Thursday, March 25, 2010

blog mayday...

Mayday! Mayday! I need your help.

I was going to keep this a secret, but I need some advice. I'm working on a new blog and need your expertise, insight, and previous experience.

Where do you host? Blogger? Wordpress? Typepad? Personal?
What are some things you like about this blog layout?
What are some things you don't like about this layout?
What have been your struggles with your own blog?
What would you change?
Why is Suri Cruise the most gorgeous little girl in the world?
Where would you go on your dream vacation?

Okay, okay, the last question is just because I want everyone to be able to participate in this conversation :) But please hook a sista' up and drop your pearls of wisdom on me!


Lydia said...

-I've been using Blogger since 2004 (yikes, I just realized how long that's been!)

-I love that I know where everything is in this layout and that I don't have to fill out my info. each time I comment. Since I'm logged into my Google account, it automatically signs it as me

-I don't like that your videos on the left sidebar are cut off, though it's actually easy to fix

-My biggest struggle with my own blog is my ability to make it exactly how I want it. I've hacked it to pieces, and it's pretty close, but it's hard to change anything

-Things I'd change: customize the blog & make it more you, redo the header so the picture goes all the way to the left, add a search box

-Off to Google Suri Cruise...

-At the moment, my dream vacation includes Seattle, Laguna Beach, Boston, and other beautiful, photographically worthy places!

Sorry I'm not too helpful. Hopefully some of the other commenters have some good suggestions!

Anonymous said...

I prefer wordpress.(com,; the is for more advanced users), for a cleaner layout, and because I don't have a blogger account it can be annoying with all the obstacles to publish a comment in blogger, so i think something more inclusive would be more beneficial. I have fiddled and tweaked with a few different blogs over the past 5 years and did plenty of tweaking before really landing on a layout/theme that I love. If you go with your own blog/website it will take some extra love from some web people, and it also costs money, as you have to pay for hosting for your own blogsite. I personally like having the free option, since it's all I need, it's like why pay for those fancy checks when the bank gives them to me for free...haha

Anonymous said...

oh and dream vacation... Toronto, Canada, Niagara Falls and Prince Edward Island (all in the same trip) :]

mac said...

Hi B.

- I use blogger and I like it.

- I think your layout is ok.

- look above (eventually a little bit more color)

- the struggle with my own blog is, that I don't have enough input in my mind to blog... :-)

- I don't know, my mind is today a little bit chaotic ;-)

- that's not right, the
most gorgeous little girl in the world is my little daughter Livia... :-) I think evey fahther think that about his daughter.

- my dream vacation is to ride on a horse and doing a cattle drive through Montana...

Carrie Krupke said...

I've been using blogger for two years now and I was thinking of switching to wordpress. I tried to make a blog on wordpress to see how it worked. It was so confusing! I abandoned it and then found that blogger allows me to make up to 10 pages (which, as a photographer, was very helpful!)

You can also find neat backdrop designs for free at or other websites that I'm sure would pop up on Google.

The only thing that confuses me about your blog layout is the videos of your speech engagements at the bottom-they sometimes cover up type...maybe that's just my computer...but something to consider. Good luck!

jessicamichelle said...

i love blogger, myself. i write to hear myself think? but i also like sharing ridiculous stories. it seems to let me do all of that. also, i think it's more customizable than people think and i ADORE sites like and can spend hours upon hours there.

Suri Cruise--something has to compensate for your dad jumping on Oprah's couch, luckily, it's that she's gorgeous. Plus, her mom was on Dawson's Creek, an integral part of my adolescence.

Dream Vacay?...Ireland, Australia, or my regular old Outer Banks, NC. :) God bless!

Ruthiey said...

I use Blogger and I'm actually trying to find an alternative blog, because Blogger only lets me post a limited number of pictures before I have to pay for online storage.

Otherwise, I really like Blogger - it's very intuitive and easy to customize.

Christine said...

I user blogger as well. I will be upgrading to a ProPhotoBlog soon and it will be hosted through a friends company. My own domain. I'm excited! I love the simplicity of your blog. The only thing I really don't like (which is same for all blogger blogs) is that you can't leave a comment as just a name and email address. I guess it doesn't matter that much for me because I have an account but a lot of my viewers have said they hate that. Also that you can't get really large photos on blogger. Hope that helps! I'm excited to see your new blog!!

christy said...

ok...not sure y my comment vanished, but here i go again:)

I just started a blog, soooo i wouldn't know the pros and cons between different blog hosting sites.....but I just started my own blog and realized it's not as easy as Miss B makes it look:(

Are u gonna give your faithful blogosphere friends any clues as to what your new blog will be about???;)

Anonymous said...

I started with Blogger (which was fine for a year. Especially being a "new" blogger). Then I advanced to Wordpress which I like a lot better. Part of that is that I was able to import a Blog Theme that I really like and customize it more.

I like your current layout for it's simplicity.

However, I've never been a fan of the two column layout (stuff running down the side) as it's a little "cluttered." But I also know how hard it is in blogger to find a ONE column theme (I had to search online and find one to import to blogger which was a total pain).

Resizing pictures from large file sizes to small files before uploading them to the blog. I hate extra steps. ;)

Suri isn't the most beautiful. My daughter is. ;)

Hmm? Dream vacation? Not sure. Someplace warm & tropical. But I'll settle for CA until then. ;)

melissa said...

oooh! I'm working on (ehem, been procrastinating on) a new blog too. I may have to take my own notes! ;)

I've been using typepad for almost 3 years and *I* love it for it's structure, ease of use, and fact that their are ways to customize even with very limited knowledge. I can easily post photo galleries straight from my computer with a click of a button. I use this feature alot for our family blog.

On the flip side, it's "structure" is limiting, but that's okay because I am not a web programmer. And it cost $ to host monthly.

For your blog, I like that it's extremely easy to read because of it's simple, clean, crisp look.

The only advice I would give is the same advice I am giving myself, to make it YOU! Your header (and website) seems to reflect your style and personality - classy, yet fun, engaging, with a touch of color. So that should flow into the rest of your layout.

Good Luck!!!

Dana said...

*** I host with blogger

*** Has a professional look and feel with the header - not professional in a stuffy way, but more official. I know you mean business and somehow it makes me trust you. =) Hopefully that doesn't sound lame! LOL A header that makes you trust someone...seriously... yep! haha

*** Don't like the side bar too much. It's a lot going on over there. If you're planning on turning this into a blog site, I would say have header links to your videos and speaking engagements so things are less cluttered.

*** My struggles with my own blog are - making sure it looks appealing and not BORING, and content. Ensuring I have enough content to fill an entire week.

*** Change about my blog or yours? The only thing I would change on yours is what I put above about the sidebar. Mine will stay as it is....ahahaha

*** I'd have to disagree about Suri...I think Nahla (Halle Berry's daughter) is more gorgeous! Oh how I pray to the dear Lord that my children will be so beautiful!! haha

*** Dream vacation - Turks and Caicos

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

Wordpress...all the cool kids are doing it. ; )

Stephanie said...

My dream vacation would be to see the WORLD. All of it. In a non-touristy way... I want to get into the culture---eat the food, do the dance(s), experience the ups/downs. Share the Hope that is within me.

Anyone, ANYONE (man, woman, boy, girl) can be gorgeous if they have a limitless budget/stylists who make clothes & accessories specifically for that person. I'm SO over celebrities looking good, because really?! We could all be like that if we had the same resources (and that includes trainers who lift you out of bed and plop you in the gym---who needs motivation then? ;))

And you're an awesome blogger. Keep doin' what you're doin'! I love your heart!!!

Tira J said...

I am no help, because I now have the same fancy blog that your twin has and it ROCKS!!! I hear Wordpress is great with all of the new templates you can work with. You have to think about if you want it to be easy for you or your viewers. I host my blogsite with IX Webhosting and have never had any issues. Oh, dream vacation would be to travel Europe with just my husband, camera and some money. Nothing fancy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Suri Cruise comment! haha And either Paris or the Bahamas ;) How about your dream vacation B?

Shawn said...

Kay, I haven't posted on my own blog for like 2 years but I do love my prophoto blog on wordpress. Even if you're not a photographer it's a great template if you go that route. Makes all the back end customizing much much easier than most worpress templates. But definitely check out squarespace too. Personally I think they blow Typepad away on their user-friendly-ness and for $8/month you get features that you'd pay $15 for through typepad. Amazing customer service too. Worth checking out. :)

Love the clean simple look of your blog. Love the photo in the banner full of personality and color and then the clean simple fontwork. And I love your video posts. Definitely don't stop doing those. :)

Dream vacation: the mediterranean :)

Bianca said...

Duuuuuude, you guys ROCK! Some of this insights I would have NEVER seen. Thank you to the moon and back...

My dream vacation? New Zealand, boutique hotel, organic, local cuisines, five books, running trails, and my bible... and Twitter so I could share my adventure with the cyber world :)

Raquel said...

God made a little paradise called Dominican Republic. You have to go. All inclusive Resorts- the best people, the best food, the best beaches, the best everything. And it is super cheap for it being PARADISE. Go.

4 of Us said...

No blog yet, but thought I'd share a little tidbit on Suri I saw on The Doctors talk show the other day...she's like 3 or 4, and wears HEELS! All the time, walking around, shopping. They chastised her parents for allowing it and screwing her feet up at an early age. I must admit though, it's pretty darn cute but I wouldn't let my own 4 year old do it all the time :)

Being Fran(k) said...

I adore Tumblr. I started out on Wordpress, but eventually wanted to customize more to my liking. I am technologically challenged (website coding? I don't even know what that means), so I tried Blogger. Blogger and I just didn't fit.

Tumblr is quick and easy. I love the layout, and I find I am posting more frequently because I feel like it is low-maintenance.

I love your current layout! It's not too busy, and your header is beautiful.

And re: Suri...may I present:

the snyders said...

I like blogger, because when it comes to computer stuff I have never been very technical! I am able to customise it however I want....I always have lots of pictures because I use the blog to share about our lives here in AK, to those who support us and pray for us in the mission field. Yours is nice clean and simple. I always am a fan of photos and color.
my dream vacation would be to travel all over Europe, and Isreal again, but this time with my husband!

Cindy A. said...

I just like that I get to read you blog. It's simple and easy to navigate. Your womb-mate's blog? Phenomenal! It's just SO COOL! But I have to admit, the first time I saw her new mag layout I had such a hard time navigating. But still very cool!

I second the comments referring to the 2 column layout as looking a little cluttered, not being able to see your vids in full, and your header should span the length of the whole page. Don't forget to update your "Speaking Events" section.

It's all just visual appeal though... like Christmas... it doesn't matter how sparkly the wrapping paper is or how gigantic the bow is, if the gift is a Dewalt deep cut band saw, you're gonna be disappointed. But as for me, it's all about the content baby!

People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart
1 Sam 16:7

Peyton said...

I've been "doing" the research on starting a blog. I think with all that I've seen, I may go with typepad.

I love the simplicity of your blog.

I think Nahla - Halle Berry's daughter IS the cutest!! I'm with my girl above, I hope and pray my children look as adorable as Ms. Nahla.

Anonymous said...

Hi B:)
I use Blogger.
I've only seen a few other blogs and yours is good. Simple and easy to manage.
I dont have my own blog...
I think next to my 2 Daughters, Suri Cruise is adorable (I was once in love with Tom Cruise..wasn't every girl?)
I deal vacation.4 days Grand Caymen Island followed by a cruise across the Atlantic Ocean, 10 days touring Germany, 15 days touring the Ukraine and meeting family, returning to the homeland of my Grandparents.
:8) ap

Jason said...

I used Wordpress for years but now self-host. It's easier for me to manage the site because I know HTML and some coding so I can make changes at any time.

I like your layout. Clean, simple, easy to read.

Cindy A. said...

It's me again. Here's summarized blog feedback that Jon got for his new blog site:

You got me hooked.

ruthie said...

1. I host personal. :)
2. I like the simplicity of this layout.
3. There is not much to dislike, but I would say the sidebar like @Dana.
4. Struggles --> keeping up on it. Thinking of interesting things to write, etc. etc. etc.
5. Writing more. Brainstorming more. etc. etc. etc.
6. I personally think that she is cute, but not the most gorgeous. I'm sorry. Zahara is really gorgeous. And the rest of those children. But no one beats my goddaughter and her sisters.
7. Dream vacation: Umm... I have been all over the Caribbean for work and cruising... but maybe Hawaii...

Rebecca said...

I host w/Blogger.

I like that it's easy to read, navigate and has fun stuff in the side bar.

I wouldn't change it. :)

My blog is mainly to feature photos... So it took a lot of time for me to fight with the HTML and get it to where I wanted it. I'd still like bigger pics.

No idea!

Italy & Spain for sure!

Rebecca said...

I use Wordpress - but I really struggled to find a layout I liked and since I'm new to the whole thing I got my husband to set it all up. As a new blogger I'm struggling to find my angle - but you definitely got that bit covered.
I'm sure whatever you do will be great as what you write is great!!

Jeannett said...

I just moved over from blogger to WP. It's more complicated, not gonna lie. BUT, it looks more professional and there's a lot more you can do with it. Keep in mind though, that if you aren't real computer saavy, you'll basically have to pay someone to do all the "there's a lot more" stuff for you, and you stick to only posting. Plus, it's gonna cost you some cashola. In the end though, I think that when you self-host, it gives you some credibility: like "oh, she's not just using that free blogger thing that any old person can do..." I don't know, just seems that way anyway. If you want a reference for someone to do the techie part let me know. :)

Anonymous said...

Where do you host? Blogger? Wordpress? Typepad? Personal?
I’m a new blogger. I started out on However, in the near future I’m going to be moving my blog powered by to self-hosted. You have more options for customizing your own blog and the software is free. I believe you have a personal website, so you may want to talk with your website host to see if they support software. This would allow people to remain on your site.

What are some things you like about this blog layout?
I like your blog picture and your video posts. I like the Link Within.

What are some things you don't like about this layout?
Your personality seems pretty spicy, the blog layout seems to be plain. I have a friend that uses blogger and she has spiced up her blog to match her personality. Your sister’s

What have been your struggles with your own blog?
Since I’m a new blogger, I haven’t experienced any struggles yet.

Where would you go on your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is would a New York to Paris shopping spree… and a family vacation to Italy… take my father-in-law to trace some of his ancestors.

Anonymous said...

Umm...I like your blog just the way it is...
AND I thought your God-daughter Mary Garces is the most gorgeous little girl in the world! BLAST!! ;)


Anonymous said...

I use both blogger and wordpress. Word on the street (like from my husband who is in the web business), wordpress is the way to go. More custom options, layouts, etc.

Kati said...

I use SquareSpace for my personal blog. It's one of the rare blog hosting sites for personal use that you have to pay for, but I really love it.

However...I'm working on my floral design website/blog (a very slowly moving process at the moment!) and I'm going to use WordPress and host it with

You should just tell Jasmine to hook a sister up (literally) with a sweet site like hers. Tell her to pay the bill too. Haha :)

Good luck. I think you rock and I'll read your blog no matter where its posted.

kim @ said...

You can check out my blog. I'd love to have you as a reader. :o)

I host with blogger. I like them. Its easy to make changes and customize vs the other blogs (so I hear). Its easy to host your images somewhere else and link them into the post. That is what I'm transitioning into doing.

I like your blog. Its clean and well kept. If I HAD to pick something that I would change...I would add a little personality to it. But that it could keep the same modern chic feel. I had do the designing and layout on mine. She is great to work with! You should check out her site for ideas.

Ohhh and maybe get a url and have that address showing in the address bar when people visit your blog??? (See my blog for example.) It might be easier for your first time readers to find you with that customized url address.

Dream vacation....Virgin Islands. mmmmm warm breezes, the ocean, sand in my toes. Paradise!!

Hope you get your blog worked out!! I'll keep following to find out.

thetrippychick said...

- I like Blogger, it helps me keep it simple.
- I like that your layout is crisp, clean, and everything is easy to find.
- I wouldn't change anything
- I would like to change my own backdrop and utilize different fonts on my own blog.
- Suri Cruise is cute...but I think Shiloh Jolie-Pitt could give her a run for her money.
- Dream Vacation - Maldives


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