The Big Reveal: 7 Lessons From Our Blog Makeover

Our old blog theme was crumbling. It was 10 years old – certainly no spring chicken in the design-obsessed blogosphere. The developers hadn’t updated it in 7 years, WordPress retired it 3 years ago, and we suspected a mischievous poltergeist was wreaking havoc in our house.

So, what to do? … There was just one answer.

We needed a Blog Makeover. It was time to renovate this old house and make it sparkle.

We’re big believers in“Making the most of what you’ve got.” On the plus side, our blog had good content – some popular posts and engaging photos. So what did we need? This old, wonky structure was crying out for “good bones.” It required a new theme that would provide a solid foundation and framework to house its bulging inventory.

We decided to make a list of everything we loved about our old theme … then we brainstormed all the things we WISHED the new one would do. Now we were ready to go shopping for a new theme to accommodate all our stuff.

Whoa!!! Back the train up.

We were getting way ahead of ourselves. Any good renovator knows that it’s the prep work you do that determines the eventual success of the project. There were several valuable lessons ahead that would make a huge difference in the end result.

So, we started this project back in December of last year. And just like any renovation, you’re never quite sure how long it’s going to take. But as James is fond of saying, “It takes as long as it takes.” Now here we are 7 months later, to tell the tale and share the lessons we learned during our blog makeover. Many of you may be considering – or in the middle of your own blog renovation. We hope our story gives you encouragement (and hopefully won’t frighten you off), and lets you know you’re not alone. All it takes is a little help from your friends.

So on that cold December day, we agreed that we needed to:

1. Create a Vision of Our New Blog

For us, Gallivance is our “digital homestead.” It’s where we live in cyberspace. We want to make it inviting for all who visit … and hopefully you’ll come in and sit a spell. Our goal is to:

  • Feature content we love that helps and entertains people
  • Encourage community and spark quality conversations
  • Build a site chock-full of choices that people want to explore.

But what were we trying to achieve with our Blog Makeover? First we had to imagine how our new blog would look and perform. Our previous theme was clean, minimal, and sparse – displaying only our posts and photos. It was the perfect minimalist backdrop as we worked to simplify our life.

We decided that even though we’re still keeping things simple, we were craving more movement, engagement, and fun. We envisioned a blog that felt energized, looked more like a magazine, and encouraged exploration and discovery.

2. Start With The Essentials

After blogging for 9 years we finally learned what Readers crave. First we had to start with The Essentials. For us that means including the:

  • About Us Page to let you get to know us 
  • Start Here Page to give you a sense of your options 
  • Top Menu to enable you to easily navigate our site
  • Search Bar to help you quickly find what you’re looking for
  • Archive Widgets, both by Category and Dates, to encourage you to explore
  • Subscription Box to invite new Readers to follow along
  • Hugs” Widget to celebrate friendship, appreciation, and accomplishments.

3. Declutter To Let The Quality Shine Through

You may think that decluttering is just for your over-stuffed sock drawer or dust-magnet tchotchkes. Not true! We’ve learned that blogs get cluttered, too.

Over the years we’ve watched our number of posts grow. First 100, then 300, and by 2020 we were up to nearly 700 posts. Upon closer inspection, we confirmed our suspicion: Not all of our posts were created equal. We had some serious stinkers in the mix!

Why were we hanging on to the old posts? Because they were part of our history. So the questions we had to ask ourselves were, Do they belong on the blog? Are we proud of them?

It was time to suck it up, swallow our pride, and eliminate the posts that were poorly written, really lame, or downright boring. And you know we don’t like boring.

We braced ourselves for the big purge, and “retired” over 120 old posts. They won’t be coming back. Then we moved another 50 posts back into draft mode because they had potential, but needed some serious rethinking. So, now we’re happy with our 500+ posts … and working on creating new, quality content.

4. Curate Our Own Collection

Any lover of museums knows that although an institution may have a vast collection, the job of the Curator is to select the ideal pieces to display in an exhibit … and then interpret their meaning. As creators and custodians of our blog, we have the same responsibility.

After reading all of our below-par posts, we decided to use the same philosophy on our blog that we used when we simplified our home – Only include the things we love and have meaning to us.

It was time to up our game by improving the quality of our content. So back in January we created a Punch List of things that needed to be fixed, then set to work. This included:

  • Repairing broken links and creating new ones
  • Replacing missing photos
  • Upgrading art on many posts
  • Combing through our Media Library to eliminate duplicate photos that were eating up our storage space
  • Editing our writing in many of the articles we planned to keep.

In the end we wanted to make sure that we were putting our best foot forward.

5. Capitalize On Our Prime Real Estate

In the grand scheme of things, a blog’s Home Page is its most prized real estate. We learned that specific areas of our Home Page have different values.

Above the Fold. Many of us grew up when people read newspapers – perhaps you still do. Kudos! And although print newspapers may be vanishing, the lingo still remains. “Above the Fold” refers to the top half of a folded newspaper. It was the only part customers could read at a newsstand, so the editors wanted to feature content that would entice shoppers to buy the newspaper.

The concept is the same on a blog’s Home Page. The section that first fills the screen of your computer, tablet, or phone is “above the fold” – the Prime Real Estate. This is the place to put the most valuable enticements. We studied our stats and decided to focus on our:

  • Unusual blog name
  • Most recent post and 2 hidden gems in a slider with alluring art
  • Top Menu that tells you everything about us in a nutshell – Our Story, Where to Start, Simplify Your Life, Travel the World, Explore New Cultures, and Expand Your Horizons. From this simple menu you can get to everything on the blog.

Below the Fold. Continuing with the newspaper analogy, this term includes what you see when you flip the paper over and read to the bottom of the front page. If we don’t hook our readers “Above the Fold” then this area is our last chance to engage readers before they leave. We realized we needed to make the most of it.

On our Home Page, when you scroll below the fold, you encounter additional recent posts bordered by a sidebar and footer. How could we leverage those areas?

Sidebar. Well, first we included the Essentials (see above), but we realized we could also use the area to solve our biggest challenge: How do we entice Readers to take a look at our older articles? Enter the:

Post Carousel. We stumbled across this marvelous feature and knew instantly it was the answer to our conundrum. With a Post Carousel we can design a self-contained merry-go-round of 3 posts on a specific topic. For instance, we could create one on The Quest to Simplify Our Life that contains our 3 best posts on the subject. And the fantastic thing is that it MOVES – providing the burst of energy and fun we were longing for. We plan to change the carousels regularly and hope to highlight subjects that will tickle your fancy.

Footer. This is our last place to capture your interest before you leave. We decided to use it as our “Snapshot Area” – a place to quickly tell you more about us and share a new hidden gem each week.

Alas, you will miss all these fun features unless you Come In Through Our Front Door. So please, if you don’t see the header, slider, sidebar, and footer, let us invite you to Make a Grand Entrance

6. Be Authentic. Be Ourselves.

When you start a blog you get to make a lot of choices. First off, are you going to use your real name … or go by a nom de plume … or no name at all? (Please don’t do that. Be somebody! People want to engage personally and it helps to have a handle.)

Long ago we decided to be ourselves because we wanted to tell stories – our stories – and celebrate your stories. So we chose to show you the real us as we’ve moved through various phases of our lives. As our lovely British friends say, “Here we are, warts and all!”

7. Before The Big Reveal, Get Feedback From Your Friends

We often joke that we can talk and research a topic to death … but it’s true. We’ve learned that the more we know, the faster we can think on our feet. And that’s a good thing if you’re changing blog themes. Because you really don’t know what’s going to happen when you flip the switch to install a new theme – which means pulling the plug on your old theme. And WordPress had already warned us in no uncertain terms that we couldn’t go back to our old theme because it was retired.

Talk about a leap of faith!

So we did what we’ve learned best: Ask your friends for help. And you came to our rescue! Our heartfelt thanks go out to:

  • The Forums at WordPress that offered inspiring ideas and problem-solving techniques for our new theme.
  • WordPress Happiness Engineers who answered our endless questions and provided code to a couple of CSS-challenged bloggers.
  • All of you fabulous Readers who volunteered ideas, found flaws, and told us how the new theme looked on your phones. You rock!

Possibly the most valuable lesson we’ve learned is this:

Blog themes are like fashion – one day you’re in, the next you’re out. But you never go wrong with the classics. We’re going for timeless.

We know that many of you have recently gone through a blog makeover. You have our admiration. What lessons did you learn from the experience?

Terri & James

Hearts designed by Charles Rene Mackintosh in Glasgow, Scotland

Photo Credits: 1. Brigitte Tohm  2. Cristian Escobar  3. Diego PH  4. Brooke Lark 5. 6. Vienna Reyes  7. The Creative Exchange   8. Matthew Daniels 9. Gnomesville on Facebook 10. Yusril Permana ali



We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

72 thoughts

  1. My goodness, I’m exhausted just reading this. What a lot of work. But you’re right of course – if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. For me, though, I’m too daunted. Know nothing about tech and all of that would just detract from time I could spend on actual writing, which is the thing I love. Hat’s off to you though. I’m going to explore your new lay-out for a bit now!

    1. Tracey, you really made me smile – because you’re right of course! If there ever was a Queen of Procrastination – I’m your woman. 🙂 And I was also totally daunted when I started.

      We had put this task off for for 3 years – back when WordPress notified us they were retiring our theme and would no longer support it. Yikes! I think I was in denial for over 2 years, but at the end of last year things started going haywire and I couldn’t fix them. I’d done all the patches I could. As James says, I was holding it together with “Bondo and bailing wire.” Sigh. So I had to bite the bullet … kicking and screaming … well, maybe whimpering.

      And I’m with you on the writing. Your love of the art shines through in everything you share. I wrote this because I thought there might be others out there who were contemplating changes – whether forced or voluntary – who could use a little commiseration and encouragement. 🙂 ~Terri

      1. I learned that Southernism when I met him. Seems is was a family joke when they talked about his Dad’s car. Then I saw his car! Truth is stranger than fiction. 🙂 ~Terri

  2. I need to do this too, if I’m to carry on blogging. But I’m much lazier than your good selves. Thank you for laying out with such clarity what I need to do. It immediately becomes apparent why I haven’t done it yet. Time and energy! You’ve harnessed yours beautifully. Well done to you both 🙂 🙂

  3. Thanks so much, Jo. We started working on it last year, just doing little bits at a time. That helped, instead of tackling everything at once. It was kind of like getting ready for a house move. The closer you get to the “big day” the more scary/exciting it gets – something I’m sure you can relate to. 🙂

    And your blog is gorgeous! I thought you had recently done a makeover. Was I imagining that? ~Terri

  4. The new look is worthy of all the time you’ve spent. It’s definitely easy to access your new and old posts, and I’ve always admired your categories. It’s good to know that WordPress folks were helpful. I didn’t think about asking them for help, but will in the future. There’s much more to do on my blog, but I was ready to jump in.
    Now I need to purge pictures, spiff up some old posts, and think of where I’m headed with a travel blog while I’m not traveling. One thing’s for sure: you’ve set the gold standard (always worth looking at what you did), and you deliver quality content in a pleasing, accessible format. I’d say that’s an impressive accomplishment!!Cingrats on the new launch!

    1. Rusha, as always you are so kind. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. You know we were inspired to take the leap after seeing your beautiful blog makeover. Thanks for finally getting us off high center.

      I, too was also pleasantly surprised by the helpful folks on the WordPress Forums. While trying to find a new theme, I would first go to the forum to see what real users thought of the theme. Wow, did that help! I avoided a lot of agony by steering clear of themes with big problems. And the fact that the questions were being answered professionals and users alike really impressed me. You know I’m all about people helping people.

      When I finally picked a theme, I was able to answer 85% of my questions on the forum – including the necessary code! Then the Happiness Engineers (a free service if you have a Premium Plan) got me across the finish line with the final code I needed. (I’m a reluctant, all-thumbs coder.) 🙂

      So I’m curious, was your makeover a pain in the neck or did you breeze right through it? ~Terri

      1. I hired someone to help me get it set up. When I had another problem, he was good at teaching me. But now I find that I need a bit more help, so I’m glad to know the WP folks can help. Of course, all I can do with code is copy and paste!!!

      2. Oh, me too, Rusha! Copy and paste is my middle name. 🙂 Do you have the WordPress Premium Plan? If so, you can do a live chat or email with them. Their replies are amazingly fast. ~Terri

      3. Many thanks, Rachel. Making big changes can be a bit daunting, but having such a supportive blogging community makes it all worthwhile. 🙂 ~Terri

  5. Thanks a bunch, Beth. I figured there may be other people out there going through the same thing who could use a little help and encouragement. I sure know that I did! We all do truly get by with a little help from our friends. 🙂 I’m glad you like the Post Carousels – I get such a kick out of them!

    So are you on the road now or enjoying your summer at home? ~Terri

    1. Thanks John and Susan. Isn’t it great that the newspaper lingo survives and thrives. Your blog is so good looking! Did you set it up that way, or have you needed to make any changes? ~Terri

  6. Terri and James, I read this late last night and I knew I wanted to go back and make some notes. This post is filled with a great deal of wisdom and gems. You walk the talk and your blog is a wonderful example how you can build something beautiful, have fun and create a community.

    The “mischievous poltergeist” is a little scary. I sometimes wonder whether WordPress is a little glitchy or am I the glitchy one?

    Good point on new theme and solid foundation/framework. I appreciate your philosophy of staying with what is timeless, “the classics.” I bookmarked this blog so I can refer back to it. I am still in the afraid to touch much on WordPress in my blogging journey. 🙂 I will have to update along this journey. “It takes as long as it takes.” Thank you for sharing a great post! Erica

    1. Erica, let me first thank you for your great observations and very kind words. We sure do appreciate it. I’m glad that you found the information helpful.

      When I found out 7 years ago that the people who designed our old theme were no longer going to update it, I swallowed hard. That meant it was kind of like having an iPhone from 2003. Oh gee, what could possibly go wrong? 🙂 I decided to take the wait-and-see approach. And then 3 years ago when WordPress “retired” the theme, I procrastinated. Everything worked fine until this past year … then it didn’t. The poltergeist showed up.

      So, in hindsight (always 20/20) I should have done the makeover sooner. I would recommend to anyone who has a theme that WordPress has retired, it’s probably time to think about a change. But the great news is that helpful friends abound, thank goodness! 🙂 ~Terri

    1. Hi Leslie, yes, it certainly felt that way. But once we figured out what we had to do, we just started chipping away at it a piece at a time. That helped make it more manageable. 🙂 ~Terri

  7. So … much … work! Kudos to you on the effort – and your success and happiness in getting it done. I thought about updating at one point when I was still blogging regularly, but that hiatus has obviated the need for any work at this point. If and when I get back to this pastime, I’ll refer to your post!

    1. Many thanks, Lexie. We were faced with the No-Choice Choice. I’d used up all the duct tape in my tool kit and I couldn’t patch it up any more. So we decided to take the lemons and make lemonade. 🙂

      I think your blog is beautiful, and from everything I can see it works great. And whenever you choose to get back to your pastime, we’ll all be here welcoming you with open arms. In the meantime, we sure enjoy your great comments. Thanks again. ~Terri

  8. Dear Terri and James, This is the best advice, ideas, suggestions I have read about creating and managing a blog. I’ve learned a great deal more about blogging with the questions you asked of yourselves. I look forward to following you in your new model. And I do hope to take many of your suggestions to heart and make some changes myself. Bravo dear friends, Virginia

    1. Wow Virginia! Thanks so much. Your words really made my heart sing. I’m so glad you found the information helpful. I figure we bloggers need to stick together and help each other as much as possible. While I was going through the process James kept saying, “You need to write about this so someone else doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel.” 🙂 He’s such a card! I hope you’re doing really well and staying healthy. Thanks again. ~Terri

  9. We too are at the point where we need to do a major clean up. In any of your decision making did you look at SEO, page speed etc. I think we find ourselves at a crossroads with the blog. As mentioned before we started as a hobby, moved to it being more of a part time job and now likely going back to a hobby. so until we get that settled in our minds i think my plan will be to continue to delete useless old posts. I’ve started reworking old material into better structured new material and re-publishing.
    I love the new look of your blog and best wishes going forward.

    1. Many thanks, Sue. Your encouraging words mean the world to us. I can certainly appreciate you being at a crossroads with all the wonderful things you have going on in your life. I’m sure you feel drawn in many directions.Trying to keep up a blog as a part-time job on top of everything sounds challenging.

      We have had many conversations about SEO, etc and whether or not we wanted to monetize the blog, but each time we’ve decided against that direction for us. We prefer it as a hobby. But I think it’s a great avenue if someone wants to pursue it. I like the business models used by people like Leo Babauta and Courtney Carver who create books and courses based on their expertise. You and Dave have so much fabulous material that might lend itself to that model, and possibly free up time in the long run.

      The great thing is that no matter what you decide, you two have built up a fantastic community who will continue to support you no matter what. How cool is that? 🙂 All the best, Terri

  10. Darlene, getting comments like that certainly make it all worth it. It’s music to my ears. Thanks so much!

    James and I were just talking about you this morning, wondering how you’re faring with the Pandemic over there? It looks Spain has been successful in its efforts to flatten the curve. I hope that you are well and able to take lots of dog walks. 🙂 ~Terri

    1. Thanks, Terri. We are doing well here as things are getting back to normal, or at least the new normal. We’re able to go for a coffee at our favourite beach cafe and have had a couple of meals out in a restaurant, on an outdoor terrace. There is a bit of a concern as the country is allowing visitors in from other countries now. As long as they follow the rules, we should be OK. This part of the country relies heavily on the tourist trade. A friend was stuck in the UK for 5 months while her husband and two dogs were here at their home in Spain. She is very glad to be back!

      1. Your progress is definitely ahead of ours, Darlene. The closest we’ve come to eating out is a few carryout meals. Our state (Kentucky) had done a good job of flattening the curve, but the past 2 weeks have brought a serious spike in the number of cases. So I’m not sure what to expect. So glad to hear that things are going better there. ~Terri

  11. Terri and James, you guys have done a great job, your site is looking very sleek and modern. Kudos to you for being so organised and diligent. I like the way you have approached the changes, by questioning what was important to you. I think it is great that you have selected your best material and retired what is no longer a good fit for your vision. I have so many posts that I would like to get rid off, but I have just been procrastinating.

    1. Gilda, your words really brought a smile to my face! Many thanks for the encouragement. I can totally relate to your comment about procrastination – because it’s always been my specialty! 🙂

      When it came down to deciding which posts to pitch, we looked at our stats and went to the bottom of the list in terms of popularity. That was a real eyeopener! We’d honestly forgotten that we had written some of those posts. It was pretty hilarious, and usually the decision was easy. But when we got to one we were waffling on, we just moved it back into draft mode to decide if we’d fix it or ditch it. That way it was off the blog, but not gone until we decided. That approach seemed to work for us. We put the discarded posts in a folder labeled “For When You Need a Laugh!” 🙂 ~Terri

      1. I like this idea of keeping the posts in a draft position or a folder for ” when you want to have a laugh” looking back at some of the”not so good” blog posts…I have quite a few of them.

  12. Love the look of the of the makeover James & Terri! Very clean & easy to navigate. Lots of great advice here for those of us considering a refresh!

    1. I love your word “refresh” Lynn. That’s the perfect description of the process. It always reminds me of crisp, clean sheets hung outside in the fresh air. Thanks so much for your kind words. ~Terri

  13. It looks gorgeous, congratulations! But now I feel even worse about mine, which dates to 2009 and never looked that good in the first place. I used to be a techie, and wrote the code for my first website, but I just don’t seem to have the energy to tackle the job these days.

    Petra definitely rocks!

    1. Thanks so much, Kathy. The wonderful thing is that your blog looks great. I’m so impressed you wrote your code – that must give you great satisfaction. I love the photo in your header, and the photos you used on your last post on Sicily are beautiful.

      And congrats on being the first person to find our hidden gem. You’re right – Petra does rock! 🙂 ~Terri

      1. Thanks for the kind words. I didn’t code mytimetotravel, I had a website before the blog that has gone dark until I figure out how to renew the domain name. The header photo is of the Himalayas taken from Kurseong on the route of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. My first long trip, in 2001, and 9-11 happened in the middle of it.

  14. Oh well done you guys! What a huge amount of work. I’m going through old posts randomly and doing a little bit of fixing-up that way, but don’t know how I’d ever find the time to this kind of makeover! (and hope I never have to) Wow. So impressed. It looks really really good!

    1. I’m delighted that you like it, Alison. You’re certainly right about it taking some time, but we were backed into a corner and didn’t have a choice. The code on our old WordPress theme was falling apart and they weren’t going to fix it. And we couldn’t either. And the good news is that we spread it out over 7 months.

      But what helped the most was giving ourselves permission to retire some posts. As James says, “When we started out we were just barking at the moon!” 🙂 Oh so true. ~Terri

  15. Terri and James – Congrats on a job very well done. When I read the part about ‘starting back in December of last year’, I knew this post was to be taken seriously 😉 I’ve retired a blog or two, but never done this kind of re-vamping. With all the changes WordPress has initiated, you guys have jumped ahead of the curve. Bravo! Cheers- Susan

    1. Susan, you sure know how to make me smile. Many thanks. I’m curious about you “retiring a blog or two.” Is that because you decided to focus on different topics? Are your previous blogs still around? I’d love to check them out if they are.

      You’ve been a big topic of conversation around our house this afternoon after James read your Antartica post. He’s still chuckling … and of course blaming everything on poor Bruce. To say you made his day would be an understatement. 🙂 ~Terri

      1. Terri – what fun blogging is! I am so happy to be a part of this community.
        Mostly ‘retiring’ my blogs is a fancy way of saying I tidied up the posts, deleted a bunch but transferred them over into e-books. I wanted to keep the content, but also wanted my blogs to be focused. Now, I need to follow your example and make the presentation more up-dated. Aren’t you glad we have so much ‘down time’ during this craziness? Health and happiness to you and James – Susan

      2. What a great idea, Susan! Transferring them over into e-books. Brilliant! We have toyed with that idea, but I haven’t researched it yet. You’re my hero! And you’re so right about having the down time to catch up. I’ve done things I’ve procrastinated on forever. 🙂 ~T

  16. You two did an amazing job with the blog renovations. Lots of thought, effort, and time went into it. That would hold me back. And, I would have a hard time discarding old posts, despite my usual passion for decluttering! But, you reached your goals and the result is stunning. I see that you changed the tag line as well. No more twists? 🙂

    So, which theme did you end up picking for the new look? I certainly like all the features, the interactiveness, and the fun aspect that was added, while maintaining that “simple” and clean look. You could write an e-course on your do-over process!

  17. Liesbet, you really have a keen eye! How wonderful. Many thanks for all your great observations. Yes, we did change the tagline to expand our scope, but you know us – there will still be twists. 🙂

    And I hear you on discarding posts. We dithered over it for years, but when we decided to change our theme we reasoned that the less we have to move, the less that can screw up! And the posts we took out were really lame. We put them in a folder labeled “Read me when you need a laugh!”

    The theme we chose is called Arcane. When I saw it on WordPress, I wasn’t initially impressed. But as we say, “It had good bones.” So I started looking all over the internet for other people who were using it – and that’s when I saw its creative potential. Many of the blogs using it were more off-the-beaten path – and I liked that. So I was hooked.

    James said that you and Mark are contemplating your next options. That’s always so much fun – but I guess it’s a bit trickier these days. I wish you the best in your planning process and can’t wait to see what you decide. Hugs, Terri

  18. What is the name of your wordpress theme?
    And can you direct where is the coding can be found, for the little rotating links/photos in your widgets.

    I know that changing a theme can be a big deal. I’m currently using the 3rd theme in my 10 years blogging on my personal blog. I like my theme for it’s “bigness” in signature photo display.

    Careful, thoughtful selection and change is a good thing, especially if it aligns with personal positive values. 😀

    1. Hi Jean, Our new theme is called Arcane. I see that your theme is Dyad 2 and it’s gorgeous! I really like the look of it. The “Post Carousels” (the little rotating links/photos in our widgets) are a feature of Arcane, and I see that WordPress offers 7 themes that have that feature. I’ll put the link down below. It appears that Dyad 2 is not on that list, but it would be a good question to ask in the WordPress Forum for your theme. If your theme can support Post Carousels, they will have the code. Link also down below.

      Congrats for blogging for 10 years – that’s a fantastic milestone. We’ve been at it for 9 years and it’s always been a source of joy and connection with an interesting, supportive community of fun people. And I definitely agree with you that thoughtful change is a good thing. 🙂 ~Terri

      Post Carousel Themes –
      Dyad 2 Forum –

      1. Thx for this insight re my questions. I wasn’t aware of the forum theme specific threads. I used to visit the forum support area a few years ago, I agree with some good supportive readers/skimmers, It’s been generally a good journey with an international audience. Keeps me blogging.

  19. I’ve been thinking of a renovation project recently. This post will come in handy when I determine the time is right. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  20. Hi Linda, I’m delighted that this info may come in handy for you down the road. Are you and Jon on the road now, or staying in place for a bit? Your blog is beautiful – I love your tagline and the photo you use in the header. Stay safe and be healthy. 🙂 ~Terri

  21. Great advice in this post for all bloggers. I’m constantly second guessing my theme and trying to make little tweaks that help it work for me better. Love you site! It looks great!!

    1. Thanks so much, Dan. First off, I LOVE the title of your blog – it just couldn’t get any better. And your header image is beautiful and inviting. I’m very fond of the theme you’re using – Dyad 2. Another commenter, Jean (up above) also uses Dyad 2, so if you’re looking for additional ideas you could check her blog out. 🙂 ~Terri

    1. Hi Brandy, it’s great to have you here! Many thanks for your kind words. We’re big believers in community and helping each other out if we can. And what a fascinating life you and Paolo are living. Everyone dreams of living in Italy … and you are! Congratulations. 🙂 I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your life journey. Thanks again for stopping by. All the best, Terri

  22. Thanks for sharing the redesign and simplify strategies you’ve learned! I found it extremely valuable. I adore the Start Here idea and plan to implement it for Fake Flamenco. The Carousel is also inspired. So glad to have discovered your blog this month!

    1. Hi Rebecca, Thanks so much for stopping by – and for your very kind words. “Start Here” pages are so fun to create, and there are loads of ideas out there to inspire you. I’m so glad you liked ours. We update it regularly as our work shifts, and it’s one of the most popular features on our blog.

      I really like the Goodz Magazine theme you’re using – it looks great. And your title knocks my socks off. So creative. We’re so glad to see you here and can’t wait to dig into your blog. All the best, Terri

      1. Yes, I began a list of topic headings that I would use in my Start Here right away in my journal. I look forward to organizing the posts I would share next. Thank you for your kind comments about the theme I use. I really appreciate your comment about my blog title. I had fun creating it; the words Fake Flamenco are a way of life for me, keep dancing as if they said Olé!

  23. I’m so happy to have discovered your blog and this extremely interesting and informative post. I was in the same position as the two of you and changed themes a couple of months ago. I’m not techie at all and my new theme is still a work a work in progress. I like your idea about moving posts back into draft mode…I actually didn’t know you could do that. Thank you for sharing your hard work with us all.

    1. Hi Karen … and welcome. We’re thrilled to have you here. Thanks so much for your kind words. And your blog looks fabulous – I love your theme and the photo you’ve used for your header. For us, changing themes was both fun and frustrating, but it feels really good to have done it. I discovered the idea of moving posts back to draft mode by fooling around – and I also learned (by accident) that if you change your mind and republish it, your followers will get a notification. I confused a lot of people when I did this accidentally because it sent them a post from 2011. 🙂

      I see that you live on the Treasure Coast. We used to live up in St. Augustine. Are you near Port St. Lucie? I wish you all the best on your “work in progress” – now I must go check our your Shrimp and Grits recipe – we also lived in Charleston, so I’m a big fan of the dish. 🙂 ~Terri

  24. You are brave. A blog makeover (something I consistently put off) seems like such a daunting task. Yours looks great and I will definitely ear mark this post if I ever get motivated enough. Thanks for liking some of my posts. I look forward to exploring some of your blog.

    1. Hi Caroline, it’s wonderful to have you here! Ah yes, the blog makeover. It was both a frustrating necessity and a labor of love. I kept putting it off, so I can definitely relate to your lack of motivation. But when I finally grabbed the bull by the horns it was full steam ahead. I’m glad you think the info might be helpful to you in the future. Thanks so much for stopping by. All the best, Terri

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