Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Homepage revamp

Changing the way my blog is navigated, hopefully for the better, is something that I will always tinker with. For those that are familiar with my blog from the early days you will know that the colours and photos are not all that I have changed! You will also know that the montages on my blog posts are not the first ones I used. I do have fun with this but ultimately I try my best to make it easy for any visitor to find what is of interest to them by adding links to pages within and outside my blog.


www.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk
has been around since February 2007 but I suspect many of my current visitors will not know this address even exists as when I leave comments it is my blog address that is shown. Over the last couple of nights I have been working on a revamp to bring it up to date with my purple colour scheme but more importantly with quick links direct to particular subjects within my blog. I intend changing some photos as the year goes on with a current flower for the month from bloom day posts and a current photo from my camera Nestbox.

Why have a homepage? Well, when I began writing this blog and approached non blogging sites to exchange links with me I felt the term ‘Blog’ put people off associating it with a personal rambling. I purposely keep personal stuff out as my blog is not about me but my garden, others and my observations.

My visitors were coming from around the world but few came from the UK. I also began emailing a column in a local newspaper, the Craigie column in the Courier, about some of the activity in my garden so its readers could look out for it too. I felt the blog links were a bit cumbersome so I set up a new address and homepage to make it easy for people reading the column to remember. Of course then I had fun with some images!

Finally, I was also absolutely delighted to come across another blog Largo Baywatch recently that had posted photos of a snowdrops visit at Cambo showing natural drifts as I saw at Dalmeny. I recognised the location of this blog. I left a comment on the snowdrop posting and checked back to see if I had a reply and was absolutely thrilled with it. It read:
Thanks Shirl,Glad you liked the photos. It was really the mention of your blog in the Craigie column in the Courier that inspired me to start blogging. I had always thought that blogs were rather dull things until I looked at yours, and thought I would like to try it. It has certainly made me open my eyes and look more closely at the natural world on my doorstep.

Well Largo Observer, you really made my night! I would like to wish you many more visitors to your blog and I hope that you and all my visitors, old and new enjoy using my new homepage. Now I’m off to answer some of my own comments as I have been a bit preoccupied with the homepage. Happy Blogging to all!!

The photo above is the image from my homepage on March 5th 2008 and has links from all photos.

12 comments:

Crafty Gardener said...

I'm off to look around your homepage. I have a website too, had it first and then went to blogging as a way of attracting more visitors to my website. Like you I don't include a lot of personal chit chat on my blog as it is about my garden.
If you have time stop by my website too

craftygardener.ca

shirl said...

Wow, Crafty Gardener! What a lot you have on your website. I like your layout too. I will be back for a longer look tomorrow and to sign your visitor's book too. Thanks for telling me about it :-D

I don't see my homepage, for the moment, as anything other than another way to the contents to my blog and to show the variety within it. Many people at the moment are looking for my Nestbox progress and this will continue through to June. I have my Nestbox listed in a number of websites :-)

However, anothor reason I set it up in this way was that it could perhaps be home to a website one day :-D

The Cheap Vegetable Gardener said...

Page looks great keep up the good work

Mel said...

That's awesome!
But it's true, your blog, and now your website DO inspire!
Congrats! It's always a pleasure to visit your sites :)

SA said...

Shirl

I have been reading your blog for a while, I am from UK, from the south coast of England. Sorry I haven't commented before, I have only just got a Google email so I can!

I enjoy your blog, though I read the gardening bits most. I love the birds but don't have time to read everything!

I will be back to 'see' you soon.

best wishes Sylvia

Warren Baker said...

Shirl,
What a great blog you have here. You obviously put in a great deal of time and effort. I'll make sure I keep up to date ! (i'll put a link on from my site)

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Hi, Shirl, I love the changes you've made to your site.

Since you are a bird expert, I wanted to see if you could help me. I have a bird problem at Robin's Nesting Place. I wanted to see if you could look at the picture of the bird I just posted about and tell me if you think the bird has a disease. I'm not sure what to do.

shirl said...

Hi again, Mel and Robin and hello cheap veg gardener, Sylvia and Warren :-)

Cheap Vegetable Gardener – hello and thank-you :-D

Mel – it really was quite a surprise! Thank-you too, I always enjoy your comments :-D

Sylvia – Sorry I have taken so long to respond to your comment. I am flattered that you now have Google account to make comments and here is me a few days without posts! I completely understand that not everyone wants to read about both the birds and garden but I have completely resisted making separate blogs. I do have separate ones for photos but I want the gardenwatch to be that. Ultimately I would like to convert the birders to perhaps enjoy plants more and the gardeners to enjoy birds more. Yes, sometimes I do write a lot and appreciate it takes time to read as well. Welcome to my blog and yes I hope to ‘see’ ya soon :-D

Warren – a welcome to you too! I am sure I have seen you comment somewhere that I visit but I cannot think where. Yes, I cannot deny I do spend a fair bit of time on my blog. Thank-you for both your kind comment and link :-D

Robin – I am glad you like my revamp – it will be particularly useful when nesting begins in earnest! Before I answered these comments I visited your site. I have to say that I would never call myself an expert on birds although I have made quite a few observations in the last couple of years. You will have already read my lengthy comment – I am so sorry to tell about your finch having trichomoniasis.

Melanie said...

Your blog looks so lovely right now, I think that purple is such a soothing color.

Maybe some day I'll figure out how to do a website too.

Mike @ Fenphotography said...

Hi Shirl I know what you mean about have an official site, I have the gallery site, but find I spend hours now on blogger and it is a great way to interact with people with similar interests. Your site is looking great by the way and I must admit I modelled my blog on yours because it looked so good. Mike.

Largo observer said...

Thanks for your good wishes Shirl.
I love your new homepage.

shirl said...

Hi again, Melanie, Mike and Largo observer :-)

Melanie – Thank-you! I do like the purple too and I think it will go great with the foliage in the plant photos. A website certainly is a bit different from a blog. I don’t have a website as such my homepage just helps visitors into my blog but it has been fun to do :-D

Mike – Yes, my one worry about an official site would be that it would be static. As you say it is the interaction with the blogs that makes all the difference. Gosh… thank-you, that is a compliment :-D

Largo observer – You are most welcome! Thank-you very much I am glad you like it. It really is fun to do and much more interesting for me to browse too :-D