Demi Moore may disagree, but being married has more than its share of advantages. You see, apart from being lovely company, my husband is what I can only describe as a Web Mastermind. Like many, he never aspired to his current profession, rather; trained architect, property developer, then founder of web based company. Knowledge of all things web is certainly rather handy for a fervently blogging spouse. There is though, distinct truth to the ‘married to the baker, eat stale bread’ syndrome.  Only after months and months of arduous nagging, long awkward silences over dinner, remote control supremacy, and frenzied debates in the pub; was I finally persuaded. I had to upgrade my blog and move to WordPress.

Why move to WordPress?

Much endeared, Blogger has been great to work with, easy to operate, providing all one could need when starting a blog. Though, a year of writing posts and reading the countless words of wisdom on fellow blogger’s immaculate conceptions, one can’t help but start to think beyond the confounds of the Blogger template. According to the Mastermind, further development on Blogger would lead to nothing more than a ‘terrible hack’, which is why the ‘cleaner coding’ on WordPress presented the best option. The degree of tidiness of web coding is probably not a concern for many and most probably think web coding to be as exciting as a vegan BBQ, but its interesting that those in the know, hold WordPress in high regard.

Due to stellar demands for the new blog design, there was no choice but to opt for self hosted WordPress and go solo, instead of WordPress.com. That meant theme/template needed to be designed and built, plus a hosting service to be sorted. Being in the trade, the latter was not an issue. Thankfully, the Christmas period provided the required time for the design and build, so work started in earnest. I’m very pleased to report, that our marriage has not only survived the preliminary crucial, though hazardous IKEA bookshelf build phase, but also our new business-client relationship. Mastermind is a keeper. Thank goodness he doesn’t actually bother reading my posts…

New design

The new design is simple, built around the content. Elements of the former blog have come with; post archiving menus and the much loved background image now much improved, as no longer distracting from the content. Clever Mastermind has designed the new site so that the background is seasonally relevant, as each post has its own very background image. Furthermore, Mastermind’s genius includes a super simple application that can alter side bar colour, logo design and light/dark background image screens for optimum image impact. In terms of gallery/picture display in the actual blog posts, one is often limited due to impact on used page load/download speed. Though, use of a wizzy plug-in now enables a simple slide show, easily navigatable and allowing for an endless supply (within reason) of photos. The new site has been browser tested to ensure it appears as designed. Surprisingly though, there is still a staggering number of people using decrepit browsers such as IE6, which was released in 2001. On behalf of all web developers out there, herein lies a plea to update your browsers regularly. Just think of all that you are missing! Mastermind has done what he can to make the site presentable for those using old browsers such as IE6, IE7 and IE8, though new features such as large background image and photo gallery are just not compatible.

Still to come

As my memory is fast going down like a cow pat, a plant database will be added to remind me which/where plants were bought and planted. Similarly, an events diary will be included to help remind yours truly to buy tickets and show up on time.

Perhaps, if I had caved sooner, upgrading the blog would have been more straightforward but we have both rather enjoyed the process and are secretly very pleased with the end result. You have been spared the technical details of the process, content management system, plug-ins, etc., but the Mastermind is very willing to share those details with you or any other or WordPress query. Who knows, if there are oodles of questions, he may need to be convinced to actually write a post…  Go on!!

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Comments: 17

  1. I am impressed with your beautiful blog. Love the way you did the photo gallery. Is that an exclusive word presswidget? Or is that the work of your dear husband. I really love both how aesthetic and beautiful the layout is. Great job. Will be sure to return.

    Have a lovely week

    • Thank you for your lovely comment – much appreciated. In terms of the gallery, we purchased the jQuery/javascript plugin from TN3 Gallery. There is a free version but you have to put up with their advertising. There is also a wordpress plugin, using the same technology, but it is more expensive. Truthfully, my husband spent much time simplifying to get the effect we were after for the blog.

  2. It looks wonderful Petra – and I love the way the seasonal background images. Also I have had a quick look back at one or two other posts and like your plug in for the slide show/gallery.
    I am/have been for a while a big fan of wordpress
    K

    • Thank you Karen. So kind. Yes the gallery is nice, that did come with a small price tag. We couldn’t find anything better, so went with it. Happy give you more details if of interest.

  3. Welcome to WP Petra; love the new site and layout. Looking forward to new year of posts. Jason.

  4. Great new design! Think I might have to make the great leap too!

  5. Very swish, Petra. I’ve already opened a wordpress account and registered theanxiousgardener.com and was ready to make the switch when, when, when er, I got cold feet. Everyone tells me I ought to move from blogger and perhaps this is the final push I need. Though could you send over Mastermind? A week or two would suffice!

    Dave

    • Thank you David! Your new site is coming along I see, which is great. We are on hand if any help is needed!

  6. Very good-looking blog Petra! Like it :D no problems I can see so far but will continue testing.

    I too dither about moving to WordPress from time to time – the Crocus Kitchen Garden blog I write is there and it’s so much nicer to use for all sorts of reasons. But even the thought of moving CG across induces a migraine and I have to lie down. So I think it’s business as usual for now at least.

    • Thank you Sally! Yes, please do keep testing. We are still in a transition period, repairing broken links, ensuring stats continuity, formatting etc. One can really only check for these issues, once live. Also, a few minor elements still need to be completed, but that will all be done in due time. I am glad that I made the change though, but see now that I should have done it much earlier. Moving much content, with comments, links, feeds etc is quite complicated and I was glad to have Luke (Mastermind) on hand who knew exactly what to do. Though, there were still the odd surprises! Happy to help if you ever do decide to move your blog.

  7. It’s a very beautiful, stylish design, Petra. I wish, I wish I had started out with WordPress and not Blogger. There seems to be an exodus from Blogger to wordpress sooner or later. I think about moving from time to time….

    • Thank you! Much appreciated. You are probably right, more of us are moving to WP. There are just more options available and as Luke (Mastermind) explained, moving forward with Blogger is not an option sadly.

  8. OMG! I wish I hadn’t read this now. I am still with blogger and have kept to my original blog design with only a slight change in colum width over the years. Now I feel I ought to refresh the design!!! But then I have had the same colour scheme in my living room for 20 years (although it has been repainted the same colour a few times I hasten to add) because I can’t think of anything I would prefer. I worry I only ever had one room design in my head, only one garden design in my head and NOW I have to worry that I only ever had one blog design in my head!!

    Yours does look rather smart though…

  9. Love the new design! I can relate to your marital struggles over web issues… my husband is also in web work & also marketing, so we work through difficult moments when discussing those topics at times. He agrees with your hubby – WordPress far superior. Good for you for being willing to make the switch!

    • Thank you! Yours was the first comment approving our hard work – much much appreciated!! We needed to hear that from someone other than ourselves…! Interesting that you too are married to a Mastermind. They’re a lovely breed!!!!!

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