The New Look of


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

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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 for that very purpose. But the insert explicative noun who own and are still trying to sell 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, 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I love trends old and new, but I didn’t want my blog to feel outdated the second it went live.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:

  1. Easily share posts to facebook and twitter on the right of the content, click the share and a drop down drawer will show up.
  2. Visual links to Pinterest boards for both tutorials and printables
  3. Shuffle button (in the middle of older and newer posts) to dredge up old pages of posts
  4. Reply inline  to comments in the comments section
  5. Sticky menu and search
  6. Simplified mobile site with a swipe-to-view sidebar
  7. 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.

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    1. samarahuel says:

      I’ve been so excited checking out the new design as I stop by every day to see if you’ve posted. I have to say, it looks awesome. In fact, it looks great even though things are not showing up quite right for me. It seems the sidebar is aligned to the left, below the header (your Melissa Esplin logo), which is fixed, but I have to scroll down to get to the posts. Does that make sense? I know absolutely nothing about this kind of thing, but I hope that helps, I know you’ll get it figured out.

      This just solidifies in my mind that if ever I were to open up a business/restaurant, you guys would be my absolute first pick for designing any and everything. Of course, a business is very, very much a pipe dream right now, but it’s such a lovely one, I think I’ll keep it around.

    2. kelsey bang says:

      the new design looks fantastic! I like the blog being your name! then I know I am coming to see you on your blog :)

    3. Jennifer says:

      The site looks lovely!

    4. Love the new design and using Pinterest for Tutorials & Printables is BRILLIANT! What an ideal way to, as you put it, dredge up those old posts.

    5. Kristie says:

      Love the new design. The one thing I don’t like about it is the font for the text. The letter “e” is hard to see. Other than that it looks awespme and is very functional!

    6. mandie says:

      I love it. So hip & clean- perfect. :)

    7. Kristin says:

      Ah! I love it. Especially the sticky menu and search. I wish my hubby new more about html/css coding, since I can design my layout on paper, but never get the live blog to look just right. I don’t blog that much, so its not a big deal right? :)

    8. Heidi says:

      I was scrolling all the way down and just noticedthat your title/logo at the left stays put. Cool!
      I did happen to notice a “you might like” at the very bottom of the page to the left is upside down. And it’s overlappying text. I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that you didn’t do that on purpose. ;)

    9. Jessie says:

      I really love the new design- one thing I’m noticing on Chrome is that the font you have chosen looks “incomplete” for lack of better word. Some of the fine lines like the straight one in the middle of the lowercase “e” are faced out and look like a “c”. It’s fixed when I increase my overall page zoom but doesn’t look quite right with my standard sizing and view. I can send you a screen shot if that helps!

    10. Lauren says:

      I love your new logo! Your beautiful calligraphy has always inspired me. I’ve viewed your blog using both Safari and Chrome. In Safari it looks perfect! In chrome, your logo is in the middle of the page and you have to scroll really far to get to the posts. But I’m really lovin’ the new look! (and I love your last name. I really want to know how we’re related. I’m an Esplin, too!)

    11. Pauline says:

      Melissa, the font size is perfect! It was a little difficult to read the last time I checked, but now my bad eyesight has relaxed. I love your blog, pleasing and not jarring at all.

    12. Krista says:

      This looks wonderful! It definitely shows that you put a ton of hours into it! One of my blog goals this year is to redesign it. I’m still in the brainstorming phase but you’ve inspired me to work a little harder on it! And someone is sitting on my domain name too. That’s why there’s a hyphen in mine. Jerks. ;)

    13. Lindsay says:

      Love your new look! Also, how awesome is it that you’re going to switch it up based on the new Pantone color of the year? I totally wish I had thought of that. :)

    14. Wow! I love it! All the stuff in the left side bar is interesting and original- I like the way it works (and can only imagine the hard work you both put in)! Bravo!

    15. The site looks amazing, but I agree with Jessie, in Chrome it is hard to read this font unless I zoom.

    16. Laura says:

      I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and am definitely a fan. My sweet hubby also got me I Still Love Calligraphy lessons for Christmas that I need to get started on – so excited! (Excited but I have an 18 month old, so you know how that goes as far as actually getting started on something). Anyway, your redesign is lovely but I have to agree with previous comments that the font is difficult to decipher in both Chrome and Firefox.

    17. CoraD says:

      Nice work, you two! It’s clean but not bland or spare.

    18. Emily says:

      The new site looks great! :) Love how you categorized your blog too. You are awesome!

    19. Kate says:

      The Pantone color-of-the-year idea is SO COOL. Brilliant! The new design is great, and I can tell you guys put a lot of work into making it beautiful :)

    20. Susanne says:

      Hi Melissa, very beautiful blog make-over. It looks like a lot of of work on the programming side and very professional!!
      Regards from the other side (of the ocean) …

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