Blog Redesign Part 2- Blue Shutters Web Design, LLC


Welcome Back!

I am continuing to take you a bit behind the scenes to get a look at some of what I do and some of the decisions I make. As with the previous post I continue to describe my struggles with how to update my blog, this is the second part in a three part series so let's dig into phase 2 of the process.

Phase 2

The one thing that I needed to do for phase 2 is to implement the ability to filter, so I know that there is coding work that I need to do. Which leads me to evaluate the current layout, is it one that I want to keep or do I want to make changes? That led me to evaluate my domain structure, do I want to keep the blog as a subdomain or with a redesign do I want to make it a subdirectory? As you can see things could snowball very quickly, but I needed to make sure that I didn’t go overboard in planning changes just to procrastinate.

For research purposes, really it was for research I was not procrastinating! Ok maybe I was procrastinating a little bit, it happens. Anyway, back to research, I spent some time on my favorite blogs as well as some that came up when looking for popular blogs. I was focused on the layout and not the content of the various blogs. There were many good choices, and this was leading me to decision paralysis, it was time to step away from the computer. I went old school and did some simple sketches of different layouts and styles.

Blue Shutters Web Design Blog Sketch

As I looked at my simple sketches, I had my light bulb moment, I have all the power here and I do not need to accept a single layout. I can take what I like from each one I do not have to replicate what is already done. It was time to identify what I wanted:

  • Keep the carousel
  • Filter on categories
  • Alter my categories
  • Shorten my main page
  • Add pagination

By shortening my main page I knew I had to address the layout situation. Part of it was solved, I wanted to maintain the carousel on the top. The part that was not solved was; did I want to keep the existing layout I had but reduce the number of titles displayed? Or did I want to alter the way I displayed the post titles? The easiest answer is to keep the existing layout and reduce the number of titles displayed.

Truth time: the easiest option is sometimes the best option, but I really need to make sure that I do a fair evaluation and not just default to keep the existing because it is the easiest but because it is the best.

"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in." - Andrew Jackson

The answer that I came up with was to keep the layout that I currently have because continuity is good, and introduce a different layout on the filtered pages. This reduces the amount of code changing I would need to do and speed up the process, and give me the opportunity to practice my skills which is always a good thing.

My final steps in phase 2 are:

  • Determine how many blog titles I wanted to display on the front page
  • Pick a layout for the filtered page results
  • Determine how many blog titles I wanted to display on the filtered page results
  • Determine if I should change the structure from subdomain to subdirectory

Be sure to check back next week so read the final installment in this three-part series, see what the final decisions were, and how the revamped blog looks.

Please leave comments on my Facebook page or if you have any questions about how I can help your business with a redesign please send me an email or call 978-364-3056 to discuss your ideas and needs.

DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.