sounding board before turning it over to my designer.
We took it as far as we could and then it was Jennette to the rescue.The woman really should have a cape. Flashback to the morning of Christmas Eve 2012 when my site went down due to some serious and frightening issues with my WordPress database. I sent a
slightly very desperate email her way thinking there is no way I’d hear back from her until after the holiday. In true super hero fashion, she responded to me from the airport on her way out of town for the holiday and together with my web host, we had my problem handled by the time she boarded her plane. For the past month she’s worked with me on some of the more intense customizations for the new site and then guided me, holding my hand all the way, through the process of today’s launch. If you are looking for a designer who will also help educate and guide you through the crazy world of blogging, I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Let’s take a look at a few of the features of the new site that I’m most excited about.
A sharp new Home page that provides a quick glimpse into my most recent posts and highlights posts from different categories that might peek your interest.
A powerful new recipe index that allows you to search by category, date, or any search term you’d like to enter. It also includes a nice visual index by category.
The image above is a screenshot of how the site appears on a mobile phone. The site is now mobile responsive which means if you view it on a tablet or smartphone, it will be a whole lot easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for. This is good news for those of you who view recipes while cooking in the kitchen or shopping at the grocery store.
Please take some time to wander around the new place,and let me know what you think. I’m feeling very at home here already and I hope you feel the same!