Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hello and Welcome to BBB: Version 2.0

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Things are looking a little different..

In case you've been hiding under a rock, haven't been online or just haven't really thought about us all that often over the last two weeks, we've been on a complete hiatus, and today, we're back, and we're rocking a brand new look!

Very different isn't it? But what's changed, and what hasn't?

Well, Amanda made a lot of changes..

  • For starters, this current design has a completely different template behind it, one that was much easier to work with. In fact, it was so easy to work with, this new design has three times the amount of CSS custom coding behind it, everything from header placement, to our sidebar menus, and even the hidden things you can't see.
  • Anything that could be custom coded, Amanda did. Previously, our old design was pretty graphics heavy, both in our content and in our sidebars, pages and menus. Gone is the (hopefully) slower loading time and in came a cleaner, crisper look with fewer unnecessary graphics and more clever code.
  • Content became the key. When redesigning, Amanda wanted to make sure that what we said was the focus rather than any snazzy graphics or overwhelming colours. Where possible, Amanda kept content colours to a minimum, while keeping most of the colour work in the sidebar. (Colour work she's very proud of..)
  • We ditched Google Fonts and brought in Font Awesome. While Google Fonts is a fabulous way to integrate some really rather wonderful fonts, it affected our loading time, and in some cases, didn't load correctly and this was no longer acceptable. Amanda did however bring in Font Awesome for our ratings and social icons (if you've got adblock enabled, you may not see them), a program she's played with, but never really made real use of until now.
  • Gone are unnecessary tags and blog features. While keeping our book/blog related and private ramblings separate seemed like a good idea, keeping our discussions universal was just easier and made more sense in the long run, as did making changes to our menu and locations.
  • Blog features are colour-coded for easy transitions. Our sidebar is fabulously colour coded with different features under different colours. Most of the features have feature graphics and headers for their content that coordinate with their sidebar counterpart. It's just another way to bring some colour to our content without it overwhelming readers.

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We've got new about pages!

After reading Ashley's post on rocking your about page, Amanda realised we weren't really selling ourselves like we should be. What we do on Beautiful Bookish Butterflies is fantastic, and by god should we be blowing our trumpets. It's hard work and it's a tough hobby, one that if you want to be seen and noticed in the community, you've got to pull out the big guns and sell yourself, something we didn't do previously. Times are a' changing and so are we, and it's time we appreciated and took notice of the hard work we put in. If we didn't, why would you?


SHOW ME! I WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU!


We also intergrated some wise advice from our survey

Remember the survey we asked you all to take part in? We got some pretty great advice and information to work with, some of the best ideas concerning Who Wore It Better and Five Friday Favourites, features that, after much soul searching and brain sharing, we've decided to continue on with, but make some changes too.

For the first time on Beautiful Bookish Butterflies, we're opening up Who Wore It Better to guest posters, allowing you to choose the book, the covers and even share your feelings about them! We're not entirely sure how quickly spots may fill up, and it may be that guest post opportunities close due to requests, but you can find out all the details and more in our sidebar feature Who Wore It Better Guest Post Opportunities.

We were also made aware that people we're struggling to get involved in Five Friday Favourite either because they weren't aware of the dates the posts went live, how long link-up's where open for, or what the subject was, so to make things easier, we've also created a feature in our sidebar providing you with all the details you might need concerning the feature, so do check out Five Friday Favourite Participation.

There's new additions to our features coming too..

Some people may have noticed additions to our sidebar that never existed previously.

  • HTML & CSS: Once Amanda realised that creating designs for other people wasn't something she thought particularly suited her, she's still felt the itch to help teach others how to learn the tips and tricks she's learnt along the way. She'll be sharing advice and little hacks to make your blogger blog less blogger and more wowzer!
  • Popular vs Underrated: Amanda's always banging on, reading, reviewing and sharing underrated reads around BBB and it spurred on a new feature that may be sticking around, (depending on her inspiration.) Comparing popular community reads to similar, lesser known counterparts, she'll be helping you find your next favourite, underrated read.
  • Trade/Giveaway: Not quite a feature, more an upcoming opportunity to get your hands on some of our books, either by paying for the postage or by trading! We;ll be opening up 'shop' soon, so do keep your eyes peeled.

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We didn't change everything though..

  • We kept our colour scheme. Colour was an important aspect of the design, it always has been something both Amanda and Stacie loved. Keeping the grey, pink and orange hues was always a vital part of the design, and integrating them smoothly with the new crisp design is something Amanda is very proud of.
  • We didn't change our logo, at least, not an awful lot. When we clubbed together, our individual brands were things we lost, and creating a new brand together has been difficult, the last thing we wanted to do was lose that brand too, and while the new logo is much simpler and cleaner, it's still the logo you know and love.
  • Neither did we change how you identify between us. Stacie and Amanda are still very different people with very different voices, and being able to identify who was who was still an important factor. While discussions are much more universal and clubbed together, we still have a butterfly to represent us individually.
  • All our social media accounts are still the same, they just look a little different to match the new design. No names have changed, and you can still find us through our links in the sidebar or on our individual pages.

But girls, what spurred on a new look?

There's one important fact that needs pointing our first. Amanda does the design work for Beautiful Bookish Butterflies, and Stacie sort of nods or meh's and has the final say to any changes, so when we say that we wanted a new design, it was more a case of Amanda felt inspired and tadah, brand new design. There was never an intention to re-design so quickly after starting co-blogging, it just sort of happened, and we both fell in love with it, Amanda while designing it and Stacie while seeing it come together before her eyes. This design feels much different to our previous design though..
  • It feels more professional.
  • It feels like it has focus and intent.
  • It feels like it has direction and a future.

We loved our old design with it's soft feel and feminine look, it's definitely one of Amanda's favourite designs she's ever made, and we were so so pleased when so many people fell in love with it too, but there's something new and exciting about a new look that focusing on content rather than the graphics surrounding it. There's something refreshing about a blog design that makes you want to do more and create more, and although it is just a re-design, it's one that will grow with us and will change as and when we do, and it's a exciting new step on our journey together that says:

We're sticking around for the long haul!


We seriously love our new look and we're really happy, and we hope you're happy too.
We understand that there's a lot of new features and changes to take in, so please, do explore.

Do you like the new look? Did you miss us?

31 comments:

  1. Absolutely ADORE the redesign!!! While I thought your first co-blog design was nice, this one blows it out of the water for defs! Can see how Ashley was an inspiration in it too (how amazing is her blog looking now?!). Great work!! R x

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    1. Thanks Rachel! I really wasn't sure how people would react to losing to more feminine look, but Ashley was a huge inspiration and really made this design click in my mind, so I'm peased you love it!x

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  2. It's great to see you two back and blogging again - and I love what you've done with the design (though the last one was beautiful as well). Those new features you've got coming sound fantastic, I can't wait to see what you'll be posting next. Hope you both have a wonderful week :)

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

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    1. Thanks Eugenia! I know a lot of people loved the old design and it's one we loved ourselves, we just fell out of love with slower loading you know? Hope you have a fabulous week too lovely! :)

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  3. The new look is INCREDIBLE. You did such an amazing job, Amanda. It's so elegant and I love the different sidebar colors. Glad you guys are back!

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    1. Thanks so much Zoey! The colour work in the sidebar is definitely something I'm proud of and want to share with people at some point. Glad to be back in the community!<3

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  4. I ADORE the new design. It's a lot easier to read, it looks sleek, the colors are simple yet eye-catching... Absolutely love it! :) I'm really excited for your HTML & CSS feature. I know basic coding, but nothing outside of the basics. And it's awesome that you're going to start bringing in guests now. :)

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

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    1. Thanks Aimee! We definitely wanted content, loading and general navigation to be bigger focuses in this new look, glad it's worked out well. I'm not entirely sure what I'll start with in HTML & CSS, but I do think I'll try and focus on some of the more exciting things that can make a huge difference :)

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  5. I love the new design, it's so clean and crisp and definitely sets your content at the forefront! Amanda you coding God, that is so impressive! I'm really looking forward to your new HTML/CSS feature as well, I'm not the best at those sorts of things.

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    1. Thanks Jeann, it was definitely more demanding, but I'm so so proud of the look on the whole! I'm hoping to be doing some universal HTML & CSS tutorials too for both Blogger and Wordpress, so we can definitely hope!<3

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  6. Loved the in-depth post, girls!
    The new design is GORGEOUS! I kind of want you guys to redesign my blog now lol
    Happy to see the blog back online! ^_^

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    1. Thanks Nitzan! I'm not really doing much design work for anyone else, but if there's anything you want a quick teaching of, I can be on hand soon? Glad to be back!<3

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  7. Yay! So glad I no longer get errors while trying to access your site in my rss reader :) I like the new design and layout! Much cleaner and easier on the eyes.

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    1. I'm so glad people are pleased to have us back if I'm honest! Thanks though lovely, that means a lot :)

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  8. Oh my gosh, it's so pretty! I love the look of the sidebar!

    Totally get what you're saying regarding the about page, my co blogger and I will be working on ours soon :)

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    1. Thanks Christy! The About Page is so important I've noticed, I'm glad I did the work on it! :)

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  9. 1000%%%%% Missed you!

    I adore the new design, ladies! I love the clean crisp feel of the white background but also the pops of colour! I cannot wait for new features!

    SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU BACK <3

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    1. Yay, I missed you too Jess, you've been gone forever! Thank you so much though, colours were vital!<3

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  10. Love, love, love this new design Amanda. While I adored your old one too, I agree that this one is definitely a lot more professional looking and I think all the changes you've made are super smart and are definitely going to help us blog readers. ;) Thanks for sharing and congrats on this! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

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    1. Ooo yay, thank you Zoe! Making sure things worked for readers as well as us was a huge aspect, so glad it's going to benefit you all too!<3

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  11. I absolutely love the new design. I really liked the old one, too, but this one is a lot cleaner looking (if that makes sense) and very easy to navigate/find my way around. I'm looking forward to reading more of the new features you have planned. ^_^

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    1. So many people loved the old design, and it's crazy, because so did we, but change comes doesn't it hun? I'm loving that people think it looks cleaner and crisper, that was a major aim, so thank you lovely!

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  12. I MISSSSSED YOU AND OMG YES I LOVE THE NEW LOOK AND ZOMG IT'S JUST INCREDIBLE AND YOUR CODING SKILLS ARE AWESOME AND. WOW. YOU OUTDID YOURSELF, AMANDA. *flails and throws congratulatory cake and confetti and all the messy things* And I also love how when I hover over things they change colour. Idek, I'm just easy to please? BUT IT'S SO COOL. *waves mouse all over the place*

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    1. I didn't know it was possible to outdo myself considering so many people loved the previous design! Have fun waving your mouse everywhere, the colours are my proudest feature, I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER YAY!<3

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  13. Love the new design and SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy you guys are back!!!! :) I've missed the blog. I came back and you went and I almost died. I ALMOST DIED! No exaggeration. Love the design. Love the colours. It's fucking awesome! :) Also jealous you managed to get the 'Something similar' worked in, as I have tried that like 50 times and can't do it. I just can't do it! ;') Oh, Amanda, thou art a friggin' design genius and I bow down to thee. Although my crappy laptop brightness makes reading this hurt my eyes. And yet I can't work out how to turn that down on my laptop. Sometimes I wonder how I actually manage to have a full time job when I clearly fail at all things :'D

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    1. YAY, so so pleased you like this a lot! It was crazy, because when you were gone, I couldn't let you know about everything, and gah, such bad timing, but we is here and have returned passionately! We already had Linkwithin previously, but this is now EXACTLY like I wanted it, so pleased. I can give you a hand if you want? You should be able to just change the brightness in the settings or appearance by the way on your laptop, although, that's a good thing to mention, thanks! :D

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  14. I love it! Very clean and pretty.

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. Thanks Michelle, that means a lot! :)

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  15. AHHH OMG I SAW THIS A FEW DAYS AGO BUT NEVER GOT AROUND TO COMMENTING BECAUSE MY INTERNET HAS BEEN SO DOGY AND OMG I LOVE THE NEW LOOK, GIRLS! IT'S SO CLEAN AND GORGEOUS.

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    1. Aww, thank you Mel! I love your new look too, so much wonderful new designs everywhere! :D

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  16. I liked your previous design but I loved the new one more. :) It's so clean and simple, but still pretty.

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