If you've been on the blog in the last few days, you will notice there's been a change .... well, after almost five years of the same look, I decided it was time to switch things up.
I've been thinking about this for a while now - probably almost a year - but I kept on going back and forth on how to go about it: stay on blogger vs. archive blogger and move to a different platform; stick with blogpsot.co.uk vs. switch to .com or .co.uk; hire a designer to help redesign the website vs. learn to code; old logo vs. new logo, and so on. Over the last six months, I also spoke to different people - asking advice on all of these questions I had.
After thinking way too much, I finally decided that I would redesign and change my logo and switch to .com or .co.uk. What I wasn't quite sure about was how I felt about getting an entirely new website, and saying bye to blogspot. One suggestion was to write a post saying I am no longer on this platform and here's a link to my new home.
Honestly, I was still undecided when Friday morning I woke up super early and couldn't go back to sleep. My initial plan was to wait until December to redesign the blog and launch a new look bookshy to celebrate 5 years of blogging. But, in my 'I-still-have-way-too-many-hours-before-I-need-to-start-work-and-I-can't-go-back-to-sleep' state, I decided to finally look into moving from .blogspot.com to .com or .co.uk. This wasn't as difficult as I imagined, thanks in huge part to google. Thank you google!
Now I had a new address, and with still way too many hours before I had to start thinking about work, I decided to look into templates for blogger. I searched and I searched, and searched and searched and searched some more. The idea was that if I really could not find one template that I liked, then I would look into a web designer. I had already started taking an online course on how to code as I had decided that as a last resort I would do some basic redesigning of bookshy myself, but I would still need someone skilled to do the major work. Thankfully, I found a few templates I liked. Now it was time to think about work, so I saved the templates and figured that I, at least, had something to work with for December. Oh, how wrong I was!
After work on Friday, I decided to play around with these new templates and see what worked. I had already backed up my old template, but I won't lie, I was nervous! What if in trying things out, I ended up mistakenly deleting something and losing it all. Thankfully that didn't happen. And so over the next two days - mostly Friday evening, but also Saturday - I modified the template I downloaded (again thank you Google and YouTube) - shared screenshots with friends and family asking for their thoughts, and started bringing together the thoughts I had from almost a year of thinking and speaking with people for the new look bookshy.
With the new look comes a new logo. There were many iterations and options of logos, and this also went through a process of sharing with a few friends and family to get their thoughts before deciding on the final one, which was unanimous - and enables me to play around with colours (if I need to).
I have to say a major, major thank you to West Port Five - a young, design consultancy based in London - who designed the new logo. For keeping the essence of the old one (which I really did't want to lose - I wanted the glasses and the eyes to remain) but also capturing my geeky and inquisitive nature when it comes to African literature - which is what this blog is all about. When I think about the new logo, it is also going a step further by showing that I have in a way stepped away from peeking over the books over the last almost five years. Something, I have to say I am still coming to terms with.
I am still working on the site - tweaking and re-tweaking a few things here and there - and really making sure the formatting of the older posts work with the new template. I also know that it often takes time to adjust to new things - I know I found it hard saying bye to the old logo and old design, but I do hope you join me in this new look and hopefully new chapter as I continue to celebrate and geek out on all things African Literature.