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Still Tweaking the Site, Bear with Me

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Hi chumps! Hey, here’s another opportunity to give me feedback on the site or any wiggy issues you’ve discovered. I’m afraid when I asked this last week, my call for information was eclipsed by your kind wishes for my dad’s health. Thank you for those good thoughts and prayers. I deeply appreciate them.

I spent Saturday at a terrific local event here, BlogathonATX. I first came to them 2.5 years ago when I started the blog and had exactly 2 pages up (Cake and the Pick Me Dance), and I couldn’t have found a nicer, more supportive bunch of geeks than the Austin IT geeks. They really set me on the right road to creating this blog.

Funny story — I was at BlogathonATX last year when the blog flipped the odometer to 1 million. This year the blog flipped to 3.4 million that day. That gives you an idea of the kind of traction Chump Nation’s got — 2.4 million page views in one year. And it’s growing.

That’s great news for us chumps, but bad news for my pocket book. According the the uber geeks in the “Tech Cave” my site traffic is such that I can’t keep using shared hosting (about $25/month), I have to bump it up to a designated server. ($600 a month!) Egads. Then I talked to a nice developer at WPEngine and they can do a quasi designated server for about $200-250 a month (depending on my traffic, which is about 250K views a month now). That price stays until I top 400K a month, and then there is no avoiding the doom of the designated server costs.

If I don’t switch, I will run the risk of the site crashing, or loading reeeeealllly slow (which is annoying and pisses off Google who will punish my SEO). That happened when I was at GoDaddy and I got a spike from HuffPo. The server crashed for days. So I switched over to BlueHost. Now the geeks say that’s not enough.

So guys, to offset my costs on having to change servers, I’m going to start running ads. There was bafflement in the “Tech Cave” that I hadn’t done that already with the numbers I’ve got. Instead of being my own ad agency, I’ve joined the BlogHer stable of bloggers, who will provide advertisers for the site. So, soon there will be a box (where my book ad is now), with a rotating cast of ads. Nothing smarmy (I turned down all the spyware people who wanted to advertise here and dating sites), but stuff like toothpaste and Volkswagons, and ordinary consumer stuff. They also have opportunities to review products, which frankly my blog doesn’t lend itself to (like mommy blogging or food blogging does), but then I thought, “Fuck, why not?” Chumps build new lives. They use toothpaste. I wouldn’t review anything I don’t personally like. Throw it up there, make the corporate overlords happy, and then go back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Anywho, I don’t mean to sound like a public radio fund raising drive this Monday. I appreciate the book sales, the great reviews, and the occasional donations. I’m now going to be adding ads to keep this place chugging along. And so you know, I have an agent and will be doing another book (if she can sell it, and I have every confidence she will). So, good things ahead I think. Meanwhile, I have to figure out a way to monetize this blog at least to the point it can pay for itself. And a new server.

(Bill Hicks would probably tell me to shoot myself now. Marketing! Aigh!)

Meanwhile, give me your feedback on the new design. I can’t promise design-wise I’ll fix everything, but I am interested in your preferences. And I absolutely want to know if links are weird. I’m already on top of making the links a darker color than pale grey. And I hate the itals on the New Post header. Lay it on me. Thanks!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I don’t know if it is my old age or something else, but the new font is really hard to read. The words are too light compared to the background, if that makes any sense. I love the blog, lurk all the time, but may have to cut back my visits due to the new format.

      • Yeah, I get that on my tablet. It’s fine on the laptop and on the desktop, but on my tablet I squint, try changing angles, try moving it closer, then farther away.

        Part of it is my eyes, I think, but it’s only on the tablet that it becomes a pain.

      • CL, the only area I was having trouble reading was in the forum and it looks like it’s been fixed.

        I do miss the avatars though, not sure if you’re thinking of bringing them back. As long as folks have the choice to change them, I think they’re a fun way to find a particular chatter.

        The only other teensy issue for me is say you read today’s post and just want to see yesterday’s post, you have to go to archives, which is fine for us, but will newbies bother to click “Archives”? I’m just wondering if there’s a way at the bottom of a post (or the top) where it can have a link and an arrow pointing backwards and the name of the previous article? My WP blog does that so it’s not unusual. I hope I’ve explained that okay. Maybe it’s there already and I’ve missed it!

        Anyway, I think it looks terrific and completely understand the need for advertising.

        Now I’ll repeat what I wrote below:

        CL HAS A DONATE BUTTON OVER THERE ON THE RIGHT COLUMN. ANYONE WHO CAN SHOULD DONATE AND DONATE OFTEN! (Thank you).

  • The email subscription and the search bars seem to be mixed up. When I scroll down to the bottom to try and type something in the search bar (cake, unicorn etc) the email subscription pops up and it won’t let me search anything. My Chump Lady searches go through google b/c that’s the only way that I can actually find the posts I’m looking for. This holds true no matter the browser or computer I use (Windows/Firefox at work, Safari/Mac at home).

  • I think it sounds great that you’ve figured out a way to keep us chumps chugging along with enlightenment without a charge! What’s a lil advertising going to hurt?

  • All good, CL, but you might want to work on font size, or a greater contrast with the grey background. Also, harder to track back to previous articles-I wanted to check on Molly the other day, took a while, so you may want to reinstate the ‘next post/previous post’ linkies.

    All power to you!

    love, Meh-x

    • I agree. I was going to mention the grey font…needs more contrast. Also, I didn’t notice a search bar so that I can search for specific topics of older posts. I would love to see the older posts categorized. I am coming up on the first holidays after D-day and separation. Wish me a happy and uneventful Christmas.

  • No shame in soliciting a few ads to cover your server cost – I don’t know a top blog (and you are THE top blog, IMO!) that doesn’t utilize it. I would think there are many products that would like to be associated with fighting the good fight for information and against infidelity as a destructive force in our culture/society.

    As to style? It’s fine – a little cleaner as far as visible content – and I think it was good to limit first view comments to the most recent rather than have the looooong scroll of having them all visible up front.

    • The older posts ARE now categorized. Look under Archives or Categories at the bottom of the home page. Also, each post should list the category it’s in.

      I do agree previous posts needs to be a sticky, or appear below todays post again.

    • And I feel the opposite on comments, I prefer all the comments be visible on one page. I think the answer to that lies with making the first few comments visible and then a clickable link to all the comments. Every blog I use has all the comments on one page. Some commercial sites limit the comment view for quick loading by having a “more” button after 5 or 10 comments.

  • Hello Cl…and I agree…advertisements a necessary thing. No biggie. I too, have old eyes and find the font size much too small and the grey background hard on the old eyes.

  • You’ll have to make sure the ads don’t scan the page for the word ‘cheater’ and serve up “how fun it is to cheat, try it here.. A..M..) ads… 😮

    • I’ll ask about that, but my understanding is that BlogHer has a large number of advertisers and they match the ads to your site, and I can opt out of certain ads. (For instance, they have infertility blogs, and those blogs don’t advertise baby products.) I’m pretty sure the ads will be general interest stuff.

  • I miss the link buttons for “next article” and “last article.” I also miss having links to the current and last few articles right on the homepage, instead of just the current article as it is now. I’m lazy, and like to have links right in front of me, rather than having to go into article archives just to find yesterday’s post.

    I appreciate your hard work and all you do to keep the site running, thank you!

  • This is a life saving site, CL. It’s about time you got some advertisers. There are alot of chumps who don’t have a dime to their name to afford paying for support like this. It is to your credit to get advertisers and keep this site accessible to the masses. You should be able to get quite a few LAW FIRMS to get on board.

    Run, Forrest, run…..

  • Have you thought about shrinking the size of the ChumpLady logo at the top of the page? It’s pushing the title of the latest post down to the bottom of my computer screen. I think your writing is the biggest draw of the site, so I’d like to see it featured more prominently. (Not that your logo isn’t lovely 🙂 )

  • You may want to advertise anything to do with infidelity as well. Of course the content would have to be something you would agree with. Of course no unicorns right? Keep writing books.

  • I thought it said “Twerking the New Site”. I scrolled down quickly to see what that was all about.

    I’m glad you are able to keep the cost of the site down with advertising. My only advice, if at all possible, is no talkies– No audio/video and that kind of thing. Nothing is worse than sitting down in a quiet place to read a blog or news article and audio popping up out of nowhere.

    I want to drink my morning Diet Coke and read Chump Lady in peace.

  • Hello CL – More and more power to you! And thank you for all that you do to help the Chump Nation. Everyone has already mentioned most of the things that I have been thinking except: At the start of the comments section it used to say how many replies there were… I’m not seeing that with the new site, I think. I like to come back occasionally to see other comments and it was easy to see when there was a lot more conversation, or nothing new, really… But, this is incredible minor and nitpicky, I think.

    • Yes, I also like being able to see how many comments there are, as well as scrolling through all the comments on one page.

  • If you really want to get down in the muck with new content (don’t blame you if you don’t want to reach that far into the bottom of the muck barrel, though):

    From TMZ:

    Multiple family sources tell TMZ … June kept a box of photos of her and McDaniel in the house … something Sugar Bear knew about and protested, to no avail. She would NOT get rid of them.

    We’re told McDaniel—who molested June’s then 8-year-old daughter Anna—was the subject of frequent arguments between June and Sugar Bear. He felt she was still emotionally in a relationship with McDaniel … even though he had been locked up for years.

    Our sources say June was seeing McDaniel while she was still with Sugar Bear—he got out of prison in March. The family now believes it was actually June who was cheating, not Sugar Bear, and she used the online dating story to get out of a relationship she had already rejected.

    • That’s all kinds of fucked up. Just the fact that she would continue to date a man who forced her 8 year old daughter to perform oral sex is monstrous enough. Once you’re that disordered, what’s faking chumpdom?

      • It’s awful stuff 🙁 And the guy wasn’t even convicted in the case involving her daughter in Henry County. That case was dismissed. He was convicted in another case involving another child.

        I don’t even know how to process that.

  • CL, the site is looking good. Ads are necessary, most of us are so used to them that unless they’re obnoxiously huge, noisy, vids that slow loading time, etc., I doubt we’ll be bothered at all.

    Could I request a feature that will reach a physical hand out to shake us or hug us when we need that?? That feature would really help somedays!

  • Everyone has mentioned any fix I would suggest. However, 3 cheers for leaving Go-Daddy, for whatever reason. They host a lot of underage porn sites and similar really rank stuff. There are lots of better options! Glad you found one.

  • Before I read all the comments I want to say that this is a good time to mention that CL has a “Donation” button over there on the right. Whomever can should donate whenever they can. Let’s start now! CL and this website have done more for me than any shrink or drug out there. Give what you can, and give often!

  • I was going to suggest a “Like” button for the comments but I don’t know. They sort of become a badge or competition for the most likes. What do others think? I’m on the fence.

  • Sorry, me again. A pet peeve of mine on websites is when I click a link and it does not open in a new tab/window, but replaces the one I am currently in. As far as I’m concerned, every link on websites should be set to open in a new window so that the one they are on stays open.

    • Oh yes, I also hate when a click on a link takes me away from the original page! Definitely set links to open in a new tab, not new page!

      • Have you guys checked in you browser preferences for anything that says “open new pages in a new window” or something similar? Firefox and Safari both have pref sections that you can customize. Sorry if you already knew that! If you didn’t know, click the browser name and in the drop down tabs should be “preferences” click on that and try in “general” or “tabs”.

  • I guess I’m trying to break a record for most comments in a row. Back to the Donate button. It appears to be only on the page with an individual article, and not on the home page. Put it back on that home page! (once you get it straightened out, cuz it’s sending us to Subscription).

  • This could be the server I’m using (Firefox), but whenever I post a reply, the site sends me back to “Go” — the beginning of the article instead of taking up where I left off.

    Also, perhaps this is too high tech, but it would be nice to be able to search for a name of a Chump and have all their posts from articles come up. I really connect with certain posters, and this would be a nice — although superfluous – added feature.

    Your blog has been pivotal in my recovery from betrayal, as well as my motivation to move forward, far away from my horrific marriage to a scumbag. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  • CL, at times I’ve wondered if you could let marathon events, etc. advertise on your site since many chumps take up running to deal with their grief? Also exercise equipment, health products — ads for products that could help Chumps feel better?

  • Well done CL, you already got rid of the grey background, yay! Since you started working on the updates Chutes correct; regardless of browser, after you post a comment the page reloads and you are back at the top of the page, then you have to do a find on your own name to get back to where you were. So that would be a fix you need. I haven’t found any WordPress find function that really works well, you are right to use google.

    PS to ChutesandLadders, until it’s fixed, you should be able to do a find on your name in Firefox so you can get back to the comment you last made. I think it’s the same as in Chrome, control F.

    • I don’t know if it is fixed, but the other day when I hit reply, instead of posting my reply in the comment thread where I was replying, it posted my reply all the way at the end. Otherwise, I love the improvements to the improvements and thank you so much for everything you do CL! Ads? Who cares if you have ads? Almost every site I visit has ads. Congratulations on shopping a new book! Can your own talk show be far behind? 🙂

  • My only original request is for Avatar reinstatement. I know some folks were wanting to have their own custom avatars instead of the defaults, I left instructions on how to do that in the forums at a fellow chump’s request. Now there are no Avatars showing in the blog or in the forums.

    PS: I actually miss UnderConstruction’s “drunken poo” avatar, LOL

  • Here’s some changes I’d like to see:

    – put the “leave a reply” box at the bottom of each article, rather than at the bottom of all comments

    – since “ask chump lady” and “cartoon gallery” are already something you can click on at the bar near the top, these tiles can be excluded from the tiles at the bottom

    – since I don’t visit this site everyday (but you post everyday), have the current and last 2 – 3 articles featured on the front page, so I know if I’ve missed anything (without having to click on the Blog Archives button on top). You can keep the listing visually short by showing the title, the cartoon, and 3 sentences to whet your appetite (similar to how the articles are presented when you click on a tile)

    – smaller font and different font (I like whatever font Amazon.com uses in their reviews; much easier to read)

    Thanks

  • I forgot about it earlier, and apologies for missing it if someone else mentioned…
    Is there a way to get at least one edit on the comments (not forums) section? Maybe even temporary edit availability, like the forums have?

  • Happy with the advertising Chump Lady. I have donated, but it is human nature to do it ‘later’. Well, good old market forces will require that we are not a cost…
    um, I am not very technical, but I prefer words/text to pictures. I think your articles are more important than your cartoons and should be at the top.

    Sorry, very ungeeky, but I did prefer the old format … with search at the top.

    • That’s on the Fix IT list. The categories are now stickies like before (if you click on cheating decoded, you’re going to get the old same articles ) but now I just added text to SAY that. I agree, it wasn’t clear with just the cartoon.

  • What I meant to say, is that your seminal articles explaining cheating, are SEMINAL. I used to read them a LOT to reinforce that I wasn’t making the abuse up and that THIS is who he is. Seriously, you explain it better than my therapist (who seemed surprised that I wondered if he knew I was experiencing abuse). Your biggest service is explaining the motives behind cheating, but they are filed away? I think they should be back there, up there, to the right. Ego kibbles, the humiliating dance of ‘pick me’, untangling the skein – those ones. They are definitely the information that distraught new chumps need to see first. To me, THIS is what makes you Chump Lady and what makes people coming back – because YOU EXPLAIN THIS SHIT.

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