Never Ending Footsteps 3.0


Lauren in the sahara desert

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.

38 Comments

  1. July 16, 2013
    Reply

    Love the new layout. White is clean, crisp and easy to read from. :)

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Chelsea! I’m glad you agree :-)

  2. July 16, 2013
    Reply

    Love the new layout, only one thing: you said that the previous version didn’t encourage the readers to click on your posts…ABSOLUTELY NOT! as soon as you read one, no matter what the layout is, i had to click more and more :) You write such interesting articles and the content is all that matters! :) but i understand if you wanted to make it more clear and personalized it a bit more.
    I laught about your incidents during the make-over …that’s exactly what happened when i changed mine. I complete disaster!! all plug ins gone, and so many hours spent on re-installing them. Nut in the end, the final result always pays out. Good job!!!

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      You’re too kind! :-) Thank you so much for the lovely words. I’m glad you love the new look too!

  3. Carolyn Andres
    July 16, 2013
    Reply

    Great job!!! I love the new design. It’s so easy to navigate. I especially like the information box feature. Best of luck and stay safe.

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Carolyn :-)

  4. July 16, 2013
    Reply

    Hey Lauren.

    In being new to your site I can’t comment on the previous theme but I do really like what you’ve got here. As Chelsea says it is indeed very clean and easy to read.

    Tell me to go away (and I’m no design expert) but one tiny thing I would say is that if you could somehow incorporate your featured image (as seen on your blog list page) or throw in an image before the fold then it would help an article like this which at the minute is a bit text heavy up top.

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Chris,

      Yep, if you look at any other article on the site they all have a featured image at the top of the page. I disabled it for this post because all of the images were screenshots of the site so it looked weird — like a site in a site! :-)

      Glad you like the new look!

  5. Scarlett
    July 16, 2013
    Reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! the layout is soooo sexual!!! xxx

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      Aww, thank you so much! :-)

  6. July 16, 2013
    Reply

    I love the new crisp layout of posts, and all the options on the home page! The one thing I would do is put more things in the sidebar – it’s nice to be able to navigate without scrolling up. People are lazy (by which I mean me. I am lazy). Maybe like a destinations list, or categories of posts…something that people can click on during that I’ve-just-read-something-fun-what-do-I-do-now period?

    The colour scheme is great too, I love that watermelon orangey red.

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      Hi Kerry,

      Yep, I’ll definitely be adding to the sidebar over the next few days. Thanks for your feedback! :-)

  7. Alice T
    July 16, 2013
    Reply

    I love the new layout design! It’s very clear and has a very straightforward navigation flow. Great job Lauren! :-) All the best!

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      Awesome. Thanks, Alice! :-)

  8. July 16, 2013
    Reply

    Looks good!!! Finding the ‘right’ theme is SO HARD!

    • July 16, 2013
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Lina! Agree with you, it took me so long to find the perfect theme and I nearly cried when the first one I bought was deleted! Still, I then just found the theme they plagiarised from and bought that instead! :-)

  9. Lilian
    July 16, 2013
    Reply

    It looks great – definitely worth all that effort and stress! :) I love the minimal look and how it’s now responsive. If there was one thing I learned at TBEX last month it was that every blog should be responsive because there are so many different sized devices now. Awesome job!

    • July 22, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Lilian! :-) I’ve wanted a responsive site for about a year now so I’m pleased I’ve finally got my ass into a gear and sorted it out! :-)

  10. Ali
    July 17, 2013
    Reply

    Looks great Lauren! Really like how the homepage looks, and the country of the month thing is a good idea.

    • July 24, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Ali! I’m really excited to get to showcase some of my favourite countries that I haven’t been able to write about for ages :-)

  11. July 17, 2013
    Reply

    It looks clean and uncluttered. I like it, good job Lauren.

    • July 25, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Steve! Glad you like it! :-)

  12. July 17, 2013
    Reply

    I think your site looks great. Simple and Clean. We just recently updated our blog as well. It’s a great feeling knowing that your content is displayed just the way you want it to be. Congrats!

    • July 25, 2013
      Reply

      Thank you! Congratulations on your recent site design too :-)

  13. July 18, 2013
    Reply

    This looks REALLY different, Lauren!
    The logo idea of infinity footprints is amazing and right to the title!
    I am a fan of white backgrounds. So I love that.
    The scheme is nice and readable.
    A+

    • July 25, 2013
      Reply

      Thank you! The infinity symbol is my favourite part :-)

  14. July 18, 2013
    Reply

    Love the minimalist and clean look! Looking forward to your future posts :)

  15. Hogga
    July 18, 2013
    Reply

    Looks great, congrats!

  16. Sharmaine
    July 18, 2013
    Reply

    I love the new look! I love its clean and organized design (not that your other one was disorganized. It was totally easy to navigate.) I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us!

    Btw, I don’t think I ever got around to thanking you for emailing me and answering my questions about traveling. You are such an inspiration! So thank you!

  17. July 19, 2013
    Reply

    I really like it! Especially the new logo :)

  18. Andrew Darwitan
    July 20, 2013
    Reply

    I think the new design looks totally fab! Hopefully the “Featured Country of the Month” section won’t force you to travel to a new country every month though! (Or hopefully it does? Haha)

  19. July 20, 2013
    Reply

    Congrats on the new theme, looks gorgeous. I specially like the map and mobile theme.

  20. Gayla
    July 22, 2013
    Reply

    I like the new look. Easy to read, easy to browse. Clean with crisp text and eye-popping photos. Great job!!

  21. […] A week ago, Lauren at Never Ending Footsteps, launched her new site – Never Ending Footsteps 3.0. […]

  22. August 1, 2013
    Reply

    I was wondering why it had been so quite. The new site looks great. Love the logo and colour scheme.Was well worth the effort!

    • August 2, 2013
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Tammy! :-)

  23. April 2, 2014
    Reply

    Darn, I can’t believe it’s been THAT long since I’ve been here!
    Shame on me.
    A bit late, but I still want to congratulate you on the redesign. I think it looks fab and that infinite sign is definitely the cherry on the cake. It rocks. I also love that it’s much more clean. I’m redesigning my own site at the moment exactly because that’s what I’m looking for as well: more white spaces, less clutter.

    Go girl!:)

    • November 26, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Sofie! :-D

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