Update from Geekland: Redesign Underway

Awhile ago I hinted at the big changes planned for my future. Welp, I’m happy to report significant progress on one of them: my website redesign.

Now, that may not seem excitin’ to most folks but, for geeky me, it is. Partly because I’ve wanted to reorganize and revamp my site’s layout, categories, and overall user-friendliness for about three years; and, partly because teaching myself how to build a child theme is progress on another big change planned for the next two years. (I’ll share more about that at some point this year.)

Screenshot new flying monkeysSo, if you’re curious, click on the picture (left) and a larger version will open up. That’s a sneak preview of my new site. It’s a working model and it’s not to scale; in general, it captures what I’m going for.

The goal is for this site to function as movie reviewer, book reviewer and paid author. I want the navigation simple and easy to use; the topics quickly identifiable; clean, uncluttered layout; everything works as it should.

My inspiration was the Critical Child Theme. After I downloaded and installed the theme, and its parent, I didn’t really understand how to make it work. (And I didn’t want to pay for support when I could, and wanted to, teach myself.) Plus, I was hoping for a framework like Twenty Eleven with its built-in features like post formats.

The decision to create my own child theme has required hours and hours of reading about custom post types (CPT), custom taxonomies, post formats, custom loops and queries. Finally, yesterday, I created my first CPT on the first go. My site didn’t break, pages showed up like they should, pretty permalinks worked. Yay!

Unfortunately, for the new layout I want, permalinks had to be re-structured and categories reorganized, renamed, or deleted, which means I may lose traffic and page rank. We’ll see. Those were my lowest priorities at this point, though. Also, there are design elements I want changed; namely, the header. My aunt is in graphic design so I’m hoping she’ll be able to help me create what I see in my head whenever I say, “Unleash the Flying Monkeys!”

Ewwww, I can’t wait!

Okay, sorry, I won’t geek out on you. I’ll save that for when the site’s finished. 😀

How’s 2012 treating you? Any breakthroughs or progress you wanna share?

Site Update: My Blog Is No Longer Hosted on WordPress

What do you think? Is the new design easy to browse, search and read?

SUBSCRIBERS: If you like the re-design and want to continue receiving new posts via e-mail, then please re-subscribe using the e-mail icon in the sidebar. Unfortunately, I think I lost all my e-mail subscribers in the move to the new server, but I don’t feel right adding them myself manually. I really appreciate everyone who follows me via e-mail and I’d hate to lose any of you.

I’ve wanted to set up my blog on its own domain since I first started blogging in August 2008. However, every time I would attempt to tackle the subject of how to do that, my brain would overload and I put the issue off until “another time.” Then I started thinking about how much harder it would be to do the switch after working to promote my blog around the WWW. So I decided to stop dragging my feet and do it already.

I work with web sites a lot in my day job, which means their intricacies are not totally foreign to me. But after I performed a few searches for instructions on how to go about switching my WordPress.COM blog to my new WordPress.ORG blog, I was flabbergasted by the amount of confusing information. Thus, I completed the process using a few different sources, and decided I would write up my own instructions in an effort to help others in the same boat.

Therefore, the remainder of this post will contain step-by-step instructions on how to redirect a blog hosted by WordPress to a blog hosted by Bluehost. I hope this proves helpful. I’ve also included a link to download the below instructions in PDF because I’m sure there are people who, like me, prefer to print out instructions to follow along on paper as they move through each step.

Only thumbnails of the screenshots are provided below because the full-size shots would take forever to download. …continue reading

Site Update: First draft

Well, I let some family members review my official site today and so far, so good. I’m going to go ahead and post the direct URL here in case you care to take a peek at the initial design and copy. Keep in mind that I don’t have even a fraction of the content up that I plan to add in the coming weeks. Don’t see a topic on my web site you think I should cover? Please let me know. I value all feedback. It’s late, er, early and I should get some sleep before work in a few hours.