Virtual Realtor Hands Over New Keys!!
After canvassing blogging neighborhoods all around the globe and looking at differently designed themes over the last three days, I'm happy and relieved to say that the virtual realtor finally handed me a new set of keys yesterday!
Now that I'm a new blog homeowner, I've been busy painting, adding, deleting, tweaking and otherwise fixing it up. I want it to not only reflect my personality but also transform it into a pleasant environment for those who have become part of the Adversity University community as well as for visitors who might stop in for coffee and browse around.
As I mentioned in the previous post, the goal was to find a place that gave me at least 5 things:
1. Prime real estate screen space (i.e. from 2 to 3 columns, without the clutter)
2. Intuitive navigation capabilities
3. Easy to read text with clean white background
4. The ability to create new pages with tabs on top for future material
5. A theme that was compatible with Wordpress 2.3 version
When I first started looking, I found 20 potential themes. Each designer was sent an email with questions to gauge how responsive and friendly they would be. While waiting to hear back from them, I browsed through their blogs to ascertain whether or not they were keeping up with regular postings.
If the designer got back to me within a reasonable period of time, appeared to be friendly and maintained a current blog, that meant I would probably get a fair amount of support throughout the installation/tweaking process. Keep in mind that while I've learned a lot about blogging in the last year and a half, I'm still learning my way around, especially now that I'm in a new environment with a learning curve to content with. It helps to have some kind of live support on the way, you know what I mean?
After hearing back from some but not others, the list was slashed to 5 potential themes. All of them were well designed and compatible with Wordpress 2.3. The clincher was when I learned one of designers was commissioned to write a book by a well known publisher, which I think will turn into a mega-bestseller. That meant this designer probably knew what she was doing when creating the theme I had my heart set on. In addition, it helps that she was hired by some well known bloggers to redesign their sites. Last but not least, she has a bunch of documentation at her site about how to tweak the theme to each individual blogger's liking - a huge bonus.
Yes, it's a woman. But that's all I'm going to tell you. I am purposefully keeping you in suspense until I launch my new site, which I expect to take place on Wednesday, October 10th at 12 pm EST.
As you can imagine, there's a lot of work ahead. Over 150 posts from this blog are being exported to the new location. In order for that to happen seamlessly, I might be forced to upgrade to Blogger's new template. If that happens, a lot of stuff you now see on the sidebar will be forever gone (which is one of the reasons I'm moving in the first place). In addition, I will be focused on transferring email and RSS subscribers, adding/moving around furniture (i.e. sidebars and plug-ins), plus a host of other things like inserting a notification in each and every post at this location telling visitors where to go.
After we are settled in the new location, I want to throw a blogwarming party!! Any ideas how I can do that? Go ahead and use the comment feature to let me know your ideas or if you prefer, send me a private email at stephen(at)sjhopson(dot)com (this is just in case the email link on the right side disappears if and when I am forced to upgrade to Blogger's new template).
Have a great rest of the weekend! Stay tuned for more updates......