It’s heeeeeeere!

Finally, the renovations are complete, and I’m so excited to be able to share this with you all! First of all – look! A lovely new homepage for you to land on when you stop in to visit…
New BeastieBlog Homepage - CrawCrafts BeastiesSince I imagine many of you regular readers will be hopping straight into this post from your email or WordPress Reader, I’ll stick in links to the highlights so you can go to the site and have a proper poke around the best bits for yourselves. Even if you do nothing else, click here to get a closer look at that fresh, shiny homepage!

Much as I liked the previous look that I had going on, there was no denying that it was quite dark. As you can see, that is no longer a problem! I love how bright the new site is, and that I was able to reinstate my beloved header image (suitably refreshed and rebranded, of course) from a previous BeastieBlog incarnation.

So, what else is new? Well, the biggest change is that I now have a SHOP!
The Beasties have a Shop! CrawCrafts Beasties
The BeastieBlog has always been at the heart of my monster-making empire, and using a casual link widget to send people off into the wilds of the internet in search of my Etsy store has always felt a bit like I’m inviting them in, and then chasing them away again. I mean, it’s nice here – why would you want to leave?

To get the ball rolling in the store, I’ve handed over the reins to some of the Beasties you met in last week’s post. And there are also a couple of newbies in there, so be sure to drop in and say hello!
Woolly Jumper Beastie in the Garden - CrawCrafts Beasties
And if you can’t see exactly what you need in the store, that’s fine… You can find out everything about how to order your own personalised Beastie in the new Design Your Ownsection! In here, you’ll find pictures of past Beastie projects to peruse, and a breakdown of the commissioning process.
Design Your Own - Commissions by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnother new feature in BeastieBlog 4.0 is the Portfolio section – here I’ll be sharing some of my favourite Beastie creations in more detail, in an easy-to-access way. There are just two here at the minute, but keep an eye on this… I’ll be adding more Portfolio Beasties over the next few weeks!
New Portfolio Pages - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd of course, there’s the blog itself. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy reading from the new, cleaner layout, and scrolling through the parade of full-colour pictures (no more dark filters!) when you’re catching up with older posts. And if you’re searching for something specific, you’ll now find the search box in the black stripe across the top of every page. Handy, eh?

So there you go! I hope you all enjoyed the tour, and I’m DYING to know what you think of the new-look BeastieBlog… Have your say in the comments below, and let’s launch this thing in style!

I’ll be back next week with an update from Paddy and Plunkett, who have their paws back on home turf again… They can’t wait to show you just how green this island is in the summertime! Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to catching up with all your latest posts – I realise I’ve kinda dropped off the radar these last couple of weeks, but normal service resumes now!

Talk to you soon!

27 thoughts on “Welcome to the New-Look BeastieBlog!

  1. Looking good! I think it’s great to have the shop direct on your blog. Are you keeping your etsy shop? I do find that the fees mount up on etsy, but I’m lazy and so haven’t organised my own shop… yet… I’ll be really interested to know how you get on. Are you handling payments through PayPal or does WordPress offer some other nifty method?

    1. Thanks Jan! The fate of my Etsy shop is currently hanging in the balance… I actually found I did better there when I was selling my (in my opinion) less good handwarmers and scarves! One thing I’m considering doing is renaming it and selling other, simpler makes that seem to appeal more to the Etsy crowd. It seems like the easier your work is to categorise, the more likely you are to be found and the better you do! Now you mention it, I suffered from Etsy laziness too… is this now a recognised condition, do you think? πŸ˜‰ In the new shop, right now I’m handling payments by PayPal only, but WordPress also offers something called Stripe that allows for direct credit card payments, which I might look into down the line. Good luck with your Etsy shop, and cheers for checking out the new BeastieBlog!

  2. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! Looks amazing, well done! (Trying to poke around whilst at work without raising any suspicions that I’m checking out Beasties instead of typing up minutes–not easy now that they are so bright and pop right out of the page!) I’ll admit that I found the ‘how do I order one??’ process a bit confusing before, and this clears it up – nice, clean, and simple. I shall be dropping you a line soon πŸ™‚

    1. Hooray, the system works! Although I should probably send your bosses a muffin basket or something to compensate them for the Beastie-based delay in getting their minutes… Sorry, bosses! Anyway, I’m happy you like the new look, and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! πŸ˜€

      1. My pleasure! And don’t worry – thanks to those who have come before me, expectations for turnaround times in the office are pretty low. I’m sure they would agree that Beasties are obviously a priority.

    1. Ha! That sounds familiar… My original plan was to do this back in February! πŸ˜† Glad you like the new look, and thanks for taking the time to stop in and say so! Good luck with your own renovations/procrastinations…

  3. Wow! Love the makeover and the new features!! It does look tons cleaner and more inviting than the previous theme (not that it was horrible or anything, but this is way better). And you seem to have survived the remodel with all your mental bits still intact, which earns you double congrats! Now tell me the secret of the shop page, did you upgrade to the self-hosted WordPress thingie or is this some magic you’ve conjured with the regular WordPress dohickie (yes, I’m all about the technical terms for Internetification)? I used to have “Buy Now” buttons via PayPal on my site, but they were a bit tricky to handle.

    1. Why thank you, Tammie! And I agree with you about the last theme… It was fine, but there were certain things about it that started to grate after a while! I’m glad I bit the bullet and got around to doing an overhaul!
      Now, the mystery of the shop page… Actually, I’m going to email you about this because I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you about something else, and this reply will be massive otherwise! But I’m glad to see someone using the proper terminology at last – trust me, it’s the programmers who are making words up πŸ˜€
      Talk to you in a bit!

      1. I’m pretty sure when programmers speak to each other, neither has a clue what the other is saying. Now, if they had the Tammie Technical Dictionary, they’d be far better off. πŸ€“

        1. Definitely! Funny, I don’t remember seeing that in your online store when I was there yesterday… It’s probably sold out again, right?

    1. Thanks, Laura! I’m glad you like it, and cheers for commenting πŸ˜€ As for your question, I’ll double-check but I think you should be OK… I’m still WordPress hosted, so I’m going to hope that they keep showing my posts to my readers! If you want to be sure not to miss anything, there’s an email signup option on most of the pages in the site (apart from the homepage, unfortunately) – you’ll find it on the right hand side if you’re on a computer, and at the bottom of the page if you’re reading on a tablet or phone. Hope that helps – let me know if you have any problems! Thanks again!

  4. Helen, I absolutely love the Beastie site 4.0! Such a good idea to have the shop in-house and update it as you go –
    it is now easier for readers, I think, to welcome the new Beasties into the world and do some serious perusing at the same time. And it’s great that each new Beastie gets their own page, complete with portraits + size and materials specs. This is a great addition. The new site is also thematized and organized in a very fun way; a portfolio section is a great idea, and the explanation of the process of co-designing a personalized Beastie is very user-friendly. I’m glad to have a better idea of how the magic happens. πŸ™‚ And the white background is really letting the colours pop! (and there are oh so many lovely colours here). There is so much more Beastie fun to enjoy. Way to go!

    1. Oh wow, thanks Shirley! I’m happy you like it… Plus I had so much more fun loading up my own shop compared with filling out the Etsy product form! And it’s good that the new layout is working too – happy days! Cheers for taking the time to have such a thorough look around, and for sharing your thoughts! πŸ˜€

  5. Love the new updates, Helen! So happy to hear about the shop!!!! I’ll be mentioning that on the podcast for sure. Everyone needs a little Beastie love, methinks πŸ™‚ congrats on the beautiful new website!

    1. Thanks for stopping by the Beasties’ new home, Melissa! I’m happy you like it… And as for your offer of a little extra help with spreading the word, YES PLEASE! A mention on your excellent podcast would be awesome πŸ˜€ Cheers again, and have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Melissa πŸ™‹ Thanks for stopping in! I’m glad you like the new-look site, and that the shop is working its magic already πŸ˜‰ What’s on your needles at the moment?

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