link-love

  • Have you heard about Trim in Deckset? I just read about it on Blog from Sweden and it’s pretty great.
  • Wordoid is an awesome site that helps you come up with fabulous names for things.
  • Did you know you can download some great books on graphic design over on Jan. V White?
  • Kate wrote a post on her favorite apps which is always interesting to read.
  • I made a goal with myself this year to read 24 books and I am already half way done. Over on the Semi-Charmed Life she is also doing a book challenge (mine is on good reads).
  • I will take one of everything as long as Josh Goot makes it.
  • Do you have bloggers block? If so Pauline has you covered with a list of ways to think up new ideas.
  • I love this article from older couples on how to keep a spark in your marriage.

choosing-a-new-blog-design

For many bloggers buying a new look for their blog is no big deal and they have done it time and time again, but many bloggers have never bought a custom design and they usually have a lot of questions and rightly so since it is a new process after all. If you’re a blogger, you should go ahead and invest in a nice look for your blog. For the same amount you could probably buy a nice pair of jeans and this is an investment that could last you for quite a while so in the grand scheme of things you’re really not spending that much.

When looking around you have a few options. You can buy an already made design or get an overhaul of a custom design just for you. You should always keep in mind that you get what you pay for with everything in life so if your theme is free or very cheap, there is probably a reason for that. Here are some questions that you can look for on your search.

  • 1. Is this a mass produced look that has been sold several times or is this limited material?
  • 2. What all does this come with? If it only comes with a theme where can I get the rest of the items that I may need?
  • 3. Does the designer offer support or provide material to help me easily set up?
  • 4. Is this an instant download or will I need to wait?
  • 5. If I have more questions is the designer easy to get a hold of? Can we email or Skype of I want?

If you’re in the market for a new look, then you probably already have an idea of what you’re looking for. If you’re a bit unsure I recommend starting a private Pinterest board and pinning things that may interest you such as colors, fonts or graphics. A lot of times you may not have an idea in mind, but once you take a look at a board it suddenly becomes very clear.

If you do not have the extra funds to get something fully custom like you may want, then you can usually get already made themes a bit customized. I know that I offer an add on where clients can change things like colors and fonts to make a theme more ‘them’. It’s a great way to get something in between that is still affordable yet still very much what you have in mind. You also need to think about having a theme that is responsive or not. Which one do you prefer? For me, having a responsive theme is a must, but many of my clients choose not to have one for some reason. Because of that I have since started offering all my themes, custom and already designed with both responsive and non-responsive. It saves everyone a lot of hassle in the end.

Of course after you find something you may like you need to have a view of it before purchase. Never just buy something without taking a good look at it. I am pretty sure all designers offer this service for already made themes. Look around to see if the designer offers support and if they do, is it free or is that an extra charge? These are all things that you should get a clear picture of before you purchase so that you do not have any questions or doubts later on.

clean-your-blog

I spent the entire day doing something that I have wanted to do forever. Seriously you all I spent all my free time doing this today even when I was skying with my family. I had a lot of old posts that I do not care to share anymore or things that just did not seem relevant. I feel relieved to have finally got that over with like a huge weight is off my shoulders. While I was doing all of this I was thinking about how it’s probably best to go through our blogs at least yearly to make sure everything is going like we want it.

Other than all the posts I wanted to remove I had a lot of images from back in the day when I first started blogging that just looked bad and many were too small with text running off the sides. I cleaned up those posts and images making sure they look their best. I can not believe how much junk I have accumulated over the years on my blog.

  • 1. Go through blog posts to make sure they are still relevant to your blog and things that you still want posted.
  • 2. Go through blog posts to make sure all images are high quality and that the text aligns correctly. You can take new pictures or use a site like Shutterstock. If you’re not sure what size your images need to be add the measure it add on to your browser and check.
  • 3. Check all the links on your blog to make sure they still work. I use the broken link checker plugin to do this.
  • 4. Make sure everything is updated like plugins and themes. And delete those that you do not use because they will slow you down and plugins that are not updated can cause you issues.
  • 5. WordPress users remove all the images you are no longer using. Just go to your media and click on unattached and that is a list of images that are not being used. Go through them and remove what you do not need and it will save you a lot of space.
  • 6. Go through widgets and pages and remove and update items. I am pretty good about this one so that was one less thing I needed to do.
  • 7. Add some new plugins that may do your site good. Here are the ones that I added:
    search and replace
    limit login attempts
    permalink finder
    search everything
    search meter
  • 8. And while your at it how about a new look for your site or a little tweak.

I am not going to lie this is a long list and a lot of work, but do not be put off by that. Try working on these things for 10 minutes a day until you get it all taken care of to help lighten the load.