Welcome to the brand new Design Your Own (lovely) Blog!
I am thrilled with how the new site and design turned out and I hope you are too!
Truth be Told
As you may know redesigns can be a big deal, especially when you’ve been blogging a while. As with any major update, there are always a few glitches that make it through so if you see anything that’s amiss (such as broken links, missing images, etc.) as you stroll through, please be sure to let me know! You can do so by leaving a comment below or on the appropriate page or by sending me a message via my contact page.
You may also notice some pages that have incomplete content. Rest assured that those are being completed soon!
The How and Why and What Went Wrong
Now I’m sure you all have questions about how and why I made certain decisions (and I’m sure you wanna know all about what went wrong too!) so this week I’ll be crafting a pretty epic series all about the hows and whys of the DYOB redesign process.
So grab a seat and some coffee (or wine!) and let’s get started!
To jump to a certain day/section, use a link below:
Day One: What’s the Point? (below)
Day Two: The Design/Branding Process
Day Three: Font Palettes
Day Four: Design Mockups and Why I Chose My Theme
Day Five: Turning Your Blog into a Business/Making Money from Your Blog
Day Six: Newsletters
Day Seven: Social Media
DAY ONE: What’s the Point?
Before doing a redesign it’s important to first ask yourself: What’s the point of the whole thing: Why are you doing a redesign? What do you want to accomplish from it? What are your goals?
Why a Redesign?
Besides being a little bit outdated, I had two big reasons for doing a redesign for DYOB:
1. I never felt like the current design represented me well. I think the look I was going for 2 years ago was not really me. I realized the old design was holding me back because frankly I have always been a little embarrassed by it. I’m a designer and I know I can do better. Ah the bane of being a designer: it’s never good enough! 😉
2. Blogs evolve over time. My audience has become more defined over the last 2 years. And some of the things I originally had in mind for DYOB have shifted due to audience response as well as my own interests. Because of this, I felt like the old blog was a little disorganized. It didn’t give people a clear indication of where to start or what to do. Now there are some new pages and a new organized structure in the new blog.
What Do I Want to Accomplish? What are my Goals?
I wanted to set a higher standard for myself. I wanted to look more polished and professional and I wanted people to get a sense that they could accomplish the same things for their own blogs or businesses.
I also wanted the blog to have a clear direction. I think the old site confused some people and they weren’t exactly sure what they were gonna get out of it. Now I think the message is clearer (please tell me if it’s not!)
I started out with writing out some statements that I developed during Regina Anaejionu’s Blog to Profit course.
Why DYOB exists and where I see it going…
DYOB exists to teach & inspire female solopreneurs & bloggers to beautify their blogs DIY-style. While I don’t wish to replace web designers, knowing how to do your own blog customization makes you less reliant on one for all the little things you want to change on the fly. I see DYOB becoming a hub for women to learn basic design and coding skills while supporting each other in building their businesses.
My responsibilities to my community and how I’ll accomplish my vision above…
My mission is to show women that things like CSS and design are not scary and that they can build the business of their dreams with a blog to match their aspirations. I do this by sharing free and premium educational resources, feedback, advice and inspiration.
Now that I had a clearer idea of why I was doing a redesign and what I wanted out of it, I could move on to branding and vision boards. That part’s coming tomorrow. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Relaunch Party List!
The Day One Giveaway!
I am so very excited to announce our first giveaway of the week! Check it out and enter here. But before you do, I’d LOVE to know your thoughts on the new site! Please leave me a comment below!!
Sign Up Right Here to be Notified about the Daily Giveaways this Week!
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Site looks great on my phone! Congratulations! Time for you to sit back and rest xx
Oh good! That’s great to know Ruth, thank you!
the website looks great, Marianne! Love the colours, as always.
Looking forward to reading all about your process and learning from you 🙂
Thank you Andrea! Definitely and if i leave anything out from the process recap, let me know!
Love the new look and the colors are gorgeous!
Hi Jenna thank you, I appreciate that!
The colors and designs are beautiful. Everything is clean, easy to navigate, and EMINENTLY feminine. Great job!
Yay exactly what i was going for Jenny, thank you!
The site looks great on my phone. I am always working on mine and appreciate the tips and resources. Looking forward to your posts and giveaways this week. Thanks!
Oh so glad to hear it Tanya, the phone mode always makes me nervous because there are so many different platforms and screen sizes!
The new blog design is stunning Marianne! I love it! It is truly epic 🙂
So super sweet of you to say Kirsten, thank you 🙂
It looks AWESOME Marianne, what a difference. It looks cleaner and definitely more you. I think its easier to navigate and easier to find what your looking for and why your here 🙂
Love the colors you chose and it all goes so well together! P.s how did you get that bloglovin Heart Icon?!
I also tried to signup for the Giveaway and to get emails to be reminded and it wouldn’t work for me or send me a link (just an FYI).
it must feels so good to finally work in a space that represents you and to finally have the big part done!! I know that feeling 🙂
Lauren Baxter | Lovely Décor
Oh no! Looking into it right away Lauren. There are definitely people that have signed up for the giveaway week list so it should be working at least for some people. Let me see if I can look into it a bit more. Can you try again by chance? Oh! Did you use the form in the middle of the post or the one at the end?
Just realized i forgot to answer your question about the heart icon. I got all the icons from Font Awesome http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/ They are icon fonts and i just used the generic heart icon. 🙂
The site looks wonderful! I LOVE the sidebar and the way you’ve used images for everything. The script font is beautiful? What is it?? And I love the color palate 🙂 Great job <3
Thank you Marissa! I’m glad the sidebar isn’t too busy then! The script is VeryBerry Pro.
Wow! I love it – mobile friendly! I look forward to browsing around more when I get on my MacBook!
Thanks Erin! Glad to know it works on your phone too!
Oh Marianne it looks so pretty. I loved it before, but this looks really slick and cool. You did so well – I’m going to be following along all week.. Thank you.
I did see one pic problem on the iPad if it helps.. It’s towards the bottom of this fantastic landing page,., http://designyourownblog.com
I’ve been clicking around for ages.. Love it.
Hey Trina, so glad you like it! Oh is it the ad near the bottom? Darn it, thanks for pointing it out!
I love the redesign! It’s so clean and fresh and clear. The colors are vibrant without being over-powerful and drowning out your message. This is truly beautiful Marianne!
Thank you so much Stacy, I really appreciate your feedback!
LOVE it all! I’m carving out some quiet time to spend going through it all.
Thank you Gina, so glad you like it!
It looks great!! Lots of helpful information. I’m in the process of redesigning mine and hope to have it up by the end of the month….and I’m doing it all myself too.
Thanks Robin! I can’t wait to see yours, you’ll have to let me know when it’s ready.
I like your bold use of colors. And the font combinations are great! I have a question: The bundles you point us to from Creative Market, can you only use them with Photoshop? I don’t have Photoshop. I use Picmonkey. And I think you did a wonderful redesign job. You pulled it all together without going overboard. And that takes an artistic mind.
Hi Brenda, so glad you like the colors and fonts! I’m really glad you think it didn’t go overboard. I tried to keep it simple but sometimes it’s hard to stay subjective when you’re working on your own design!
Do you mean the bundles from Design Cuts? It depends on the bundle. Usually I’ll note it in my review posts when certain items require Photoshop or Illustrator, but not all of them do. Some of them come with .PNG files that you can open using PicMonkey or Pixlr. And of course the font bundles don’t require Photoshop.
The site looks gorgeous!! I love it!!
Thanks so much Kelly!
Love it! It’s clearer to read, a little easier on my eyes that way.!
I’m so glad Jennifer! I was never happy with the typography of the last design.
I don’t like it. The bluey/greeny colour is too bright. I loved the old design. It was so inviting and the colours were much better. The old design was unique. I’d not come across anything like it before. This one is a lot like all the rest. Sorry but that is my honest opinion. I loved the everything about the old design.
Hi Sharon, I appreciate your opinion, I really do. Unfortunately it just never felt like “me” but that’s design for you: it’s so subjective!
Congrats, dear Marianne for your relaunch! your site looks great and I love the new clean look and colors.
The site is very inspiring and easy to navigate. 🙂
Hi Skye! So glad you think it’s easy to navigate! That was one of my biggest challenges so it’s good to know I’ve done alright in that area. 🙂
I am on holidays so only looking at this in my phone but it looks great already. Love the at square boxes and also really really like your new photo. So friendly and professional at the same time.
I can’t wait to read the other days. Such a great idea to give a behind the scene look.
You can be really proud of your hard work. It shows.
Thank you so much Stephanie! I’m so happy to hear it looks professional 🙂 And glad you’re enjoying the behind-the-scenes.
Can’t wait to see your newest holiday photos!
Aargh. Previous long comment was deleted as I type on my phone and on holidays so bad connection.
Site is fab and loved your new photo. Will look forward to exploring more when I’m on a computer with better wifi.
Well do e
No worries Stephanie, it looks like it did go through!
Marianne, the redesign is gorgeous! Good job!!
Thank you so much Jenni!
First, congrats on the redesign! I know how time-consuming, exciting and frustrating that can be. You made me laugh when you wrote about how designers are never quite happy with their own work , which is why my redesign is taking so many months (just over two months for my logo alone) and never quite happy with the work, which leads me to become distracted by so many other things and then forget which part of my blog I was working on!
Any advice on how to stay focused? Any order in which redesign should take place, like complete your “graphics” before deciding on widgets? Tweak your fonts before you tweak your sidebars? Ahhh!
So many great things herein terms of resources, information, and so well organized- at least this distraction will help me make my blog the way I want it…if I ever get done reading and admiring yours! Sheesh! 🙂
Hey Stacy, gosh if i had advice for focus i would give it, but i sure don’t. it’s the BANE of my existence haha! Advice on order of things… follow this series this week and that’s pretty much the order I’ve done things in. And yes definitely tweak fonts before sidebars and anything else.
Thanks for the kind words, so glad you like it!
Now this is how you do a redesign and relaunch!
I know your target audience is female, but hopefully my comment is allowed 😉
If I’m honest, I’d followed you on twitter for a while as I’m in to blog design, but I never checked out your old style website as the feel was a bit dated, as you’ll no doubt agree. But I had to check this new look out! I hope you’re proud of it cause it’s awesome. I’ll happily check back!
Thank you Peter! Of course your comment is allowed. I do have plenty of guys that hang around, although admittedly the percentage is quite low 😉 SO glad you like the new look i appreciate you taking the time to come over and say so.