If you didn’t visit Nose Graze yesterday, then you may want to head on over because things are looking a little different!
I launched a new design… before I was ready.
I’m very excited about my new design. You may know that I really struggled with whether or not I should go through with it but now it’s here and I’m so glad I did!
So why am I nervous? Because I launched before I was ready.
Yes I did a lot of testing, but I never had that feeling of, “Yes! It’s ready to go.” Instead I just closed my eyes and went for it. And that’s a bit frightening!
Let’s talk about my new design because it’s a pretty massive departure!
Things are certainly looking different to how they did before. Here’s a refresher of how it looked before:
With the new design, I:
- Went full screen (with more than just the header/footer).
- Dropped the sidebar.
- Upped the font size (18px is the new 14px).
- Tried to find focus and clarity (I’ve decided that “WordPress” is the topic that best describes what Nose Graze is all about).
A strong focus on content above all else.
My blog is everything to me. I wanted that to be super front and centre. So with the new design, the emphasis is very clearly on the content.
Let’s talk about why I ditched the sidebar.
Sidebar or no sidebar? This can be a bit of a controversial subject.
If you’ve been around Nose Graze a while, you probably know that I’ve almost always been a sidebar minimalist (find out how you can be one too).
Well, with the new design, I knew I wanted to experiment with no sidebar. I love how clean the single column layout is. So before I made the leap, I evaluated my sidebar. I looked at the items I had in there and thought, “Which of these do I really need?” I came away with:
- About me (good, but not 100% needed)
- Social media
- Search bar
- Opt-in form
Once I had that list, I asked myself where I could put them if not in the sidebar. And believe it or not, it was super easy to find new homes for each of those items.
But you know what the hardest part for me was? Finding the perfect balance between the font size and column width. You have no idea how many times I messed with those values until I felt they were perfect!
I’m working on building my mailing list.
I’ve never not been building my mailing list. I’ve always offered subscriptions options on my blog. But I knew I wanted this to be front and centre on the new design.
But I’ve also made some massive technical changes to how my opt-ins work, which is another reason why I didn’t feel like I was ready to launch this design. So if you experience any technical difficulties when signing up, please let me know!
There’s more I want to say on the mailing list front, but I might save that for another blog post…
Big, clear typography.
Typography is always something I struggle with. It always has been and I’m sure it will continue to be in the future. I might be a big fan of fonts, but I have a really hard time picking good fonts for paragraphs and headings.
With the new design, I knew I wanted big, clear, and bold. It took me a while to realize this, but I also wanted to ditch the uppercase text I’d been using a lot before. This was a change I made later on in the design phase, but I finally realized that it looked too much like I was yelling at people, and I didn’t want that. I wanted big, clear messages without feeling like I was yelling them.
There’s a new Comment Love under the hood.
This is one of those features that feels untested. It works, but something about it makes me antsy… so we’ll see how it goes!
I coded my own version of CommentLuv.
I went through this phase where I was dead set on condensing everything I could. I wanted to use fewer plugins and put everything under one neatly coded umbrella (my own Nose Graze plugin that powers my whole site). One of the plugins I ended up re-coding was CommentLuv.
Now, if you leave a comment, you won’t see the typical CommentLuv form, you’ll see something like this (provided it works):
You can choose one of your blog posts to display along with your comment.
A new, free WordPress e-course!
Okay this is a pretty awesome one. I knew I wanted to add more free, all-in-one features on my blog. I have a lot of blog posts that provide valuable information, but one topic is often scattered across multiple posts. I wanted to bring one topic all together and deliver it in one product. That’s where my upcoming free e-course comes into play.
Make WordPress Your Bitch
Make WordPress Your Bitch is a free e-course I’m developing. It’s for beginner to intermediate WordPress users.
I’m still planning out the exact list of topics, but we’ll be covering things like:
- How WordPress works (this foundation knowledge is important!).
- Ensuring you have a Plan B (backups, people!).
- How to know if your site will break… before it happens! And take steps to prevent it.
- Create an expert, automated workflow for better, faster blogging.
- Create your own shortcodes to help save you time (and annoying, constant copying and pasting).
If this sounds like something that would interest you, sign up to be notified when it launches. The course will be 100% free so there’s no need to whip out your credit card. 😉
The new design is coming to the shop soon.
You might notice that the Nose Graze shop is still sporting the old design. I actually do have the new design coded up for the shop, but launching it on the blog was stressful enough for one day, so I’m taking a break before I transition it over to the shop as well.