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Teach Me, Teacher

I’m teaching a few classes online for Alt Summit.

I’ve already taught my first, on Growing a Readership, and I’ll be teaching my second this afternoon about Understanding Analytics. Both will be repeated in March in the evening, so there’s still time to sign up if you’re interested. Each class is just $15.

Understanding Analytics
February 23, 11am PST & March 13, 6pm PST
Page views, subscribers, and unique visitors, oh my! Learn what to use and how to use it when it comes to keeping track of your site’s stats.

Growing a Readership
February 9, 11am PST & March 28, 6pm PST
Looking to grow your blog? Of course you are! Learn tips and get concrete steps to grow your readership and create a true community for your site.

I’ll be honest; I do get nervous before these things. I’m introverted and shy! I love talking about the business of blogging though, and I have so much information to share. Really, once I get past seeing my face staring back at me during the class (oh yeah, there’s video), I’m very comfortable. Plus I’ve put together some awesome powerpoint presentations (which is something I never imagined I would be typing), and I’m proud to be partnering with Alt Summit on the whole thing.

Besides, I’m going to pretend you were all listening to this before class. It’s my version of imagining the audience in their underwear; much less intimidating.

The New Site Design

I’ve finally finished the redesign of Making it Lovely!

Well, that’s not entirely true. There are a million and one little tweaks and additions that I’d still like to make, but the changes are ones that don’t impact the overall look and function, so I can add them in over the next few days/weeks.

I do all of my own designing and coding (I used to offer web design as Smart & Lovely), and this time around I built these themes off of Standard Theme for WordPress. It’s been been great to work with. I made a lot of changes visually, and a few changes to the core PHP files, but for the most part it gave me the structure I needed. And as for the pretty? I have Moglea to thank for the custom floral illustrations in the header, and I used a couple of elements from Pugly Pixel as well (the glitter and the honeycomb). The background floral pattern is a licensed image, and the logo and all the rest were done by yours truly.

Hold up, did I say themes in that previous paragraph? Plural? Yep. Remember the whole minimal vs. maximal debate I’d been having in regard to the new design? Jessica left a comment suggesting both with a theme switcher, and that was a genius idea. I’d forgotten that was even a possibility! So the default is the “Lovely” theme, full of pattern, but if it’s a bit much (and it may be), you could choose the “Minimal” theme instead. You can switch between the two themes at the top right, next to the social media links. Everyone wins! *

* Well, everyone will win. Eventually. It’s a bit buggy right now (I’m working on it), but you should be able to switch between the two themes with a hard refresh.

So what’s still to come? More organization of categories on the backend, making the design responsive (resizing to fit smaller screens for the 7% of you that need to scroll left to right a little on the site as it is now), more post layouts for different types of content, fine tuning the sidebar, perhaps adding to the footer, some changes to the social sharing options, and on and on. Good stuff, but not essential to launching. And I’ve been dying to launch, so it feels good to push on ahead, right on schedule.

And now, onward! Onward with bigger pictures, interesting new layouts, and different post formats. Onward with a select few new contributors (soon)! Onward with more content, and more awesomeness. And thank you for your patience as I’ve devoted myself to all of this design work lately. Hopefully you’ll love the new look and everything to come as much as I do.

Minimal vs. Maximal*

I’m still working away at the redesign, and I will be launching it February 1 as scheduled. I’m waffling between a clean, white minimal (well, minimal by my standards) look vs. my usual mix of patterns. Below is a little peek.

Any preferences?

* I’ve decided that’s a word, by the way. The opposite of minimal shall henceforth be maximal (e.g. my usual approach to mixing patterns).

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