Other Writings

A New Look

Well, how do you like the new look?

If you dropped by Minnesota Locavore anytime in this week you were hit with the ugly “Maintenance Mode” screen. Oye. Sorry ’bout that. Hope this was worth the wait. I’ve planned a make-over of the blog since December 2011 when I first noticed things were a little behind the blogging times. Then last month I ran into some serious server issues due to the outdated WordPress theme powering the blog. Picture 30 days of me shouting a variety of four letter words at the computer in raging – “What is #&$!ing wrong with you!” – moments.

Moral of the story: I’m a writer, not a developer.

Everything I’ve learned about blogging, CSS, HTML and WordPress was self-taught. That means every time something breaks, it takes me hours of Googling and sifting through forums until I find the answer. I wish most of what I do wasn’t trial and error, but for now that’s where things are at. I like to think my understanding of coding is about as good as my college Spanish. I speak enough to say hello and ask for the bathroom. Beyond that my nose is shoved in dictionary trying to stutter through scripts and PHP.

Somewhere in June, I started shopping around for a new blog theme. For non-Wordpress folks, that’s all the front-end things you see on the site and some of the back-end coding elements that make the blog work.  About the same time, Pagelines announced a new drag-and-drop web design platform due out in July called DMS. I finally felt ready to give the blog the welcomed update it has begged for. After a few days of testing out different ideas, today I’m showing off the new look.

Once again: I’m not a developer.

The site looks infinity + 1 times better than it did a week ago, but there’s a few things that still bug me. I know there will be some more broken things that need fixing and some things I’ve overlooked. In the next month I’ll be going back through posts and updating featured images for the new headers for starters. Then cleaning up the indexes and search functions to help get at the older content. If you don’t mind taking a look around I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

The important thing is we’re back up and running for the biggest locavore month of the year. That’s right – it’s Eat Local, America! Challenge month again, where people and co-ops around the United States celebrate a month of local food. In August 2011 and 2012 the kitchen partner and I took the challenge with BIG goals and lots of new recipes. This August I’m planning more of the same, with a shiny new blog design to showcase it all. We start tomorrow with a recipe for tart cherry ice cream.

See you then!


  • Maria

    Looks great, Amy – I’m enjoying the new look! I’m also super excited to see the Eat Local, America! posts return for another year – so perfect for this time of year and all those “now what to do with all this [whatever happens to be coming out of the garden at the time]” moments!

    • Amy.Sippl

      Thanks Maria –
      I’ve been following your posts all summer and am jealous of how great your garden looks. Hopefully there’s a recipe on here this month that helps you use those veggies up!

  • Jess

    I’m back in the land of service. It was incredibly strange to be in a place where there is literally no cell phone service (Copper Harbor, MI — the tip of the UP). It was also incredibly relaxing to truly unplug.

    I LOVE the new blog design. It feels very clean & modern.

    Let’s catch up next week. I’ll send you an email at some point today.

  • Kerim

    Ah, delicious SPAM! I had the opntorupity to have a SPAMburger at the dedication of the WWII Memorial in lovely and talented downtown St. Paul last year.What? Where else did you THINK I would have one?Incidentally, the veterans there devoured them. Go figure.

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