This wasn’t planned to coincide, but it just so happens that the day my layout overhaul is complete, it’s Chinese New Year! So firstly I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Chinese New Year! May the new year be filled with blessings and growth in love and maturity.
Secondly – and perhaps the most glaringly obvious – Bobbieness has had a facelift. YES I have a stunning new layout, courtesy of pipdig. In case you hadn’t noticed (lols), my site now looks like this:
I don’t have a screenshot to compare what it looked like before, but let’s just say no where as nice. Not that my previous theme was bad, but it really wasn’t me. This, however, is perfect. I still find myself creeping onto my blog multiple times a day to admire my new layout. Is that really sad?
Don’t answer that question.
Now I have to preface my review with this: I am not a coding newbie but long gone are the days when I could spend hours teaching myself the latest HTML(now 5) code, CSS and PHP. I definitely don’t have time to spend even an hour on Photoshop editing images to the way I want them. And WordPress coding… PAH, WordPress. Bane of my existence. I’ve been using pre-mades ever since I gave up Cutenews 5 years ago. Erm, point is, you can trust me on this.
So, whilst I wasn’t exactly looking, per se, I really wasn’t chuffed to bits with my old theme, so when I spotted a bunch of my favourite blogs with stunning blog layouts all giving credit to pipdig, I figured I’d take a look. By now, I’d resigned myself to the fact that, if I wanted a half-decent looking one, I’d one day have to pay for it and since I really want to take this blogging stuff more seriously I felt it worth the investment.
And the layouts I found were gorgeous.
I didn’t stop there though. I’m the type who, when I’ve decided to buy something, will look around for the best product at the best price and I love a good deal. So 3 days of research and 100 blog design sites later (funny thing – I work in digital marketing but the quality I am by far most endorsed for on LinkedIn is “Research”), I officially decided I was going to go for it.
I knew which base layout I wanted, but I also had about 7 custom edits I wanted made, which meant a semi-custom layout. I sent them a message. The quote on their site said a semi-custom design would take up to 4 weeks to do, so you could imagine how thrilled I was when Phil reached out like, a day later, to say a space opened up and he could get it done within a week.
Um, yes, sold.
30 back-and-forths later (this is my fault – I am literally the pickiest person in the world and have a frustratingly sharp eye for detail) and here we are! The customer service is seriously some of the best I have ever received (they have a gajillion testimonials raving about how wonderful they are and I’m a happy bunny hopping in to join the pack) – they’re friendly, professional and incredibly patient. Especially when dealing with a picky, think-they-know-it-all-but-is-in-fact-super-amateur, self-taught coding geek like me. And I can vet the code too, from what I can see it looks brilliant – clean, well-written, can’t fault it.
I can also safely say that their prices are very reasonable – from £29 for a pre-made to only £395 for a fully custom design (some crazy designers charge – I kid you not – between £1,500 to £2,700 for a fully-custom design. Yup, I had to pick my jaw up from the ground as well. I’m sure it must be worth it and the designer must be insanely talented but to me that price is still ridiculous). The quote for the customisations I wanted were very reasonable too. Most of them I could do myself (I was trying to be lazy) so I didn’t go for them in the end, but even so they were well-priced, especially considering it’s for a long-term layout.
So my lovelies, anyone who’s looking to beautify their blog and all that jazz, pop on over to pipdig and don’t look back.
Now that my blog looks so much prettier I’m also a helluvalot more motivated to put some decent content in it, so you’ll be hearing a lot more from me :) Speak soon!
P.S. FYI, I did not receive any commissions or discounts or whatnot for posting this. I am just genuinely so happy with the fantastic product and service I received so I thought it only fair to share with you all.
P.P.S. I didn’t go back to China for CNY this year and didn’t join in any festivities today. Sadface. I’ll be going home to celebrate this weekend though!