If You Noticed Any Wonkiness With My Site…

my drop-down menus are now picture thumbnails

Over the past 2 days, if you’ve noticed any wonkiness with my site, it’s because I was updating it to “Managed Wordpress”. It all started on Thursday when my theme released a new update which broke my site. I was getting a PHP error, which I asked my theme’s author about. Turns out my PHP was very outdated & updating to the new version wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined… shocker.

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Drop-Down Menus Begone!

each page has 2-5 picture boxes which you can hover over & click

My drop-down menus, which I added last year, were starting to REALLY annoy me and get in the way. So I have re-done my page and gotten rid of them. Instead, when you click on a menu item like RIVER, you get a new page with square photos, one for each category. Hover your mouse over each square to see the category names, then click!

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Happy 3rd Blogiversary to Me!

happy 3rd blogiversary to me!

Today is my 3rd Blogiversary. On August 26, 2013, I published my first post on ninedarkmoons.com and started a 3 year odyssey of DIY, creativity, photography, and self expression. I’ve also learned way more about website design than I ever thought possible! Over the past 3 years I’ve published 316 posts & over 4,500 photos. I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished.

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Page Speed & New Theme

final speed test results from gtmetrix showing 97% speed!

UPDATED 8/22/16 with more speed & a list of speedy plugins.
On August 4th I decided to retest my page’s speed. I hadn’t tested it since last July. It was a bit of a wake up call! I scored a big, fat F for speed. Yikes! Since then I’ve learned so much about site optimization and page speed. I’ve downloaded a new, more current theme, have “smushed” all 4,500+ of my images, and learned how to cache my files and pages. WHEW!

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If My Site Looks Different…

black and white yay

If my site looks different it’s because I’m fiddling around with a new theme and trying to customize it to look as much as possible like the old theme. My old theme, Mantra by Cryout Creations, is over 5 years old [I’ve only been blogging for 3, but Mantra has been around since May 2011]. My new theme, Nirvana by Cryout Creations, is 2 years old but comes with many upgraded features that will help me streamline my site.

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Adding a Photo Grid Widget with Hover Titles

adding a photo grid with hover titles in the widget area of wordpress

OK, this is something I have wanted to add to my page FOR-EV-ER. And, like the “lightbox” feature, I finally figured it out! I have always envied blogs that had a very simple, elegant grid of photo thumbnails in their sidebar, highlighting either their favorite projects, their most popular posts, etc. And I have finally figured it out! *insert maniacal laughter*…

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I Did It, I Did It, I DID IT!!!

maui hawaii spotted dove, illustrating the new lightbox scroll arrows & features

After MONTHS of trying, I’ve finally managed to add a feature to my blog allowing you to scroll through all the photos in each blog post using little arrows. Just click any photo to make it bigger, and you’ll see little arrows letting you scroll left & right. There’s also a “Play” button for starting a slideshow and an “X” button to close the “lightbox” and go back to the blog post. Woohoo!!!!!!!!

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Some Website Updates!

web site design updates

Every now and then I decide to dust off my CSS skillz and tweak parts of my website. This week I decided to give the right sidebar a makeover. The right sidebar is where my “widgets” are displayed. A widget is “an application that enables a user to perform a function or access a service”. I found 2 new widgets for my site that make me very happy!

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Happy 3rd 2nd Blogiversary to Me!!!

2nd blogiversary cake 2 candles

For the past few months I’ve been convinced that I was coming up on my 3rd Blogiversary. Like seriously. But no, it’s only my 2nd! *mind blown*. Over the past 12 months I’ve accomplished so much! I dabbled quite a bit with electricity [and only electrocuted myself ONCE], I’ve acquired some invaluable tools & items, I built an awesome catio, and I’ve learned a bunch of valuable “behind the scenes” stuff to make my blog better.

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Site Optimization!

sunset over the ipswich river, waterfall, and ebsco

My website STILL doesn’t work from home. Although, at the moment, I can access it from Firefox, but not from Chrome. Tell me that makes sense… [usually I can’t access it from either]. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately about site optimization. Hence all my craziness regarding Alt Text. Which has helped! I’m starting to get more random traffic. And today I found a site that tests the load speed of your website & suggests ways to improve it – sweet!

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