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A Brand New THM!

August 25, 2017

To say that I’ve been excited about writing this post would be a total understatement. I’ve been OVER THE MOON excited to share this with you. Finally, I can reveal that THM has gotten a new look!

As some of you may remember, I’ve been working on a redesign of THM for a while now. And by “a while”, I mean over a year. The process ended up being way more arduous than it needed to be (more on that below), but now that it’s done, I could not be more thrilled!

But before I jump into the new design, I have the thank the amazing crew who worked with me to make this site a reality:

Saevil Row – Rachelle, I swear this post could become a love letter to you. Your vision was spot on from the start and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner through this process. Thank you for putting up with me and for just about everything!

Bettina Bogar – ohhhhh B! You’re a camera wizard, but perhaps more importantly, an incredible friend. Thank you for both recommending Rachelle and for capturing the stunning images for the new site!

Jim Sabellico – My last minute hero and literally the most patient person in the universe. Thank you for calming my nerves when I wrote you that initial frantic email and for creating the ultimate recipe app for you guys!

Okay, now onto the site.

There were some very specific requests I made about what I wanted. After going through this process for the third time (once in 2013, again in 2015, and now), I wanted to be very intentional about the new design so I don’t have to continue this trend of a new THM every 2 years.

1) I wanted a site I could grow into 

Though there certainly are some beautiful design elements to the site, I wanted to keep it simple. Rachelle advised me not to go with anything too trendy since we all know trends pass quickly. The blogging world is constantly evolving so it’s important that I leave room to add in elements in the future as things change. Of course, I wanted to put my own little twist on things, but the rule of thumb was to keep it simple.

2) I wanted a site that could showcase everything

I think it comes as no surprise to anyone that I like producing content. Whether it’s a blog post, a video or a podcast episode, I am always putting out new work into the world and I love sharing it all! However, if you came to THM in the past, that wasn’t always the most obvious. Now when you land on THM, you’re given the option to “choose your own adventure”. This allows everyone to find the content they want to see and ignore the stuff they don’t. Which, FYI is totally cool. I don’t expect you to want to read/watch/listen to everything 😉

3) I wanted a more mature vibe

The last time I went through the redesign process, I really wanted to convey “youthfulness” to my audience. It’s not that I no longer feel youthful, it’s just that I’ve done a lot of growing up in the past couple of years and while I certainly have a long way to go, I definitely feel more mature. Even though this space is a reflection of me, I also take my job very seriously and it was important to me that this came across.

4) I wanted the site to feel like a blog

There is a trend right now with blogs being replaced by static homepages that appear more like regular websites than blogs. I totally get the appeal of this (telling people I run a blog full-time always results in some strange looks), but it was important for me to stay true to my roots. The homepage has a bit of both in it now. Certain aspects that are static, but also updates as new content goes live. Once a blogger, always a blogger! Just a slightly more refined one now.

Other than these points, I let Rachelle run with things and we worked with Bettina to create a style guide for the stock images for the site. Once we had a mock-up, B and I rented a location and shot the content in 2.5 hours (because we’re unstoppable when we’re together). I could not be happier with the result!

As I mentioned in this post I initially started the redesign process a year ago with a different team. It’s not my goal to bad mouth anybody and honestly, I take full blame for how things unfolded but let’s just say that it was a bit of a disaster. I let a friend convince me that I needed a new direction and complete overhaul of THM in a way that truthfully, made me very uncomfortable. A lot of time and money was wasted on a site that never came to fruition, but hey, at least it was a learning experience! It wouldn’t be a THM post without a little Maven advice so here goes:

WORDS OF WISDOM FOR A REDESIGN

1) Get recommendations.

I can’t stress this enough. Ask your friends who designed their sites or check out your favorite bloggers and see if their designer is listed at the bottom of their homepage and then email the blogger to see if they’d recommend them. Don’t let your uncle’s, friend’s dog walker design your site as a favor or because they’ll do it for cheap. You want to see a portfolio before you jump into anything.

2) Don’t cut corners. 

Designers are expensive. If I’ve learned anything from doing this three times, it’s that the more you invest, the more you’ll get in return. That’s not to say that you need to spend 10k on a new website, but you’re going to have to put a couple Gs down to get a site that not only is beautiful, but is also functional. Cutting corners will lead to future redesigns and more work on your end.

3) Be upfront about your non-negotiables.

This is something that I wish I’d known before entering into this process. You know your business better than anyone, and while something as simple as a commenting function may seem silly to your designer, it can be a make-or-break issue for you.

4) Find a designer you vibe with.

This is probably the most important piece. You’re going to be working closely together on a pretty important project, so you’re going to want to get along. But more than that, make sure your communication styles line-up. I’m a control freak about a lot of things, but I also know I’m not a designer, so I default to my web designer for concepts. Other web designers prefer working with clients who have a very specific vision that they then bring to life. Find out what kind of designer you’re working with, and make sure you guys are able to communicate with each other throughout the process.

* * * * *

I know that the points above probably aren’t relevant for most of you, but hopefully I’ve helped some of my fellow bloggers out there who are thinking about or heading into a redesign.

In terms of THM, besides a new store-front, the merchandise will remain the same inside! Still plenty more life updates, recipes, healthy living tips, videos and podcast episodes (once we’re back from hiatus) coming your way.

In the meantime, enjoy exploring the new site!

*All pictures courtesy of the amazing Bettina Bogar

Bloggers – any tips you would add to the list?

Non-Bloggers- is there anything missing or needs to be fixed? Let me know since we’re still putting the finishing touches on the site!

  • Reply
    Toni
    August 25, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I love the new site! It’s got a very clean look. It’s easy to navigate around and find content. Thank you for being you and doing what you do best.

  • Reply
    Danielle @ Wild Coast Tales
    August 25, 2017 at 8:49 am

    The new site looks beautiful, congratulations! I love the look and feel and how it does showcase so much on the homepage. I couldn’t agree more with your tips. I lead our website redesign at work and prior to that the website literally was a disaster because shortcuts were taken and friends of friends who were cheap were used, never again!
    Danielle @ Wild Coast Tales recently posted…Beginner backcountry camping checklist

  • Reply
    Erin (eat, pray, get well)
    August 25, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Clean, beautiful, easy to navagate, love it! 🙂 Erin – Eat, Pray, Get Well

  • Reply
    Gretchen
    August 25, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Loving the new site! It looks awesome.

  • Reply
    Katie
    August 25, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I love it, girl! I’m all about simplicity. I have yet to work with a designer on any of the sites I’ve done, but I hope some day to really be able to take my blog to another level and have some really help take my vision to reality, like you did. It’s beautiful! Congrats!
    Katie recently posted…Take the pause

  • Reply
    Kayla
    August 25, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Oh man the new site looks BEAUTIFUL. Especially love the stock photos. Congrats on the relaunch.

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    August 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I love the new look girl!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Sriracha Parsley Chicken Burgers {GF, Low Cal, Paleo}

  • Reply
    Angela
    August 25, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I absolutely love it! Your pictures are beautiful and I love the colors. Thank you also for sharing redesign tips.

  • Reply
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs
    August 25, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Davida your site is beautiful and definitely feels very “you” – I love it!
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Five Things Friday #7

  • Reply
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life
    August 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I absolutely love the new look! So beautiful, simple and clean. I love how the podcasts are now included too and all your photos are amazing!!
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life recently posted…3 years of Blogging

  • Reply
    Hillary
    August 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    The new look screams Davidaaa! I looove the new, mature look. You nailed it. Definitely makes me want to visit the site again and again xo
    Hillary recently posted…Tuesday Tidbits | August ’17

  • Reply
    Morgan
    August 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Love the new look and feel – this is very you and makes me excited to dig into all your content every week! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jaclyn Irwin
    August 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    It looks great, I love the choose your own adventure aspect! I appreciate the wisdom as I am currently deciding on getting a designer for my site and yup, it is definitely NOT cheap. Also, your new photos are gorge! Totally swooning over that kitchen 🙂
    Jaclyn Irwin recently posted…Healthy Savory Oatmeal: Your New Breakfast BFF

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass
    August 25, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Excellent job, Davida! Love the new look.
    Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass recently posted…Ways NYC Will Make You Want to Live Your Best Life

  • Reply
    Les @ The Balanced Berry
    August 25, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    IT LOOKS SO GOOD. It’s fresh, inviting and fits you perfectly. Love it chica! <3

  • Reply
    Ashley | Fit Mitten Kitchen
    August 26, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Obsessed with the new look! It is so perfect. Definitely agree about doing your research 10x over. Following your gut and not letting the designer take over your concept is a big one.
    Ashley | Fit Mitten Kitchen recently posted…My New Home Office!

  • Reply
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    August 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Congratulations. The new site looks beautiful. I know you’ve been wanting to redo it for awhile so I can only imagine how wonderful it feels to have it complete. Love it.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Mouthwatering Baked Ratatouille with Melted Cheese

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    August 26, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I absolutely love it! So you! 🙂
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off recently posted…What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Freshman Year of College

  • Reply
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat
    August 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    so happy fur you bb girl! the colors are gorgeous and it suits you to a tee. I hope it is here to stay!!
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…LA: Malibu Photoshoots, Arguing with YouTubers and Getting Naked in Joshua Tree

  • Reply
    Nguyen Minh
    August 29, 2017 at 1:01 am

    I think your post are very good. It is very useful. Thank for sharing!

  • Reply
    Alina
    September 11, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Your new site is AMAZING!! The photos are so gorgeous. Also, this post came at the perfect time as I’m literally working on my website redesign right now and completing some homework for the designer! 🙂 Thanks for the tips.

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