patriciaparisienne emilia farrace simply creative blog redesign on a budget

Happy August, everyone, and welcome to the newly redone blog! A big thank you to the incredible Emilia Farrace from Simply Elaborate Creative Agency for helping me create this new look for PatriciaParisienne.com.

These past few months have been a whirlwind. A few highlights include managing my first tour (Alexander Kato-Willis’s classical improvisation tour in France and England), a trip to Paris and an Instagram takeover with Fortnum & Mason, an international move, oh, and a wedding! If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat,where I have been doing the majority of my instablogging, you’ll have seen snippets of these milestones. But now, I’m so excited to share that I’m back to writing full posts on my newly refurbished blog with several project in the pipeline!

Redesigning on a budget

I wanted the first post to be about how to redesign a blog on a budget. You often hear about big redesigns from various bloggers but not many talk about the process. I want to share it with you to let you know that you can do it, too!  It’s important to know that it’s not rocket science. For me, it seemed like a really scary and expensive endeavor. Knowing it can be done well on a small budget would have been really helpful to hear ages ago.

I’m still starting out in my career(s), so I didn’t have $5000+ to spend on a completely customized design. After two years of using a free theme on WordPress.com (and loving it!), I felt I needed a bit more freedom than that allowed. I wanted to use cool plug-ins to enhance your experience here and make it a better, more interactive site.

Cue Emilia Farrace. Based in Toronto, she’s an expert in all that is web designing and developing, WordPress, branding – basically, she’s a force of nature in this field. And on top of being a brainiac, she’s one of the coolest gals I’ve met. Emilia and I worked together to create a clear vision of what I wanted, how we’d go about doing it together, all while staying within my budget.

Here’s how we worked

1. The first step for the redesign was to move my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I needed to pay for hosting, which I did with DreamHost, selecting the most basic package. I bought my domain name when I started the blog, so I skipped that step. After securing the hosting, I needed a theme.

2. There are beautiful themes that you can buy and customize all over the internet: on Etsy, from designers, etc. I found mine on Bluchic.com. Their designs aren’t drastically different from each other, but I liked the variety in the placement of their social media buttons, columns, and colors. Once I had secured the hosting and the theme, Emilia took over.

3. The big move – She migrated my site (and all its content!) from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Once I had sent over the details for the theme, she installed it and customized it. After that, Emilia helped me set up the site map. Working with Emilia is a very collaborative effort, so I had a bit of homework to do with categories, photos, and some content. After this, she taught me to use certain features of this new theme and installed some much-needed analytics plug-ins for the blog.

Oh, and guess what? Emilia surprised me with my new logo! I was so excited when I opened the attachment. My blog’s first logo! It was so fun to work with her. She really knows her stuff. Not only did she help me create my first redesign of the blog, but she also encouraged me to create an Instagram course, which is coming soon.

Quick recap

Buy a domain name if you don’t have one yet. Pay for a hosting service. Find and buy a theme you like. Install, and customize it. But if you find a great developer and designer like Emilia to help you with the last few steps, it will make your life much easier.

After a bit of back and forth, we decided to make the blog live today! Voilà, now you know how to redesign your blog without breaking the bank.

This is the first refurb of PatriciaParisienne.com while I build my brand and advance in my careers. I am already looking forward to the next stage of the blog – a completely custom redesign!

I hope you like the new look. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Have a great day!

PatriciaParisienne xx

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