New Year, new changes and all of that stuff ^_^ As I mentioned a while ago I’ve been working on a lot of changes to make the site better.

So as promised there’s the run down on everything and the reasoning behind it!

The layout!

Obviously the biggest change is the new theme/layout! This time I’ve gone for a thinner, squarer design. The aim is to be cleaner and a little more professional while still keeping all of my tastes in mind ^_^ It has the recent tutorial slider which aims to make browsing easier for those who are just here for the crafty things. This theme should also make things easier on the eyes for those of you with smaller screens as it’s much thinner than the old layout and handles resizing better too.

Now a couple of you had problems with the tutorials slider stopping loading half way. I have tested this as much as I possibly can on as many computers as I possibly can and in my experience once you let the whole thing load properly once, it’s much quicker the next time and the issues go away. The first time you load the new site it will be slower but from that point on the caching stuff in the back end will kick in so each visit it gets better and better. That said, no one that reported problems got back to me in providing screen caps or more information on their browser, internet speed etc so there was only so much testing and fixing I could do without being able to replicate the problem. If you still can’t view the slider it might be because you don’t have javascript enabled. Of course anyone that has problems is welcome to let me know and I’ll do what I can to sort them :)The theme has been tested on Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome and should look like this when fully loaded:

Other cosmetic changes:

  • Load time… this is a huge thing for this blog because the tutorials have so many photos in them. I’ve worked a lot behind the scenes to make everything streamlined and under testing conditions (even with the tutorial slider) this should all load about 20% faster now. Hopefully those of you with slower internet will have an easier time now ^_^
  • About section updated.
  • Tutorials section updated finally.
  • Drop down menus added to the navigation bar to make it easier to find stuff.
  • Snapshots page fixed and updated with recent videos.
  • Added The Registry links.
  • Updated the FAQ section with many new questions, please do go have a look ^_^
  • Added different shop sections as a drop down menu.
  • A whole lot of back end stuff to make the site smoother and more efficient.
  • Redid the whole Reader’s Gallery and updated it. It now has it’s own page on the top menu. I lost a couple of the photos when I was transferring so if yours isn’t there just send me an email with it and I’ll put it back up.
  • Rearranged the widgets.
  • Added page numbers at the bottom of everything to make browsing easier.
  • Added an option to browse posts by month in the sidebar widgets so you can find old posts more easily.
  • Changed the comments to display in chronological order again.

Updates to the comments policy:

As this site gets more readers, spam becomes a bigger problem too and as spammers become smarter and look more like legitimate comments it gets more frustrating trying to deal with it. So from today onwards there will be a couple of updatesto the comment policy, here is a summary:

Can I say whatever I want in the comments?
No. I encourage intelligent discussion and differing opinions. I am happy to accept constructive criticism BUT as I am ultimately legally responsible for the content that appears on this website I will not stand for anything that breaks the law, is bigoted, is racist, or constitutes cyber bullying.

Can I add my blog link to a comment?

No.  There is a URL field in the comments for a reason, plus I use CommentLuv so you are already getting 2 links for each comment which I think is more than fair. My comments section is not the place for you to advertise your products or your blogs. Please respect my place on the internet as you would expect people to respect yours. If you leave a legitimate comment with a non-related link I will simply edit the comment to remove the link.

All approved comments will be answered in due time. Read the full policy here.

Following the blog…

When I held the One Day in Paradise competition I was surprised at how many people weren’t sure how to follow the blog to get updates, it can be a bit tricky to work out if you don’t already follow lots of blogs so I thought I would make it nice and easy and give you a list ^_^ If you want to get updates for the site here are your options:

  • Google Friend Connect. This is located in the right sidebar and looks like a square with a bunch of little faces on it. You need a Google account to use this. By following through GFC it will add my site to your Google Reader. Google Reader basically pulls posts from any blogs you choose to follow and puts them all in one place for convenience. That way you will know when I’ve updated and can either read the post there or click through to my blog. To follow this way you should click it and follow the prompts.
  • RSS Feed. This is located on the right sidebar and looks like a pink heart with lines in it. It’s a similar idea to GFC but it requires you to have your own feed reading program. I use a program called Vienna. To follow this way you need to click the heart and copy/paste the url into your feed reader.
  • Third party sites such a Bloglovin. Similar to the above they let you know when all the blogs you follow have updated. Here are my links: Main Blog, Violet’s Cuties Blog.
  • Email subscription. Again in the right sidebar you can enter your email address to be sent an automatic summary of the posts I’ve made once a week.
  • If you want to follow the Violet’s Cuties section of the blog you can follow with a Tumblr account too or GFC/RSS
  • Or just keep checking back! I post pretty much every day now so there’s always something new here ^_^

So that’s it for now hahaha I told you I’d been working hard! So hopefully these changes will help make it a little nicer here!

And if you made it this far then you deserve a photo ^_^ This is one of the ones James took when we were messing around after Celeste’s graduation. It was such a green pretty day, I took some of the daisies home and pressed them!

Thanks for sticking around and as usual if you have questions, concerns or suggestions just let me know!

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