It’s been a bit quiet around here lately.

With three posts published in June and just one so far in July, I’ve been writing far, far less frequently than usual.

I’m pleased to say, however, that there’s a very good reason for this.

For the last six weeks I’ve been working close to non-stop on this. A brand new design for Never Ending Footsteps.

I’ve been dissatisfied with the way the site’s looked for the past year and so I decided it was finally time to do something about it.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been me if there hadn’t been plenty of incidents along the way. After days of research, I finally found the perfect theme for my site, purchased it and then 24 hours later found out that the theme had been removed due to plagiarism — the website I bought it from then, instead of giving me a refund, decided to delete my account.

There was the moment when, after buying a new theme, I activated it and didn’t realise this had the effect of deactivating all of my plugins. It took me hours to find out, by which point hundreds of people had seen my site looking dreadful as my maintenance mode plugin had been disabled!

And that’s not all — there was the time I briefly put the site into maintenance mode to see how some updates would look, only for the entire site to go down five minutes later. This happened two hours before my flight to the US, meaning that I was in the air when my site eventually came back up again — still in maintenance mode. Yes, this meant that for the 36 hours of travel from Vietnam to the US nobody could access my site.

It’s been a stressful few weeks.

However, I’m please to say that everything has all come together within the last week and I’m so excited to finally get to share my new look with you all! Here’s what’s new:

A brand new logo

never ending footsteps logo

My favourite part of the previous incarnation of Never Ending Footsteps was the banner. My good friend Chris, of ChristopherHyzy.com, designed it back in 2011 and I loved what he was able to create with only “make it pretty!” to go on. So when I decided to re-design my site there was absolutely no question that I’d be getting back in touch with him to help me out.

I love what we’ve come up with and once again, Chris was able to magic up just what I was looking for — with slightly-better-but-still-terrible guidance from me. I love the clean, minimalist look, I love the colour and I especially love the incorporation of the infinity symbol — something that represents both my permanent travels and my background in Physics.

The new homepage

Never ending footsteps homepage
Never ending footsteps homepage

Perhaps the biggest change of all is the homepage. I’ve always felt that my previous homepage looked cluttered, that the theme didn’t really inspire you to click on any posts and that it was, well, all just a little bit dull.

My new theme is bright and clean and simple, with large photos and a lot of white space — just like the type of sites that I like to browse.

Whether you’re browsing Never Ending Footsteps on a computer, a laptop, a tablet or a phone, it’ll always be optimised for your screen size — if you’re on a laptop, see what happens when you shrink your browser window and expand it back out again. If you’re using a device with a Retina display, images in new posts will now appear much crisper and clearer.

Country of the Month

never ending footsteps country of the month

Another addition to the site is the featured country of the month section, where I’ll be showcasing my favourite posts from a different country every month. This month’s country is New Zealand.

New page layouts

never ending footsteps about page
never ending footsteps contact

 

I’ll be putting the finishing touches to my pages over the next couple of weeks, but I’m already loving the improved layouts. Now that the site is super-customisable, I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different layouts and sections. My two favourite pages are the About Lauren and Contact pages, and I’ll be getting the other pages looking badass over the next week too.

Fun features

accommodation preview

I’ve been planning on adding an information box at the end of every post for a while now and my new site design allows me to do just that! Every time I write about a place, I’ll be placing an information box at the end of each post. I’ll be offering advice on how to get there, where to stay, prices and more. The box will be automatically minimised so that if you don’t want any more information it won’t be in your face. However, if you would like to know more, the information will always be there.

One of my favourite features is the image carousel, shown in the photo above. In this case, I’ve used it to show more images of a hostel, but I can think of lots of fun ways to implement this into future posts too!

There’s a whole host of other exciting features I’ll be playing with over the coming months, from integrated maps to slideshows, videos to galleries.

What Do You Think?

Your feedback is important to me (after all, I re-designed the site for you!) so I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new design. Have a browse around the different sections. What do you like about the new look? Is there anything you hate? Anything you’d change? Good or bad, I’d really like to read what you have to say. You can either leave a comment below or drop me an e-mail through my contact form.

-Lauren.