The Whimsy Reader

The World Is Your Playground

The Project Summary and Goal

The Whimsy Reader is my blog that specializes in collecting unique and fun activities. I write about and demonstrate these practices and aim to show others my readers how they too can come to enjoy things like acrobatic yoga, hula hoop, ariel silks and the like.

Origins of The Whimsy Reader

I was introduced to acroyoga (acrobatic yoga) by a friend in 2011 and decided it was one of the most fun and creatively freeing things I’d done in a while. After practicing acroyoga for a few more years, I decided I wanted to find similar unusual things to do. It was very hard to find things in web searches, but why?  Then I realized I had a problem that I can help solve. What if I created a website to collect these odd activities in one online site? In 2016, I bought my website domain and began learning how to set up my very first website. 

Website Logistics and Learning Divi Builder

Prior to The Whimsy Reader, I had not had my own website or even knew how to set one up. Through setting up The Whimsy Reader, I learned how to purchase domain names, decide on the publishing platform, set up hosting, and connect them all. I learned about Elegant Themes while going over my website structure and decided to try out their product: Divi Builder, a premium WordPress theme with a simplified visual building system. Using Divi Builder, I was able to learn more about how to make a site tidy and charming.
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Developing My Writing Skils

I have been interested in writing for years but had never thought of myself as someone who could be a blogger. Once I began putting together post ideas for The Whimsy Reader, it provided me with a new view on writing for other people and an extra challenge for my writing abilities. I quickly developed a love for the story-telling style that is useful in blogging.

Website Design

When I first began The Whimsy Reader in 2016, I customized my website with Divi Builder and kept this look for two years. In early 2018, I decided to reorganize my homepage and see if I could simplify the website by making a clear landing page to cover main points about The Whimsy Reader. Here I show the thoughts behind design decisions and lessons I learned about those same decisions while working on my redesign.

Website Home Layout: 2016 to 2018

Home Page Header Photo

On the Home page, I had a full width nice, eye-catching photo. The idea was to showcase someone using silks and make people immediately think about things that are fun an unusual.

Activities, Events, People Section

I wanted to provide a clear view of what I would be blogging about. I originally thought I would be interviewing people and posting about more events. This resulted in the main Activities, Events, People sections on the 2016 home page.

About

I had a separate about page which was an option to click on from the top bar. This did add a little clutter to the navigation bar.  It did allow a clear, to the point about page though.

Contact, Subscribe

I had a separate contact page, along with the about page, this added some clutter to the navigation bar. The subscribe box was most of the lower portion of the page, this made for a very pretty and to the point sign-up box.

Website Home Layout: March 2018

Home Page Header Photo

The 2016 photo was very attention-grabbing but also takes away from the navigation bar, the site name and doesn’t match the rest of the website. I changed this in the 2018 layout to have a consistent top bar across the entire website. I also was able to update the header photo to fit the slogan more, a playground photo fits well with The World Is Your Playground.

Activities, Events, People Section

I decided I needed the website focus to be the collection of activities, so I took out the events and people sections. I then added a clearer illistration (with updated icons) of what exactly I will or have written about.

About

I totally changed the about feel on the 2018 page. I added a what is The Whimsy Reader area, which clarifies the purpose of the expected content. I also added a section for who is the whimsy writer to keep up with the same theme.

Recent Blog Posts

I tried to keep the same general format as before but made small changes to add to the overall landing page look. I removed the thick, colorful border to and added the excerpts to each post. The most beneficial change is likely the More From My Blog button that I added. This wasn’t present before and, in turn, created more work for the reader to access more content. Having this button with the new layout saves readers time and avoids possible frustrations.

Contact, Subscribe

I was going for a more landing page style here, this allowed for a subscribe/contact me section on the bottom of the home page. This allows for some more design options in terms of the background, for example, the slanted angles of each section.

To see all of the posts that were originally published on my website “TheWhimsyReader.com” – please check out The Whimsy Reader blog category here on LaceyLanzo.com. You can also click the link here.

Thank you for viewing my project page for The Whimsy Reader!

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