More fiddling and fluffing

Before you read on…..I am still fiddling and fluffing with the look of the site. This current theme is different to the one I wrote about yesterday, so I think I am happier with it. But the reasons for the new look are still the same. So read on……

You may have realised that this blog looks different. It is! I am fiddling around. This is its second theme this weekend, and there may be another, as I am not really happy with the menu on this theme.

Why change?

Well, you may remember me trumpeting my new website in the middle of last year. My intention was to create a website that gave me control and have the potential to transition from Etsy.  While I felt very clever working out all sorts of things, there were just too many things I didn’t understand. Security being the Big One. I couldn’t get my head around the different levels and the necessary plugins. I knew that if I was going to ask people for very confidential information I had to get that one right.

There were other issues. However, the other Big One was the look of the thing. I couldn’t get that fancy dancy look that I wanted. That probably requires payment, and I am not prepared to do that.

So, I have decided to trash the site (still working out how to do that!) The loss will be the domain name, but I think it’s a small price to pay (or not to pay!) I can still do much of what I want with this blog. I am looking for a theme that is clean and uncluttered, that allows me to show off my art. My plan is to have pages that describe my art. Sewing on Paper  is the first of these. Each page and image will have a link to my Etsy shop.

Another page is Useful Links, very title boring, but necessarily explicit. This has worked well for me. I can put links to a few things I wish to highlight ~ maybe a drawing that has just gone into the shop, a blog post, a link to the shop etc. Then that page becomes the page I link to in my bio in Instagram. Then, when I am posting about my new drawing I can say ‘link in bio’; that link will take customers to my Useful Links page, which can then send them on to the Etsy shop! And it does work. So, if you have an Instagram account and sell things, I suggest you set one up too. It’s good because you can’t make direct links in an Instagram post. (If that is not clear and you are intrigued, I can be explain it in more detail.)

The other thing I am trying to set up is a home page. The default is the blog roll, but I rather fancy a static one, again, showing my art. It will be the About Me page, which at the moment is dreadfully out of date. That’s if I can get it to work!

So, I should be able to do all I want to do, with less hassle, and no domain name. And I already have all of you lovelies reading and liking and commenting. I realise that instead of moving house I am adding on a new wing, so I get to hang out in the same neighbourhood. That’s a win! Like any good renovation, I am going to have a golly good clean out, of old posts and photos that are just cluttering up the place. I wonder what treasures I will discover as I go back through the archives.

Let me know if there are issues with this theme. Unlike the house analogy, I can change my mind at any time.

28 thoughts on “More fiddling and fluffing

  1. I find it is the hardest thing getting a look you are happy with and being able to add plug ins. WordPress free sites are very restricted now as they want you to buy into having a domain address. I only chose WordPress as with Blogger they have in the past closed down peoples blogs if they don’t blog for a while – I would hate to lose all that work.
    Hope you manage to achieve what you want to.

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    1. I didn’t know that about Blogger, which I use for a group I am involved with. You are right about the restrictions, but I am reluctant to spend money. It is tricky getting The Look, but at least I can easily change the themes as the elves behind the scenes do all the work!

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      1. A few years ago many Bloggers lost their blogs when they left them for periods of time – I am not sure if this is still a Blogger policy or not but I did not want to risk it at the time. My impression is that Blogger have a wider reach for bloggers who are just writing about their daily lives like me – WordPress seems to have more serious blogs on narrower or defined topics. Blogger seems to be easier for other Blogger members to comment on and they have the advantage of the updating blog roll in their side bar.
        I like the Themes on WordPress but some are quite limited to get the look you want to make it either different or workable.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much for the offer. I will have a play first, but I might be taking you up on it. The home page on the blog I linked to is just what I want, and I like the end “What to do next” with the links. That’s a good idea that I may just borrow.

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  2. I’ve no advice for you I’m afraid. My daughter is re-training to do web development so she will probably practice on me at some stage as I wouldn’t mind breaking away from Etsy.
    I’ve had the same theme on my WordPress almost since I started it. It would look odd to me now to have anything else – I know because I occasionally play about with the other themes in trial mode and it disconcerts me.
    Good luck.

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    1. Will you be trading wonderfully created sewn garments for web development advice?!
      I am now grateful to Etsy for doing all that behind the scenes stuff. I realised how much I would need to do, and understand, to add a shop to my website. I did look at Shopify, but I didn’t have the volume of sales to justify the monthly fees.

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  3. Hi Anne! I love seeing your beautiful sewn tapestry up there, and I do like the crisp, clean feel of the post, but I admit to having a prob. with the icon on the right. I thought it might be a menu, but when I clicked it, I couldn’t get back to the main page. Wasn’t game to try the one on the left. Themes are so tricky. I tried out a number of new ones about a year ago but ended up keeping the old one because of the functionality. Best of luck. I’m sure that whatever you settle on will look gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback Meeks. Your ‘experiment’ has confirmed my thoughts about changing. I think the one on the right is a footer, with the sign up box etc. I can’t get it to work either. The left one is the menu, but the options only come up when you hover over the field. Boo hiss to that.

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  4. Since I follow your blog and use the WP Reader, I really never see your homepage or the theme. I simply get your new post in the Reader. I can tell you’re learning a lot, though, and I hope you’ll arrive at something you like. Sticking with Etsy makes sense to me–they deliver lots of traffic, even though there’s also a ton of competition for customers.

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    1. It’s great to know that I can try on all these fancy new clothes (aka themes!) without making you think you have come to the wrong place. i agree with your Etsy comments. I feel like I am way down the end of some vast shopping mall, but people do wander down that far…..

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  5. Okay, I’m curious. What’s the decision making process on the decluttering of your site by deleting older posts and photos? What are your guidelines in choice of posts/photos to delete? Do you keep a copy of them on your computer for later reference?

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    1. Well, they are are questions that I have given little thought to! I am checking the most popular posts over the years, and will keep those. I will also keep ones that I refer back to, such as the Beckler Botanical Bounty Project I am involved with and the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook. So my thoughts are to just trawl through older posts and delete the ones that I don’t want. I am pretty sure I will get bored before too long!
      The photos will be more difficult, because as far as I know there is no way of checking whether the photo is still being used in a post. That would be even more tedious to look at the post, delete photos and then delete the post. Or do photos go from the library when the post goes? Any advice is most welcome.

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  6. I have never changed the theme of my blog since I first started – after seven years I don’t think it would feel right for it to look any different! I do, however, pay for my WordPress site, so that I can have the domain name I want and to stop adverts appearing. I notice increasingly more adverts on free sites and I absolutely don’t want anything to seem to be endorsed by me that isn’t.
    As for etsy, I thought about setting up my own shop independently, but in the end I decided it was too complicated, plus I think I get lots more sales via etsy than I would otherwise… it’s such a well-known marketplace.
    I’m just off to look at your sewing on paper page, because for the very first time a few days ago I brought together my sewing machine and some paper and I’m rather happy with the result… more on my blog when I’ve played around a little.
    Anyway, I hope that you settle on a theme that you feel comfortable with: this one is nice and uncluttered.

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  7. I like the look of this, it’s easier to navigate than the other one. The only suggestion/ comment I have is that the stark white background makes it look a tiny bit utilitarian. Is it possible to change the colour so it’s maybe a bit warmer, and looks a bit less like a document? Side bars would help prevent this, but perhaps this design doesn’t offer those. Like some of the others, I’ve never felt the need to change my design. There aren’t too many of us using it that I’ve come across, and it’s not available any longer to new users, so I’m staying put 🙂

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  8. I like the headings-pages, they’re a useful navigation tool. And, I like the content of your home page, makes it easy to get to know you. A while ago I changed to my own [paid] domain name, and lost all the links in my posts to other posts when I did so… grrr. Recently I decided the ads on the hosted free sites were annoying so sucked it up and shelled out more $$$ to go ad free. The plan being it would be incentive to do more than make rough notes and drafts and publish more blog posts.

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  9. I have FINALLY signed up for your blog (I’ve been meaning to for months…I have no excuse for why I didn’t do so, but there it is). As for the look of the site, it’s terrific. Very clean and easy to navigate. And don’t worry about having to make adjustments – I’m constantly fiddling with mine because I keep noticing something’s off (and then have to hunt and search the WordPress Help to sort it out). Ah, technology.

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    1. We all have those things that just keep falling off the To Do List. Eventually manage to hold on long enough for us to get them done. And then the satisfaction of crossing them off! Thanks for you feedback, Tammie. It’s good to know that the blog is easy to navigate. That was one of my top priorities.

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