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DYOB Two-Year Blogiversary! (+ Some Redesign Sneak Peeks)

DYOB final mood board/color palette
Mood inspiration board for the new which you may notice has been inspired by the ocean, my happy place! See the full brand board here too.

Mood board for DYOB which you may notice has been inspired by the ocean.

Hey everyone! You may have noticed that I’ve been laying kinda low lately. And if you’ve been reading my emails, you’ll know that the reason is I’ve had to put all my focus into the DYOB redesign.

You see, I’ve been planning this redesign for almost a year now: taking notes of features I like, searching for themes that spark my interest and gathering design inspiration in a secret Pinterest board… I even went so far as to announce a redesign happening back in November!

But then I spent all of last fall on the creation and launch of my first eBook, I started a new Facebook group last winter that’s been growing wildly, I introduced monthly themed posts in May, and then just last month my day job totally changed which has had quite an affect on how much time I can spend on DYOB. Ugh jobs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I decided that the only way to get any forward progress on this elusive redesign project was to shut off distractions and focus throughout the month of July. So I postponed the monthly themes and got some help to manage the Facebook group from my fabulous, life-saving moderators, Laura Beeby and Jenny Crowell Kyles, just so I could focus and get it done already!

Redesign Launch Party!

The plan was to relaunch DYOB on July 29th with a big party in time for my 2 year Blogiversary! Yep, that’s today folks! Two years ago today, DYOB launched for the world to see!

Unfortunately, there’s no party today. Womp womp. :[

Yep, I think I spent a tad too much time picking out the perfect font palette. Then last week I ran into some technical difficulties with my new theme (see? I’m not immune to them either)! Long story short: I’m behind schedule. But barring any future tech glitches, I’m back on track and working like a fiend behind the scenes because I want this party to go down!

I’ve talked with some pretty AMAZING blogger friends and they’ve all agreed to contribute a fabulous product or service to giveaway during my relaunch week! We’re talking books, courses, themes, graphics, consultations… the works! There will be 10 lucky winners so your chances of winning will be pretty great!

Redesign Progress Update

On launch day you’ll get ALL the details behind the redesign project, but just because the new blog isn’t quite ready to launch doesn’t mean that I can’t share a few sneak peeks and show you what I’ve accomplished so far, right?

What I’ve Done So Far:

  1. Logo updated
  2. Color palette defined
  3. Mood board created (shown above)
  4. Font palette defined
  5. Brand board done
  6. Design mockups for both home page and a post page created in Photoshop*
  7. Transferred DYOB from Bluehost to Siteground. Hey, wait a second Marianne! Aren’t you an affiliate for Bluehost? Yes! Don’t get me wrong, Bluehost is great! I still use them for my other blogs, including my husband’s and my step-son’s.

    But DYOB is starting to get more and more traffic and I am at the point where I need to pay more for a managed WordPress host that can handle more bandwidth and take over some of the things I don’t have time for like backups, security and super caching to name a few. I looked into Bluehost’s managed hosting plans too but in the end, it was Siteground’s* killer Independence Day sale that pulled me in. And I’m so so happy with their incredible support: They went above and beyond to help me get everything set up for the new design launch!

  8. Bought and installed a new theme from Theme Forest (I’ll reveal which one at launch)
  9. Began applying my custom design to the new theme.

Here’s the final brand board:

The new Design Your Own (lovely) Blog brand board, inspired by my happy place: the ocean!

The new Design Your Own (lovely) Blog brand board

That’s where I’m at now: applying the design and yeah it’s time consuming. So many little details as you probably know!

What’s Left To Do:

  1. Redo my post title images to match the new design and stand out more in Pinterest
  2. Update my profile pics/descriptions in all of my accounts
  3. Update social media graphics and logos in all of my accounts

I’ve been logging everything I’m doing and I’ll share a checklist with you when all is said and done!


Is a Blog Redesign in Your Future?

Have you been thinking about doing a redesign for your own blog? Not sure where to start?

Then be sure to check out the start of my newest guide/series, The Epic Guide to Starting a (lovely) Blog. Parts 1 and 2 are now live with more to come soon.

Question for you:

I’ve been thinking for a long time about putting together a course that walks you through a complete blog redesign, start to finish. I’d share with you my entire process for the DYOB redesign as well as provide actionable lessons, a workbook and weekly feedback sessions. In the end, you’d have a brand new blog design that you did yourself with a little help from me and the class!

Don’t worry, I’m not selling you on it, I haven’t even started creating it and we all know how long it takes me to get things done around here ๐Ÿ˜‰

But I’d love to know your thoughts on something like this!

Would you be interested? What kinds of things would you want to know about the process? What has you stumped or blocked on moving forward with your own redesign? Please let me know in the comments below!

Hey friend, want free DIY design stuff?

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  • Can’t wait to see your new look! I am surprised you went with a theme forest theme, definitely curious to hear why (I’ve heard too many theme forest horror stories).

    Love the rebranding and color pallet. Also, love the chocolates font!

    • Marianne says:

      Kristie I know!! I usually tell people to stay away from Theme Forest, but I’ve had my eye on this one theme for a long time and it has a TON of great reviews and support and it really had almost everything I was looking for in terms of layout and functionality. Nothing I found came close without having to do A LOT of custom development.

      I got Chocolates (and some of the other graphics I’m using) from one of the recent Design Cuts bundles, gotta love those!!

  • Sara says:

    Marianne, I am LOVING the mood board. I’m so excited to see the new redesign launched!!!

    What made you choose to switch from Genesis?

    Have an amazing day!!!

    • Marianne says:

      Hey Sara, thank you, I appreciate it! Well I’ll go into it more in my relaunch post, but basically this theme I’ve had my eye on just had a lot of home page features that I really wanted and couldn’t find anywhere else. I didn’t necessarily want to get away from Genesis because I really like it but I also didn’t want to do too much custom development. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Crystal says:

    Marianne you are fabulous!!! I love your mood board! I’m totally feeling the colors and I LOVE The updated logo ๐Ÿ™‚ There has to be a market for a redesign course. I’m still working on my first design! But I’m sure there’s a redesign in my future though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keep up the fabulous work and don’t forget to breathe every now and then!!

    • Marianne says:

      Aw thank you Crystal!! Well I guess I should have explained that it would be a redesign from whatever basic theme or template you’ve already got. Not saying yours is basic of course because I think it looks fabulous! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hey btw, you should get yourself a Gravatar!

  • Monica says:

    I LOVE your new color palette and textures… can’t wait to see all the updates for inspiration!

  • Wow Marianne! Your redesign is going to be AMAZING. Can’t wait to see it all come together!!

    The course sounds like a great idea too!

    Take care,

  • Well, I for one, am SO interested in the blog/brand redesign idea, as you know from my harassments on Twitter. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Use me as a test subject, a pity case, whatever!

    Your feel IS very beachy and colourful. Wish I was so daring. And, I can relate to the font issues…so many fonts, so little time (and money).

    Cheers to such super ambition! Your drive is inspiring!

    Stacy aka Gothic Gourd Girl in a former life…

    • Marianne says:

      Stacy, thanks so much for saying so. And haha yes I’d LOVE to use you as a beta tester. It will be a while before I get my act together on this, but I really do want to do this!

  • Stacy says:

    Oh Marianne I adore your final brand board ~ the colors are so vibrant! and luscious. How do you have time for all that you do!

    • Marianne says:

      Ah Stacy I end up sacrificing my family I think! :[ sigh…. but seriously I just love my blog and design and you guys so much that it’s just fun and I look forward to it everyday!

      Thanks for such nice words about my brand board, I really appreciate it!

  • Pia says:

    Phew Marianne
    That is one exhaustive list.
    Congratulations on all you have achieved so far.

  • Really excited to see you redesign and launch, m’lady. Loving everything you’ve put together so far.

  • Love where your redesign is headed Marianne! Your brands style guide is pro. Also, inspired by the beach!? PERFECT.

  • Tiffany says:

    Happy two year blogiversary! I love the brand board. It’s really eye catching and I can’t wait to see the new look.

  • OMY, this looks so pretty and I can not WAIT to see the launch!! I can say a checklist would be awesome! As I am just finishing up my launch (supposed to be launched today but with last minute touches, a job and a crazy summer it got pushed back to next week – so I know the feeling) it would be AWESOME and I keep stumbling upon things and adding it to my to-do list!

    Your board looks amazing and so relaxing and calming but bright, friendly and exciting!! Go Marianne! YAY PARTAY! (and prizes ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    Lauren Baxter | LB Deigns

    • Marianne says:

      Thank you so much Lauren, so glad you like it! Oh my we are both on the same track (or not so much!) on our launches. Can’t wait to see yours too!

  • Kristen says:

    LOVE your new color pallet and cannot wait to see your new site re-design! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tiffany says:

    I’m so excited to see the redesign! There’s been a couple times I’ve checked your blog since Nov. just to see if it was up yet. Ha! Love the colors and designs so far! Also, I just switched from Genesis+child theme to a single Theme Forest theme too (from Solo Pine Designs)! It’s exactly what I’d been trying (and failing) to do myself with Genesis for 2 years. Sometimes, you just have to make things easy on yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Marianne says:

      Haha you’re so right Tiffany! Thanks for the encouragement and I really appreciate that you have been coming back to check on the redesign!! Gosh can you believe it’s been this long?

      Btw, I just LOVE what you’ve been doing with your own design! I hadn’t seen it in a while, but it really looks great!

  • Amy says:

    I love your redesign and am so excited to learn more about your process! A course on redesign would be wonderful! As a beginning blogger, there is so much I don’t know and am trying to learn along the way. It would be great to have a step-by-step to (re)design. One of the tips I would appreciate is how to really tell what you get when you are theme-shopping. When I first looked at themes, I thought my purchase would look identical to the demo right out of the box. Little did I know I had to create that look. Some insight from an expert like you would be very valuable.
    Thanks for all your helpful tips!

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Amy thank you so much I am so glad you like the site and thank you for the tips on things you’d like to know. Actually (and I know my response is a little tardy), but I just published a post today talking about how I picked my theme and why.

      You’re absolutely right that the demos can be quite misleading and many people learn it the hard way and sometimes its just hard to know which are going to be easy to use or not, until you use it. That’s the unfortunate thing about an open source market. But I think the goods outweigh the bads, just my opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

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