Knitting and Purling Blog Layout, Web Design, Development and Site Architecture Changes

Newly revamped Knitting and Purling blog homepage
Hello again. My name is Karina, and you’re currently browsing through the Knitting and Purling blog.

OK, so obviously this isn’t the first time I’m introducing myself on this blog. That was just my sarcastic way of acknowledging the fact that it’s been a really long time since I last blogged. And yes, if you’re a frequent reader you’re likely aware that my hiatuses from blogging are both frequent and prolonged.

However, just because I haven’t been publishing new posts, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on the blog practically every day since I last blogged (and the past few times before that, too)!

Although in recent weeks, it might have been a little less frequent than on a daily basis, only because I’ve been so insanely busy at work. It seems like I practically never leave the office anymore, at least not until after midnight! But more on this in an upcoming blog post… or two, I promise.

What Exactly Have I Been Working on During This Latest Blog Hiatus?

That’s a very good question. Let me list a few examples for you…

1) Rebuilding the blog’s site architecture
  • One of the (few) things that bugged me over the years about the Knitting and Purling blog is the way I had laid out the site architecture.What have I been up to? Rebuilding the Knitting and Purling blog site architecture!
  • Although the top-level categories have always pretty much remained the same since the very beginning (minus a few tweaks, such as the recent addition of the new “Everyday Life” top-level category… it got bumped up from being a mere blog tag before), the subcategories have always been one hot mess. And don’t even get me started on the way I had categorized and tagged everything, yikes!
  • I finally decided to put my foot down a month or two ago and went to work remapping the site architecture by streamlining the number of subcategories per each top-level category as much as possible.
  • And fellow SEO-ers out there will know this, but whenever you even remotely touch anything to do with the structure of a website, you must pair that with the complicated process of 301 redirecting everything. Not fun… nor to mention complete, either, because to this day I’m still constantly monitoring Google Webmaster Tools for 404 not found errors!
  • Anyway, if you go to the webpage for new Knitting and Purling users, you’ll see what I mean. I’ve merged a bunch of similar subcats, and kept the number of subcategories down to either 4 or 8 per top-level category (I chose those numbers solely due to the fact that only 4 thumbnail image tiles could fit across one row!).
  • But yes, this took a surprisingly long time to implement. And like I said, I still have yet to finish mapping everything out. I’m superduperclose and the structure makes so much more sense now, which pleases my inner OCD self.
2) Redesigning the entire blog layout
    StudioPress Family Tree child theme demo (screenshot image)

    Screenshot image of the Family Tree WordPress blog child theme by StudioPress

  • I’m talking a new background image, brand spanking new fonts (more on that below) and new gorgeous illustrations courtesy of Shutterstock (also more on that below)
  • The reason why I’ve been working my butt off to totally revamp the website design? I did it to stray as far away as possible from the template theme that I had originally adapted from StudioPress.
  • And as you might now, I’m all about being one of a kind. So having a website that looks even remotely close to someone else’s? That stuff ain’t flying in my books, that’s for sure!
  • It also doesn’t hurt when I’ve discovered throughout the last few months that I’m much more in love with designing and developing a website than actually blogging and writing the “meat and potatoes” content (by the way, that’s now going to be my official go-to answer to explain all of my blog hiatuses!). For more on this topic, jump down to point #5!
3) Creating new custom-designed blog showcase backgrounds
  • So remember how I said I was creating brand new computer graphics courtesy of Shutterstock? Well, my new library of vector stock images became the hypothetical canvas, paint brush and paint I needed in order to unleash my inner Web designer and create “painted art masterpieces”… in the form of custom computer graphics!
  • OK, I’m not sure how well that metaphor worked, but let’s just say I have Shutterstock to thank for the creation of many of my newly designed blog series background images.
  • For example, without Shutterstock I wouldn’t have been able to design my recipe navigation blackboard, my blog post credits manila envelope image, or my blog page credits letter and notarized envelope images…to name just a few examples!

Samples of Karina's web design portfolio (featured on the Knitting and Purling blog)

4) Becoming addicted to fonts, typefaces and all things typographical
  • While redesigning Knitting and Purling, I went on a mission to search for new Web fonts. I came back from my hunt with a newfound obsession with anything and everything to do with typography
  • My favorite hunting ground of choice? MyFonts.com. Seriously, I dare you to go visit the website. If you own a blog or have even the slightest interest in Web design, you will not be able to come out of that site alive without making a “purchase” (and yes, it’s in quotes because free fonts that cost $0 count as purchases!).
  • To sum up, I started off using the recommended fonts of Museo Sans, Museo Slab and Fertigo Pro Script, taken from the Family Tree theme by StudioPress. In the end, I ended up keeping the two Museo Sans and Museo Slab fonts (because they’re simply gorgeous, I cannot lie!), but I switched the Fertigo Pro Script font that I was using for headings with the lovely HTMotel script font and super retro label maker-esque Chromosome font. Yum!
Museo Slab font family showcase image

Introducing my love affair with Museo Slab, one of the most beautiful serif typeface I’ve ever laid my eyes on (and I’m normally a hater of serif fonts!)

Museo Sans font family showcase image

Corresponding font to Museo Slab: Introducing the sans-serif version, appropriately named Museo Sans Serif!

5) Lastly, working on Web projects outside of the Knitting and Purling blog
  • Going back to point #2 from above, I talked about how I had finally reached the conclusion that the reason why I’m constantly going on blogging hiatuses is because I’m simply much more interested in designing websites than writing the content that goes in one. A clear example of this? Between the last time when I blogged to today as I’m writing this current post, I actually got around to designing an entirely new website, one that has nothing to do with this blog!
  • That website? Why, it just happens to be for my husband’s local Toronto, Ontario band, Cold Dead Hands. They’re getting ready to release their latest E.P. record “Space Out!” in mid-February, so the launch of this brand new website is supposed to coincide with that event.
  • Expect a future post (I promise this one will be written!) with more details on this project in the near future. But until then, check out that link above.

As always, much thanks for checking out my blog and cheers!

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Director of Search Marketing by day, die hard knitter by night. Arts and crafts lover. One of a kind jewelry designer. Supporter of buying handmade. Stylishly domestic homemaker. Frugal shopaholic. Shutterbug. Globetrotter. Geek girl who ❤s computer nerds. Blogger for the Knitting and Purling blog.
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Stock images used with permission under license agreement. Computer graphics edited by the Knitting and Purling blog. Web design portfolio sample images ©2013 Karina of KnittingandPurling.com.

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