It has been some years since I updated my blog design. It desperately needed an overhaul. The magazine style I had was not only cluttered but did nothing for the majority of readers who are now reading it via mobile devices. So I finally put in the time and effort to switch over to a minimalist theme on Sunday.  Some readers who visited to comment have already noticed the change!

Readers who check in with their smartphones now have access to several navigation points same as those on tablets, laptops and desktops. Just scroll down!  You will be able to see a number of label sections which takes you to posts on just those topics :

Right above my mugshot are two icons. One is familiar - the magnifying glass for SEARCH but the one on the right is the RANDOM POST generator. Try them out!

Some posts, particularly my tutorial ones are very long. So if you want to hop back to the top quickly, just click on the BLACK UP ARROW on the bottom right (see below). The YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE section has expanded to 6 choices.  I still incorporate 3 BEFORE YOU GO links for subscribers as they do not see this section.

The best way to use your tablet is to hold it in LANDSCAPE mode.  It looks like a mini version of computer screens and is more stable especially if you use a combination cover and stand like I do.  The only time I ever turn it to portrait is if the app I am using is designed only for smartphones and cannot do landscape.

BTW I love my inexpensive  Fintie iPad cover and stand.  Not just because it didn't break the bank but because of the beautiful art cover choices.  I settled for Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night!

Viewing tablets in landscape mode also means the top menu is fully visible as there is space to stretch out.  If you hold your tablet in portrait mode, the menu button slips below (iPad) or disappears altogether on Android tablets.

iPAD held in Portrait view
There are few quirks. This is remarkable as this theme is viewed not only on different devices, but different browsers and operating software (iOS or Android) all of which will be of different versions!!  Not to mention the effect of download speeds available to individual readers.

One quirk I should mention is the SMARTPHONE VIEW when the menu is selected. There are question marks beside the drop downs. I cannot see how to easily correct this in the coding. But the selections still work. Just go to where you want and click on DONE.

So after all that, I had to also simplify my logo which meant I had to change it everywhere!

SOME TIPS for those of you starting out with an online presence.  Pick a short but punchy name. I started my blog back in 2007 with a mouthful - The Beading Gem's Journal with the punchline JEWELRY EXPRESSIONS IN BLOOM. I eventually had to shorten it to just THE BEADING GEM as all that didn't fit the header section.  Same with your logo. A simple one is more evident when it is shrunk down.

Stick with either Blogger or Tumblr if you are venturing into blogging.  These platforms are much easier to use and customize than Wordpress.  Blogger has a good visual layout where you can move blocks of your blog design around. Self-hosted Wordpress costs and you will be responsible for all the housekeeping and maintenance. So unless you are very techy, or have a lot of available help, avoid Wordpress. Creative people don't have time for all that.

I hope you like this new look!  (And if you need a laugh today - check the funny blog highlights below)

Before You Go:

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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