October Eleven Design Update

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2015-04-16 18.44.10So you may have noticed that the layout and design of October Eleven has been changing slowly but surely over the last few months… Well, I thought it was high-time I did a little update to take you through everything!

Approximately 2 months ago I installed a completely new template. It was reasonably similar to my last one – full page header image and single column layout – but much cleaner and more along the lines of what I was looking for. Since then I’ve been gradually tweaking it to exactly how I want it, and the good news is that I’m finally done!!

To be honest it has been quite an exhausting process. I have spent what feels like every waking minute outside of work, re-aligning posts and trying to perfect the new design. Also during a #lbloggers chat a good few weeks ago I was advised to re-size blog images before uploading them so that posts don’t take days to load. And in all honesty it makes sense, of course, but I’d done this before on my old blog and it just meant that the next time you changed your blog design, the photos would all be the wrong size because they’re sized specifically to your current layout. However, I took this into account and have resized all images to 1000px (my content width is currently 800px) so this should give me scope if I ever decide to widen the content – fingers crossed!
This process took suuuch a long time to do though. It meant duplicating and resizing all images on my laptop, then re-uploading them to WordPress and replacing them individually in each post. I also had to adjust some of the spacing and formatting of each post to fit the new design, and then check over each one to make sure it all lined up correctly. Zzzzz. I love my blog, but this was just soooo tedious.

So as I’m sure you can imagine, I was absolutely over the moon when I finally finished all the photos this weekend! A huge amount of satisfaction on that one, plus it took my media library usage from almost 60% right down to 11%, so I’m pretty darn happy with that!

The other main thing I was trying to sort was my header image. I had previously been using a pretty peonies picture, which I really did like, but it always bugged me that it wasn’t actually my image, and it also didn’t really give away much about the blog. I toyed with a few different options, trying numerous different set-ups that I had photographed myself, but I was never sure about them, they all seemed a bit too ‘staged’, which of course they were, but I wanted my staged photo to not actually look staged! I did a lot of Pinterest-based research on web design and banner images and took a great deal of inspiration from there. Finally I created the image I’m using now and after a few different edits and title layouts I am finally happy! It was one of those things that just fell into place, once I saw it on the blog I knew it was right.2015-04-16 18.44.39Outside of the header and posts, I had two footers to fill and About/Contact pages to update…2015-04-16 18.54.28The footers were another element that I toyed with a few different ideas for, obviously not wanting to overdo it, but still wanting to have some key features in there. So if you scroll to the bottom of the page, in the top footer you will find a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter widget, and then the bottom footer houses the archives, search box, some additional navigation and my social media icons at the very bottom (not in picture). I think (hope!) this is just the right amount so that it doesn’t feel too crowded!

The navigation at the top has remained more or less the same, as always you can hover over the ‘Follow’ and ‘Categories’ labels to get a drop-down of options.2015-04-16 18.58.54
2015-04-16 18.58.44I have updated my About page slightly, and added in a Contact page, creating a blog specific email address. You can now send me an email to: – how novel! (Cursing the person who took octobereleven@gmail – bastard.)2015-04-16 18.55.42
2015-04-16 18.56.56Also, you may have noticed the London Map option in the top navigation – this post explains everything, but TLDR, it’s a map for all the restaurants/venues in London that I’ve mentioned on the blog, go on, take a look! 😉

So, all is complete – finally – and I hope you like it! Please let me know if you have any feedback, or if anything isn’t loading/working for you – constructive feedback is always useful!
Also, if you weren’t aware, I post 3 times a week, usually on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, but hey it’s Friday today, so I’m breaking all the rules! 😉
And if you don’t already, here are the best places to follow me to keep up with everything blog-wise:


I hope you enjoy all the newy-newness and thanks for stopping by!


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