In honor of LDSWBR’s five year anniversary, we spent the weekend moving our blogger posts here to the podcast blog so we could combine the two sites into one. Let me say that for not having lifted even one box of books, my back feels like I relocated the Beast’s library. (I really need to work on my posture while working at the computer. Ha!)
Since it was Bloggiesta these past three days, it was the perfect time to hunker down and completely redo the entire podcast blog. After hours, and hours, and hours, the new place looks AWESOME. Don’t you think? It’s just my opinion of course. Kind of like how every mom thinks her baby’s the cutest – because it is.
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Now for a quick list of the extreme blog makeover to-dos that we crossed off our list:
- Created a new logo using original creative work and free commercial-use fonts. I spent about 6 hours taking photos, manipulating them in Photoshop, and formatting it for the new theme. Add another 1-2 hours for the blog button, since by the time I made the button I wasn’t tracking my time anymore.
- Tweaked the new theme on the test site for 12-15+ hours, learning what did what and alternately getting confused and frustrated followed by exclamations of amazement and awe every time we discovered something cool. We did a lot of experimenting as well as finalizing the settings because apparently once we decided how we wanted it to look we could just export the settings to the live site and BAM- done! It wasn’t a perfectly smooth transition but it was SO much easier than redoing all the settings on the live blog.
- Once I finalized how I wanted the blog to look, I spent another 12+ hours deciding what content I wanted, where I wanted it and, sometimes, researching how to get it there. It’s kind of funny what content seemed so necessary when I first set up my blogs. It was nice to slim the side bars down a bit and move some things up to the nav bar. I did tweak some post and page content here and there as well.
- Visited #bloggiesta on Twitter. I probably spent a good 2-4 hours skimming through tweets and following links to some really great information. There was so much going on with #bloggiesta that it was at times hard to both follow the hashtag and work on the blog, but hey, everyone deserves to take a break once in a while, right?
- Organizing and updating blogroll links took another 4-5 hours as I was combining blogs I follow on both the podcast site and blogger. I also split the blogroll links into categories instead of one long list.
- While I was doing all of this my hubby was moving content from our old Mambo site and blogger into our WordPress blog. Ah, those old comments from 5 years ago- should we keep you or let you go? Ultimately we kept some, but not all. Took about 4 hours.
- Hubby took down the site for maintenance and then 4 hours later put it back up all shiny and new. :)
- I added pages and categories and parent categories and edited the latest posts that were originally on Blogger because they didn’t format well and the HTML badly needed to be cleaned up. Still have hundreds of posts to clean up, but it’s a start. This took 2+ hours.
- I wrote a “We’ve moved!” post on the old blog, then hubby added the automatic redirection to the new site as well as a few more behind-the-scenes plug-ins like Google Analytics, etc. That took maybe an hour or so.
- We accomplished this while nursing a sick 3 year-old. There is still plenty of work to be done. While this might seem like a fairly short list, each bulleted task consisted of anywhere from a dozen to innumerable smaller tasks.
- Some of the things left on the to-do list: make a google form for review requests; update the About Us information; add an Our Favorite Books page in the nav bar; upload photos used in blogger posts to the Media Library and replace the photos that still link to blogger; change/update links in old blogger posts; finish cleaning up HTML in old blogger posts so they will render correctly in WordPress; update tags and categories on the imported blog posts so they are easier to find and sort; upload all of our LDSWBR related photos to Flickr and add a widget to the blog so everyone can enjoy them.
- Oh, one more thing I need to do: Write a post with all the details for our huge “5th Podcast-iversary” contest. We want to give a lot of stuff away, so watch for details.
So in all, we technically spent at least 55-60 hours on blog improvements, but it sure felt like longer than that. I’m so glad it’s done. I’m pleased with the results and I think the hard work and long hours were worth it. The Bloggiesta helped keep me motivated to stick to it and get it done, especially when things became difficult or I got tired. I am looking forward to the next Bloggiesta, though I’m thinking I might have to have my own personal Bloggiesta soon to tackle the last of the to-dos.
It was a Fiesta! The Bloggiesta! Now it’s time for…a siesta…I’m going to go to bed now that the sun is up. Enjoy the newly-refurbished LDS Women’s Book Review blog and thanks for hanging with me this far!