Monday, October 26, 2015

New & Improved

Hello everyone! You all know I love a great makeover – today’s is website related. I’m happy to announce that the new and improved Centsational Girl has finally arrived! Yesterday we launched the new site, I’m so delighted it has a fresh look and modern design and that it is finally mobile and tablet friendly, hooray!

new and improved centsational girl


Six years ago I hired someone to build a WordPress blog for me and I was *still* operating on that outdated theme until yesterday. I was having all kinds of problems with it due to changes in code and SEO policies, also the old look was a bit of a plain Jane, remember?

old design

When Google made their big announcement earlier this year that sites get penalized for not being mobile friendly (booo!) and after several readers inquired when it would happen, I decided over the summer to get busy on a site makeover. My first thought was, hey it can’t be that hard to just switch to a mobile friendly theme, right? Being a DIYer at heart I thought I could do it all myself.

I thought I could just buy one of those pretty themes with everything preset and install it, I paid $50 for one #becauseimcheap and set up a demo site to make all the changes and thought I could just import them. Cue that music in the movie when something bad is about to happen but the main character doesn’t see it yet. That resulted in crashing my server several times and sending my site offline for hours – I tried it over and over again with fingers crossed hoping for the best and generating even more problems, so I knew it was finally time to talk to professionals.

For some random reason, I stumbled across this lovely blog and this lovely blog in the same week and noticed they were both designed by the same team at Roundhouse Designs. I liked what I saw so I emailed them, explained my problem and in 24 hours they had me on the phone. I proposed a band aid fix. “Can’t you just install the cheap theme I bought?” They didn’t laugh at me. They should have but they didn’t. Maybe they did laugh when I wasn’t on the phone.

They should have laughed – they probably cried instead – because we learned all those band aids I’d been using for years on my old theme were causing plugins to compete with each other for attention thus causing my blog to “slowly implode from within”. Their words. That was not the description I wanted to hear about the blog I’ve been filling up with content for six years. Cue the music in the movie when the main character realizes it’s time for a change.

So we started from scratch and the guys at Roundhouse (Ryan and Nick) built me a brand new site with all the bells and whistles I needed to be modern and continue to deliver new content, and they imported all the old content from the old site.

You’ll notice we replicated much of what was already in place – I liked the basic layout so you’ll see similarities. But instead of all the hand coding I’d been doing for years, now there are simple buttons to click to make it all oh so purty and organized.

Thanks so much guys!

nick and ryan


The priority was organized easy navigation. The guys installed a slider up at the top of the content that rotates the not-to-miss articles from the past month, just in case you haven’t visited in a while. I love that.

I like a site where it’s easy to find content, good navigation is a big deal for me. My content is split between decorating articles and DIY projects/space remodels and I wanted to make it easy for long time readers and new visitors to find it all, so just as before you’ll find all the best decorating articles and resources in one of the main categories, the STYLE FILES, easily found from the navigation bar.


style files

You’ll also find all of my DIY projects and remodeled spaces on the PROJECTS page, again just like before.


projects page


New to the blog is a page called SHOP dedicated to all the objects I love with categories for furniture, textiles, lighting, and accents. It’s here I share so many of the things I own or have used to decorate spaces, and other favorites too – I’ll be filling it with more finds in the weeks to come.

introducing shop

With any blog design there are a million choices to consider. The editorial look is used now by many magazines and large blogs and has grown in popularity but I wasn’t ready for that yet. Since it’s only me and I post 3-4 times a week it didn’t make sense to switch to an editorial layout, so I kept the basic “new content on the front page” blog design in place, plus I love when I can see the new content right away when I visit a blog, especially a personal one that’s not run by a huge team.

As for the color palette, I decorate with and wear a lot of navy, teal, and dark pink so those colors have been incorporated into the new design. The lovely logo is by Jamie at Fresh Lavender Designs, it’s feminine and fun with pretty floral detail, and a nice contrast to the sans serif fonts used throughout the galleries.

new header with floral detail

Once more, I give huge props to the guys at Roundhouse Designs, they were a great team to work with, eternally patient, wicked smart, and they have great personalities too. Fellow bloggers, if you’re looking for a design team, I highly recommend!

So we’ve cleaned out the cobwebs and swept all the dust out from under the rug that existed on the old site. It took hundreds of hours to categorize and organize everything, and there are still a few details that remain. It’s a brand new day with the brand new site! Hop on over to the blog if you’re reading via email or RSS subscription to see the clean and contemporary look, hope you like it!

More good stuff happening this week including pictures of the studio… be back soon!


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