You may have noticed that I did some changes to the design of the blog. There is now more room for the content itself. And the content is the most important part there is, right? I also created a Pinterest account and added nice images to all the posts! From now on, I am going to share every post on Pinterest. I did not know this sharing network before. But it seems it is all the hyper right now.
I hope these new changes will improve the experience of my readers on this blog. If you have any more suggestion on improvements, please let me know :)
A small change but that makes a big difference is the header image. You can now enjoy the beauty of the Swiss Alps on my blog! It makes the blog more open.
The main change is I changed where WordPress is displaying meta information about each post. Before, I felt like a lot of screen space was wasted with a very large left column to each post. I removed this column and used a simple line to display this information, you can see here the content now:
I feel it is much more linear now. All the data is still here, but with a smoother design :)
On a side note, I disabled Photon for images. I enabled that when I started using Jetpack. But it suddenly stopped working for some time. No images were appearing on any of the posts. But they were appearing in edit mode. It is quite possible that images were gone for some time! This is something I really do not want! For now, it is therefore disabled. I may try it again in the future since it does improve slightly the loading time of my pages. I am not sure it makes a lot of difference.
To serve small images, I used the resmush.it plugin to make sure images are compressed as much as possible. Before I was using WP Smush, but resmush.it is much better at compression. Where WP Smush was compressing about 20%, resmush. It is able to compress about 60%. This is also much better to help loading time.
Finally, I added a picture of me and (soon-to-be) Mrs. The Poor Swiss on the sidebar. It adds some personal touch to the blog.
I feel like the renewed design is much smoother and cleaner now :)
What do you think?
Please tell me if I missed something to fix. I had to fix several things after my changes to ensure it was also working on mobile for instance. It is quite possible something is still not perfect.
The change that took me the most time was to add all my posts on Pinterest. For this, I had to create a Pinterest graphic for every single of my posts. You should see one at the beginning of this post :)
I am generally very bad at creating graphics and I have a poor taste at design. But with the proper tools, I am very happy with what I have been able to come up with. Of course, some of them are less inspired. It is probably not first class graphics, but for a start, it is great :)
I used Canva to create all the graphics. This is really easy to use. Even for somebody like me that is quite bad at art, it is easy to make something nice. I only used the free version, it was enough for all I did. I also took some pictures on Unsplash and some of the free pictures at Ivory Mix. The last site I discovered is Pixabay. Once you put all these resources together, you should have more than enough free beautiful pictures. And a lot of the pictures are also coming from Canva directly.
I am not quite sure that my layouts are optimal. You may see that I have used several different designs. One layout with one picture, one with two pictures and the last one with four pictures. It seems to me that they all work. Here are a few examples of the graphics I have used:
Browse through the posts if you want to see more of my graphics. I would be glad to hear your point of view on my various graphics.
Looking at other blogs, it seems format with only one image and large text with different fonts is the most successful. I will see in the future if I should switch to another kind of layout.
Creating the account on Pinterest and pinning each of my posts was not a big deal once I had the images. I have created a board with all my posts and a second with only a selection of posts. I have also created a few other boards with various subjects (Blogging, Retirement, …).
Actually, I was quite surprised by Pinterest. I did not know enough about it. It seems like a great tool. I have found some very interesting blogs already. And once you get used to it, it is really easy to use. I have not started to play with group boards or Tailwind/BoardBooster and such. But I plan to investigate them soon. One thing at a time. I will also see if this makes a difference for the blog audience. It probably will not make a difference at first. Maybe when I start playing with more advanced things such as Tailwind. We will see :)
Overall, only adding images to each of my posts really made the blog more interesting. This is something I really like. It makes the home page much better looking. And it is great to have a nice image on each post.
What do you think of my graphics? Do you have tips for Pinterest?
It was quite a lot of work to do the redesign and add images to each post. I hope this will make the blog better for everybody :)