No, your eyes don’t deceive: It’s true, after more than three years of a bright pink space, Camels & Chocolate has undergone Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition.
Out with the old…
…in with the new.
My awesome cousin John, who runs his own web marketing and social media company out of Nashville, is the brain behind the new look. Brenda (aka the innovative and genius Secret Agent Josephine) contributed the banner once again, as no one is more talented than she when illustrating is involved. This upgrade has been a long time in the making, as I’m quite neurotic and wanted things how I wanted things, and apparently WordPress themes don’t always want you to have things how you want things. But John worked his way around issue after issue, and voila! We have a shiny, new site for you to enjoy. Now let’s take a little tour, shall we?
If you click on the main page, you’ll see a variety of features (many of these were added thanks to your input on my survey awhile back). On the top, there’s a slideshow that will flip among the most recent five posts added. Below that, there’s a Photo Friday feed, as that seems to be one of the more popular elements of my site, as well as a Featured Post feed, where I will periodically pull a few oldies but goodies from the archives and feature them here. Below that is a selection of my professional articles (the ones I could find or the ones that weren’t in PDF form), as many of you asked to see my more commercial writing in some form or the other. I’m still digging through years worth of bylines and adding and sorting them when I have a spare moment here and there, so that’s a work in progress.
The other drop-down menus are About Me, where you’ll find my Bio and Frequently Asked Questions; Links, aka my blog roll; a brand new Planning page, which answers all the questions about photography, cameras and lenses I’m frequently asked (over time, I’ll also add tidbits like packing features and trip planning tools); and information about Advertising. Ooh! And I’m working on an exciting eBook, but that’s still in early stages. I’ll keep you posted on that.
On the sidebar, you’ll find easy ways to subscribe to my Twitter, Flickr, RSS feed and Facebook fanpage. And I’m not sure if any of you had noticed, but way back in the spring, I added a drop-down menu that filters all posts by destinations. I didn’t bother pointing it out, as the map it takes you to is the bane of my existence, even now. Eventually, you’ll be able to search your destination via the map, but not until I finish adding all the GPS information to all of my 500(!!!) posts. For now, if you’re looking for information on a specific place, you can still go to the Destinations menu up top, then choose where you want to go by continent and country. My site is so dense and hard to search that hopefully this will make it a hair easier to navigate if you’re looking for information on a particular place. And if you’re getting a pop-up box asking for an API key, just click “OK” and ignore—we’re working on that minor issue with Google at the moment.
As for the content, you can expect to continue to see the same nonsensical mix of my travels, life in San Francisco, photography, celebrity encounters and ridiculously cute puppy—no SEO-driven posts, no selling out from this blogger. There will, no doubt, be kinks that arise and problems to address with this new theme—like photos in posts way back that I have to go back and manually resize one by one, re-categorizing, etc.—so bear with me while I sort them out and attempt to remember the dozens of new things I have to do each time I blog. It’s a bit of a doozy, I’m not gonna lie!
I think that’s about it. Have I missed anything? What do you think? And if you’re looking for someone to do something similar for your site, hire John!