This is one of those posts where you write it for ages in your head, and then as you start to type (as I am doing so hopefully a week or so before you see it) you realise, there is so much more to say!
Polka Dot Bride 4.0 (Click through if you’re reading this in a feed reader or via email!)
This post, I’d like to say is 14 months in the making, but it’s probably a little bit more like 18 months from my first dreams to now. While the site looks very similar to the old one – it’s not! We rebuilt the entire thing, every single category page, every single directory listing, every single dot so that you could have a better, friendlier, more integrated Polka Dot Bride experience. We’re still fixing a few little things around the place so bear with us as we tweak the new site into perfection!
For the past year I’ve been meaning to walk you through the new features of the site, but many were never quite the way I wanted them to be. Now they are and I can’t wait for you to discover them!
What we’ve done:
We threw out the personalised collection!
This never ran quite the way we wanted it to and with some great sites like Lover.ly and Pinterest out there, we decided to leave it to them to make the ‘favouriting’ experience fantastic while we focus on making Polka Dot Bride even better for you.
We cleaned up our navigation
All of our navigation options are located right at the top of the site, so you can easily log-in if you’re a vendor or contributor, check out the latest events, find our latest competitions, contact the Polka Dot Bride team and even find us on Pinterest! You can even search more easily for what you want on the site.
We made it even easier to find inspired weddings
All our inspired weddings are now searchable by colour, theme and location. Simply select what you want to search for from the drop down menus to see all weddings fitting your criteria. We’re still adding weddings into this system and tweaking things, so keep checking back!
It’s even pretty to leave a comment
We know that comments are the heart and soul of the site, because they’re all about you! So they’re finally looking pretty gorgeous (if I do say so and I possibly can seeing as the gorgeous Prue designed them, and Felicity styled them not me!). The Polka Dot team can be easily seen in pink (except Mr Polka Dot, he scored blue!) the authors of posts can be easily found in the comments and event Ms Polka Dot’s Directory members stand out! We’d love to see your smiling faces next to your comment, so do head over to Gravatar and upload a photo (ht best part is the gravatar system works on most blogs, so you only have to sign up once for your pic to appear!)
We created individual image galleries for contributors
We love our contributors and now we have an easier to use system. We flicked Flickr to the kerb (so long Flickr, you were good to us!) and now you can directly upload images into your entries. If you want to become a contributor to Polka Dot Bride, it’s even easier than before! Just click the link on any of our specialty blogs’ introduction, fill out the application form and the lovely Ms Gingham will email you!
Find a contributor’s posts easily and simply
Want to find all the posts by a certain contributor? Maybe you want to look back on Miss T’s journey or find all the posts by a photographer or celebrant you love. Just click on their name underneath their post and all will be revealed!
Share the posts you love easily!
We added Google+, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon & email buttons so you can share our posts quickly and easily with your friends & family. Just click the buttons!
The big one!
We started fresh with Ms Polka Dot’s Directory
We completely moved off our old system into a more integrated, easy to use, solution. For our readers, this means easier navigation around the directory! You can easily use the drop down menu to find the vendors in the categories you want and easily check out images of their work, their contact details and even find them on twitter, Facebook or their blog. You’ll also be able to find our Directory members easily around the site as they have special green comments and brown and red buttons that link straight back to their listing (no more figuring out who they are!)
For our advertisers – it means an easy (and this time when we say easy we mean it!) system for you to not only see month by month statistics, but also change your listing and figure out what works best. We’ll be rolling you onto the system very shortly!
We’re starting a newsletter!
We have so much news to share with you all the time, that we want to create yet another place for you to get it straight to your inbox! So now, you can subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free) and in a little while when we’ve settled into our new home, you can receive exclusive offers, special content and Polka Dot curated goodness straight into your inbox. Make sure you sign up here to receive it!
The Dream Team
A website is nothing without the team supporting it and not only does the Polka Dot Bride team deserve a medal for putting up with my distracted website building brain, but two key people were behind this new site and they deserve the biggest praise of all.
Firstly, our resident director of bright ideas, designer and general leader of awesomeness (though you can hire her yourself here because she’s pretty fantastic at what she does) Prue from Gigi and Lulu worked with me to freshen up our look, redesign the directory and generally add lots of functional and awesome looking aspects to the site. I’m so blessed to have Prue’s innate knowledge of the dreams we have and the projects we’re building, and the way she can translate my ‘goobleygook’ into something elegant and coherent always astounds me.
Our newest Polka Dottie, Felicity of Ecommetrix (again, also awesome, so awesome you can hire her yourself) rebuilt Polka Dot Bride from the ground up – she and her team were responsible for making sure every pixel worked and worked beautifully, and not only did she do a brilliant job, but she did it with dignity and grace. Site rebuilds are never easy, but somehow Felicity made it look like a piece of cake, explained things in a non developer way and has amazing attention to detail!
So do you remember a year ago when I said with the launch of the new site I’d get back to writing? Well, I didn’t. But now I’m going to – I finally have the time to be creative again! We have a few more features to roll out shortly and we finally have the chance to jump on some of the projects I’ve been itching to do for years and now we have the great foundation of the site to launch off. It really is bubbles for all!