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Walk through

Looks like you made it to the new and uber awesomely improved Matalie Blog. And, yes, that sentence phrasing is completely made up and spastic (another semi-made-up word). But it’s not like you are here for the writing, anyways.

Well, yes- Here it is! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am, not to mention all the blood, sweat and tears that went into this site. Ok, so there wasn’t really any blood, the sweat was only because I forgot to put on deodorant. So tears, there were tears. I wanted to give a low-down on what’s what, why what’s what and how what does what. What? It’s actually pretty simple. I am sure you have already figured it out.

First, there is the homepage, where everything is contained in one, set window. I realized how much I hated scrolling so picked a template to fix that. The top tabs get you to other pages. Below the big picture and that function are the most recent posts. You can also click the upper ‘Blog’ Link to see a list of all the blog posts. The lower navigation on the home page allows you to check out recent Flickr images, what craziness we are saying on Twitter, read recent comments and check out the popular posts. If you are reading this, then it looks like you have made it to a Blog Post Page. Have you noticed how awesomely HUGE the pictures are? Yea, that’s my favorite part, too. No more wimpy 500px or less. Nope, now we get a whopping 940px. You can thank me later when you don’t need Lasix to correct your eyesight from all that squinting at the computer screen you would otherwise have to be doing. Having the ability to show big images was my top requirement in the redesign, as the photography of our everyday life is a pretty predominant feature. It will also spur me on to continue improving my images because I know they will be shown this large, so I can’t get away with posting the ones that are slightly out of focus, but still ‘good enough’ to be shown small. Now the bar has officially been raised.

For the more technical side of things, of which I understand about 2% above and beyond me saying “I want it to look like this (general artsy wave of the hand) and function like that.” The template is from Theme Forest, where they have a ton of really awesome, different, non-standard (I like that!) WordPress themes for really affordable purchase. For $25 I just completely reinvented Matalie, I think it was well worth it. There is a lot of the coding, PHP, CSS and other capitalized letter combinations I know very, very little about. I can do the basics, I mean really basic, enough to get me by. I had hoped to pay someone to configure the site, but the first guy we found on Craigslist to do Matt’s site ended up not really working out as hoped, so Matt spent like 20 hours trying to fix things himself. He then used the resource of the Template designer, who was an awesome help. It’s like having the furniture manufacturer at Ikea on the other end of your email answering your specific questions. Basically, Matt had to completely re-install and start from scratch. That’s when our friend, who’s a Developer-y person, sat down and in like 3 minutes had Matt’s site completely done. Philip also lives in our basement, so it wasn’t like it was out of his way or anything to come help us, but man, he is an amazing resource. So then after wowing us with his mad skills on Matt’s site, he started in on this site, bouncing with excitement while modifying code, which to me, looks like a bunch-a random ‘nuthin. Yea, I know, code is poetry. We owe Philip a huge thank you, he made this really easy. I’d link to him if he would get a website or be on Twitter or something, yet he refuses. This was something I would have had an incredibly, if not impossibly, hard time doing on my own.

Overall, this process has taken way, WAY longer than expected. WAY longer than I would have liked. Mostly I am just too impatient, but a lot of this stuff I am unable to do myself, so the timeline was far longer because I was so graciously dependent on others. There are still things I would like to continue to improve on, trifle details likely only I really care about. While I care about them, they seem to not be the easiest things to change. Still, what a redesign accomplishes far outweighs tiny details and perfectionism’s I can simply live with in the bigger picture. 

I am loving the think-outside-the-usual-box designs blogs are taking on, especially all the uses the WordPress platform offers. In all honestly, I have been getting tired of seeing so much of the same thing (myself and old blog included). Plus, I really wanted this site to be pretty pared-down, with minimal clutter, so we were pretty excited to find this template that functions so well in that respect. I think most things here are pretty intuitive, but I do hope any of this new site isn’t confusing simply because it is so different. It makes a lot of sense how Blog’s have taken the form of being able to function as a whole site (I have been seeing that more and more) and therefore have influenced how we read and navigate the web. We have a few more sites that we will be working on launching in the near future (a new blog for my photography biz, for one). If anyone out there has any interest in doing something like this, I would be more than happy to provide some additional resources and help you out.

Oh, and a very important note: Please make sure you update bookmarks and those of you who tune in via a feed reader will have to re-enter the url (www.matalie.net) and new subscribe to this new site. 

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