A FRESH START

Taking the plunge and getting a template that has given my blog a fresh new look - loving it!

A FRESH START

As anyone who has ever read my blog would notice, I’ve had the same “look” to Cresting the Hill  for probably about 2 years.  I’ve played around with it a bit and then settled into keeping it that way because I didn’t want to majorly mess anything up. In the process of all my little nips and tucks, I sort of had things working the way I wanted them to, but there were little things that had gotten lost along the way. 

I stuck with the "near enough is good enough" theory because I knew my limitations. When you’re not a computer programming, HTML loving, risk taking, blogging nerd it gets really scary when you go into coding and start making changes. I figured I should quit while I was ahead.

THEMES AND DREAMS

Then I saw a thread on one of the FB groups I belong to that was admiring the look of a Blogger site and one of the commenters mentioned that the person had purchased a theme and gone from there. Now, I know Wordpress has a gazillion themes you can buy, but I never really thought that its poor relation (Blogger) would have anything similar. Silly me! I Googled Blogger themes and I went down a rabbit hole that was so deep I never thought I was going to resurface! There were free themes, cheap themes, discounted themes, medium priced themes, expensive themes, and the crème de la crème of personally designed themes! You could have anything from $0 to over $1000 with the click of a button.

I ended up surfing themes until my eyes started to bug out and the more I looked, the more I wanted to update what I had and have it fresh and clean and easy to navigate. I decided it was time for a change and now was as good a time as any - but that’s where it got scary. I have 450+ blog posts on my site – and no idea how to back them all up safely. What if I put in all that new HTML and they disappeared into the ether forever? What if I’m back to square one? What if two and a half years of writing is gone in a puff of smoke due to my ignorance? Oh the fear and the butterflies. Should I just leave it all as it is?

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing that you'll make one." - Elbert Hubbard

TAKING THE PLUNGE

What I came to realize as I dithered, was the old saying "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is still true today. I could leave things as they are and never know what a change would look like - safe and sound but no challenge and no risk. I'm really tired of safe and sound - and I really wanted to see where this would take me.

I found a terrific Etsy seller who was having a massive sale and who even installs it for you if you are a scaredy pants (like me). For a miniscule amount of money I was able to download the zipped file with the theme and instructions. It crossed my mind to have a go at installing it myself, but I figured she'd know what she was doing and could do it faster and more efficiently than I could (probably with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back).

Jenny (the Etsy seller) did an amazing job and I’m so pleased with how it all looks. She managed to include her template plus all my little gadgets and extras plus fixing all the little things I'd managed to break along the way! It was all done overnight and I woke up to a brand new blog with everything intact and ready to roll. I can even do a bit of tweaking and adding and subtracting by myself now if I feel like it, because all the heavy lifting is done.

A LITTLE BIT OF ZING

It’s funny how something so small can give you a boost and a fresh zing in your step (or your typing fingers as the case may be).  I hope others like the new look – I may even change it again sometime now I know how easy it is. It was time for a change and I’m glad I took the plunge – now to see if it inspires me to new levels and more interesting thoughts….

Taking the plunge and getting a template that has given my blog a fresh new look - loving it!

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Midlife Monday - www.crestingthehill.com.au

35 comments

  1. Be brave! It is always fun to change it up!

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    1. That's what I thought Tam - and I am SO glad I took the leap and did it - I smile every time I open my blog now :D

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  2. Oh, my . . .
    I'm so fainthearted about making changes to the blog. Guess I should go back and re-read your words for courage and confidence!

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    1. I was too Michele - 'better safe than sorry' was my mantra, but sometimes it's good to take a risk. I made sure I read lots of reviews on the person who I bought my theme off and I am gob smacked at what a great job she did.

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  3. Well done Leanne, I'm impressed. It really looks good. Like you, I am terrified of fiddling with what I currently have. (If it's not broken, don't fix it!) I'm with Wordpress, and I like what I have, but I'm not in any hurry to change things. (Translate: I'm scared stiff of trying to change things!) I didn't know you could do things like this with Blogger. What do these two common phrases mean?>

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    1. I didn't know you could make a Blogger blog look this good either Shirley - it wasn't until I saw the other one on FB that was beautiful and thought if she could do it, so could I - and I managed to do it at 10% of the cost - big bonus for a penny pinching blogger like me!

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  4. Love the new look Leanne and it is exciting changing to a new theme. Sometimes I'm tempted to change every few months because I see a website and think 'ooh I like that!'. Change is good whether it is a website or our life. Good for you!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond xxx

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    1. Thanks so much Sue - I had a little look around at other blogs (including yours) for motivation to make the change - having a professional look makes such a difference - and I love that all the little features work beautifully.

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  5. You must be so happy with it Leanne! Thanks for sharing your 'new look' website with us at #overthemoon link party. A change is always good! I've pinned and shared.

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    1. You are such a great friend thank you xx

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  6. It does look amazing. And, to my mind, is no small thing but I love what you say about the small stuff.
    I really try to live my life that way. Finding joy and zing and the small stuff.

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    1. It was so straightforward - I think I got really lucky with the person who did it for me Carla - I'm counting my blessings atm x

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  7. Echoing your other readers, I LOVE this new look, Leanne. And I admire your braveness. I have a self-hosted site, and from Day One I have been stubbornly determined to do 'everything myself.' Your post has given me much inspiration that there are endless possibilities...and I do not need to 'go it alone.' Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I have avoided self-hosting and all the pitfalls that seem to come with it Donna - I started with Blogger because it looked user friendly (even with the limitations of being a free site) and now to have it looking like a razzle dazzle Wordpress site is just a fantastic bonus.

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  8. Love the new look! ☺ It's always uplifting to make a change. Sounds like you had some excellent help. I took the plunge last year and did a website re-design. You're right about coding being scary, but I sure learned a lot! (And had a little help from the theme designer.) May your new blog give you inspiration. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Debbie - I was so fortunate to score someone who did it all for me and for such a miniscule cost. I'll be smiling for a long time to come when I open it each morning.

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  9. I desperately need to change. But soooo scared . . .

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    1. I was shaking in my boots Diane - the thought of the whole blog disappearing into cyberspace and lost forever really messed with my head. I can't believe how it all came together so beautifully and how it looks so fresh and professional.

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  10. I love this new, cleaner look. It looks fresh while still being your site.

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    1. That's exactly how I'd describe it too Jennifer - it has given it a boost without losing its essence - I'm so happy.

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  11. I love the new look! And I'm itching and waiting, as I have my own new look coming and it's almost ready - so I feel you. Also, hi, I'm on Blogger, too. ;) You can do ANYTHING you want here. xo

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    1. I'll be waiting to see your big reveal Andrea - I didn't realize you were a fellow Blogger blogger - isn't it nice to think we can have something beautiful without all the cost and upheavals of a self-hosted site?

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  12. Looks great! I always give advice to any one who listens, to hire professionals. It saves you peace of mind, time and money in the end if you are not proficient in that arena! I was hacked last month and in the cleanup I lost a blog post. I thought about going through all the work to reinstate it but it was just one post and chose to spend my time elsewhere.

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    1. I feel like I know heaps more than I did a couple of years ago Haralee - but the more you know, the more you realize you can stuff up! It was a bit of a risk handing it over to someone unknown but I got really lucky with this Etsy seller - and left them a very positive review for their trouble.

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  13. I've been working on fine-tuning my blog as well. I've had this one for less than 6 months, and I still don't feel like I have it where I want it. I think perhaps that I will give it another 6 months and then, I like your idea of get it professionally overhauled. You site looks great!

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    1. I got mine close to what I wanted but the extras were just too big for me to handle on my own and I was worried I'd make a hash of it if I meddled too much with my HTML. Having it all in place and tweaked by someone who has the necessary skills was so refreshing and so unstressful. Popping over to check out your blog now :)

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  14. Beautiful, Leanne! Its always fun to change things up. We still have your beautiful writing, only in a new format. Its a win-win.

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    1. Thank you for you kind words Laurie - I love that it is the same but different. It's like all the little bits I wanted to improve have been tweaked, but the essence is still the same - I even kept my happy banner!

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  15. Your blog looks amazing! I would be nervous to let someone else handle it but ha! That worked out great! I won't be so afraid if I ever decide to change things up :)
    Jo-Ann at Inspiration Pie

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    1. I would never have believed that I'd be brave enough to hand it over to a stranger either Jo-Ann but now I just wish I'd done it sooner - it's such a thrill to see it looking so lovely.

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  16. Looks wonderful...I am thinking I need a change as well...we'll see if that happens..

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    1. These things take a lot of contemplation don't they Renee - I didn't realize how close to my heart my blog is - it's like my child these days (and nobody likes handing their child to a stranger!)

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  17. I love the look of your blog, not sure what the before was, but it looks great now!

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    1. It wasn't a bad look before - just a little bit amateurish (seeing I put it together that isn't surprising) It looks more polished and with more white space now - which I love.

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  18. Leanne the blog looks great! Sleek and modern, up to date is how I'd describe it. And it goes with your personality too because to me you are modern and forward thinking.

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