Blog Redesign…

So I’m still on the hunt for a designer, but I think I am going to switch to WordPress in a little while. I have pushed back on the whole “changing the blog” thing, but recently I have been feeling like it’s a good idea. I know that none of you are wringing your hands right now about this, but I still want to share and ask your advice about a couple things.

I feel like Audrey’s story needs it’s own home on the blog, where you can read her whole story from start to finish in one place. I would really like for the other posts to have labels so they would be easier to find, and I need to have my contact info and scheduling stuff on there…but, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear from you all about what you would want the blog to have and what you don’t like as well.

I’m sure you all will think of “tabs” that haven’t crossed my mind and I would so appreciate any thoughts you have. I know you will understand that this is hard for me and even in such a *small* thing I am mindful of the fact that I stink at change. STINK.

Any ideas?


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  • http://www.cookingupfaith.com BFM

    Hi there, Angie. About a month ago I added a ministry on my blog called A Meal in the Mail, where I feature families going through a hard time(Joanne was featured last month), and I ask readers to gift cards to the family. I needed to update my blog look to make it easier to navigate and find info. about the ministry and families who are featured. A sweet blogging friend(who I’ve never even met) actually designed my blog for me for free – just as a way to help out the ministry! I love what she did – simple, but all info. there and ready. What I like best is having the pages tabs across the top of the blog that highlights all the important stuff about the ministry, and easy dinner recipes. I think this would work for your blog too – page tabs across the top of your blog with the things that are important to you and your blog easily able to view. I would be happy to get you Jhen’s info., as I’m sure she would do yours for free too. She asked exactly what style you’re looking for and what’s important to you, and won’t stop working until you are happy with it!
    BFM
    http://www.cookingupfaith.com

  • Kerri

    I was JUST on your blog about 20 minutes ago searching for any homeschooling info and thought to myself “i would really love there to be some tabs so i could find that post easier” so this is exciting for me! It would be awesome to have a Aubrey’s story tab, one on homeschooling, and i’m sure others as well. great idea!

    • Dot

      I just did the very same thing yesterday!!!!
      Yes please, Angie, have a tab for homeschooling!!
      Or, a search bar where we can somehow type in a word that will pop up all the archived posts containing that word. I love that gmail has this feature, I use it ALL the time.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kerrianne-Gahr/599486258 Kerrianne Gahr

        wow, just realized i typed aubrey instead of audrey – so sorry!
        dot, i think if you type in the word you want to search for in the box on the upper lefthand side of the blog, it will bring up all posts containing that word. hope that helps!

        • Dot

          how did i never know that little box was there?! thank you so much for pointing that out to me!

  • AmFriend

    I like the idea of a place for Audrey’s story from start to finish. How about an (in)courage tab, a book club tab, a praying for tab, a links tab, an “appearances” tab for scheduled appearances. Searchable archives…Those are all the ideas I have at the moment.
    Blessings to you Ang.
    Oh and I think you are better at change than you realize. Your family life was changed by the birth of each daughter and the death of Audrey, your faith life was changed when you became a Christian, your home life changed with each move you’ve made, your Angie life changed when you opened yourself to the idea of helping others through public speaking. You are a woman of change who effects positive, thoughtful change in others through your sharing and caring!

  • Lindsay

    Yes, I have an idea! Have you seen Amanda (Moore) Jones’ blog?!? It’s called Baby Bangs, and it has an awesome look! She has a link on her blog that goes to the company. There is a fee, but it’s so cute! Totally worth it. Good luck! :)

  • Bm

    I have sometimes struggled with what my blog is doing too. I think that IF you want to take family things elsewhere that don’t apply as succinctly to Audrey – that would be cool. Frankly I don’t mind one way or the other. The other thing is that on blogger there is “labels” feature which you may or may not have on here and you could label all blog posts that are about Audrey – with that name so that maybe there would be – let’s say – 300 posts about her and people could “hit/click on” that and see every single post you did on her.
    But those are just my ideas. I’m sure you will find many more. Change – well I hope that you don’t “delete” this blog – but tweak it. :) God bless you! :)

  • Christi

    I think that those are great ideas. Can you not do it in blogger? Ashley at thehappilyeverafters has tabs and does blog design so she might have some wonderful insight for you. I’m not very blog wise, but I am thankful for you and for being able to read your story and entries. I’d actually love to chat with you some time about what it takes to bring you to a church to speak to the women’s ministry. Our church women could use some more women ministries at church that “feed” them instead of only asking for them to cook, nuture, clean, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love to serve but just struggling spiritually at our church because I feel the desire for more women’s ministries. I’m rambling. Good luck to you and thank you Angie.

    Christi

  • http://www.thejoyinthemiddle.blogspot.com stephaniejoy

    i know change can be difficult but i think it’s time. you have a great following on your blog and updating things can just make it a little more fresh. and being able to find all the most important things (i.e. audrey’s story, your talking events, etc) in one easy place would be fabulous too! i think you also need a tab with some pics of your gorgeous family too!!!! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) i know you’re not too big into the pics, but we all DIE to be able to see some photos of your beautiful brood of girls!!!!! :) i say, have fun with it and think of it as an adventure instead of just a big change. think positively, girl!! ((hugs))

  • Michelle

    Please know first that I’ve loved you since the first time I read your blog! I do not like that an advertisment poped up on top of your header when I clicked on you tonight. Audrey’s picture is there and nothing should disrespect her – don’t care what they were selling I won’t buy it. Love from Cookeville, Michelle

  • Jaye

    Random ideas
    Is “I Will Carry You” an ebook? That would be a great addition to Audrey’s tab.
    Someone else mentioned it, but a tab about your speaking engagements would be great.
    Maybe a prayer tab where you could post the prayer requests you get
    I would even love a Nashville tab….show us all the great things we could see on visits to the area

  • Wyatt’s Mommkie

    I have a BLM friend who is great with blog designs…. You can locate one of her many blogs at: http://smallbirdstudio.blogspot.com/
    Her name is Franchesca and her designs are WONDERFUL!!!

  • Nneese90

    First of all, please know that you are SUCH a blessing! Not sure if I’ve commented before, but I’ve been reading you since you were pregnant with Audrey. I can’t remember how I found you, but I found Big Mama through you and just got to meet her last weekend @ Priscilla Shirer – we both live in San Antonio and it was so fun to finally meet her : )
    Anyhow, I just thought I’d comment to recommend a Homeschooling tab, as I’m sure you have lots of fun tips for how you manage that. As a momma who is considering it strongly, I’m looking for all of the inpur I can possibly get.
    Much Love to you from Texas…Nicole Hill

  • Anonymous

    I love your blog so much, and I’m think that it is good think to want to change it. Just think of what a different person you are now than when you first started your blog. Wow!

    What if you had a button to click on telling Audrey’s story? I loved the homeschooling tabs idea. List curriculum you use, groups you belong to, sites you visit. Contact info for speaking engagements, bloom link, women of faith, about you tab, your belief on faith, where you could even give a plan of salvation, links to books you write, list of where you will be speaking. Maybe your new title could be after the rain?

    I will be praying for you…you have touched thousands of lives, and cannot wait to see what else God has in store for you!!!!

  • http://www.ouradoptionblessings.blogspot.com trina

    Hi Angie. I think your ideas of having a special place for Audrey’s story is wonderful for many reasons. You have blessed so many with her sweet story. My 17 year old daughter could help you with ideas and I know she would be so happy to design your blog. You can find her contact info at http://www.blogdesignsbyalexis.blogspot.com and read her purpose. She’s such a blessing to so many…especially her mom. :)
    trina

  • Katherine L Page

    I have a sweet friend who designs blogs and knows your story all to well. Her name is Franchesca, email is soho63@gmail.com

    • Anonymous

      i sent her an email :) she is amazing…and i didn’t remember the comment about her baby when i went and read so i sent her the email and then saw it…amazing. thank you so much for mentioning her!!!

  • misha

    I would stay with blogger. With all the temp. designs, incluing a nav bar and cool fonts, you hve everything you need. Plus, if you keep “Bring the Rain” they will both be with Blogger. So many WP bloggers are changing over to a blogspot. If you want your own dot com, that is easy thru Blogger also. JMHO!

  • http://twitter.com/crochetcrazymom Alexis McQuinn

    MORE!!! That’s what I want out of your blog. Your “deep” posts have spoken to my heart so many times, oftentimes when they were most needed. Your “random” posts remind me how much we all have in common (i.e. sometimes you can be as nuts as me!). I love that you’re “you” on your blog, but that “you” are also real. You don’t try to pull the profanity and Christianity stunt here. I love that about you. Yours is the first blog I ever read and yours is the reason why I love blogging so much. I understand and respect the need for change, but keep it the same as much as possible. Well, if you wanted to change something, you could make it be a little…uh…more. :)

  • Jenniferr33d

    Totally understand the whole “change” thing, because I stink at it too, but I bet that most of us that are loyal followers of your blog will understand this need. Personally, I’d like to see a place where you’ll have advice for those that have friends/family that are undergoing some kind of struggle and need encouragement. I know I wrestle with saying the “right” thing and I’d love to see what you have to say about that…maybe with verses or stories from your own experiences. I know that part of your book really spoke to me.

  • http://www.mikailsjourney.blogspot.com Iris

    Love your blog, but I understand wanting to have a separate section for Audrey’s story. I have kept my blog about my son’s journey on a separate blog, but blogger now has an option with tabs at the top so you could have Audrey’s story in one of those tabs. If you want a peek at how I have used those tabs you can check it out here: http://www.mikailsjourney.blogspot.com and/or http://www.jasonandirisparr.blogspot.com I am loving the option of the tabs.

    I also love your ‘deep’ posts as well as your ever day life updates. Being ‘real’ is huge and you do such a fantastic job of this. Thank you!!

  • karrie

    OMSH does design. She may actually do Pioneer Womans, but I’m not sure about that. Would love a homeschool tab.

  • Renagunther

    Angie, I do LOVE wordpress. I think you will, too. If you are able to get your thoughts across the way you’re wanting your blog to lay out, I think you’ll be so glad you redesigned. My brother-in-law designs and keeps up my very small, humble little blog and this is the question he asks when creating or redesigning blogs: If you were a blog, what would you look like?

  • http://scottyboyandkatygirl.blogspot.com/ katy

    hello! for some reason i just found this blog. i clicked on a friends! anyway, i design blogs and know a lot of the answers to your questions. blogger has everything you just mentioned in this post! it looks like you have so much going for you on this blog. i would stay!

  • http://www.thegreatelephantsymposium.com Mary

    Hi Angie. First of all I just want to tell you how much I was inspired by your book! I just finished the last chapter a few days ago. Thank you so much for writing “I will Carry You.”

    In regards to blog design, Franchesca, from Small Bird Studios is a great blog designer. She has experience in both Blogger and WordPress. Here is her studio blog http://smallbirdstudioorders.blogspot.com/ and here is her personal blog http://smallbirdstudio.blogspot.com/

  • Kristen

    I think having Audrey’s story in one place would be great, since I am one that just found your blog and just read it last week. You can do a page titled Audrey’s story. Then, they just click on that and read it from start to finish. I like the look of your blog, why does it need to be changed?

  • innotof

    I stink at change, too, so I’m not the person to ask! :) However, I would love, love, love more posts on home schooling and maybe a tab for those. I also think having a separate place for Audrey’s story and listing your schedule stuff is a great idea.

    The only thing I would NOT like to see is a change to your blog that would make the readers have to click on “Continue Reading” or some other link to read the entire post. I really don’t like that and, honestly, have stopped reading some of my favorite blogs because that change was made. It might be just me but I feel like if I come on over to your blog (“your” being a general term, not meaning you in particular), please don’t make me jump through hoops – even just one hoop! – to read your post. Just my opinion ;)

  • http://afamiliarpath.com/ Melissa Stover

    as a writer and a speaker you need a blog that represents you and audrey’s story can be on it’s own page within your site(on a wordpress blog). hire someone you like and get it done. you’ll be so glad you did. wordpress is awesome.

  • Amy

    Hi Angie! WordPress is AWESOME! It has so much more potential than Blogger. I read someone describe it recently that you have more control with WordPress….with Blogger you are under their umbrella so you don’t technically own your blog, and if something happened to Blogger your site would go down. But with WordPress.org you have your own hosting and your own domain so YOU own your site. And plugins on WordPress are phenomenal!

    I’m actually a blog designer but have a personal investment in your blog as well….I lost my first at 37 weeks about 2 years ago, I’ve followed your site for a long time and I think we were pregnant with our rainbow babies about the same time!

    Anyway…I design for WordPress and would LOVE to work with you if you are interested. It would be such an honor. Email me and we can talk! Our website is http://www.designerblogs.com and my email is amy@designerblogs.com

  • MurryMayhem

    I’ve followed your blog since you were pregnant with sweet Audrey. And I’ll be honest, your blog is such a serene place. Does that sound weird? LOL! I’m not sure, but I know that I always feel a sense of comfort as soon as I see the header, and then as I scroll down and see all the familiar things. I love changing up my blog, and I think there are some wonderful additions you could implement here. Blogger has all the things you want, and can accommodate what you’re looking for in changes. I think tabs are a wonderful thing and you can do so much with them. Especially the part of having a place for Audrey’s story. And I know how crafty you are and would love to see more of your sewing. Mostly, I just love coming here. I’ll stick around, but please don’t do the “continue reading” link thingy. It’s so annoying. I don’t really know why, but I just don’t like it. I’ve quit reading a few blogs that have changed to that format.

    I just know that you have been a huge blessing to me. I have struggles, and it always seems that you speak to me at just the right times. I hope you continue to write about the myriad of things you’ve always written about, I like that, that we get a whole picture. Thank you for being just who you are and sharing that with us :)

  • Sarah

    Hi, this has nothing to do with your blog change (but you are so creative I’m sure it’ll be great:), but so important. My friend Kate and I have been following your blog for years. We’ve both prayed for you for a long time, now Kate needs your prayers. Her 5 yr old daughter Lucy is fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with cancer 2 weeks ago-has tumors in her brain and all over her spine. Lucy needs a miracle, and Kate and her husband Erik need our prayers to help them get through this. Would you please add her blog button to yours and ask your readers to join in prayer? U have SO many that I know it will widen her prayer circle to HUGE!
    Kate’s blog is kateanderikkrull@blogspot.com. If you have any questions for me my email address is grace2lilly@gmail.com.
    Thank you so much. This is truly a parent’s worst nightmare. Kate also has a 5 month old son her arms are literally aching for, and she will be at St.Jude for months to come. They all need our prayers.

  • Kidneymomma

    I can’t wait to see it. Tabs and all will still be Angie’s blog to me. I just started reading your book last night for the very first time. I know this may sound a little strange but as I read it I hear you telling me the story. I have read your blog since before Audrey was born and feel like a I know you all though we have never met. It’s really cool. I am so excited to continue it. Great job Angie.

    • Kidneymomma

      I read your whole book yesterday and today loved it Angie!

  • Ellie North

    I love you being on Blogspot…and this is personal I don’t know how to get to wordpress. I apparently need to get more into the computer. I totally think Audrey needs her own blog. What a blessing she is, and her story is. I will try and find you no matter where you go!

  • Rivema28

    Hi Angie I just recently came across your blog and I agree Audrey’s story should be seperated. I had some difficulties at first finding the posts about her story. I love your blog you are such an encouragement !

  • http://kristieverret.blogspot.com/ Kristie

    Hi, I’ve been learning a good bit about designing blogs, if you’d like I can share some tips on how to change some things. I don’t mind helping out if you’d like. I also saw that a few people mentioned Franchesca, she does a beautiful job and I think she’s amazing! She did my personal blog. Oh! I also recently found a place that I thought had lots of potential for designs as well, it’s called weebly.com . Just another alternative to look at.

  • julia
  • http://timlinzrowland.wordpress.com/ Lindsey

    I think having Audrey story separate is a wonderful idea. I love your blog!

  • Alexandraramirez78

    I think it would be great to have Audrey’s story separate. Your blog is great, I’m sure any changes you make will only make it better.

  • http://sarahhisprincess.blogspot.com/ sarahmoseley

    Great idea bout keeping Audrey’s story separate…I like how MckMama does it…she has a button to read about “stellan’s miracle” and you can read the story from the beginning. Since I wasn’t reading your blog during Audrey’s life, I’d love the ability to be able to go somewhere on your blog and read it all from the beginning.

    I think it would be great as you mentioned to have a sections for your schedule, books, family and other aspects of your (to me) very exciting life. :) I know whatever solution you go with will be great. :)

  • Kelsey

    I have a friend that designs blogs and she is WONDERFUL! She is mom of four, a daughter of Christ, and just genuinely great! Her blog design site is: http://www.munchkinland-designs.com/ and her personal blog is: http://www.biggest-blessings.com/

    I think your story and Audrey’s have and will continue to touch so many people, regardless of whether you choose to share it on blogger or wordpress :)

  • http://hikingtowardhome.blogspot.com/ Sharon@HikingTowardHome

    Ang, I am in the process of moving from blogspot to wordpress. got my own domain! HikingTowardHome.com, designing myself. (for the “fun” of it) I am using the same template (Prophoto) that Ann Voskamp and several other sites I like use… it is really easy to use and completely customizable. Can’t afford to pay a designer. Hoping to be moved by the 16th… but it may happen earlier because I am too excited to wait! (My blog anniversary is March 16. It is also my 40th, so I decided to treat myself to a ‘birthday/anniversary” gift.)

  • Lily

    I agree. When I first found you, when we were living overseas, I read through the whole story of Audrey and stayed up really late. But I sort of started from the end, then I had to find the beginning and it was quite complicated, as I recall. It’d be nice for newcomers to have it all neat and tidy in one place.
    Change is scary, but it’s fun too! At least sometimes. Embrace the change! :)

  • Sharon O

    My blog is on blogspot and the only complaint I have is I can’t seem to get a ‘subsription’ place for my blog. It has a ‘google reader’ place I think. Currently it is set as a private blog but that shouldn’t make a difference. I have read your blog for about two years now and LOVE it and also have seen you with Ann on her video’s hope to meet you some day.

  • Masto Mama

    I am a blog designer and the money I earn from designing blogs goes to pay our medical expenses–my son and I have a life-threatening chronic illness…my daughter has the same disease but to a lesser degree.

    I would love for you to check out my design site–I’d be willing to give you a discount since you’re site is so popular, designing your site would help me out tremendously!

    As far as ideas go–I think you should have an expandable navigation bar at the top of your blog. You can see what one is on my blog. It spreads across the top of the blog underneath the header….there are word links going across and then when you hover on each link, more links appear underneath.

    Using one of these is neat, organized, and makes everything easy to find (and it can be pretty too with a custom font, pictures, or stickers!).

    So for example, you could have “About Us” as a main link, then when you hover over it, underneath separate links will appear, saying “About Me”, “About My Husband”, etc..

    You could also have something like “About This Blog” as a main link, and have all that info in links underneath–like Audrey’s story, etc..

    You could have an InCourage one, Books with ones you have written and ones you love to read underneath, etc. The options are limitless.

    You can see what one looks like on my design site (Masto Mama Designs):

    http://mastomamamakeovers.blogspot.com/

    Email me if you’re interested in having me design your new look or if you have any questions about the process…tccgorecki@cox.net

    Hugs,
    Carla (Masto Mama)

  • Lisa

    How ironic that I would hop over here today in ‘search’ of something and you would be asking for ideas as to what to “add” or change about your blog (which I love exactly as it is, by the way:)

    I am looking to see the children’s Bible you recommended or said that you use with your girls. I am wanting to give new Bible’s as Easter and baby gifts and wanted to see what else is out there. My daughter has the Jesus Storybook Bible, and we love it, just wondering if there were any other great ones out there to choose from:)

    Change can be soo hard! Good for you for embracing it!
    best of luck,
    Lisa

  • Jjnzdr

    Last summer I spent an entire day reading Audrey’s story. I simply could not stop. It took awhile though because of how your blog is set up and I kept having to go backwards, month by month. I think that a dedication blog set up in order of events would be wonderful. I would probably read it again!

  • Anonymous

    I have a lot of frustration with blogspot. Just haven’t taken the plunge to wordpress (honestly I don’t want to learn a whole new program). Audrey’s story definitely needs it’s own space (tab or starting point). I remember reading it with my box of tissues. Your openess with the Lord while going through that situation was very enlightening and it changed my whole perspective on my relationship with the Lord. Thank you.

  • Lee

    Hi Angie. I’m new to your blog. I was confused at first about it’s name, and I found myself reading most your most recent writing to the start of the story, going to older posts. I was very moved by the story, and I think some reconfiguring would make it easier for newcomers to navigate. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t read all of the suggestions but perhaps a page where people could leave prayer requests. You have mentioned how you may not respond but you pray for them, maybe you could have a page where your Sundays could pray for them too, maybe people could have the option of remaining anonymous if they wish.

  • Anonymous

    What about starting a whole new blog, with a link to this one on it? I love this one, but can see that you’d want a new one and a fresh start. Blessings!

  • http://www.myangelwithgod.blogspot.com/ Amy von Oven

    My husband just redesigned my header on my page and a lady named Franchesca is working on my button…A lot of people do not know that on blogger you can have additional pages…you can add them under design, posting, edit pages, you can then add as many pages as you want. I have one with my contact info, one with my daughters story, and one about me…You can add as many as you want. This way you have a tab bar at the top of your page where people can see your contact info or read your story from the start, or go to the home page to read your post.

  • Jean M

    For someone who has found you “after the fact”, I spent several days going back to the beginning and reading the entire Audrey story. I think you should keep that preserved so future readers can do the same. Your book is wonderful, but reading the posts from the real events of your life was incredible. Love your blog!

  • Emily

    Angie … I read your blog from start to finish and I love the idea of putting it in one place. It is SUCH a powerful story.

    ALso wanted to let you know that my husband and I do blog design on WordPress. Not sure if you already have a designer, but here is my site if you are interested! {http://jonesdesigncompany.com}

  • Candjro

    I think that since the blog is supposed to be about Aubrey and it’s not so much now that you should have a seperate button about her story. What an amazing story it is. Since now you are promoting your books that it might be named something else as well. Just a thought. I have enjoyed her story soo much. Thanks for sharing.

    • Candjro

      I apologize, I meant Audrey

  • Jenn Craver

    Angie – this is a friend of mine and her layout might work for you…

    http://www.larawilliams.org

    She has a great blog too :)

  • Amy W

    I don’t know if you’re still on the hunt for a designer or not; but I am a graphic designer. I’ve designed websites and I am pretty compitent when it comes to HTML and CSS. I don’t know if you’ll see this or not; but if you’re interested, feel free to contact me. :-) musicalgirl995@gmail.com
    Amy