Have you noticed something new? Last week, just before I left for Alt Summit, Chris implemented my redesign. It’s been about nine months in the works, percolating in my brain for at least a year. Last year I wanted to implement a new design, but I knew I’d be back to square one if I rushed the rebrand at all. And I was right. I wanted to make sure I took enough time and thought about each step thoroughly.
Hurdles of a Rebrand: The URL
I refer to my blog as I Still Love You – my place to do the things I still love even when the chaos of motherhood is in full swing (like right now – we all have the stomach flu). It would be perfect to have istillloveyou.com for that very purpose. But the insert explicative noun who own and are still trying to sell istillloveyou.com were looking for $15,000 for the domain. I gave them the middle finger. Frustrated, I decided that I needed to go another direction.
Ultimately we decided that it was more cost effective to stick with the current domain but restructure a bit. I am embracing my URL as melissaesplin.com, but “I still love you” is (and always will be) my personal motto, and a motto that I hope many of you will adopt as well. The reason why I have a blog isn’t for $$$ (although being able to bring in extra income is nothing short of a blessing), but it’s to share my creative process with others and to keep in tact the creative person I was before diapers and drool came to the scene.
Hurdles of a Rebrand: My Style
Trying to nail down my style was like trying to hit a moving target with a bow and arrow, having never shot a bow and arrow before. This is not a niche blog about any one theme, unless you consider that one theme the entire umbrella of creativity.
I love trends old and new, but I didn’t want my blog to feel outdated the second it went live. So I opted for a plainer canvas than I’ve done in the past. I don’t mind the orange and pink from days of yore, but it was getting old, and it was too girly. Each year we will be changing up the theme’s main color for the Pantone color of the year. After I broke down the elements of my own personal style, it made a theme so much easier to work on:
- feminine, not girly
- handmade surprises
- dimension and depth
- simple, but eclectic
Features and Implementation
I wanted the site to be the kind that was welcoming to all people and easy to use. I’m hoping it comes across as such. The biggest priority we had was to find new ways to dredge up old content. I’ve been blogging for 5 1/2 years now, that’s a lot of old content! Here are a few things that are new to the site:
- Easily share posts to facebook and twitter on the right of the content, click the share and a drop down drawer will show up.
- Visual links to Pinterest boards for both tutorials and printables
- Shuffle button (in the middle of older and newer posts) to dredge up old pages of posts
- Reply inline to comments in the comments section
- Sticky menu and search
- Simplified mobile site with a swipe-to-view sidebar
- Background parallax (currently only in Firefox and Safari)
The build was a lot of work on Chris’s end. I keep saying that this design (between mine and Chris’s billable rates) would have cost in the $6000 range. It was A LOT of work.
But it feels so good to have it complete. I do hope you take a look around and take advantage of the new features. Be sure to send a shout out if something doesn’t look right. I really appreciate the feedback.