How to Keep Your Blog Shiny and New: Making changes and updates

Do things look a little different around here?  I did some general blog maintenance and made some changes and updates.  I decided I wanted to increase efficiency, specifically:  easier navigation and quicker load times.

I made myself a cup of tea and clicked through my whole site.  I recommend doing this occasionally.  I found several ways to increase efficiency, below.

New Theme:  It’s similar to the previous one with a slightly sleeker look.  This probably has minimal effect on efficiency, but I wanted a change.  This is the 2nd theme I’ve used since I started blogging.  The transition was smooth except for the widgets — they disappeared.

I recommend manually backing up your entire site content to mitigate any panic-induced chest pains you may experience when you see whole sections of your blog disappear. 🙂

New Image:  I changed my header image.  This image reflects how I feel much of the time about my new writing ventures!  It probably has no impact on efficiency; I simply wanted a change.  I still like the previous header image and may return to it in the future.

New Font:  I changed the font and added some color.  This new font is easier to read and a splash of color is always nice.

Fewer Pages:  I reduced the number and renamed static pages.  I might add another page with a site overview or map.  I think my site is easy to peruse but a new visitor might disagree.

New Translate Feature:  I added a translation option.  You may now translate my blog to the language of your choice (except Klingon).

Post Summaries:  The main page now shows post summaries instead of complete posts.  A visitor may read the first few sentences then decide if it’s worth the click to continue reading.

Fewer Visible Posts:  I reduced the number of visible posts on the main page to the three most recent.  A visitor may click “Older Posts” to view more.

Reduced Sidebar:  I moved some sidebar features to footers and removed other sidebar features altogether.

New Footers:  I added footers.  They’re visible fairly quickly with the small number of post summaries on the landing page.

Fewer Recent Posts:  I reduced the number of listed recent posts.  I may experiment more with the number.

Your Favorites:  Your favorites are now determined by views rather than likes.  The new list seems a bit wonky.  Maybe it will settle down over time.  This change has no impact on efficiency; I was just curious.

Fewer Categories:  I reduced the number of categories and re-categorized existing posts accordingly.  Better?  Let’s see.

Category Menu:  I changed the category section to a drop-down menu.  It looks cleaner and is probably as user-friendly as a static list.

Fewer Tags:  I deleted several tags on existing posts.  For example, “Fiction, Short Story, WWII, death, time-travel, Yoda” is now “Short Story” + surprise(s).  I’m not sure this is an improvement so we’ll find out.

Fewer Share Buttons:  I kept the most popular share buttons and moved the others under a “More” button.

New Options:  I added Email and Print options — probably easier than copying and pasting, yes?  I thought those options were already in place… so, it was a good idea to review and update.

RSS:  I had it in there initially and later removed it.  Apparently, we still use RSS!  So, I put it back in.

New Domain:  I changed my domain so you don’t have to look at those ads anymore.  Who loves you, baby? 😉

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I hope these changes improve navigation and create the best possible reader experience.  Let me know!

While I had a goal in mind when making these changes, I recommend playing around and tweaking your blog even if you don’t have a specific goal.  You don’t have to make big changes and you don’t have to do it often.  Even a small change can make you look at your blog differently and inspire you in a new direction.

Evaluating your blog objectively can also highlight aspects you may not have noticed.  For example, you might discover several posts dedicated to do-it-yourself car repair.  You can create a new category and group these posts together — and attract that niche readership.

You never know what you might find so click away!  Your blog will thank you. 🙂

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23 thoughts on “How to Keep Your Blog Shiny and New: Making changes and updates

        1. You’re most welcome! I agree that there is a lot more atmosphere and personality that shines through on the full sites. You’re right — it’s also a lot easier to view other content. It’s well worth the visits! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Brilliant! A new look! I tend to visit the sites when I’m home, but Reader on the phone. So I’ll check out the site later!

    As for changes, I think it’s good to review the blog every now and then. However, I find myself getting too caught up in catching up with the community here anytime I sit to make changes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, J! The Reader is convenient to use from phones and I do that a lot myself. I hope you’ll like the changes!
      I agree with you about getting caught up in catching up with the community! That’s probably why this is my first site overhaul since I started blogging. There’s always such good stuff to read and chat about! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the changes, but even more so I love the enthusiasm that’s emanating from you so far this year. I hope that continues indefinitely. I did a similar blog overhaul a few years ago and it made a huge difference, for me & anyone visiting. By the way, what is your header image? Forgive me if you’ve previously explained this. I’ve been out of town and mostly off the grid for the last few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Rich! I’m delighted that you noticed my enthusiasm and my goal is that it continues indefinitely. Your blog looks excellent and is very easy to navigate so your overhaul was effective.
      The header image is a blindfolded female on a floating patch of land — she may step off into the clouds…and who knows what else. I haven’t explained it and nobody has asked…leading me to believe that a lot of people use the mobile site and app rather than visit the full sites.
      Off the grid is a very good place to be! It’s certainly nice to have you back though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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