A little sprucing up.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetI’ll admit, I’m kind of tired of this blog.

I promise, this isn’t about to be a post about being burnt out on blogging. The only thing more narcissistic than having a corner of the Internet devoted to yourself is becoming deeply taxed from looking in the mirror and writing about it. (Obviously, breaks from blogging because one has better things to do with one’s time are a different story… we should all take breaks from the screens that control us on a regular basis. Plus, there is usually something better to do than blogging, especially if you ask my mother.) And this isn’t a goodbye post from blogging. Sometimes I have days where I wonder if it is worth the time from our lives to be here, if anyone is reading, if it is a total waste. But on the whole, no, I don’t really want to quit.

I am not tired of blogging, just a little tired of this blog, this space. This blog will never be huge, will never have millions of followers, will never make money. That’s ok with me. I like it the way it is, the way it lets me share our lives with the ones we love who are far away and have a creative space to enjoy.

But the space itself. I’m not so sure anymore. I feel like it is a little vain to invest time and any little money on a blog, but I also feel a little tired it the way it is. So can we just talk shop for a little while?

I started out with WordPress all those many moons ago and for the most part I’ve been happy. But lately I feel like it doesn’t seem to have what I want.Which, I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure what that is. Buttons! Cool header! Space for photos! Easy commenting! I just know that sometimes I find myself trolling through graphic design sites and Etsy blog template spreads and wanting a little facelift. Many of these require a Blogger or Blogspot host site instead. And then I find myself Googling how to migrate my WordPress blog to another host and my brain starts hurting because technology makes me want to vomit. Let’s just jump straight to my questions:

  • Those of you who blog, what host do you use and how do you feel about it?
  • Have any of you migrated your blog from one site to another successfully?
  • Graphic designer people. Have you used them, was it worth it, have you tried those Etsy templates? Names People – I need names!
  • For those of you who do or don’t blog, what things drive you crazy on blogs?

Ok then. Thanks in advance for your help in my blogging existential crisis. Back on to more important things, like planning donut flavors for tomorrow’s 4th Annual Homemade Donut Making Extravaganza. Happy weekend!

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39 Responses to A little sprucing up.

  1. Megan says:

    I’m glad that this post didn’t take the direction that I thought it was going to. I don’t follow a lot of blogs, maybe 10? But I really enjoy yours. Keep on doing what you’re doing! I will say, my number one gripe about blogs is when the pictures don’t load quickly and/or at all. I don’t recall this ever being an issue with your blog, so yay you!

  2. Megan says:

    I love your blog! I’m bad about not commenting, but felt like I needed to today and I’m glad that you’re not going to give it up! Much like you, a looong time ago I debated the merits of wordpress versus blogger and ended up going with blogger because it’s soooo integrated with other google products, which makes it easier for me to use. I’m a big fan of google.

    I’m no expert, but here’s my two cents:

    #1 – Blogger
    #2 – I’ve only ever migrated a blogger blog to another blogger blog. After carefully going over the instructions I did it without a problem in minutes.
    #3 – I won a giveaway from a girl named Kelsey over at Kreated by Kelsey and I really like her. http://kreatedbykelsey.blogspot.com/ You can do a custom make over or a premade template. She does wonderful work! She redid my entire blog and as silly as it sounds it really made the space feel like mine. After my husband and I got married in 2010 I paid her to do a total overhaul. Once we added our kid to the mix I paid her a nominal fee to update the pics on our header. For me, the money is worth it. I don’t really understand the coding that she does and it’s worth knowing that it’s going to be done properly and work properly. I think having a blog that suits your needs is quite a bit like having rooms in your house that you love. You want to spend time there if you like it, so that’s how I justify putting a little money into it every once in awhile.
    #4 – I’m generally not a fan of giveaways or paid posts that are done just for income. I get that some people have to make something in order to make it worth their time, but I would MUCH rather read someone’s for-fun blog than a for-profit blog. I’m to the point in my life where I’ve cut out most of the for-profit blogs because I don’t care to figure out whether they praising a product/service/kid’s clothing line because they truly like it or because they’re getting a cut or free product.

    Hope this helps and I hope you’re able to figure out what you want to do! I highly recommend blogger if you’re able to make the switch πŸ™‚ Happy Friday!

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks for the awesome suggestions! I will definitely be checking out Kelsey’s stuff. And amen on the paid stuff. I mean, I would be all about giving stuff away to readers if I could do it occasionally (I think I’ve done it twice) and not have to badger readers in return. Too exhausting.

  3. I bought my website domain space amandaayassay.com from squarespace, where you can have pictures, blogs etc. However, if you’re not looking to book clients and make monies to pay off the rent of the space…meh I wouldn’t go this route. However, they’ve got some pretty nice/beautiful easy to use templates. I know of someone who has used the etsy templates and she LOVES it! It turned out awesome and spruced her blog up just enough to make it pop and be just the touch it needed; elenavoci.blogspot.com . I hope this helps a little bit….you’re blog is so great and I love reading new posts from you πŸ™‚ Keep it up sista frand and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks! I have heard some really positive things about squarespace (and by that I mean that it is mentioned on This American Life and that is my authoritative source on everything) so I will have to check it out.

  4. I love your clean template. I am on WordPress too and use the foodie theme from Shay Bocks, hosted by Genesis. You install all of those items on top of WordPress and it’s relatively easy!! I redid my site myself for $100 and a weekend, not including the hosting fee I paid upfront to BlueHost for 2 years of hosting my site. For me, I make up that amount from ads on my site each month, but it may not be worth it if you’re not planning on monetizing the space. Just my thoughts!

    • Hannah says:

      I love your theme! Also, I’m now just really hungry. I’m not opposed on spending a little money on the site, since it does bring in photography clients, just not a ton. Maybe before ditching WordPress I will look into some of their paid options.

  5. Natali says:

    I LOVE your blog and look forward to each new post! Please don’t give up and I’ll be praying that you will have guidance on all things technical. πŸ˜‰

  6. Kegan says:

    I don’t blog, but every site I’ve built recently has been on Squarespace. It’s easy, cheap, and incredibly stylish. The blog function isn’t amazing, but they’re constantly updating. Keep an eye on it for sure.

  7. r_strick says:

    Well, I’ll speak for myself and say I quite enjoy this blog, from wayyyy over in my corner of the world, in a tiny studio apartment near Vancouver, BC. And have for over a year, albeit I’ve been terrible at ever commenting. So do know that people see this blog, that they enjoy this blog, and that your efforts to record and express your own beautiful experience of life do not go unnoticed or uncelebrated.

    As to the other, more technical questions, I’m afraid I can’t help you there πŸ˜‰ But either way, keep blogging, my friend. And please do not continue to refer to it as vain πŸ˜‰ It’s a creative oulet and a personal discipline – and you have just as much right to it as everyone else.

    • christine says:

      I love this comment. Totally agree.

    • Hannah says:

      Thank you so much for your words!!!! I should have been clearer that I am only tired of the aesthetics, not actually blogging. And I should say that it doesn’t have to be vain — I just always want to stay proactive to not become vain!

  8. Lillian Keil says:

    I’m a long time reader but first time commenter. I love your writing, so please don’t give it up! I use tumblr, which I love. You get the simplicity of the blogger platform but with way better templates available- I use a free one, but I’m sure I’ll upgrade sometime in the future. For comments you can use Disqus, which I like because commenters can long in with Facebook. Check out the tumblr theme garden and see what you think!

  9. Rachel Lohrman says:

    ThemeForest has a bazillion WordPress themes you can browse and buy for less than $50. http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress Many of them allow you to have a portfolio which you can use for your photography, if you want people to be able to browse your photos separately than your posts. To use these though, you would have to buy a domain name (I use GoDaddy) and install WordPress (which is pretty simple and they have people available to help on the phone – real people who know their stuff). Then you can basically create a website using a WordPress theme which allows you to include sooo much more than you are currently able to with a wordpress.com account. I’ve set up countless sites this way and would be happy to help guide you through the process if you find yourself stuck. I love reading your blog and just recently shared it will several friends I grew up with who I know would enjoy it as well. Keep up the writing! But I know the feeling of wanting a change, especially when you are so artistic in your writings and photos – your writing space should reflect that as well.

    • Hannah says:

      Hmm… this is intriguing. I like the promise of real people on the phone. I also like the idea of having a portfolio part of my blog designated just to photography. Thanks!

  10. Emily says:

    For what it’s worth- I ALWAYS look forward to your posts. Your blog is a fresh breath of authenticity and wit

  11. Kirstyn says:

    Please don’t stop blogging. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. I follow maybe 5 blogs, and yours is one of them.
    Kirstyn from Toronto.

  12. Gretchen says:

    I can’t help you with tips for how to spruce up the blog (because I’m clueless in that area), but please don’t stop blogging! I love reading your posts. πŸ™‚

  13. Kate says:

    WE READ YOUR BLOG! i love your writing. please don’t leave us. i know that doesn’t answer any of the questions. but it’s important. (that’s not a complete sentence. but it was for emphasis!)
    i use blogger. i am not a big time blogger though. i’m thinking about restarting my own blog. hehe. facelift and all that. i like it a lot. i love that it’s connected to google+ and i like that i can follow other blogs from my dash. wordpress sort of drives me crazy but i think that’s just because i don’t understand it much. my favorite thing on blogger is that you can set the hyperlinks to open in a new tab so that when you click you don’t have to come back to where you were before by navigating on your browser. that also drives me crazy. wow. i’m sorry this is a long comment. i didn’t realize i had opinions on this stuff. you have a lovely blog-home. you don’t need the switch but i understand the wanting. πŸ˜€ i can’t wait! excited for you!

    • Hannah says:

      I do hate that my links change the page… glad to know that blogger fixes that! And I’m sure I don’t *need* the change… just getting a little restless of the old look!

  14. Beth says:

    Hannah, I heart this blog. I can read it on my iphone perfectly too. It was awesome to meet you at Nick & Bekah’s wedding.

  15. singingselah says:

    Don’t give up your blog! I say this at the risk of sounding really super creepy, but I love reading about your life! Even though I’ve never met you in my life, I feel like we could be kindred spirits if we ever did. Seriously, from what I read, we have very similar hobbies and attitudes about life. Every post I read I think, that is so what I’m going through except I can’t say it as eloquently!!! haha! I am a few years younger than you, but I’ve been reading your blog every day for the last year or two and I feel like I’m going through a lot of the same things that you have blogged about. Keep it up! Being vulnerable about your life with complete strangers is so awesome and encouraging. Thank you! Or if you do change and go to a different site, make sure to post a link so we can keep following you!!! =]

  16. Maria says:

    Please don’t stop blogging. I love ur blog, in fact it’s my favorite one! As u mentioned about “sprucing iy up”. I believe less is more and I love that it’s clean and easy to read. I look forward to ur content. Keep doing what u have been doing, it’s perfect!

  17. Beth says:

    I am a college student and avid blog follower of yours. I love your blog because though I am a few years behind you, you depict the future in a way that excites me and prepares me for the reality of life outside of my little christian college bubble. I have never commented on a blog before, but I just want you to know that I love yours and your attitude to life so much! Also now I really want to visit DC πŸ™‚

  18. As a newcomer to your space, I really love it:)

  19. Haylie says:

    Well, I’m thankful for this post, because I’m feel that I must be way more technologically challenged and I have something we will refer to in air-quotes as a “blog.” Meaning, it barely constitutes a blog, but there is content, and it’s a free wordpress template, and WOW I really wish I knew how to improve the thing, so I appreciate reading other people’s advice.

    I love the look of your blog, because it’s beautiful, but simple and easy to find things on it. Some blogs I read have a LOT going on in every margin, and maybe I’m just an 85-year-old on the inside (or maybe just ADD?) but I lack confidence in knowing where my attention ought to go on those sites. Plus, I’ve always thought your header picture + blog title + subtitle to be quite visually appealing. But I totally understand just getting tired of the way a space looks and functions.

    There is a whole discussion (probably requiring pipes and bow ties and people way smarter than me) we could have about vanity versus visual arts here, and I so struggle with that. Because you want to be excellent in everything- especially those things that have your name on them, but you don’t want the only virtue they have to be a pleasing appearance… if that makes sense-ish?? Beauty is an annoying paradox in that way. (I feel like the confusion is exacerbated if you’re an artist of any kind, because you’re wired to make things beautiful, but humanity tends to separate beauty from practicality and act like one is frivolous and the other virtuous, when- like a lot of things- it’s usually somewhere in between.) … But then I just get fed up with that conversation and take up the pursuit of prettiness again. And as far as your blog’s prettiness- or technological fanciness, photographical awesomeness, general coolness etc.- goes, my blog wishes it was your blog lol!

    • Haylie says:

      Wow that was a super long comment… I should’ve gone back and deleted half of it!! It was kind of stream-of-consciousness… ugh. Sorry about that.

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