I’ve made some huge changes to my site design!
It now has whole new look and feel, better search, easier navigation, and a new submissions form.
I went with a three column layout with gallery navigation on the left.
Social networking and search on the top right.
I am so excited about being able to better search an browse. The first major search improvement is the search box at the top right. You can search for any keyword, and it will pull up gallery thumbnails at the top of the search results and blog posts after that. This is an example of what pulls up when I search ‘green bathrooms’. You can also search by paint color name, room, or color.
The other really cool browsing feature I was finally able to figure out was image tags. I’ve been trying for a long time to get this to work and finally (finally!) figured out a solution. Not being a programmer, this wasn’t an easy task. When you click on any image in the gallery, at the bottom are image tags. Click on one, and you will see all images with that tag. So for example, if I click on Sherwin Williams Sea Salt in this image below, I get a list of thumbnails of all the images with the same tag.
I also added a brand new submissions form. I am working on a form to let you guys upload directly to the galleries, but for now you can fill out the form and attach your images or include links to where I can download them. I love seeing your rooms and painted furniture, so if you have some to share, please send them my way!
I also added a new section on my right sidebar for sponsors. If you’re interested in sponsoring, please see my advertising page and let me know if you’re interested!
I used the Bee Crafty theme from StudioPress. It wasn’t free, but I’m so glad I went with this one. I have very little web design knowledge and can fumble my way around changing colors and backgrounds, and anything more than that is “google and cross fingers”. As in, Google and cross my fingers somebody has been kind enough to write out steps on how to do what I want to do.
I wanted the option to do 3 columns, a theme that was easy to customize, and a theme with a good community forum to ask questions. The message boards on StudioPress are fantastic and and almost all of my questions had already been asked and answered. The one question I did post was answered the next day. If you have ever browsed or used the WordPress forums, you can appreciate a quick response with an actual answer that works.
I started using Firebug which is a really cool program. It works if you are using Firefox, and you can highlight any item you want to change and see exactly what elements are affecting that item. I found it particularly helpful when modifying the .css files. I won’t go into a detailed tutorial (especially since I barely know how to use it myself!) but I highly recommend downloading it and trying it out.
If you’re reading in a reader, I hope you stop by and check out the new design. If you have any suggestions or other things you would like to see, please let me know. I love hearing from you guys!