Hey! Hey! Hello! Welcome to the New StoryboardC.! I am so glad you came by to check it out! Can you tell I am excited?!? So, many exclamation points right? This Blog Redesign has been in the planning/daydreaming stage for nearly 3 years now and while over the summer celebrating 10 years of blogging (wow time flies). I decided to get off the sidelines and make it finally happen. I definitely had some Mega Motivation pushing me... a little Open Heart Surgery action (Please know I am not taking it lightly, I am just having a hard time still grasping the enormity of it all) and binge listening to THE AWESOME WITH ALISON podcast (SOOO worth a listen if you get a chance or YOU seriously need to Make a Chance!) on my public transit commutes to work. Now I am DONE and sharing the fruits of my design labor with you. This will be a wordy post, but maybe just maybe it might help you with your own new Blog Design adventures. If you have any questions or even need a little help let me know in the comment section below or my Contact Page. I would love to hear from you either way:)
Now let's get this redesign party started! First things first...
Platforms Baby. And I am not talking about Shoes here. My first goal was changing Blogging Platforms. I have been with Typepad since the dawn of blogging time. Back in the day (2007) it was where Everyone, who was Anyone in the blogging Scrapbooking niche was (yes, I scrapbooked and still do:). I liked Typepad and I even paid for it, but never was in love with it. So, over the years, I tried every blogging format known to crafty woman or man. Blogger, WordPress, Virb, Tumblr and even Squarespace back in 2013. But, I always went back to Typepad... I was comfortable there and I learned to work around it's limitations. But, eventually I found it outdated for my needs and seeing how the blogging world was evolving into beautiful seamless sites of near perfection. I wanted that for myself, but without spending my time deciphering Custom CSS or spending oodles of money to hire someone to design my ideal on-line blog home. Plus, I knew I was more than capable of doing the design work myself. But, I still craved a easy transfer of sites and after doing a whole heck of research this past year. I decided I needed to be on Squarespace again. I still hymned and hawed. But, Last November I made a small move towards this change by investing in my own domain name through Squarespace, something that has been on my blogging bucket list forever. When I first began blogging I had know idea about the power of Branding yourself and picked the most obvious, yet not ideal choice: my name. Whoa, it was a long one with my added ex-husbands last name! Obviously at the time I had know idea how much this hobby would grow for me and would lead me creatively. ACTION SIDE NOTE: to any new bloggers out there reading this... Take time to choose your name and really wear it on with your blogging goals before committing. Now, I am officially www.storyboardc.com and feel so good about it.
So,Why Squarespace? I just love how inclusive it is, One Stop Shop for your domain name and no bothersome outside hosting. I also love how design friendly it is and Squarespace's use of content blocks for customizing your individual pages and even in blog posts is so easy. It might sound confusing to you if you are not familiar, but once you dig into Squarespace you will know what I am talking about and their support forum is fantastic. I also stumbled last year upon amazing on-line resource Elle & Co. (Seriously, Lauren the creator gets my Numero Uno shout out for her 'Sharing is Caring' attitude and Don't worry I will link to her useful Squarespace info below).
Honestly I could do a whole post on the merits of Squarespace and probably will in the near future. But, for now I want to focus on what went into the new features here on StoryboardC.
What ABOUT the FAQ's Ma'am? My old Typepad blog did have these link options in the Navigation Bar, but I was never crazy about the limited amount of Fonts and the outdated style available. For years my contact and about links resided in my sidebar, but I always wanted a more cleaner and user-friendly format. Here at Squarespace the ease of adding pages and content is crazy awesome. Don't get me wrong you need to have some design willingness and time. But, once you pick a Blog friendly template out of their oodles of choices (My personal favorite is Hayden, which I use because I really fell in love with the idea/challenge of customizing it differently to Elle&Co.'s version). Customizing is truly at your fingertips and the Squarespace Help Support/forum is wonderful. My only advice is to have patience and focus. Make a list of Pages you want and take your time before getting started.
My About Page was one of their easy drop box template options. All I needed was a new photo and introduction. I did take my time with writing my introduction. Informal and real. One of the many things I have learned over the years of Blogging is being yourself. I know that is said a lot in the blogging world... but truth it is! Do you:) ACTION SIDE NOTE: I do suggest checking out some of your favorite blogs for inspiration and Pinterest has tons of ideas as well. But, again remember to take your time and be yourself.
My FAQ page was fun to write up. I brainstormed all the questions I have gotten over the years about blogging and other subjects that have interested my readers. Then I took the time really answering them and making sure they contained valuable/ usable information. ACTION SIDE NOTE: Even if your readership is small. I still like to include a FAQ page. It is another way that current and future readers get to know you. If you don't know what to write about or new to blogging, I suggest doing a brainstorm of what you think others might want to know about you you or services you have to offer if you are a business.
I Got Mail and Favicon's are Cool. These were two things that have been on my blogging bucket list forever and I am thrilled that I finally made them happen. The mail was so easy to sign up for and Squarespace had a direct link to G-Suite (Pro version of Gmail, where you can use your domain name). So, now I have my own email: email@example.com and it is directly linked to my new contact page. How cool and legit am I:) I also did this for future growth, if I want to add contributors to my blog someday, they too will have their own email:)
So, now what the heck is a Favicon? Don't feel bad if you don't know either and if you do know, Go on with your bad self! I always saw on people's polished blogs that little personalized logo on a open tab. I really wanted one myself and never knew what they were called until Elle & Co. came into my on-line life. I was bound and determined to have one. Even designed it myself. What fun I had playing with styles for this tiny little Icon. So, make sure to read this on a regular computer sometime to check out my Favicon:) Little details do feel good.
What's next on the design Agenda? I have been plugging away at a lot of new blog content and have about 10 posts ready for you! I am also trying to figure out how to move my old blog archives over here from Typepad. I truly hope it will not be a manual transition. *Update: I contacted Squarespace and unfortunately at this time Manual import of Posts is only available. Total Bummer, but archives are slowly in the works.
My last order of business in this Welcome post is telling you that I had originally allotted a month for this transfer of blogging power:) And it only took three days. So, if you are on the fence yourself. It is totally doable. Please know I am here for you. If I don't have the answers, I will try to find them.
Thank you again for being my blog friend and reading me over the past ten years! I am so excited for what is to come here at StoryboardC. going forward and am glad you are along for the ride!
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