A blog redesign in under 3 hours

We've been using the Christmas break to deal with a backlog of beekeeping duties the biggest and most complicated of which is extracting honey from our mature hives. At just over twenty hives spread around Christchurch and Canterbury, we're still classed as hobbyist beekeepers and sell only a limited amount of honey each year beyond what is consumed by family and close friends.

In truth our beekeeping activities are less about commercial intent than contributing to sustainability and New Zealand's ecology and horticulture. With the goal in mind of raising awareness about bees - and maybe encouraging others to take up urban hobbyist beekeeping - we've been sporadically keeping a blog for a couple of years.

Having designed new labels for this year's honey harvest, I decided yesterday that a redesign of the website was also in order.

Unlike the days of my youth when interest websites were often hand-coded, these days Wordpress, Blogger and other journal websites make it so easy to create and publish content. It's All About Bees is actually a Blogger hosted site. And deciding to refresh to a responsive template, ad ready with a dynamic features and a clean minimalist design is as easy as browsing the options on various template marketplaces.

Having decided to use a new design around 3PM, I settled down for some blog administration at 8:30PM. Paying $6.95 USD for the Sinesis blogger template that I liked from the options available on Sora Templates using Paypal, uploading the new template, customising settings and re-coding a few display and layout styles that I wanted to tweak was done by 10PM. I edited and re-tagged some of the existing content to make the posts look good in the new design and I was all done and dusted by 11PM. Easy!

If you're a technically confident person you can carry out most of what I did with guidance from the help and installation guide that comes with the template. Tweaking the design requires at least knowledge of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and cascading stylesheets (CSS) and is certainly a more advanced skill. On a couple of my more complex e-zine blogs (this one and The Style File) I've also tweaked some of the behaviours which meant dusting off my Javascripting skills - but that's not really required and paying for a template does give you technical support for more complicated things.

Although I paid for the premium template to remove the footer credits and to ensure I get any updates, you can get most Blogger templates for free which means professional looking online journals are only a few clicks away.

It's all about bees
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