As promised I wanted to give everyone some more insight into the changes going on at All Things Girl and address some general questions, so here goes…
Q: What’s with the “beta”?
A: This basically means we are a “work in progress”. It allows us to work on the site live and implement changes as we see them arise, and as you, our readers, ask for them. We want your feedback and we want to do our utmost to create a site that addresses what our readers want. Adopting a “beta” mode for the site meant we felt ok launching the site while it’s still pretty bare-bones, and in all honesty, I don’t think the change would have happened if we hadn’t done it this way. As a designer by trade I can get exceptionally detail-focused (and even more so when I am working on my own projects). I’m my own worst critic. Couple that with the idea of needing to “design by committee”, the relaunch of ATG would have taken another 10 years. Ok, maybe not that long, but it would have been exceptionally time-consuming and who knows when it would have seen the light of day. I could have spent hours upon hours working on a new design and nit-picking every detail with the ATG staff, but that would have taken a lot of time, and it really eliminates our readers from the equation. We didn’t want either of those things.
Now, it wasn’t all a rash decision to just suddenly revamp ATG. We’d actually been talking about a redesign back in 2009 with the aim to launch it in 2010. It’s amazing how quickly a year can fly by. We didn’t get very far with the move, although we did come up with a logo (similar to what you see now) and some overall plans for improving the back-end, but that was it. As we have mentioned, ATG is a labour of love and as much as we do love it, our jobs have to take priority. So, we got busy and time flew on. Last week though, we decided to make some decisions, go with the basics, launch in beta, and then fine-tune the site over the next 5 weeks or so. It was the kick we needed, but it also meant we didn’t have time to bring the design to its full potential and implement all the new things we want. Those will come in the next few weeks with, we hope, your feedback as well.
Q: So, what’s really changed?
A: Obviously the design has changed, although this is still a work in progress. You’ll also notice our new logo. More on that in another post. The big changes are things you can’t see on our back-end, but which will help us maintain and manage ATG much better and easier. We’ve used WordPress for many years, but we were using older versions and different installs for our main sections. We’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and brought everything under one umbrella. All these improvements are to make things easier for the ATG staff so that we can then focus our attention on what’s important: the site content!
Q: Can expect the same great content from ATG then?
A: Absolutely! At the heart of it, we are the same. If anything, we’ve made things more streamlined so we can bring you even better content: better submissions, interviews, reviews and so on.
Q: What are the future changes then?
A: We hope to hear your feedback and suggestions on what you’d like to see, but you can expect to see a few things: improvements on the site with additional features like “related posts”, search functionality, social sharing options (retweet, etc.) and so on; design edits to showcase more of our style and aesthetics; more social interaction from us on Twitter and Facebook, and more great submissions and blog posts. We have a lot planned, and a few more tweaks under our sleeve that we hope you will all enjoy.
Q: I have a question/suggestion/comment. Now what?
A: We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment here, email us, get in touch on Twitter or send us a message on Facebook. I’ll be taking on a role as the “community manager” and keeping my eye on everything. I’d love to chat and get to know our readers, so don’t be shy.
There are some bugs on the site, and we are aware of these. Our apologies for some of the messy archives as well. As I mentioned, we’ll be working on things over the next 5 weeks or so. We’ll do a weekly post on the blog to let you know about the changes on the site and discuss any new features we think may be a great addition. Good things take time, right?