A New Blog Look

chelseamamma

In January 2014 I took the plunge of moving my blog from blogger to wordpress and going self hosted as I wanted to own my own content.

Moving over was relatively easy, my new host MaFt set me up a background account so I could choose my theme and then once I was happy he redirected all my content for me and I was soon up and running.

As with anything new there were teething problems and tears and I found myself hugely out of my depth at first as wordpress is so very different from blogger.  The lovely Chelle McCann came to my rescue and helped me sort my blog so it was working the way I wanted to.  On Blogger my blog was on a black background but now it was clean, crisp and white – I was happy.

I had always loved my homemade blog header, which I updated yearly with new pictures of the children, however one of the teens said they didn’t want to be on there anymore so I made the decision to change it.  I looked into lots of illustrators and the one that stood out for me was Helen Braid from EllieIllustrates.

I gave Helen an idea about what I wanted, descriptions / ages of the children and let her work her magic.  There were two things I insisted on – a beach scene, as my header photo’s were always one from the beach and I wanted “Dorset” in there as people always assume I live in London.

She came back a week later with a proof for me to approve.  It wasn’t quite right, but almost there so she made some tweaks for me and sent it back – perfect!  She also made a badge for me at the same time.

As the year progressed I saw more and more people change the designs of their blogs and it made me think about re-designing mine.  After a year on wordpress there were little niggles I had with my blog that I didn’t have the expertise to change, but I knew someone who had rescued me with problems throughout the year – Zoe Corkhill!

I first met Zoe at Coombemill at Christmas 2013 where she brought her two daughters to visit and ride the Christmas train.  Also with her was the cutest dog in a Christmas jumper that I had ever seen.  I think we must have been invited to all the same blogger events in 2014 and we saw each regularly, stopping to have a quick natter before being interrupted by the kids at each one.

I didn’t realise that Zoe did web design at first and it was only when I saw her help another blogger that I realised.  As I regularly chatted to her online I trusted that she would do the design I wanted so filled our her web design preferences form and let her work her magic.

Zoe set up a test site so I could go in and see what changes she was making and it wouldn’t affect my current blog until I had approved it.  Because of my wish list she had to build me a whole new theme and took Helen’s header as inspiration.  She took all the colours and tones from the header and worked them into the blog.  See how she did it here!

Originally I asked for photo’s as my menu tabs but Zoe suggested I ask Helen to do some illustrations that tied in with my header – now why hadn’t I thought of that?  Again Helen did an amazing job and I was so happy with the results.  She also resized my header image for YouTube, G+, Twitter and Facebook too.

Zoe has been amazing to work with.  She really listened to what I wanted – I kept my photo header at the top of each blog post and she built me a slide show for my sidebar.  I have had to go back to her for a couple of little tweaks too – the title text we used was the same is in my blog header, but some of the letters didn’t look quite right so she changed it for me to something more legible.

Another important aspect of being is blogger is having a good media pack to send off to potential clients.  I had one that I put together myself which had all the information in it and reflected my old blog look, but Zoe made me a new one, took Helen’s images and themed it perfectly so it looks like an extension of the blog.  What’s more, a few of the areas of the media pack are clickable links, including the social icons, contact info & screenshot – there is no way I could have done that.  The compressed PDF weighs in at a titchy & email-friendly 979 KB too.

Zoe charges £40 to make a bespoke media pack, just fill in the form here to enquire about having yours done.

I couldn’t be happier with the work Zoe and Helen have done and their prices are very reasonable too.  If you are thinking of having a new look or just a tweak here and there, give them a shout – you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

31 thoughts on “A New Blog Look

  1. Looks amazing! Helen does such a good job doesn’t she? You already had a fantastic looking blog, but its gone next level now!
    Ryan Costello recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  2. Love the new look. The illustrations are stunning.
    agatapokutycka recently posted…The mystery of the humble bagel discovered – Sesame Seed BagelsMy Profile

  3. I love the new design, it looks fab.
    Zoe is awesome and did my media pack too
    Clare @ Emmy’s Mummy recently posted…Giveaway: Win a Raggy-Tag Comforter in the new Alice in Wonderland PrintMy Profile

  4. Rachel says:

    I love your header, I think it fits with your blog theme so well x
    Rachel recently posted…Capital Hair and BeautyMy Profile

  5. Sonya Cisco says:

    It looks so stunning – must get mine sorted out – I still love my header, but would love a more cohesive look – and however many themes I try out I can never quite acheive what I am looking for and end up back on the same one again, which is as close as I can manage by myself!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…Oh You Pretty Things – SocksMy Profile

  6. Sonya Cisco says:

    It looks so stunning – must get mine sorted out – I still love my header, but would love a more cohesive look – and however many themes I try out I can never quite acheive what I am looking for and end up back on the same one again, which is as close as I can manage by myself!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…Oh You Pretty Things – SocksMy Profile

  7. Ninjscat says:

    I need a good media pack , I like Blogger as I am a technophobic about wordpress!
    Ninjscat recently posted…The Write Of The Love StruckMy Profile

  8. Michelle says:

    A great new look! Feels really warm and inviting! I’ve called in for Zoe’s help too with a few things, she’s such a helpful chick!
    Michelle recently posted…Comment on 16 Years On…My Son’s Birth Story by Jaime OliverMy Profile

  9. I love your new blog, the illustrations work really well. Zoe has helped me countless times since I moved to wordpress, she’s amazing lol. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested
    Kate @ Family Fever recently posted…SriLankan chicken and potato stew recipeMy Profile

  10. Sara-Jayne says:

    I love the new look – but more importantly, YOU love the new look! I’m glad you were able to get things to look as you want them to.
    Sara-Jayne recently posted…CLICKIN’ MOMS GIVEAWAY AND 20% DISCOUNT CODE [KEEPUP20]My Profile

  11. Your site looks great and thank you for sharing your journey as for a new blogger like myself it is so helpful 🙂
    My Family Ties recently posted…Protein Pancake Recipe – My Family TiesMy Profile

  12. Fab design huni, Helen is a genius 🙂 x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…Cosatto Yo Stroller Review- Online4BabyMy Profile

  13. Love the new look! I need to sort out a media pack, it’s been on my To Do list forever!
    Kate Williams recently posted…Resist Art Projects: Tuesday TutorialsMy Profile

  14. Louisa says:

    I love your new look. I have been having a fiddle with my blog but despite lots of tutorials I cant get my head around creating a child theme. I would love a header and will definitely be getting a proper header done in the next month or two.
    Louisa recently posted…Belle and Bliss = Best buddiesMy Profile

  15. i love your layout. It is so pretty and inviting.

    http://angelahamilton2014.blogspot.co.uk/

  16. I love the look of your new blog.
    Angela Spicer recently posted…Miss A’s First Trip To The BalletMy Profile

  17. Erica Price says:

    I’ve used Helen and Zoe on my blog too, but not to the extent that you have on yours, and I would really recommend them too. I love the way that yours is all joined up with the colours of the theme and the illustrations. Fab!
    Erica Price recently posted…Pink Lining ReviewMy Profile

  18. Shell Louise says:

    It all looks gorgeous 🙂 I have my own domain but I’m still on Blogger because I’m just too scared to make the move. One day I’ll pluck up the courage!
    Shell Louise recently posted…Harry Potter Studio Tour Photos 2015My Profile

  19. I love the new look of your blog, and I have to admit I did for a while think you were from London sorry. I will absolutely go to Zoe next time I need any help
    me and the tiny 3 recently posted…A Trip to CinderellaMy Profile

  20. Your new header looks really good. Loving the little sub-category pictures too. I am still on blogger, trying to muster the courage to go self-hosted!
    VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood recently posted…Pineapple Chow Made EasyMy Profile

  21. Zoe Corkhill says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for this post, I’m just really pleased you like the new look & are happy with it all!

    I definitely got a big helping of warm & fuzzy feelings reading this & the comments 🙂
    Zoe Corkhill recently posted…Creating Chelsea Mamma – designing around a header imageMy Profile

  22. Kim Carberry says:

    Your site looks gorgeous! The menu pictures are so cute!
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Betty Crocker Goodies!! – Review!!My Profile

  23. Sarah Bailey says:

    I saw Zoe share your new look on Monday I think it was and I thought how gorgeous it looked. Love your banner Helen is amazing. x
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Pop in a Box: Monthly SubscriptionMy Profile

  24. Lina says:

    I love the new design! I’ve been toying with the idea of asking Zoe to work on mine after seeing what she did with Donna’s. It looks great and I love the illustrations too! #triedtested
    Lina recently posted…Little Memories #6My Profile

  25. Jen Walshaw says:

    Your blog is beautiful, but more than that it is really user friendly. I am in the process of redesigning mine (in my head)!
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…B is for.. Banana Muffins – Cooking with kidsMy Profile

  26. Love the new blog look!!! So fab 🙂 Helen is amazing and Zoe has done such a great job! #TriedTested xx
    Hannah | MakeDo&Push recently posted…Review // The Original Theraline Maternity & Nursing PillowMy Profile

  27. I love the look of site – I’m a big fan of Ellie, too, as I’ve just had a massive redesign too! The little icons at the top are really fab! It’s great when you can find someone like Zoe to help with all the techy stuff. I was useless at all that and had someone recommended to me. One less headache! 🙂 #TriedTested

  28. Jaime Oliver says:

    I love your blog look its beautiful. I am so wanting a media pack doing and I will be heading off to Zoe for it!
    Jaime Oliver recently posted…Review: Bissell Vac & Steam All In One CleanerMy Profile

  29. Emma T says:

    It looks great – love the menu pics too. Helen always does a great job, and Zoe’s currently working on a shuffle round for my blog too. Hopefully I’ll be as pleased with it as your’s looks great.
    Emma T recently posted…How to make cheat’s easy fortune cookiesMy Profile

  30. Globalmouse says:

    Your website is looking gorgeous and I love all of those menu headers – so unique.
    Globalmouse recently posted…Lilala Kids PyjamasMy Profile

  31. Mummy of Two says:

    It is looking great. I absolutely adore your header and love the idea of matching images for your menu items.
    Mummy of Two recently posted…Happy Mum London Maternity Wear – A ReviewMy Profile

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