It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to the new home of Pop.Bop.Shop.
I have been wanting to redesign the blog for the past three years. In fact, it's resolution #4 on my 15 new year's resolutions for 2015.
Back in April, my cousin and his girlfriend were over my house for dinner (a matzah pizza party for Passover) and I was lamenting about how difficult it has been to find a web designer. My cousin perked up right away and said he knew someone who might be able to help.
That brings us to my masterful designer, Jake Lambert of The Company on a Hill. Jake was tasked with not only redesigning the look and feel of the site, but importing over 1,700 posts from the old site to the new one. Let me tell you, it was no small task.
For the past seven months Jake and I have been meeting every week to discuss progress and make critical design and functionality decisions. Finally, about three weeks ago, we assembled a focus group of 15 of Pop.Bop.Shop.'s most loyal readers to take the new site for a spin. After receiving their feedback, we added an additional feature (more on that in a minute), had them re-test and now here we are - reveal day!
So, let's take a look around the place, shall we?
The first difference you'll likely notice is the site's background. Gone are the green and yellow polka dots.
Instead, now there is a clean, white background. This makes the posts much easier to read and also distracts less from the photos.
At the top of the page, on the left side, you'll see a few things:
- A mini Pop.Bop.Shop. logo - This is like a "home" button. Anytime you want to get back to the start, just click on the mini logo.
- About Pop.Bop.Shop. - At long last I have a detailed bio! If you've ever wanted to know how Pop.Bop.Shop. started, where I live, what I do for work or my current obsessions, now you can.
- Eat - This is my favorite page on the whole site. It's the updated version of the old tab that was called "Restaurant List." More on that below.
- Entertain - For the past few years I've been sharing behind the scenes details of how I decorate my home for all kinds of occasions - Super Bowl, Oscars, July 4th. Now you can find all the party design and decor ideas in one place.
- Explore - The Explore page is a bit of a catch all. On this tab you'll find shopping recommendations, hotel reviews, museum tours, books to read, music to download, movies to see and TV recaps.
Over on the top right side of the page, you'll find buttons linking out to my social media channels. If you aren't already following along, please do. I'd love to connect.
Along the right side of the home page is my photo (the same one you've been used to for four years), the option to join the brand new Pop.Bop.Shop. email list and lastly, press coverage for the website. In fact, if you click "See more coverage" you can read all the articles.
One of my favorite aspects of the new design is that it's completely responsive. Whether you're on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet or your phone, the site will adjust to fit your screen. Before, the mobile version of the site looked like this:
Now, it looks like this:
This new mobile version makes finding places while you're on the go a total cinch.
Now that we've talking about the new layout and some of the key design changes, let's dive in to how you can really use the site.
As you may recall, the old site used to have a tab at the top called "Restaurant List." Let's quickly revisit what that looked like:
Though I was happy to put all my restuarant reviews in one place and make it easy for readers to search, I was never able to figure out a way to easily add visuals and a short description to each review that didn't turn that page into a sloppy mess.
Meet the brand new "Eat" page, custom built to help you find the perfect place to dine.
Now you can get a sneak preview of each review, without having to click on it.
If you do want to search by city, you can do that in two ways:
1) Click on one of the cities listed as the top of the "Eat" page and then click "Search." If you want to refine it even more, check off a specific neighborhood and then hit "Search" again.
2) Scroll to the very bottom of the site and put keywords into the search box. Words like "Somerville" or "Chinese" or "Pizza."
One of my other favorite new features in the "Eat" section is the Google map. When you're reading a restaurant review and you reach the bottom of the post, you'll now see a Google map. There will be a pin for the restaurant you've just read about, but also pins for anything else I've reviewed in the surrounding area. You can zoom in or out on the map to make the radius more precise. Also, the map pins are purple, which just makes me so happy.
Much like the "Eat" tab, the "Entertain" tab also gives you a sneak preview of each set of party ideas before you even click into a singular post.
The "Explore" tab has quite an array of content. When you arrive to this page, you can sub-select categories like "Adventures" or "Books" or "Hotels." Simply check the box for the category you'd like to explore and then press "Search."
That brings our tour of the new Pop.Bop.Shop. to a close. One thing to note for those of you who may have had the site bookmarked, the URL has changed to www.popbopshopblog.com
A huge thank you to my designer, Jake, who probably never wants to see the color purple again. If you like his work, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And of course, thank you to all of you! Without your ongoing support, this redesign would not have been possible.
Please take a look around and let me know what you think!