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Makeover Reveal

makeover reveal

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On the home decorating shows, every re-model must have a makeover reveal. Subscribers, I told you about my site re-design a few months ago. Are you ready for the reveal?

What you see today is the result of a makeover I started in April 2013. is a self-hosted WordPress site that I set up myself in 2010.

Decisions, Decisions

My first theme was a free theme called Mystique. I liked some features, but I had some problems after an update. With most free themes, if you have trouble, help is hard to get. I changed to Weaver II, another free theme, which allows more customization than most free themes. Oddly, I did not need to get help while using Weaver.

After attending WordCamp 2013  in Nashville, I decided I should go with a paid theme for security and for more features.  I vacillated between Woo Themes and Genesis-based themes from StudioPress. Finally, I chose Woo’s Canvas theme because it can be customized in detail. (Note: Woo has completely changed their pricing scheme since I bought my theme. Read the fine print if you are considering buying from them now.)

Canvas was easy to install because Woo offers great tutorials. It is one of Woo’s most popular themes. I was impressed by how different the various sites looked, though they used the same theme. Canvas allows for a custom header, so I opted for a professionally designed graphic. A friend who is a designer and a photographer created my header designs and shot my portraits, too.

The Reveal

If you’re on my site now, you are seeing the new design. Here’s the “blueprint” for my new site.

  • Domain name: (vendor, Hostgator’s Registry Rocket)
  • Hosting: Hostgator (trying to decide if I will stay with them after they were bought out by a larger company.
  • Theme: Canvasby Woo Themes.
  • Header design and portrait photography: Kate Dugger.
  • Widgets: I especially like the ones that came with my Woo theme, the Subscribe-Connect widget that shows social media icons just below my Subscribe box and the Woo Tabs widget (Latest, Popular, Comments box).
  • Plugins:
    • Akismet anti-spam for comment spam (I’m still experimenting with supplemental comment spam plugins.)
    • Automatic WordPress Backup
    • Conditional Captcha for WordPress
    • Fast Secure Contact Form.
    • Google Analytics for WordPress
    • Polldaddy Polls & Ratings
    • Share This
    • Tablepress
    • Wordfence Security
    • WordPress SEO by Yoast

Disclaimers: None of the links in this post are affiliate links. I cannot vouch for the dependability or security of any of the themes and plugins I use. All I can say is that they have worked for me so far!

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