Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The New Blog Design is Up and Running!

It's here! 
The new blog design is up, and I love it! 
Thanks again to Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs who was so nice to work with.  It is still a bit of a work in progress on my end, but the overall design is just what I wanted.  I love the colors, fonts, and overall look.

Let me take you on a little tour! 

I'm starting with two fun things I really love and am so happy I included:
  • A Pinterest hover button.  If you want to pin a picture from the blog, just hover a second and to the side of the picture a little apple will pop up to click on for an automatic pin.
  • "Return to Top" button floating on the bottom right side of the page.  I love this button on any web page I go to.  How many times have you scrolled down a ways and then have to scroll your way all the way back to the top?  I so wish Google had this button on their search page.
The Header:
  • I do love the header Megan came up with.  She was so patient with me as we went through a few different designs for it with colors, backgrounds, fonts, and images.  One thing I really like are the tabs at the top.  That's one of the areas that is still a work in progress on my end.  The "Home" tab is the regular blog page. 
  • On the "About Me" tab will bring you to a blank page for now.  I am going to be putting up a mini bio to introduce myself and a picture.  The "Hello" on the sidebar will be a welcome-to-the-blog type of thing directing you to the Hello tab if you want to know more.
  • There is also a "Freebies" tab.  I wasn't sure what to do with the third tab.  I needed one to just balance the look of the top a bit.  I decided that it would be "Freebies" and I will list on that page links to all the different freebies/printables I post on the regular blog.  It will be a sort of quick reference.  If my blog were a box of Cracker Jacks, that page would be the prize at the bottom of the box!

On the sidebar, there were a few things I wanted:

  • Buttons! Buttons! Buttons!   There are a few social media buttons:  There you will find a button to follow me on Bloglovin', and buttons that link to my Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook pages. All of which I am really just getting started with.  Megan also designed covers for me so that the look of those pages matches my blog.  One social media site I use and like is Instagram, and I totally forgot to have that put on.  I will probably go back and see if Megan can do it at a later date, but for now I think I have enough on my social media plate.  There is also a button that links to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  As I wrote in this post, it is also a new endeavor for me which I probably won't be doing much with until summer.  However, if I do put something new up, I will post about it as an FYI. I also have a button for email, and now that I have linked it to my iPhone, I'm finding it so much easier to keep up with emails from readers.
More sidebar features include. . .
  • A button picture for the blog with a "Grab My Button" code. 
  • "Follow My Blog" which I'm not sure I need as I have a link to Bloglobin' for following the blog, so I have to look into this.
  • "Hello"  This is a little welcome intro that will (when I get a chance to do it) direct you to the "About Me" page.
  • "Followers"  That's links and pics to you! Thanks for following!
  • "Popular Posts" that shows the 5 most popular posts from the blog.  Right now it is all time favs, but I think I might change it to most popular within the last month. We'll see.
  • "Let's Explore!" which has all my crazy post tags that I am still working on cleaning up.
  • "Blog Archive" for searching by date.
  • "Search This Blog" Just in case those crazy tags and the archive aren't working for ya!
  • "TBA" a Teaching Blog Addict award
  • "Stat Counter"
I do need to reorder the sidebar items a bit.  Not really totally happy with the order I have them in right now.

Other Extras:
  • The blog now has post dividers that will separate each post with a line of apples.
  • I also now have a signature with my name and an apple that will appear at the end of every post.
I think that is pretty much everything.  I had no idea how much there was to take into consideration when designing a blog.  You really need to think it out and know what you want on yours.  If you are thinking of doing it, I would suggest looking at blogs you really like the look of.  What do they have in common?  Look at their backgrounds, fonts, and layout.  What do you like and not like?

Think about the layout of your blog.  Where would you want different parts to be?  For example, I had to decide if I wanted the buttons on the sidebar or up in the header.  Not something I even thought about before or even noticed.  Then I looked at other blogs and really noticed them. Everyone does it a little differently! 

Once you have an idea of what you want, I would even sketch out the blog layout to see how I want it to look. Or, you could just work with a great blog designer like I did who is patient with you while you try to figure all this out on the fly! :-)

As I wrote, there are still things to be done to clean up the blog on my end (finish cleaning up the tags, doing the About Me and Freebies pages, reordering the sidebar) but overall I'm just excited to see it up and running.  The procrastinator in my is also excited to see that I actually accomplished something on my 2014 Blog Goal list!  Now, on to the rest of that list. . .


  1. I don;t know what your blog looked like before, but I love this design! Way to go!
    :) Dana
    Common to the Core

    1. Thanks, Dana! I love it too! I also love the name of your blog, Common to the
      Core. That common core is everywhere! :-)