The evolution of my blog.

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I had no clue how a blog should look when I published my first few posts.

Buying or editing templates, side bars, colours of links – it made little sense to me.

All I know is that I loved dresses and wanted to make friends with people that also loved dresses. So we could, ya know, show each other our dresses.

As I started reading more blogs, I got this pang of jealously and demotivation every so often.

My blog is ugly.

My blog isn’t good enough.

My blog doesn’t have a beautiful header.

My blog looks cluttered.

I hate my blog.

You might have felt like me in the past, or maybe not.

I started making small improvements to my blog over the months. Tweaking things here, adding widgets there.

I even dared to perform open heart surgery on skinnedcartree – I ripped open my blogs chest, peered into it’s HTML’s insides and snipped things out and added things in. Each time I hoped we wouldn’t end up in a coma.

Mostly, I remember these changes well as they were usually accompanied by a surge of motivation and new love for my blog.

I wanted to share with you the changes I’ve made when I’ve not been happy which hopes to say to you new bloggers, or those of you that aren’t happy with your blog:

You will grow your site into something you love.

Let’s start at the beginning.

30th December, 2012.

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My blog was less than a month old here. I had a default template and header. I centred all my writing and used tiny photos.

My blog knowledge was zero and I was running around the blogging world like a bull in a china shop, making friends with bloggers and shocked to see the often visited my blog back. It was fun, but I knew my blog wasn’t fantastic. I just didn’t have any skills to do anything about it!

March 10th, 2013.

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I discovered some blogger templates were free. I asked myself why I didn’t think of this sooner! All you have to do is google ‘Free blogger templates’ and you’re sorted! So easy to install, why did it take a couple months for me to figure this out? Some of you think I’m some of blogging expert, LOL you’re drunk.

I had also moved away from taking outfit photos in my dull room in front of my wiggly mirror to using a self-timer app on my iPhone in the bathroom, as it was the brightest room in the house.

The photos were still tiny though, I don’t think I’d ever heard about making your photos the width of the post before!

August 15th, 2013.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 16.30.08

I bought my DSLR around April and started taking photos in my kitchen, then in my garden. When I moved house in July, we didn’t have a garden so I took them in my room again but this time I had a tripod and decent camera, so it was a lot better.

If I could go back in time and have a chat to myself, I would have told myself to LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR NIKON, STUPID! I was using an automatic setting and didn’t make the most out of what I had.

By August, I had figured out the code to make my blog just show snippets of each post so it was magazine style and easier to find posts.

This is also when I started using the square photos as a preview of my outfit. Mainly because any other shape would get stretched and look stupid.

February 8th 2014

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In December 2013 and January 2014, I had a boost of motivation.

I figured out that it’s not actually that hard to make your own header! I made mine on PicMonkey. The difficult part was getting the green background to match the background of my blog!

I also figured out how to make the width of my posts bigger and also started taking photos in my living room and using my signature ‘circle photo’ – which I still use today.

I edited my HTML to change the colour of my text and links and also even made my own social media buttons and mapped them so they worked. I felt very proud and was ready to get serious.

This is when I decided I really wanted to make something special of my blog. I wanted to work hard and put a lot of time into learning how to use my camera and I switched from calling my site a fashion blog to calling it a lifestyle blog.

I started including beauty, lifestyle, blogtips and started #socialbloggers.

June 25th 2014

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I figured out how to change the font and colour of my menu bar.

Although I was proud that I had changed the look of my blog and my photography had improved, I still wasn’t 100% happy. I kept reading about self-hosted WordPress. It was like it was haunting me.

August 1st 2014

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Then, at the start of July at around 1am, I decided I wanted to do it. I bought hosting, installed WordPress, diverted my URL and imported all my blog posts, photos and comments over to WordPress.

I kept my header very similar and I fell in love with my blog again.

18th December 2014

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This pretty much brings me to where we are now. Initially, I had the first blog post showing in full and any after were magazine style read more, then I changed it for all posts to be magazine style.

I also wasn’t happy with the font, so installed a plugin to change it to one I liked the look of.

I’m pretty happy with the way my blog looks now! Although I’ve seen a handful of other bloggers with my layout, my personal header and font change makes mine a bit different. I would like to have my own, one of a kind template at some point, but I know I’d want it looking how it looks now, so there’s no point really.

How has your blog template evolved?

I’m starting a 40 day fitness challenge today, you can read more about it and join in too over on my fitness blog.

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39 Comments

  1. February 18, 2015 / 9:47 am

    I really enjoyed this post, love hearing about the changes people have made to their blogs over time, especially with the amount of html and design editing I’ve been recently doing over on my own blog. I’m having trouble at the moment decided whether to buy my domain and do I stick with blogger or switch over to WordPress. Troubles of a blogger haha, love your layout and design too.

    Kristy | http://itsablondiiething.blogspot.co.uk
    Kristy recently posted…28 blog post ideas.My Profile

  2. jackie harrison
    February 18, 2015 / 11:35 am

    When I first started my blog was pretty plain than after a year I made the change I was please by it. I also notice due to the change people remember my blog the lipstick or lips images they automatically know is my blog. Today on my post you will see lips paper clip I got from outside my state because the person thought of my blog when she saw it. I believe follow your heart and how you like your blog is yours so you are the number one person who has to be happy with it.

  3. February 18, 2015 / 11:43 am

    I went from cluttered to clear. Never again will I add unnecessary add-ons on my sidebar. You’ve come a long way and heading full force in the right direction! Kudos!
    Mrs C recently posted…Style :: Leather, Camou, FurMy Profile

  4. Gabrielle
    February 18, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    I love that you have screenshots of your earlier days in blogging, as it’s made for a very interesting journey to read through! I have recently been itching to make some changes to my blog as well, so this has really encouraged me to start making some of those changes! Also, to answer your question, my blog started out as a blog about shoes haha 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    x

  5. Kelsey&Kenecha
    February 18, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    Isn’t it crazy how different your blog becomes over the years? We are still kinda newish and really didn’t make any changes to our blog yet. Love looking at all of yours though xx

    http://floralsandsmiles.blogspot.ca/
    twitter.com/floralandsmiles

  6. Candice
    February 18, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    Oh wow so many changed I do love doing changes on my blog to improve it just last week moved it over to wordpress as well, it’s alot to learn but loving it
    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves
    ♥♥♥

  7. February 18, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    Very interesting blog, is always nice to look back and see how much you grow, isn’t it?
    Anca recently posted…Pancake DayMy Profile

  8. February 18, 2015 / 3:10 pm

    How did you remember everything? I guess through the photos you took. This was a very interesting read, but I still think you are cleverer blog wise than you think you are! xx

  9. February 18, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I had a similar experience to you at the beginning – I had a generic blogger template and I didn’t figure out for ages that you could simply download free templates. I have no idea why I didn’t think of it – it seems so obvious now! It’s funny how clueless we are when we first start blogging!
    Claire recently posted…Simple Prawn & Mango SaladMy Profile

  10. February 18, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    I’m someone who is constantly tweaking my css and html. I’ve probably gone through five layout changes, it’s something I enjoy actually!
    I like the current look of your blog! 🙂
    Xuvious recently posted…YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch in Luminous HoneyMy Profile

  11. February 18, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, Corinne. It’s lovely to see how you and your blog has changed throughout the years. I am one of your newest followers but I am definitely here to stay for a long time. Your sense of writing is lovely and I love your wicked sense of humour.

    I rehauled my blog mid of last year, from a depressing, lack of post and without any direction or motivation to what it is now, a beauty blog. And finally changed the design and layout on the beginning of this year.

    I guess we all evolve at one point, as we grow older but none the wiser, our taste in certain stuff changes too.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity
    Shireen L. Platt recently posted…REVIEW: SpookyEyes Contact LensMy Profile

  12. February 18, 2015 / 4:03 pm

    So cool to see the evolution of your blog! You have a fantastic site and should be so proud of it. xx

    lovejoanna.com

  13. February 18, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    I went with a really simple design when I first started and have made many subsequent tweaks since then. I’m still making tweaks but it’s at a point that I’m pretty happy with now. The only thing that has remained since the start is my basic color theme and I still like alot of white space.
    Rowena @ rolala loves recently posted…How To Celebrate Chinese New YearMy Profile

  14. February 18, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    I loved reading about your blogging journey – you definitely have a lot to be proud of! You have such a great writing style that I would read your blog regardless of your site design 🙂 x

    http://thebellenarrative.com

  15. February 18, 2015 / 6:08 pm

    Aw this post just took me back to old blogging times. I can recall nearly every change I’ve ever made to my blog design. It feels so good to check back and see how far we’ve come in this progress game..
    Noor Unnahar recently posted…How To: Start CalligraphyMy Profile

  16. February 18, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    You have made a lot of adjustments and improvements over the years Corinne, and I loved witnessing it with this chronological post. Thanks for sharing 🙂 I think your blog looks fab now. I am making small changes along the way myself. I changed my header a couple months ago to smt. my hubby designed. XOXO, Elif
    Theboxqueen recently posted…YOUR BEST ACCESSORY- YOUR SMILE! A WHITE SMILE IN THREE DAYSMy Profile

  17. February 19, 2015 / 3:48 am

    I loved reading about this! Thanks for sharing!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  18. February 19, 2015 / 6:26 am

    Thank you for this post! It’s so nice to see how your blog evolved. I really like how your blog looks right now so it’s great to see that all blogs start from something that is simpler and that it really takes time and some toying around.

    I really agree with what you said about the Nikon. It’s so easy just to buy a fancy camera and think that it’ll just take great photos (because there’s an automatic setting) but it’s really worthwhile to actually learn how to use it – something I really want to do one of these days.

    christycee.blogspot.ca 
    christycee recently posted…Manitobah Mukluks ReviewMy Profile

  19. February 19, 2015 / 10:55 am

    wow it’s interesting to see how much your blog has evolved throughout your time here. I too would like to have own style to my blog and not just a free template i get off google. But for now I think it looks just fine. Someday ill fall inlove with my blog Like u did.

    Thank you for sharing your journey and I love this post !
    vivi recently posted…OOTD | Wedding guest outfitMy Profile

  20. February 19, 2015 / 11:32 am

    I love how your blog looks, simply but unique 🙂 I used to change my blog look quite a lot. It was plain, it was black for ages when I was going through my teenage rebel phase. Then i made my own header, button, had some help with the leopard background and changed up some html. And it stayed like that until a few weeks ago when I made my blog survey and a lot of people suggested to change up the layout. I figured it had been that way for so long it could change now. So now it’s pink with more html changes! Some blogs change their layout all the time and apparently that’s a good thing, but I’ve always hated it and prefer blogs that are consistent 🙂
    Amber recently posted…Bookmarked #16My Profile

  21. February 19, 2015 / 11:58 am

    It’s so interesting seeing how your blog layout has changed over time! 🙂 I don’t think I have photos of my old layouts – I deleted a bunch of stuff accidentally once so it changed then, ha…and I guess I changed the header too…but I just kept the layout simple, I’m not after anything fancy. If I do get the urge to change things up though, I know who I’ll be emailing for advice, haha!

    Do you provide a service for blog advice like that? maybe you should consider it! 🙂
    Mica recently posted…Summer Shorts Outfits. Prints and Balenciaga Day BagMy Profile

  22. February 19, 2015 / 8:47 pm

    Your blog has come a long way! I am still with Blogger and I’ve made lots of changes since I’ve began blogging. I am fairly happy with the layout that I have created but I guess that one day I will probably move to WordPress as well.

    http://www.LUXESSED.com
    Anouk recently posted…Sometimes a FantasyMy Profile

  23. February 20, 2015 / 1:17 am

    I love using WordPress, although I wish I’d known before I started that there is a difference with wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org. It’s really frustrating seeing all the awesome plugins available but being trapped in the .com world.

    I only started three weeks ago though, so I guess I can’t complain. I’m getting more and more happy with the way my blog looks. I’m blessed to have previous photography experience, and I do a tonne of research to get things just right. I love my blog though – it’s like my baby!
    Julia Richey recently posted…Organizing My Makeup DrawersMy Profile

  24. February 20, 2015 / 8:25 pm

    You should be really proud of the evolution of your blog. I love reading your blog, good luck with the 40 day challenge Lucy x
    Lucy recently posted…Stoke Park Luxury Hotel and SpaMy Profile

  25. Dannie
    February 20, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    Aw this post is adorable 🙂 look at how much your blog has grown!

    I think we all had the centre text at some point 🙂

    Dannie x
    http://www.famousinjapan.co.uk

  26. February 20, 2015 / 10:30 pm

    My blog’s evolution has been slow, but just lately I’ve been making a few tweeks here and there and I’m becoming happier with its layout etc. great idea to record the changes as you make them. I love the look of yours and when I skim through my Twitter feed I immediately recognise a post by you, by your signature circle image and quickly double back to read. Great post x

  27. February 22, 2015 / 12:43 am

    My blog template changed about 10 times the first day i had my blog… and hasn’t changed since. I love seeing how your blog has changed and am really impressed that your blog is only a few years old.
    Emma recently posted…I Wear Makeup to RebelMy Profile

  28. February 22, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    I love seeing blogs grow! I have only had my blog for about two months but, just did another major overhaul. I love the Sugar and Spice theme on wordpress. It is so easy to customize and plus it’s free!

  29. February 22, 2015 / 11:29 pm

    You’ve really achieved so much in such a short space of time. I really hope my blog evolves as much as yours. Sometimes it’s good to just sit back and look at your blog as a reader would. Really enjoyed reading this thank you 🙂
    I’ve done something similar for my ‘blogiversary’ post if you want a nosey?
    Victoria xx
    thedaisyjaynes.com
    Victoria recently posted…Stylish Sandwich ScarfMy Profile

  30. February 27, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    I have loved seeing this. I just moved to my own host and re-vamped my blog but some bits are still niggling me. I see all the other beautiful blogs and I suppose I did think that they just started out beautiful so it is good to see how they evolve and know that there is hope for me yet!
    I really want a new header but I don;t know whether to attempt to make my own or buy one designed for me in a cartoon style.

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