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I’ll Probably Hate Myself in the Morning

Ok, I admit it. I’m releasing a half-baked blog interface.

I was quite tired of the old blog interface and knew that I needed something different. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for so I spent time visiting other blogs in an attempt to get some ideas for my new WordPress theme. I wanted something lighter, airier and more robust.

All along it was sitting in front of my face but I didn’t realize it. I didn’t realize it because each Thesis blog that I came across had such a different look that I didn’t realize they all used the same theme. So, I finally purchased Thesis to use here on NJFM.

Bells, Whistles and HornsHow smart is your Theme?  How good is your support? Check out  ThesisTheme for WordPress.

To say that Thesis has bells and whistles is an understatement. There are so many options that it will take me a while to figure them all out. That’s part of the reason why I’m releasing it half baked. You see, once I started working on the new interface, I couldn’t stand looking at the old one anymore.

As a matter of fact, I’ve decided to convert all of my blogs over to Thesis. Because of the design options, no two blogs will look the same. Once I get a true handle on Thesis’ functionality, it will save me time and effort when posting from blog to blog. I already have my BLULOW blog set up on Thesis (Hmmm, maybe I’ll be encouraged to post more frequently there).

The Final Straw

My recent server problems forced me to expedite the process. I’m not sure if the problem was caused by my old theme, too many WordPress plugins or HostGator’s doing some behind the scene server upgrades (it was probably a combination of all three). What ever the cause, I vowed that I would switch to a more stable and proven WordPress theme as soon as my site was back up and running.


Since NJFM is my outlet, playground, learning tool and megaphone for my mistakes, I’m going to continue playing around with Thesis. The only difference is that it won’t be behind the scenes anymore. I’m playing in full sight. So, bear with me over the next few days, weeks or even months as I play around with my blog’s interface. Who knows, maybe I’ll stumble across some things that might be helpful to us all.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Happiness March 21, 2010, 11:44 am

    Well, I have to say, the old theme looked nicer and more professional.

  • Crystal March 21, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Hey Felicia – Happy Spring! The new look is definitely more streamlined. Thanks for keeping the basic format – I’m extremely change-resistant! Speaking of which, is there a way to make the recent comments section show part of the comment again rather than just the name and post? I really liked that part on the old blog. Other than that, it’s looking good – can’t wait to see what all you do with it! Someday I may have to bite the bullet and switch over to WordPress myself.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Hypertension Basics – Who, Why and What? =-.

    • Felicia March 21, 2010, 12:17 pm

      Thanks Crystal. I’ll see what I can do. I’m trying to copy the same functions such as most popular posts and the recent comments like the old setup. Bear with me for a bit while I play under the hood. 🙂

  • Deanna March 21, 2010, 12:19 pm

    I have to give you credit for wanting to change your theme. I recently played around with dozens of themes (spending hours of my time) for my blog because I wanted something better, but I ended up keeping it the same in the end. I’m sure when you get done with this new one it will look great. Good luck. 🙂
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..How Did You Become a Writer? =-.

  • Grandma March 21, 2010, 1:08 pm

    Wow, shocks a couple days near to each other! I was at first afraid someone had stolen your website, but in looking around a bit, I see it really is you.

    I am another change resistant person, totally Libra from day one. Expecting to see the dark background and seeing this very light one was unexpected, to say the least. Especially right on top of the blank white view the other day.

    Good luck…like I said, I am sooooooo Libra!

  • Ignatius March 21, 2010, 3:36 pm

    It was definitely, a “Whoa!” moment when I signed on, but I like the new set up. The page loaded up like greased lightning. I loved not having to wait for all the widgets to load (especially my favorite–the one that shows the comments) so I could get started catching up on my reading. And, the NJFM database is easier to find if I want to look something up. I used to always have a moment of “I know it’s here somewhere…”

    Maybe I’m more geek than writer, but I can see a lot of potential in what you can do with the site. I think those of us who are regulars have learned our way around the old set-up, but for newbies coming in from the search engines, I think this will make navigation a lot easier.

    In other words, nice little place you’ve got here :).

    • Felicia March 21, 2010, 4:08 pm

      Thanks Ignatius. I’m seeing the potential too. I’ve got quite a bit of work to do, but no matter what style of clothes this blog wears, the content will still be the same. 🙂

      I became frustrated with the slow load also. It was difficult adding new posts and working on the blog. Now, it’s a lot faster and easier for me to do what I need to do (still working on duplicating the most recent comment feature).

  • Shannon March 21, 2010, 7:49 pm

    It’ll take some getting used to, but I do like it. The new design looks more streamlined and, to me, a bit nicer. Your other design had a cozy feel to it, though, and some of your readers might miss that.

    Just my $0.02!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Freebie Friday: Walmart Food Swapper =-.

  • Grandma March 22, 2010, 12:57 am

    Maybe the old one was comfortable like a warm and fuzzy sweater?

    • Felicia March 22, 2010, 4:18 am

      It will take a little getting used to, but on my end of things this interface is just what I was looking for.

      My old theme generated tons of entries in the error log on my server. It’s amazing how the entries stopped once I made the switch.

      Playing around with this theme is light breaking in a new pair of running sneakers. The old ones may feel real comfortable, but you know when its time to buy a new pair. For me and NJFM, it was time to get a new pair of sneakers and I’m thrilled that I did. 🙂

  • Grandma March 22, 2010, 9:38 am

    Okay Felicia, here’s a bit of trivia…somehow your new adventure brought to my mind the famous phrase from Star Trek “boldly go where no man has gone before,” so I did a quick Wikipedia browse.

    The second pilot episode was named “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and by the time the TV series settled in for its short run there were several revisions. It is suggested the entire phrase was taken from the first page of a 1958 White House booklet produced following the flight of the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957.

    “The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Most of the surface of the earth has now been explored and men now turn on the exploration of outer space as their next objective…”

    The line eventually used on the TV series is “Space… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before…”

    However, this was after a couple of rewrites. Producer Gene Roddenberry’s line: “This is the adventure of the United Space Ship Enterprise. Assigned a five year galaxy patrol, the bold crew of the giant starship explores the excitement of strange new worlds, uncharted civilizations, and exotic people. These are its voyages and its adventures.”

    Revised by Black: “Space, the final frontier. Endless. Silent. Waiting. This is the story of the United Space Ship Enterprise. Its mission: a five year patrol of the galaxy. To seek out and contact all alien life. To explore. To travel the vast galaxy, where no man has gone before. A Star Trek.”

    Eventually to the version that was used. That version was also revised and revised again for later movies. One change made for recent movies was to a gender non-specific “where no ONE has gone before”. (My spell/grammar checker keeps telling me these famous lines are all fragments)

    Sputnik translates a couple ways. One interpretation is “traveling companion” and that seems to be worthy of your blog. You are going where no Felicia has gone before, boldly creating a new platform for your fellow traveling companions on this journey into freelance writing. And you are no doubt contacting alien life along the way!

    Aren’t you so glad you made this change?

    • Felicia March 22, 2010, 10:39 am

      Wow, Grandma. I think you just went where no man has gone before. 🙂

      It’s interesting watching how a writer’s mind works. I loved the old Star Trek episodes (watched them time and time again) and like the “where no Felicia has gone before” analogy.

      Actually, in the two year life of this blog, I’ve changed the theme 4 times (this being the fourth time). Each time I’ve learned and made mistakes. Here’s to another opportunity for learning and adventure (and meeting alien life forms).

      Grandma, you’re too much! 🙂

  • Krista March 22, 2010, 4:40 pm

    I like this new look. I just revamped my sites as well – it took a long time but I also used the same theme for all my sites because it is so much easier. I know the ins and outs of the theme and can streamline it for all four of my sites.

    Have fun with it! I have read great things about thesis.

    • Felicia March 22, 2010, 5:29 pm

      Krista, I love your blog’s layout. If I find that Thesis doesn’t do what I want it to do, I’ll probably look for something like what you’ve got. That looks great.

      In the meanwhile, I’ll keep playing around with Thesis.

  • Deborah March 22, 2010, 8:16 pm

    I love the new blog layout! The colors go well together and the site loads quickly and seamlessly. Well done!

    I was tweaking my own as well the other day and am seeing if that will improve revenue. So much finger crossing going on.
    .-= Deborah´s last blog ..Creating a Solid Foundation as a Freelance Writer =-.

    • Felicia March 22, 2010, 9:47 pm

      Thanks, Deborah. It’s still a work in progress.

      The one thing I’ve learned in my time on the internet is that blogs/websites are always a work in progress.

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