Say hello to the new and improved site!

After what seems like a ridiculously long week and a half, I am finally officially settled into my new home on the web! And I am absolutely loving my blog’s new look, the font, the heading style, and the new features, which I am going to take a moment to show you all.

1. I’ve decided to go with a more minimalist design to allow my photos to pop out even more. I am in love with all the fonts!

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A chic black-text-on-white-background design to keep it simple!


2. My same old drop-down tabs are still there, and still contain the same categories as they did in my old blog. However I did create a new menu on the very top of the page that contains the highlights of the blog. As you can see, I’ve created a link to allow you all to check out my favourite recipes. The DIY Food tab shows you a list of foods and ingredients that can be seen in stores but I feel can just as easily be replicated at home– such as Homemade Pocky Sticks! The video tutorial section is something I’m in the process of building up into a library.

A feature I decided to incorporate here with the new blog is the Discover Philippines tag. All my posts that have anything to do with the Philippines- food, restaurants, sights, etc.- will appear once you click that button. Finally, I included a Meet the blogger link for the heck of it that redirects to my personal blog.

3. I’ve also managed to add links to some more places where you can follow along with my Tummy Train journey. Before, it used to only be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube. Now I’ve added Tumblr and my Instagram to the mix.

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You can now reach me in more places!


4. One of my favourite new features are the recipe cards that will make it easier for readers to save and print the recipes I share! Not only is it super pretty, it’s helpful as well!

I can finally use these pretty and convenient recipe cards!


5. And finally, to round up my favourite new features, I’ve also added some related post options at the bottom of each post to make browsing the blog a little easier. Share buttons are also available for those who want it.

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My blog now gives suggestions!

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What has been so great about taking this step into self-hosting is all the learning I have been doing in the process. From being completely clueless, I can now somehow manage to stand on my feet. I can even teach others the basics. After going through the process of moving into my own domain, I have but one realization: I should have self-hosted from the very beginning!

Here are just some of things I discovered through this whole journey:

  • My mind was blown by the freedom self-hosting is giving me. Being a bit of an OC when it comes to design, I have been going gaga over changing even the smallest details on my new blog’s layout to make it fit into my vision. The freedom to use plug-ins has been my favourite part so far, because they add such personality to your blog! Not to mention the additional features for the readers!
  • Hosting services provider Siteground is pretty awesome. They practically held my hand throughout the whole process, and their customer service has been impeccable. Their Live Chat team has been astoundingly helpful. I definitely recommend giving them a go!
  • If you have blogged or are blogging using WordPress.com, then you would know how great and user-friendly the dashboard is. Moving to a self-hosted space does not mean giving this up. You can simply take them with you to your new home in the form of WordPress.org software, and you will still get the same WordPress interface with additional features if you install plugins.
  • Having a lot of blog posts to update and modify into a new site can be a big pain. In my case, since I have a food blog, I have to redo all the recipes now that I can use recipe writing plugins (which in WordPress.com is impossible to use).

 
To anybody who wants to go into blogging and can’t decide whether they should self-host or not, you just have to ask yourself if you’re planning to turn this into a serious hobby. If yes, then go the self-hosting route. It will save you so much time and sanity! 

Anyway, now that I’ve properly welcomed you all to the new site, it’s time to go back to regular programming– starting with a recipe I’ve been dying to share!

Clarisse

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