Giving the blog a facelift

It’s been on my mind a long time. I finally redesigned this beast.

You know the feeling. Every time you look at your blog you think, ‘christ this is the arse end of the world’. The design puts you off, the categories don’t do it any more, it all just feels a bit stale. The inevitable result of that is that you don’t write for it much any more. It’s not exciting. It’s all a bit too hard. I got to this point, and it wasn’t til my mate Alan Baxter heard me talking about it on twitter that he threw me a line and I had my motivation rescued.

I looked around for new themes, saw some that seemed ok – but which actually failed for me – so i stuck with the one I had. I changed the layout and the widgets, added a background to it, which I scored for free, changed the colour theme, and voila!

So then I had a problem. Needed a new title. Needed a new tagline. Needed to make my categories more ‘menu-y’. Needed a new banner logo.

I think I spent nearly two days recategorising blog posts that I had pretty well shoved into a ‘miscellaneous’ category. Then I got rid of duplicates in the categories list, and renamed them so that they functioned more the way I wanted. (Life & Lollypops is all about life and myself, and I’m a sucker for alliteration.)

Alan came to my rescue again with the title. And after I wrote my brand-spanking-new About page – like, WOW! – the tagline wasn’t too difficult to pull together.

In a thematic sense, I feel that my blog looks and functions a lot more cohesively. Because cohesion was what I really needed. I started this blog as a writing portfolio, and the branches it now has, and twists and turns, couldn’t – in my mind – be effectively consolidated. In the back of my mind was an enormous shouting man, berating me with “Blogs need to have a singular focus, or you’ll never get any readers!”

I got sick of him shouting this at me, flipped him the bird, yelled back, “yeah well, this is my decision, dickhead!”, and did what I could to bring this site some cohesion. And I think it worked. At the very least, I love it now. I didn’t even have three seconds of the usual creeping doubt after the redesign.

The final thing was the custom logo. It’s still not quite finished, but how awesome is it! The very beautiful Becky at Against The Grain Studio offered to do me up a custom logo, and once I went FUCK YEAH she had it in my inbox within, like, two hours. She’s fantastically talented, and any chance I have to give these guys a plug… I do! Can I mention them again? Against the Grain Studio. Just in case you forgot. 😉

Edit (later this morning): the logo’s pretty well done now!

What do you guys think? The site works a lot better now, yeah?

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