Despite what we thought were regular updates on our social media channels, we’ve had a lot of questions over the last few months about whether we’ve stopped blogging. The truth is in fact the opposite. Because for the last few months we’ve been working away taking our travel blog, The Whole Word Or Nothing, to the next level with a full website redesign.
And we are back! It’s been a tough slog and one of the reasons we’ve been based in just one place, Barcelona, for the last 3 months. It’s been one hell of a learning curve, that’s for sure, and we’ve definitely got a few more grey hairs throughout the process. But we knew that if we were going to take our online business seriously and properly scale it up, we needed to dig in and get a website redesign done.
Why We Needed To Do A Website Redesign
When we originally started The Whole World Or Nothing in 2015 we can quite confidently say, looking back now, that we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. We were uploading huge image files which, if you know anything about websites you’ll be well aware, is a big no no. We didn’t have a clue about Search Engine Optimisation i.e. how to actually get people reading our blog. And as for design or branding, they just weren’t even remotely on our radar.
Since then we’ve come a really long way. In fact it’s almost unrecognisable to us in many respects. Not only with regards to our technical blogging knowledge and creative capabilities, but also in terms of running an online business in general. We decided quite early on that the blog wasn’t going to be a hobby for us, that we wanted to run it as business and make money from it. But this year it was time to get serious.
The problem was that after we’d made a plan for how we would monetise our travel blog, we realised there were a lot of limitations with how our old blog design was set up.
For one our site speed was crazy slow due to the massive image files, which was drastically affecting the domain authority of our site and hence the google ranking of our content. Simply put, google didn’t much like old The Whole World Or Nothing because we were slow AF.
Secondly our site design wasn’t optimised to best help our readers find what they were looking for. It was quite higgly piggly, as we’d added on sections and pages from the start of the blog.
And thirdly we couldn’t easily change many of the things we needed to because of the limited technical functions of the software we had used to build the site. So we made the big decision to build the entire website again with more versatile software and kickass branding.
Why It’s Taken So Long To Redesign
Imagine our website as a house. Then imagine moving house, but not only moving the stuff inside, also building the new house from scratch. With a tight budget. Without an architect, or a builder, or a plumber, or an electrician.
Okay, we had to get an electrician (professional web developer) in for a few things in the latter stages. But basically that’s what we’ve done. Built a new house and taught ourselves how to bricklay, plaster and install plumbing etc. as we built it.
We looked at other houses we liked for inspiration. I like that style of roof. That living room is cool. That garden is awesome! And then we started building, all the while teaching ourselves the skills we needed to do each step.
It was exhausting and stressful when we thought the house might fall down at times because we weren’t doing it properly. But we preserved through sweat, tears and a few arguments until we finally got it finished. The shell that is. Then we needed to decorate it.
I should add that this whole time we were still ‘living’ in our old house but we didn’t want to add anymore content (i.e. write anything more) because it was just going to be a much bigger job to move it all to the new house. So we finally finished decorating and put up pretty pictures last week. Then this week, the last lorry load of our stuff was moved. We got all our utility bills switched over and our post redirected.
It was such a relief. We do still have a few issues with the garden because there’s a hole in the fence causing some security issues that we are still working on. But for all intents and purposes we are now living in our new house with all our belongings. And what’s more, we can now start adding more things (i.e. writing awesome new helpful content for you) because we have now have such a well designed house with awesome storage systems.
The other reason it took so long is because throughout the whole process we were still working on what currently brings most of our income in, our freelance work. So we had to squeeze in painting a staircase and laying new flooring in between making sure our clients were 100% happy and we were on top of that work. There have been lots of early mornings and late nights but wow do we feel a sense of accomplishment looking at what we’ve built.
OK, enough of the house building analogy already! Hopefully you get the point, our website redesign was a big bloody job.
What’s Next For The Whole World Or Nothing
Writing blog posts! We have lots and lots and lots of helpful and inspiring content stored up in our travel crazed brains, just waiting to get out to you, our readers.
All of our previous content is still there, it’s not gone anywhere. But in order to make our website more popular with google, we now need lots more useful information. So over the next few months that’s what our focus will be on. Writing. A lot. And getting google to like us much more.
Alongside that we’ll be continuing to implement our monetisation strategy through our affiliate link partnerships and advertising partners. This basically means introducing you to the useful services and awesome equipment we use everyday in our travels so that you can get ready for taking off on your own travel adventure.
We make money from these type of transactions, at no extra cost to you, by the companies paying us a small commission. Which at some point next year should help us move away from doing as much work for other peoples’ websites as we currently do now so that we can build the The Whole World Or Nothing up even more to be one of the best travel resources on the internet. We’ve got big goals and even bigger dreams people!
So finally, without further ado, we invite you, our awesome readers, to have a look around our new website. Go on, you know everyone secretly loves nosing around other people’s houses.
P.S. Wow it feels good to be writing for our own blog again!
P.P.S The website development company that helped us with finishing a few complicated pages on our website is called Kabo Creative and they are awesome. We’d highly recommend them if you have any aspirations to build a website of your own.
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Yorkshire born & bred, Sarah is a professional blogger who loves to travel. Pushing her boundaries with new adventures is her jam, so you likely won’t find her in one place for too long. Also a serious Marmite addict.