WordPress Monthly Maitenance

Are you waiting on permission? A Blog Redesign story.

blog design

blog designI have been waiting for permission for far too long. What I recently realized is that I do not need it in order to follow my dreams. Yes, it just so happens that most of my dreams revolve around the world wide web. Yes, I love sitting on my bum and that may have something to do with my chosen career path. Sometimes I feel bad that my passion in life is not running or working out but that is the opposite of sitting on my bum, as I have found out. Now to be fair to me, I have spent a great deal of time researching workout routines from my chair. Frankly, they all look like too much work, but I digress.

Back to point here because I do have one, it is time for me to merge. No, I am not merging with some other company or something cool like that. It is time for me to merge all of my blog platforms. I have had too many addresses for too long and I have been spread all around the web. I was afraid to commit to just one theme or just one topic. Standing at the front of a classroom teaching blogging recently, it came to me that I tell people all of the time that you can blog about whatever you want. Today, I give myself permission to do just that. I am going to blog about whatever I want. Do you wanna join me on this journey?

My blog deserves a new dress

When I started this website, it was just that, a website. This website was built to represent me as a speaker and it has served that purpose well. However, it also has become my launching pad for my podcast and for my blogging journey and goals. Considering the fact that I am working towards making it my full time home, it deserves a bit of prettying up. This is an exciting time for my blog, so feel free to cheer for her, send her cupcakes and flowers.

What is the blog redesign process?

Redesigning a blog is generally not as simple as just uploading a new theme and flipping a switch. There are quite a few things to consider and I am currently in the process of creating a checklist now. If you are considering a blog redesign there are a few things that you want to consider right off the bat.

1 Should you change your hosting.

Considering the fact that you are making a change, this is a good time to make any major changes such as this one. All of my business websites and other blogs are hosted on JustHost but I did recently move this blog to Media Temple. I am a big fan of JustHost but I wanted to try out a hosting company that specializes in WordPress. One of the things that I am loving about Media Temple is their staging area. I will be using this for the redesign of my blog.

What is a staging area?

Creating a staging site is a great way to create, test and preview the look and functionality of a site before making it viewable to the public. This is a valuable component because it allows me the freedom to get my blog design as close to perfect as possible before going live with it. I can take my time on the redesign and then just flip a switch when I am ready.

2 Will the design last?

Right now some of the important parts of a blog design are making sure that it is mobile responsive and that it has HTML 5. Most of the current WordPress Themes fit this bill but it is important to consider whether or not you can expect updates from the theme designer. Considering the fact that most of my design is done using Thesis Theme and a skin on top of that, it is important for me to know that the skin designer is going to be around for a while. This is why it is important to do a bit of search on your theme developer and make sure they have some longevity.

Note: There is a difference between a Theme / Skin developer than your website company. For example, I build blogs and websites for people but I am not creating the themes and/or skins that are used. I find the best foundations for a client and then customize it from there. Most web developers follow this path instead of recreating the wheel. If you are hiring a web company to build you a blog, you should ask them what Theme and what skin or child theme they will be using. Some developers do still build from the ground up but it is not as common these days.

3 Why am I doing this again?

If you are like me, you love the latest blog designs and that is how you got to this point. There is a big difference between wanting a new blog design and needing a new blog design. Here is a short list of why I am doing this in no particular order:I am merging all of my blogs under one roof.

  1. This site was built as a speaking site but is becoming my main blog.
  2. My skin developer has not updated his work to the latest specifications.
  3. A magazine design fits my new focus best.

These are just three things to consider when you are making the decision to redesign or not to redesign. In the end, the main issue for me is that I was waiting for some magical genie to come down and tell me that it is ok to merge. I have been nervous about talking about all of the topics that I want to talk about. This all comes down to insecurities and fears of not being good enough or interesting enough. In the beginning, I need to please myself first. If I love my topics and my posts and my goals then other people may follow. It is time for us to stop worrying about competing and start loving our blog.

What are you waiting on permission for these days? What do you wish that you had the courage to do online? Why aren’t you just doing it?

 

About the Author

Renee is wild for WordPress and on fire to empower small business owners with the inspiration, tools and strategies for a healthy blog. SMU CAPE instructor, developer, podcaster. Follow @Iteachblogging on Twitter. Get her FREE SEO Guide Here: https://goo.gl/gGrHC2

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