So it’s been a really, really, really long time since I did a round up of the site updates I do behind the scenes but I finally have a minute to sit down and breath so I wanted to put one together!

Design:

  • Changed theme and recoded the entire thing.
  • Remade responsive design to work on tablet and mobile devices.
  • Removed left side bar
  • Made top navigation sticky.
  • Removed a bunch of right sidebar widgets
  • Removed social media buttons. Will be looking to reintegrate them once I find a design which isn’t a drain on resources.

Pages:

  • Deleted a whole heap of pages which weren’t needed anymore.
  • Updated About, FAQ, The VLB, Categories, Shop, Hire, Contact, Editorial Policies.
  • Tutorial page totally reworked.
    The layout of the tutorial pages had been a problem for quite some time. There is still a lot of work in sorting which needs to be done but this is a decent start. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or if there’s a particular way you want to be able to organise things?

Navigation:

  • Menu structure updated
  • Category pages actually work now, yay!
  • Archive pages work
  • Fixed the page numbers for easy browsing

Subscription:

  • Added better support for bloglovin.
  • Changed the email subscriptions from Feedburner to Mail Chimp
    This was another decision that took some thought, Feedburner has been rumoured to be ending soon and I didn’t want to wait until the last minute to switch. I really prefer the look of the Mail Chimp emails too. To import the current subscriptions I had to remove everyone who hadn’t completely the double opt in. If you have stopped receiving emails please just sign up again in the sidebar!

Comments:

  • Installed Disqus.
    There was a lot of debate over whether I should do this on Facebook/via email. People have very strong feelings about Disqus and so I didn’t really want to install it. The problem I had was server load, there are over 20,000 comments on my site and calling them from the WordPress database is VERY labour intensive from the point of view of the server and I can’t afford to bump up my plan which is already quite pricey. So the choice was getting to be Disqus vs no comments rather than Disqus vs regular comments. Hopefully this will work for the moment until we can find a better solution later.

Advertisements:

  • Removed Glam ads because they were a nuisance for people and their ad system kept applying features that I had specifically asked to not be a part of.
  • Added PassionFruit ad serving system so I can manage things myself. Still finalising the sizing.
  • Signed as a blogger to The Remarkables Group for sponsored content.
  • Added BlogHer advertising system for a trial period. Please let me know your experiences and thoughts on this in the comments!

Still to do:

  • Confirm mobile sites work on all devices
  • Fix sidebars on mobile devices
  • Make series of posts
  • Make sure each post has the correct thumbnail, particularly in the tutorial section
  • Add extra navigation to find tutorials eg. crochet, sewing, knitting, etc
  • Add social media buttons back in.
  • Remove gallery links, still considering this as I’m not happy with the gallery in it’s current form.
  • Change theme and update Bergamot Bunny site
  • Change theme and update Violet’s Cuties/tumblr site
  • Consolidate all of the FAQ’s I’ve done and add resources page

As always, let me know what you think! If you ever find anything which isn’t working, please let me know about it! This site has grown so big that I can’t keep track of everything all at once so I rely a bit on people telling me if something is not working correctly!

I’m planning some changes to the way that I make videos and blog this coming year as well. It seems a nice sense of symmetry to just finish off the year and start fresh with the different things I want to do in the new year. I’ll post properly about that all in January then!

So basically… good things to come ^_^

Thank you all for sticking with me so far, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next!