Wellness Mama Website Redesign & Update

You may have noticed that WellnessMama.com recently got a slight website redesign this past week. I seriously dislike redesigning, as the process seems to always take longer, cost more, and is even more mentally exhausting than expected. One of the things I’ve learned since 2006 (when I first started blogging) is that I’d almost rather go through labor (which I’ll be doing again soon!) then redesign the blog, but sometimes it’s a necessity.

Although I really liked the old design, I decided to make a few changes that I think will provide a better user experience for you. Here are some of those changes:

Member Content Library

This is probably the biggest change I made. Instead of asking you to signup for my weekly newsletter, I’ve created a free content library that includes 9 ebooks (more coming soon!), audio downloads, and other health and natural living resources. When you sign up for the content library, you’ll still get my weekly newsletter, but I have plans to add additional free resources for you as a valuable Wellness Mama reader and content library member. If you haven’t checked it out yet, click here to do so!

No Sidebar

In the past, when reading a blog post on your computer, there was a right hand sidebar that linked to other posts, social media, a search box, and recommended resources. While some readers found it helpful, it was also somewhat distracting, as I always want the focus of the blog to be on the articles and information provided, and not distracting asides.

Podcast Rebrand

The Wellness Mama Podcast has been on hiatus since last summer, partially because I needed a break, and also because I wanted to change the name and format of the show. The new and updated version is called “The Healthy Moms Podcast” and will feature more in depth interviews with experts where we deep dive into specific health topics to get your questions answered. Stay tuned for brand new episodes coming soon!

Ebook Updates

Several of my ebooks have received a big update over the past year, and I plan on writing several more in 2016. If you haven’t seen the ebooks I have written, you can check them out here.

Along with the obvious design changes, there were a lot of behind-the-scenes changes to accommodate the site as it has grown:

  • Upgraded Website Hosting: Thanks to the amazing community of readers, WellnessMama.com has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years and it was to the point that my hosting plan was often more than $400 a month. The new hosting (and some other technical changes I don’t understand) should speed things up and (hopefully) cut down on hosting costs.
  • Affiliate Disclosure: To comply with FTC rules and (more importantly) to be as open and honest as possible with you, I’ve updated my affiliate disclosure. It lists the companies I am an affiliate for and any of the links that you might click on that could be affiliate links. With any affiliate programs, I only link to products that I personally own, use, and that I would link to whether or not I’m compensated for it. All of these products cost the same no matter if bought through my link or not, and I earn a small commission (that helps with the ever-growing hosting charges so many thanks if you use any of these links!)
  • Comment Policy: One of my goals is to let WellnessMama.com be a community and a resource where readers can help each other. To keep this community positive and helpful, I’ve been battling and deleting a lot of spam comments. I’m all for open discussion and disagreement, but I am not in favor of ads for pharmaceuticals or products designed to enhance various body parts. I’ve updated my comment policy (you can read it here) and some new functionality that should help me stay on top of the hundreds of comments I get each day.

Wellness Mama Design Time Capsule

As we finished the recent updates, I looked through all of the designs I’ve had over the years (since 2006). Each one has definitely been an improvement over the last…

My original site on blogspot.com:

1 Wellness Mama blogspot

First WordPress.com design:

2 Wellness Mama wp.com Vigilance

Second WordPress.com design:

3 Wellness Mama WP.com custom

Second self-hosted WordPress design. I didn’t keep a screen shot of the first one, but I did it myself and rest assured, it was pretty bad! 298 people liked me on Facebook back in 2010 and I remember each of them by name. Many of them still comment pretty regularly and I feel like we’ve become e-friends since then.

5 Wellness Mama Going Green

And then there was the pink theme with the cartoon me 🙂

6 Wellness Mama - Pretty Young Thing

And my first mobile-friendly design:

7 Wellness Mama Ballance

My first truly custom blog design, with the updated logo that I still use today:

wellness mama custom design v1

This was an updated version of the above, but with a more personal touch on the homepage:

Wellness Mama version 8 design

Finally, the most recent version:

Wellness Mama website version 9

Blogging Tips?

I get asked for my blogging tips pretty often, and to be honest, I don’t feel qualified to answer most of the time. My goal when I started blogging was to help other moms provide a natural and healthy lifestyle for their families.

I’ve learned a lot over the years about formatting blog posts and using social media, but at the end of the day, my best tip (as corny as it may sound) is to make sure that the focus is always helping others and that you truly care about your readers. This authenticity will show through in your writing and readers will be attracted to it.

My Blogging Resources

This is a list of the blogging resources that I use for my site in case they can be helpful to any of you who blog or are thinking of starting a blog (go for it!):

What do you think? Do you like the changes? What would you have done differently?

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Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. Such a cool site! I liked the old one but this one is super cool and extremely user-friendly and organized. We missed you! Welcome back!

    • I really wish there was a search feature somewhere. I have referred many people to your site and they can’t find the articles I have mentioned without one. I love your wealth of information, but I feel like it is now more inaccessible.

      • The search box can be found by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the navigation bar.

        • I also don’t see where to search. There is no magnifying glass that I see. I had to go to google type what I was searching for then wellness mama. That’s the only way I could get to the recipe I was looking for.

          • What browser are you using and what version?

          • I was using Google when I had a problem looking for the magnifying glass. Instead of going crazy, I posted to the site, closed the page and went to it, at another time, with a fresh eye. Voila! It was there! Sometimes, pages don’t download completely; sometimes, I just can’t see the obvious. 🙂

        • hi

          great job, keep it up

  2. I love the new look! I’m really looking forward to the challenge too.

  3. Love the new look! And I finally caught an upcoming Wellness Challenge! I’m so up for it.

  4. Looks awesome and I can’t wait to look in further..I really like what you’ve done with the recipes!

  5. The site looks great. Well done!

  6. Wow!!  Great new look– I love it!

  7. The site looks nice, seems easier to navigate the recipes now! One problem, though: I print out a lot of your recipes, but I can’t find the printer-friendly links in your posts now! Did they get removed in the facelift?

    • Working on it and hopefully it will be back soon. Still working out a few bugs, but I wanted to have the site functional in the meantime 🙂

  8. i liked your old avatar, but i’m also digging your new site. and i am so STOKED for the giveaway this month. i have been wanting an immersion blender for such a long time. it would be like christmas all over for me! also i’m hopefully going to be able to do the wellness challenge again. i loved it before!

  9. It looks beautiful! Love the cheerful green.  And also, I have one of those Cuisnart immersion blenders, and it rocks 🙂 What a great gift!

  10. Although I’m a huge fan of the previous “Joan Jetson” lookalike graphics, the new green is a good look for you too! 🙂 I’m glad to see another Challenge coming up as well, I’m ready for it this time!

  11. LOVE it!  I’m a green gal, though, so it’s right up my alley!  It looks so organized and clean.  And I’m in for the challenge!

  12. Oooooh! Love the new design!!! – I loved you site to begin-with but this is *tons* better than before!!! 🙂

  13. Congratulations Katie on the new look – it is awesome and so user friendly!

  14. I like the new look, though I miss the cartoon “mama”.   Sure I’ll get used to it, though.  One thing I would love to see is posts sorted under the categories, as in under fitness I could choose “kettlebells” and bring up everything you’ve written about them.  Love the coming giveaways and am excited about the upcoming Wellness Challenge…had just found  your site when the last one was underway.

  15. As if you weren’t already my blogging idol, now you have this super awesome new design! Love it all Katie. Can’t wait until the app is updated. Seriously I’m questioning whether you really have children because do it all so well! Congrats lady!

  16. Oh my goodness – it looks terrific!!! Great job!

  17. Awesome, awesome!!  and I LOVE the new recipe function:)

  18. Love it and appreciate all that you provide!! . . . an invaluable resource for sure!

  19. I love the new look! Very clean and uncluttered.

  20. I like the fresh look! And I’m so excited to be a part of the Wellness Challenge… Can’t wait to hear more about it.

  21. Love love love! Two days before the site went out of service for its “face lift” I was desperate to hurry and get as much info. It was a little time consuming to get to specific topics. Now it is so easy! I’ve already invited 3 girlfriends. I’m so excited! Thank You Thank Uou Thank You-

  22. i love the new look, i just started reading your blog and love all the recipes and info.  it’s been so very helpful!

  23. LOVE THE NEW SITE…AWESOME!

  24. Looks absolutely amazing! 

  25. Love the new look! Thanks for making it so organized–so easy to find recipes and the “Start Here” tab is great when I send people to your site, they know exactly what to read first 🙂

  26. Love your site…and the new design! You have a lot of helpful information and great recipes. I look forward to getting your email recaps for those times I don’t get to visit your blog every day!

  27. It looks good!!

  28. I have only recently joined your community. I found you by searching google when I began what has become and will continue to be a lifelong journey toward life and health. In 2010 I was told that breast cancer had returned to my body but this time, at the age of 34 it was stage 4. I have been undergoing treatments since then and only recently have I made what I believe to be, through obedience to God, a life saving change in my diet. Your site along with one other in particular have been key components to making this change and I want to say thank you. I loved the old site and was nervous about the changes you would make but everything looks great! I am even using the information with my family and I can see changes in all of us. I’m just waking up from day 2 of my most recent round of chemo, so I am off to do some oil pulling for my nausea but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you what a blessing you have been in my life. May God richly bless you. – Jessica

  29. Looks great and works on my phone (which is is where I do most of my blog reading). 🙂

  30. You are one of my favorite bloggers to follow. I’m mobile right now, so I’ll get the full Monty of your redesign when I get to a computer. Question: how do you have income to cover (and hopefully exceed) the costs to run your blog? It seems the affiliate links would not be enough. I’ve started blogging recently and I would like to move in a direction that it would be a small steam of extra income. Thx for any thoughts, direction, or advice 🙂 blessings, Catherine

    • I have a meal planning service that I occasionally open to new members 🙂 Best of luck in blogging!

  31. I love the mother and child icon. Our jobs as parents are to keep our children healthly and safe ( which I’m always telling mine-in many responses to the never ending question “why mommy?”)
    Your website provides so much great information so that I can provide my children health. Thank you Katie!!

  32. Can’t get anything. I resigned up, but can’t confirm, because I didn’t get any confirmation. It said to look in bulk mail, but I don’t think I have that. Thanks

    • Susan, which email signup form did you fill out (top of the site, end of blog post, bottom of the site), and which category of interest did you choose? There may still be a bug with the new forms that my web guys will need to troubleshoot.

  33. Congrats on the new format! I love it and think it looks wonderful, I appreciate the time, effort and care you put into this site and wanted to say THANK YOU so much for informing me on the world of real food, chemical free living etc. You have forever changed my life and the life of my family for the better! Thanks again!

  34. Looks nice! I still think it would be nice to know what date each post was published. Sometimes when doing a search or accessing a post from the index, it’s really hard to know when the post was written. Thanks for all the great info on your site! It’s become one of my go-to sites.

  35. How cool to see the evolution! As for your growth (which has necessitated some of the changes), you deserve it. And congrats on the trademark registration!

  36. @Katie – It was great to work with you and Spears Marketing to get the new site launched! I’m happy to be a part of something that I truly believe in. Thanks for your dedication to living well!

    Mike from The Stiz Media

  37. How do I get the liver cleanse post? It won’t click!! By the way I love your site and all the information you provide. Thank you

  38. I love the new look! Keep up the great work.

  39. I love the new look! and as a new follower, It was really fun to see the old designs as well. Thanks you for doing what you do. You are awesome!

  40. Ohmygosh, i LOVE your logo! and your site too! and boy do i know how you feel. I’ve just overhauled my site and I laughed out loud when you said you’d rather go through labor than do that again. I hear ya! I’m a burnt out web designer turned coach with a love of simple living, and while it’s good that i CAN do web stuff, it’s no fun and i don’t want to anymore. I so look forward to the day when I can pay someone to do it for me! So kudos on your site. it’s so yummy.

  41. I like that you showed the old designs as well(: They were all pretty, in my opinion(: And I love that you encourage people to blog, because I think there are never too many of those that really help and provide good information. Thank you for the hard work and for the encouragement(:

  42. Thanks for post

  43. Am I the only one who cannot find a search button? Sometimes I just want to find a particular post and it is not in the area I thought it was. Plus I like searching and researching a topic in general.

    • The search box is in the menu. Click on the magnifying glass icon and it will open up 🙂

      • I was confused until I did a little investigation. I couldn’t find the search icon either. I noticed it in your screenshot above, but it wasn’t on my menu. I am using Internet Explorer and no search icon shows up. So, I opened Google Chrome and, sure enough, there it is! So, for me, the search icon is showing in Chrome but not in Explorer. Hope this info helps.

        Website looks awesome! Glad you kept your logo–love it!

        • Also, just noticed that the actual search function is there, if you hover over the area that it should be and click, the search box comes up, but the magnifying glass doesn’t show for me in Internet Explorer. Thought I’d let anyone else that is having this problem know that if you just click to the right of the “Podcast” menu item, the search box will come up, even though it’s invisible!

  44. I was listening to your old podcasts, but it looks like iTunes has lost all but the 10 most recent. Is there anyway I can listen to the older ones somewhere else?

  45. Great work! I appreciate all you do and have shared!!! THANK YOU!!!

  46. I LOVE your webpage. I have learned sooooo much in a real short time. I have been having some difficulty for the last week. I can’t find the magnifying glass in the menu and the recipe page is all jumbled up making it nearly unusable. I am sure these are just kinks that need to be worked out. Thought I would just let you know in case you were not aware. Don’t stop the good work, because I have just started my journey to a healthier life style and it is in large part because of you. Thank you over and over again.

    • Hmm, all of the issues should be corrected. Can you try deleting your browser’s cache memory then refresh to see if it’s still like that?

      • Well, I tried deleting my history and restarting my computer. I have had the problem on my home computer and my work computer. Nothing seems to be working. I will keep trying things tho. Thanks

        • Deleting your computer’s cache is different than it’s history. You might also want to try it in a different browser to see if that makes a difference.

          • I have it now. I didn’t go to the site for about a week and then when I tried it was all good. Don’t know what that was all about but I am sure glad. Thanks for your help.

  47. I’ve been on and off this website for years and have recently changed professions leaving me time to actually invest in myself…which was the main reason for the change. I dropped from 60 hours a week to 35 hours and dropped the stress ball as well. My oldest daughter sent me a recipe from your site and I was like “omg!! I know this site!” So glad to be able to work my way through your site!!! thank you for becoming a #1 resource!!

  48. I love the streamlined appearance of the website! I miss a lot when a site is visually “busy”. Is there a “search” mechanism that I’m missing? I was looking for a particular remedy and didn’t find it easily. Thanks for all your great information!

    • Yes, if you click the little magnifying glass in the navigation bar it will open up the search box for you.

  49. I am having trouble registering. I get email updates to my email but when I tried to register here it says you don’t have my email?? Help!

    • Are you having trouble signing up for the content library or are you getting an error? Since the library is different than just the email newsletter, you’ll have to actually create an account to access the member library. You can use the same email and you won’t be sent any additional emails, but you will need to sign up and create a password to access. Hope that helps.

  50. New changes are a very nice and BIG improvement. Congratulations, I know how much work this is. But I think it will definitely pay off for you. Happy New 2016!

  51. I love your site. I’ve been using it for years. The new look is lovely. I have no problem accessing anything on my phone however there is no search option on my computer. I read through the recent comments to see if I was missing something and noticed that you told someone everything should be fixed but this is the first time I’ve opened your site on this computer and there is still no search option. I am using internet explorer. I noticed another user pointed out that was the problem for her. Working through kinks can be a mess I know. Just wanted to let you know that there is still an issue with internet explorer.

    • Thanks Jennifer. There does seem to be a bug on the IE side. I am working on it though and hope to have it fixed soon. For now, try using a different browser if possible, as it seems to only be affecting Internet Explorer.

  52. Can’t login to your new library. Already emailed to you, but haven’t heard from you.
    Please advise
    Irina

    • I just checked and it appears you haven’t actually signed up for it yet. You’ll need to create an account before you can access it.

  53. Love your blog and your website. Your mission and passion shine through. This world of mama living is much better and easier with you in it!!! Thanks!