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Friday, September 23, 2011

What's Up With The Blog Look You Ask? (You Have Hate Mail, Read On)

I interrupt this linky party to let you know why I changed the blog look, yet once again. I wasn't thrilled with it myself, but wasn't ready to change it again, since I didn't know what I wanted.  Then the following comments were left on my Triberr account this morning.  Please read, chime in if you want, and let me know what you would like to see on Bacon Time.  I care about your opinions my followers and fellow crafty cooking bad a$$e$, more then I do a strangers.  Be honest, if you hate it let me know, I want you all to love it.

Following Triberr Conversation;
 Erica Voss - 4 hr ago
I don't know what you said. I just recognized the word bacon.
4 hr ago
Dan Cristo Dan Cristo (Admin) - 3 hr ago
@Mindie - How do I say this nicely... Your blog design makes my head want to explode. You have soooooo much happening on every square pixel of the screen that my eyes can't focus on anything. Even in trying to give you constructive feedback on what to improve I cant even make myself spend more than a few seconds on the page. I have to keep it in another tab and peak for just a few seconds because I fear extended time on site might cause a brain aneurysm.

Please, please, please blow up your site and start with a fresh, clean design. Remove the distracting background, use standard fonts give your visitors a usable navigation. There are so many boxes of random graphics I can't tell what's an ad and what's a picture of your kid.

This site is the basically an episode of horders, but for websites.

I really hate to be so blunt and critical when you weren't asking for a design review, but few designs set up this level of emotional negativism in me. If you want visitors to stay long enough to read your post, I strongly suggest a new approach.

Again, I apologize if my comment was too strong.
3 hr ago
Mindie Hilton Mindie Hilton - 2 hr ago
Well Dan, I just changed my blog look, I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think. I am sure it can't get worse then your rude comment above which was so nice to read on my 11 year wedding anniversary.
2 hr ago - Delete
Sevastian Winters Sevastian Winters - 1 hr ago
Okay, I have to agree with Dan. I feel like a 2nd hand store just threw up in my head. Less is more.
1 hr ago
Sevastian Winters Sevastian Winters - 1 hr ago
Really, Mindie???? You're going to give him a guilt trip over the fact that he told the truth on your anniversary???? WOW. Do you always come with that sort of drama? or just on "special" days?
1 hr ago
Erica Voss Erica Voss - 1 hr ago
And on this... my mother's birthday.
1 hr ago
Mindie Hilton Mindie Hilton - 57 min ago
Why are we all so bitchy today, did someone not get laid last night. Really I don't need any more comments on this thread. Thank you again for the corrective criticism. I prefer to get advice from other bloggers in the same genre as my blog. I do respect your opinions but is their a need for such hostility, lifes to short for that.
Thanks again.
57 min ago - Delete
Mindie Hilton Mindie Hilton - 56 min ago
Oh yeah and it is my mom's birthday, thanks for the reminder I need to call her. ;)
56 min ago - Delete
Sevastian Winters Sevastian Winters - 54 min ago
Well... considering that the correct spelling of the word is not "t-h-e-i-r" but, "t-h-e-r-e", I'm going to simply say "Happy Anniversary" and ask you to pass my condolences to the poor guy that's stuck with you.
54 min ago
Mindie HiltonMindie Hilton - 49 min ago
Again I don't get the personal attack, you don't know me at all. So sorry for the type o, I am in the middle of other things and distracted.
I assure you my husband is a lucky man ;)
49 min ago - Delete
Sevastian WintersSevastian Winters - 35 min ago
Actually the word is "typo". Have fun with "writing".

35 min ago
Amber AvinesAmber Avines - 24 min ago
This thread makes me very sad ;-( Very, very sad.
24 min ago
Dino DoganDino Dogan (Admin) - 11 min ago
Can I just congratulate Mindie for "going there".

"Why are we all so bitchy today, did someone not get laid last night"

LMAO..classic :-)
11 min ago

Wow, I didn't intend for the drama, but let me ignore that for a sec to say that your blog changes are a HUGE improvement. As soon as I landed on the page I was like, "ahhh, much more relaxing".

Let me tell you what I like about the change.
1) You use a picture of yourself. People love looking at faces, and the pic you used is perfect. It allows for an immediate emotional connection, and a positive, fun one at that.

2) The font change is much appreciated. High contrast black on white with a healthy amount of whitespace is clean and stands out.

3) It looks like you even cut down on a few of those ad boxes up top. I see 6 of them and a banner which I believe is less than was there before, but I can't remember.

Anyway, I think this is already a great improvement. You've got some really solid content on your site and even these small changes should help time on site, bound rate, and avg page views.

I would still suggest retooling the navigation - addressing that should bring a smile to your visitors face. Also keep in mind that excessive images and graphics on the side, top and bottom of the content are viewed as ads to search engines. Earlier this year they made an algorithm changes called panda that affected the results of approximately 11% of all searches (that is huge). Part of that change was to lower the rankings of sites that are perceived as low quality and one of those signals is a high ad content. In other words, those ads are killing your SEO and rankings.

I do apologize for being rude earlier. I read it a few times before sending and I felt it was borderline rude, but the intention wasn't to embarrass you are put you down, rather vocalize the impressions of a first time visitor. I could have gone about it a better way, so I apologize for that, but I am really excited to see those changes in place.

P.S. Happy Anniversary! 11 years, awesome! I'm 2.5 years married and loving it. Can't wait to get to 11 years. I hope this doesn't get you down on your special day. You've already made some awesome improvements that your visitors will no doubt appreciate. So feel good about the progress and go have an amazing evening with your husband."


  1. Hi! I don't know why that guy was so rude; there was absolutely no reason for him to present his opinion with such harshness. I have found that people who are severely unhappy or hurting in some way are those that hurt others the most. Crazy he'd choose to pick on a stranger. I guess that is the beauty of the internet: you don't have to look your target in the face when you decide to attack someone.

    I personally prefer a more "minimalist" look to blog design so that I can find what I'm looking for more easily. Less is more in my humble opinion :)

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  3. Well the first guy was a bit rude, but everyone else was much worse. At least the first guy had constructive criticism and complimented you on your new design. He did seem like he wanted to better your blog.

    I like the new design. You're obviously doing alright since you have over 1200 followers!

  4. I do not get laid last night and I am pretty sure I have not attacked anyone today. Blogs are personal and should reflect personality. I think making it your own is a right and privilege you are have as a blogger. Tell the other haters to get a life and go some where else. You do not need people like that milling around your place any way!

  5. I like a clean look to a blog. But it's not MY blog. It's YOUR blog and you should do it however you want. I always thought it was quirky. I like quirky. If you wanted you could create pages to put some of the buttons and links on...but really, it's up to you.
    Those people who left those comments are very petty.
    If the one wants to talk about correct "writing," he needs to remember to put the punctuation INSIDE the quotation marks. :)
    Happy Anniversary!

  6. P.S. Happy Anniversary! At least we know one person that will be getting a little loving tonight! And I would also like to add that I think your hubba hubba is one lucky man!
    OH and tell the GRAMMAR Bitch to visit my blog and point out all the typos...that will keep him busy for a while!

  7. Your blog is your home, your happy place! If someone doesn't like it, I don't think you are twisting anyones arm to make them follow or visit it. There is a cool little "X" button that closes the window if someone doesnt like what they see. The 1200+ people that are following you chose to follow you with your colorful blog! I love your blog, it's who you are! Bright and crazy! I want to know the person I follow, who they really are, not some sterile-looking environment. Decorate your blog however you like, whatever makes YOU HAPPY! I will still follow you! If you ask me...the grey is a little boring and you are not a boring girl! By the way...Happy Anniversary!

  8. I do have to admit that your blog is a little easier on the eyes now. I like it. It was a little busy before and hard to look at, but it couldn't have been that bad because, well, I keep coming back and you do have hundreds of followers, indicating you are doing something right. I also agree with the fact that it is your blog,it's personal and you should be able to show your personality how ever they want. If people don't like that they don't have to read your blog. That's their choice and leaving negative comments about your choices seems a little uncalled for.

  9. I like your new look, but I'm a fan of lighter colors, I find them easier to read on. Sad that some felt the need to be so harsh and I was shocked at that one guy, but Dan did seem like he was at least trying to be constructive. Maybe I should turn comment moderating on for my blog... Either way I have not stopped visiting your blog whether you picked my favorite colors or not in your design. If you look at my blog you might hate it - but it is me. I think blogging is personal and your blog should reflect you.
    Happy anniversary! and happy birthday to your mom :)

  10. HOLY!! Wow...I'm shocked..Mindie PLEASE do NOT let comments left by a few people get you down. When it boils down to it..this is YOUR blog and you do this blog for YOU..yes you care about your followers, and we love that about you, but this is your outlet, and we are all very grateful for all the time and energy you put fourth on your blog. People seem to forget that we have lives, we are mothers,and wives, and family comes first, some of us have jobs, I mean seriously..girl let those dudes go. We love you Mindie, keep up the good work, and remember, this blog is for FUN...if people don't like it they can go find a blog they do enjoy. You tell that guy "don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!" Keep your chin up girl!
    Love ya like a fat kid loves cake,

  11. I appreciate your advice everyone. I want to let everyone know Dan sent me a second message stating that he likes the new background, and I appreciate that he wasn't critisizing me, (unlike some of the above). How someone gets from not liking my blog look, to I am a horrible wife is beyond me. I know you all know I am not borring,so I don't want it to be dull. Nor do I want my blog to be to busy on the eyes either. I would love the idea of gathering some of the gadgets and links to a new page, problem is blogger only lets you have 10 pages, and I have reached my limit. Oh life is a work in progress.

  12. you rock, your blog rocks -- 'nuff said!
    i ♥ the photo of you -- so stinkin' cute you are!

    happy anniversary!
    misadventures of a chunky goddess

  13. I like your new look! As someone that doesn't feel very creative, I can never create my blog to look as inviting as some that I visit--I can never quite pinpoint what it is I need to do. That being said, I'm a fan of the simpler look and love the new header. Great job! =D

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  15. To Whom It May Concern: I mean Sevastion Winters... Hear Me Sevastion?!?! The rest of you might want to put on ear muffs right about now. Who are you to elicit comments on something you should not even think about sticking your nose into. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm the guy that is "stuck" with Mindie. While reading your post, I couldn't help but get furious with what you said, but then I had to just sit back and remember that lonely people without anything else better to do are the only ones that make asinine comments. Am I being grammatically correct enough for you Sevastion? Or should I dumb it down a little? Commenting on somebody that you don't know anything about shows your lack of intelligence, and lack of compassion for your fellow man. Mindie is the most fantastic person I know and I can tell you that I am far from "stuck" with her, but more fortunate that she keeps me around. She is the best mother to our children anybody could ever ask for. She cares for everyone she comes in contact with. I can't say the same, because I think you are a small minded idiot and could care less what happens to you. If you fell of the face of the earth tomorrow, I wouldn't even bat an eye. Might grin a little, but who knows..... Anyway, for all of you out there that appreciate Mindie and what she does, thank you. For those of you that want to offer constructive critisism, offer CONSTRUCTIVE critisism. Don't be rude. She is the most beautiful woman I know, and if you are going to attack her in any way....... be ready.

  16. Holy Cow! I just clicked on your blog because the name interested me and was shocked at the level of rudeness from some of your comments! The original guy was a bit abrupt, but you could tell he was trying to be constructive. The rest of it was just shockingly nasty! You really should submit this to: They'd love these comments!

  17. Hi Mindie,

    I do find the new look easier to read. It may just be me, but I find I spend less time on blogs with a left sidebar. I hate having to look over there for things and I think it does make it harder to read. At 46 years old, I find that certain color combinations are harder on my eyes now. I find the pink you have against the gray very hard to read.

    I love the picture of you on the header. Blog design is hard to get. I've tried to mimic sites that I find easy to read to help create the look I want, but I'm ready to change mine up again.

    Happy anniversary. I'm going on 24 years this year, myself.

  18. Oh for pete sake maybe he should check out my blog! Some people should be nicer. This is your blog and you write, decorate, and do things your way. I think it looks great but I didn't think your other one looked bad either!

  19. Dan Cristo had very legitimate points, though I'm not sure why he couldn't express them in private to you rather than in a public place. The other guy...well...geez...don't let me get started!

    While it's true that it is YOUR blog, if you want readers, you have to make it a user friendly place. I'm in a kicka$$ blog ecoaching group, and that's repeated again and again. You have to be of service in order to get your blog to grow, and that means not having so many shiny baubles to distract the readers' attention.

    Kudos to you for being brave enough to ask for feedback.

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  20. Yes, Mindie, you need to send this to the girls at My Favorite Hate Mail!! :)

  21. Hi Mindie! I like the new look, it is definitely easier on us old eyeballs, lol. Don't let the a-holes get you down. Just a coward who would never say a peep in real life to your face. And kudos to your darling hubby. Happy Anniversary =)

  22. listen my blog here the look is better for me this my opinion way to much is going on little less is better but thats my opinion but does look better .people are just rude i delete there post as we all know there life consists of sitting on net and don't have a life so keep doing what you are don't allow it to bother you...

  23. Dearest Mindie, I ADORE you...and I'm not afraid to kick a little ass on your behalf! Your site is great and YOU are great! MWAH! (That is me blowing you a kiss.)

  24. Mindie,

    I want to say this, I come to your blog because I like your content and really don't care what "package" it comes in. You are a darling gal, the kind I would love to have a beer with 'cause you seem pretty fun. Blogging is a form of self expression and if you liked your blog the way it was, keep it that way because many of us come to see what you are going to share with us next, not to stare at what background you have up.

    Your blog should be like your house, if I didn't like your drapes I would shut up and not say anything.

    As for the a$$hole who decided to prove there is a reason he isn't married yet, who cares what he says. He's just a jerk who obviously is only checking out your site because you are a hot babe and this is the closest he'll ever get to one =)

    Luv ya girl and keep up with the great stuff!

  25. I want to preface this by saying, I'm not a brilliant blogger so I'm by no means an authority. But may I offer a suggestion that might be helpful and eliminate the...unnecessary rude people? I would suggest you leave your blog how YOU prefer. BUT...if you think you may be due for a change, but aren't sure the direction to take, maybe you could ask for suggestions from a fellow blogger (or bloggers) in your genre whose layout/design/etc. you really enjoy looking at :) Most bloggers I've contacted with questions are super happy to help and offer ideas, we've all "been there" at some point, you know? :) In any case, Happy Anniversary to you, and keep your chin up! Happy blogging!

  26. Good hell! If you don't like the look of a site DON'T GO ON IT! Duh! I did think your page was too busy, but I was like, "Hey, it's HER blog. It should look how she wants it to."
    I like the change, but more importantly I like and have always liked the CONTENT of your blog. Keep it up missy!

  27. I'll say it....Sevastian is a huge F-ing asshole. YOU rock.

  28. I love Mindie! This post really upsets me! I also personally like a more minimalist design, but I think people should do whatever they want with their blog. It's a blog, not a published work or formal presentation document.

    I am a doctor. It is impossible for a blog to cause an aneurysm. I am diagnosing all the rude commenters with what we refer to as a "supratentorial problem."

    Let me refer u to My Favorite Hatemail.

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  29. I agree with Kitty! I keep coming for the content not for the scenery. If you keep the change let it be for yourself because you cant please all of the people all of the time and the only persons happiness you control is your own. Also I loved the fact that your blog wasnt like every other blog on the block but then again I enjoy the odd/wacky/different.
    Congrats to you and your hubby and high fives to him for speaking his mind!

  30. I love it both ways! Blog designs and layouts express our own individual personalities. Like one reader's comment, if they don't like it they don't have to visit/follow the blog. I just dislike people that have to be so ugly and harsh. I have always enjoyed your blog and always will. don't worry about his sorry A$$ he just sucks and he knows it. Congrats on 11 years and keep up the great work, on both your marriage and your blog :)

  31. Hey Mindie!! This is where I went to learn how to add the google friend connect stand alone button.

  32. Hi, Debs Dealz stopping by to follow you via GFC. I ran across your site and I love it!! I would like to invite you to check out by blog as well, and follow me back if you like, and/or like me on Facebook. We have daily blog hops...we would love to have you link up and participate!! We feel the blog hops are great ways to network with other bloggers, increase our followers and meet awesome people! We currently have the Monday Madness Blog Hop available to link up to. Stop on by!! Also, if you exchange buttons let me know!

    Thanks, Debs Dealz

  33. That's the beauty of your blog, it's YOUR blog. Do whatever it is you want to with it. There are soo many ways to get a blog's content without ever even actually going to the actual blog, design your space the way you want.

    If you don't like the way a blog looks, find another way to view the content. An RSS reader would be a great start.

    And, if you have a harsh comment for someone, address them privately in an email...

    As someone already pointed out, Mindie, you have over 1200 followers. You are doing just fine. =)

    Krista @ While He Was Napping

  34. Hahaha wow "Mr. Clean looking", Sevastian Winters, needs to get a life and go harass someone else...people that treat you like that aren't worth one breath. I didn't see your blog before but I will say that clean graphics, standard-ish fonts, and a nice layout are always appreciated and WILL make your readers stay longer.

  35. Hi, just want to say that I knew what your site looked like when I decided to follow you. I often follow on the RSS feed. My choice to follow is about your content- which is great-so change the background or not, just keep your content coming. Happy Anniversary, keep protecting her Guard!

  36. I read the comments on friday & was a little shocked. I can't believe the how mean some people can be. It's crazy.


Mathew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.