The first installment in this giant stack of insanity included my move from Bluehost to SiteGround. This long story continues with needing to make some changes to my blog theme—the stuff that makes it look like it does. The nuts and bolts of the visual parts of a blog are the first thing people see when they click my site. I needed a change.
My previous theme framework was Thesis, version 1.8. In the past few years, that theme had several updates and I had not updated anything. Why? The theme forums were full of issues with updating from 1.xx to 2.xx. I was not ready to tackle that project. I did like Thesis while I had it. Why?
- FLEXIBLE. This means I had free reign in code. I could work with CSS (colors, sizes, fonts) and I could easily work in the Php files (the elements—sidebars, nav bars, widgets). Working with Php is the quickest way to break a blog and I did it occasionally, but I knew how to go to my file manager and remove the changes I made to break it. Thesis was a virtual playground.
- It worked until it didn’t. It didn’t fail me…but I read too many stories of people who tried to make the big update to version 2 and had awful problems. The words “rebuild my entire site from start” were far too common.
So why did I think about update or change? In talking with Krista at WP Site Care, she gave me the nudge to make a clean break and she recommended Genesis with the Foodie Pro theme (which I had already been checking out. It’s such a clean site and perfect for food bloggers). Krista answered all my questions as I took big leaps to change my framework. I am still working on re-branding logos and colors and getting all my CSS just the way I want it. But Genesis is an AMAZING theme framework to run a blog. What do I like so far?
- It didn’t die. When I clicked “activate”, I had no idea what in the world I would see when I refreshed. Krista had wisely advised me to move all my Thesis sidebar elements to “inactive” column so they would not jumble in the transition. When Genesis activated, I had a very nice clean blog. Then I severely cut down my sidebars and easily moved my widgets to active. It was so easy. I needed easy after the Bluehost downward spiral.
- Customizer with “save and publish”. This is a real-time css panel so I can immediately see any changes. This has saved me a ton of time. I have made some hard code changes in the CSS editor file but a lot less than I ever did in Thesis. It is the best time-saver.
- Recipe page. I am still working on this part of my blog, but in adding recipe cards, I am building a rock-solid recipe page with images. I did not have to code this in myself. TIMESAVER!
- A dream theme for my new ad network. I also had to change ad networks right in the middle of all this change. It was literally a perfect storm. Genesis was highly praised by my ad network. More about Mediavine next!
At this point, I had a new Framework and theme. I had moved my host completely away from BH. Next up, how Mode Media screwed us all.