A Blog Upgrade, Yay!

Instead of starting the spring cleaning of my home, I went for a spring cleaning of my blog. Blogging responsibly as I do, I’ve spent months deliberating over the facelift (screenlift?) that I’ll give to my online home. What set things moving was the anonymous web user experience feedback that I asked for my blog. The reviewer was puzzled, to say the least, as you can see for yourself in the tragicomic video feedback I received:

Besides being thrown in the depths of despair that nobody likes my baby (= my blog), I went on to spend a feverish night fiddling with the site. My goal was to adorn my blog baby to make it prettier and, above all, to make it immediately clear to first-time visitors as to what kind of virtual space they just landed in. This was apparently the reviewer’s major complaint about my blog.

Therefore, the major change to this blog as you knew it is the new home page: now you don’t get a page of recent posts when you arrive, but a static page with an image and a brief description of the site. To get to the blog proper, you need to click BLOG in the navigation bar at the top of the page. You may wish to bookmark the BLOG page (rather than the home page) if you plan to come again and if you don’t already follow me via your WordPress Reader.

The first thing after I set up the new blog looks was of course asking for another web user review. The first review arrived within hours; the next one took a week to arrive. Hence the delay of this post and hence my experience of near-death by curiosity. The review was, once again, devastatingly unfavourable. What the second reviewer hated the most was apparently the new home page, which I set up to satisfy the demand of the first reviewer. There’s clearly no way out but to enjoy a video of another reviewer’s utter confusion:

As soon as I recover from the disappointing review, I’ll be thinking about further touch-ups and adjustments. And here’s where you come in! I’d love to hear your opinions: is there something in need of changing that I overlooked? Do you find something confusing and want me to clear it up? Constructive criticism is most welcome, though compliments are graciously received too! Thank you for being with me.


Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

6 thoughts

  1. I personally don’t have a (solid) preference as far as “static page” vs. “recent posts feed”. I think it depends on what you’re doing, and what *seems/feels* write to you as the person presenting the content. If someone has a static page, there’s usually a way to cycle through all the posts, whether by category, tags, or… whatever. If you’re going to have a static page, then I imagine something like that makes it more user-friendly for others. That’s made easy here though since you have the “Blog” button in the navigation bar.

    Aesthetically speaking, I like your current theme. But to me it’s mostly a matter of personal taste and, given that, I’m even more of the opinion that what feels right to *you*, as the person that posts and presents the content here, is the best route to go.

    The opposing reviews you’ve gotten so far kind of speak to that: no matter what you do, someone’s going to love it, someone’s going to hate it. If you like the way you’ve set things up so far and you could use some validation, I can honestly tell you I like the way it looks and it’s not hard to navigate. Anyone that says differently has inelegant taste (i.e. no taste) and they probably miss out on a lot of content at other blogs too if they’re that picky about how site navigation is set up.

    It’s simple and it looks nice. With that checked off the list, there’s only one other item to consider: does it works for *you*? If it does then I’d say you’ve accounted for everything that *deserves* to be accounted for.

    My two cents anyways 😉 .


    1. Thank you for your two cents, Jack, now I consider myself a rich woman 🙂 Seriously.

      Your insightful comment says it all: it’s right that you shouldn’t be a slave to other people’s opinions, because they are naturally so divergent, and with things like your blog, it’s best to do with it as you think or feel fit, whether it’s design or content. After all, it’s your blog and it’s all about you. At least with personal blogs, like yours or mine.

      On the other hand, one is often biased against one’s own creations, so I thought getting some reviews would help me. It did, to some extent, but it was not so valuable as feedback from other bloggers, who are better acquainted with the specifics of blogging, whether it’s specifically feedback from you or the feedback I can get in the Community Pool.

      Anyway, enough whining on my part; thank you a lot for saying your opinion (you made my day!) and see you around in the blogosphere 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for dropping my blog! I think your blog looks fantastic. Love the red, black & beige colour combination.

    My personal preference/feedbacks:
    1) Menu bar a bit clustered. Lesser the menu links eg. combine “Contact” & “Connect”, remove “Explore” since the archive, recent post & categories are in the sidebar & footer.
    2) Your static page looks pretty but not informative to attract more clicks. How about putting your “About” & “Navigate” pages in it instead!
    3) Make your “Navigate” page as graphical as your “About” page. I really support your idea of having a “Navigate” page. It provides the information I want to know of the posts you wrote.

    I totally agreed with @Jack Sutter. Feedbacks are good to know but you do not need to alter your blog to suit everyone which is so difficult. I think you have done a good job with making the blog fantastic.

    And, lastly, thanks for sharing the video review site. I have entered my blog link and now waiting anxiously for a review.


    1. Wow, thank you so much for taking the time and giving me your feedback! It’s much appreciated!

      You’re right about the Menu Bar; it’s funny, but I was thinking the same about merging Contact and Connect and letting Explore go… Good of you to remind me that I must work on the visuals for the pages too! There were pictures but I got rid of those when changing the theme recently because they didn’t fit. And then I forgot to add some other visuals! *makes a mental note*

      Good luck with your review! It clearly depends also on what sort of reviewer you get and how much he or she is acquainted with the specific format of blogs. 😀


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