You Clean up Nice

I tend to clean up my blog when I have the least amount of free time to do so. Usually it’s a form of procrastination because at the end of the year, I have the desire to do some tidying up curiously right around finals week. The timing may not be perfect, but it is necessary and is something that I needed to do! I thought I would share some of the things that I’ve changed around here and some of the back-end things that you might not notice.

New Layout
A few months ago, I desperately knew that I needed a new design. I was tired of looking at the same theme and I felt that it didn’t accurately represent Jovers anymore. So I switched between a couple of ones I found online but none of them seemed to fit. So about a month ago I purchased my first theme! I have always been so wary of doing this because I think it’s silly to spend money when there are probably hundreds of thousands of free themes out there. However, with how much time I spend on here and how important this blog is to me, it was definitely worth it.

I didn’t have much time to tweak it at first, but I’ve recently worked with it to get it where I want. I updated the font sizes to be a bit bigger and the color to be darker to overall just make my posts easier to read. I updated some of the font faces as well since they seemed so squished. I’m really pretty happy with it! It looks very clean and open, which is what I wanted.

The only thing I’m having problems with is having my front page show recent summaries of my posts. I fiddled with the content.php file and changed “the_content” to “the_excerpt” which worked in the past, but for some reason this theme is making it so when you click on the individual post in the feed, it’s only showing a summary. So there is no way to read the whole post.Thoughts, anyone?

Updated the Emoticons
This was also a bit overdue. I loved the elephant emoticons but somewhere along the line they got squished and I just wanted something simpler. I quite like these! :D :P :) :O :( XD :heart:

Organized Categories and Tags
I finally reorganized my categories. Some of them should have been tags so I converted them over, merged a couple that were basically the same thing, re-titled some to either be more specific or more broad to encapsulate other categories, and have made some plans for future ones. I hadn’t used tags very often previously, but after reorganizing I should be using them appropriately now!

Cleaned out Drafts/ Some Old Posts
I’ve had several half-written posts in draft status that I knew I would never finish or publish, but felt like I needed to keep them for “history reasons” or something. So I deleted those. I then was going through my archives, and couldn’t believe how far back some of my posts dated (back to 2010!). This was something that I’ve been debating back and forth on because I feel like these posts are really important to me, for reasons I can’t explain. No one hardly views them, I’m not using them anymore, and some of them really make me cringe! The horrendous sentence structure and grammar and complaining – I just don’t feel like it reflects who I am anymore. Plus, I had written them at previous sites, so I feel they didn’t represent Jovers either.

So I decided to remove some of them. I changed all of the posts that I had written prior to moving to Jovers to draft status, because I wanted to go through them and make sure there really wasn’t anything there I wanted to keep. Then after getting comfortable with the idea, I deleted them. It sounds weird, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder! Plus, it’s nice to now go to my archives and see the first post I wrote here “Hello, World” right there at the bottom.

Updated Pages & Sidebar
Probably nothing that anyone besides me noticed, but I reworded some awkward phrases, added a few more links to social media, took a few away. Updated my About page a little bit and fixed my Goodreads widget which broke about a month ago and wouldn’t update the books shown.

Planning for Next Year
Reviewing what I’ve written over the year always motivates me to keep writing next year. It also gives me some new ideas of things to write and things I want to avoid writing. It’s also curious to note the big things that happened and the things that I consider important to me that I didn’t actually blog about. I’ve been reflecting over that and I think that will be a big improvement in my blogging next year.

Finally, I’ve decided to take after Holly and Georgie and post a blog survey. I think it will really show me my strengths and areas that I can improve. Also, I want to get to know my readers a bit more and see what you guys are interested in! I would really appreciate it if you guys could take it – shouldn’t take more than five minutes. I am very excited for what next year holds for!

15 thoughts on “You Clean up Nice”

  1. I think it’s always a good idea to clean up unwanted posts or drafts that you’ve started but did not finish. I like that idea. Especially, since you’ve had this domain for as long as I can remember! How many years have you had this domain? I will definitely take your survey!!!

    I’m so glad that your finals are over, now we all can relax and do what we want and when we want! :D .I love your smilies! Where did you get them? I have seen them somewhere before and I assume they are on Twitter’s mobile device app. Though, I can be mistaken. I just really like the smilies, also, what plugin are you using for the smilies? Please let me know.

    1. I’ve had this for almost five years! I can’t believe it’s been that long!

      Thanks so much for taking the survey! I found them kind of on accident. The designer has a bunch of other icons you can use for free, too. There’s a link on the about page, I am just too lazy to pull it at the moment. :P The plugin is simply called “Custom Smilies.” You upload your own emoticons and then you can configure what emoticon matches what you type. Did that make sense? Haha

      1. Hey, thank you for responding back. I didn’t mean to check back so late, just forgot I guess.

        I, too, can’t believe you’ve had for five years! That’s amazing!!!! So, if you’ve had for five years, does that mean that you and I have known each other for about six maybe five?

        Yeah, that made sense. I will check out the about page soonish. Thanks for responding back to me. Oh yeah, let me know if you’re wanting a theme built by me some time. I will not charge you at all. Just learning experience for me. :).

        1. Yeah, I would say at least six because I knew you before I had my own domain! Time flies.

          Aw thanks Jamie. I won’t need one anytime soon since I just got this one but I will keep that in mind for the future!

  2. Ugh, changing the theme to work with excerpts has been difficult for me, too! What worked in the past no longer works. :s I decided to give up for now, heh. I want to change my theme for 6birds, but on the other hand, I still like the current theme and feel uneasy when it comes to thinking about a new theme for it. :s

    I took the survey. :3

    1. Good to know I’m not the only one! Haha. I’ve just given up on it for now, too. It’s not that big of a deal to me, but it would be nice. Ah well!

      Thanks so much, Liz!!

  3. I’m liking the new look! It’s so clean and everything is easy to read! :D I also thank you for making the font size bigger. X_X I’m old to where my eyesight isn’t as it used to be, so making the fonts larger really helps me! :D

    Great job, Becca! I can tell you did a lot of tweaking, and it shows! ^^

    1. Thanks! The font was really bothering me, so I knew it was probably bothering other people, too. I just didn’t have the time to play with it. I’m glad it’s easier to read now!

  4. I go through stuff on my sites every so often. Maybe not as much as you did, but some things. Also did the survey! =3

  5. I really like your new theme! I should do a blog cleanup too. I’ve been phoning it in lately, and I need to up my game. I also love the idea of reader surveys! I shall fill yours out. :D

  6. LOL are you meee??? *high fives* We both did the exact same thing….it’s TOTALLY blog cleaning time :P I absolutely filtered a lot of my old, old blog posts and put the majority of them on private. We’re talking middle school days old! It always feels good updating and cleaning things up, even though most people won’t even notice. Kinda like cleaning your room. Not too many people are gonna see it, but when they do it’ll be good. Plus it’s mostly for yourself though :) I like the layout…very clean and simple. Always a good thing when reading a blog.

  7. I like your new theme. Nothing beats simple and clean theme ever! Your emoticons are also cute. Its good that you reorganize your categories. It’s one of the big factors to get your readers’ attention. Back then I saved my posts dated in 2007 but failed to back it up tsk tsk. Anyway, you are right. no one reads them anymore haha. My posts back then are full of grammatical errors lol haha. I hope to see posts from you soon. Thanks for commenting on my posts! :) Btw, i followed you on twitter! :)

  8. becca, i LOVE your new blog design! you definitely revamped it and even invested in a blog theme! i also have the same issue with purchasing blog themes… but then again, if you’re passionate about something (and you get a lot of readers, like your blog!), then why not!

    1. Thank you, Patti! Do I get a lot of readers? Haha I wouldn’t say my blog is super popular compared to others but I guess it does okay ;)

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