I've had this wee blog since July 2011. Over four years. In that time I've had a couple of re-designs, but I've always used the same template and just made small changes over the years. I've been wanting to re-design Lux Life for a long time now, but I didn't have the time to really invest in it, nor did I know exactly what I wanted.
I knew I wanted to keep the typical 'blog' layout rather than a 'magazine' style layout, but with a 'read more' function to make it easier to browse posts, and with a new navigational menu that offers a dropdown menu. After weeks of searching the internet on my commutes, I finally found a template I loved on Etsy.com. It's clean and modern, shows off the content, isn't too fussy, and retains the 'blog' feel while also feeling a little more professional. It also allows me to change things such as fonts and colour schemes very easily through the blogger platform.
So after spending a couple of days playing around with the design and features on my back-up blog, I finally transferred it all across to this one and it's now live! Unfortunately it doesn't format properly on Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer (the images will look huge and weird)...but seriously, if you're still using either of these browsers you need to get up with the times and download Chrome (or Safari) ASAP.
A Work in Progress
There are still things that need to be worked on - there are 700 posts live on this blog and I have to resize every image in each post so it fits and formats properly. So if you land on a post and the formatting is off, don't panic, and don't tell me - I already know ;) I'm working on it (I spent the whole of today sorting out my hundreds of categories and resizing photos on nearly 50 posts.
It will be a long process, and it will likely take me a few weeks to complete, but I'm going to start with the most popular posts that get the most traffic, and work my way back from there.
All that aside, let's take a look at the new features!
Most Recent Posts
See those snazzy pictures at the top under the logo? Those are the five most recent posts. Click on one of the images to go to one of my latest posts.
So the navigational menu is now at the top, along with social buttons and the search box. The menu includes dropdown categories for 'London' and 'Travel', so by hovering on 'London' you can then see 'Afternoon Tea', 'Bars', 'Clubs', 'Events', and 'Fashion'. By hovering on 'Travel' you can then go to specific areas of the World; Australia, Caribbean, Europe, UK, USA, and Hotel Reviews.
The menu also scrolls down with you, so you no longer have to go all the way back to the top to click on a new category. However, if you do need to get back to the top ASAP, there's a handy new button for that! Simply click, and it whizzes you straight back up.
Rather than scrolling all through every blog post to find one from a few weeks ago, you can now quickly scroll and scan to find the one you're after! Or if one in particular doesn't interest you, you can easily just scroll down to see one that might.
For ages my old template kept insisting on having a white border around every photo, which I hated with a passion, but couldn't work out how to get rid of it. Finally it is gone!! I'm so excited, the blog instantly looks cleaner, and the photos are now bigger and fit the entire post rather than being all uneven.
Although I don't blog often about fashion related things, I always find myself seeing cute things when online shopping and wanting to keep them bookmarked somewhere. This is a great way for me to keep them bookmarked for future reference - and if you see anything you like the look of on there, you can simply click and it'll take you to the page! I use the Shopstyle Widget, which is an affiliate platform so every time you or I click and purchase something, the retailer gives me a few pennies in return. Because of this I've removed my Adsense adverts on the sidebar, so now the only advert you'll see is the Mode Media one at the very top of the sidebar.
At the moment I've kept the blogger commenting form, however I am looking to switch to Disqus in the future, I'm just trying to get my head around it! ;)
Viewing Lux Life on Mobile
Unfortunately if you have an iPhone it will look a bit weird, and you'll have to zoom in to see it. The template is optimised for Android though (it works fine on my Sony Android phone).
Right at the very bottom in the footer of the blog is my Instagram Snapwidget, where you can see my latest 18 Instagram photos.
So, whaddya think?
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