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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our Blog is Growing

This is what our backyard garden looked like a few years ago.

raised garden beds

In previous years, we had made raised garden beds along the side fence to grow our tomatoes. But when Annie got more serious about growing many different varieties of heirloom tomato plants, we needed more space. So I built three more raised beds on top of the existing yard. It took a lot of time, sweat, and more bags of compost than I can count, but we eventually had space for more tomatoes as well as other veggies and herbs.

Right now, our blog is a little like the garden in this picture. It needs room to grow. To do that, it will take some time and sweat, but not so much posting. Here’s what I mean by this analogy:

From Simple to Serious

It’s been a little over a year since the “Spring is Coming” post announcing that we were getting more serious with this blog than we had been before. And we certainly have gotten serious. Our writing has improved, our photography has improved, even our blog design has improved over the past year.

Our monthly blog visitor count has improved as well. Since we started counting visitors, this blog has now reached the 300,000 page view mark. That might not seem like much to some, but for us it is an exciting milestone.

On top of that, our subscriber count has reached 500. (You like us, you really like us! :-D ) I guess we must be doing something right.

Getting Even More Serious

But I believe the blog has outgrown its platform. We’ve been running on Blogger/Blogspot since the beginning. It has been adequate but there are things I want to do with this blog that just can’t be done on Blogger. The time has come (actually, the time came a while ago) to move over to our own domain, running WordPress.

I’ve been wanting to make the move for many months now. But we had so many recipes and foodie experiences to share with you that I just didn’t have the time to set aside for migrating over. I lose enough sleep as it is, just working on regular posts.

Finally, I’ve decided that if I don’t do it now, I’ll never get around to it. There are templates to test, designs to tweak, and over 350 posts to sift through, reformat, and republish. It’s a hefty job, but I believe it’s for the best.

What it Means

What this means for the blog is, posting frequency here will drop off to one or two a week. But no way are we shutting down. I will still moderate and respond to reader comments. We also have a very exciting event in the works coming up, so watch for that next Monday!

I will of course keep you updated on our progress. But if you haven’t already subscribed to our blog, do so now by clicking on either of these Subscribe via RSS or Subscribe via Email links.

Do Us a Favor?

I would like to ask a favor of you. One of my main concerns for the new blog is to make it user friendly. The easier it is to find what you’re looking for on our site, the happier you’ll be. So if you want to help beta test the design once it’s semi-ready for rollout, would you please click here to enter your name on our signup form.

I am hopeful we’ll be able to go live with the new site within a month. Until then, you’re welcome to peruse our Categories list over on the right sidebar. Who knows? You may find a recipe you’d like to try!

Aloha, Nate

20 Comments:

Julia said...

My garden went through a similar transformation -- first it was one raised bed (I calculated 800 pounds of soil/compost/peet moss), then a second and a third. Finally I just dug up the entire backyard and converted it all into vegetable garden and patio.

Pearl said...

Ohhh Nate & Annie - I'm thrilled to hear about the garden doing so well and needed more space now! Yay :D

Ben said...

That is a great step and I congratulate you guys for it! I am looking forward to seeing and testing the new template. I always get excited when somebody leaves blogger and join wordpress, don't ask me why, LOL.

Tanya said...

I'm excited to see what's coming up with regards to the blog! And hey, if I can make the move to a self-hosted Wordpress blog, anyone can!

BTW, thanks for trying to help out with my header. It didn't work, but I appreciate the response!

Carolyn Jung said...

Congrats on all those milestones. Both of you should be really proud of that. To create something out of nothing that has touched the lives of so many is really amazing. I can't wait to see the new version of the blog. I hope the work on it goes smoothly.

Holly said...

Congrats, can't wait to see the garden in full bloom.

The Bubs said...

How exciting! We too are going to be doing raised vegetable beds here in the next couple of weeks. I can't wait to see where Nate and Annie take this blog.

Anonymous said...

If any trees are near your new raising beds, you might want to consider putting down a layer of weed/root-block porous fabric before adding the soil.

I wish I'd done that which I'd built mine, because nearby avocado and pine trees soon sent masses of aggressive roots up into mine. I have to cut them out every season.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@all - thanks for your comments!

@Julia - wow, wish I could do the whole backyard. But with the tree right in the middle of everything, there's not enough sun. Besides, the kids need room to run.

@Ben - heheheh. Yeah, I just think there are more possibilities with WP than Blogspot.

@Tanya - how many posts did you have to move over? Was it hard?

@Carolyn - thanks so much for those kind words!

@Anonymous - too late! Those pics are 3 years old already. No weed block went down, just cardboard. As far as I can tell, no tree roots have invaded.

Suz07 said...

Oh wow... this is exciting. Migrating to a new blog is nerve wrecking. Been there, done that lol. Not going to do it again haha. However, I do learn a lot of technical words. So Google is your best friend.

Can't wait to see your new blog. Good luck and all the best!

Mrs. L said...

If I had any knowledge about how to update my blog I'd try but I'm clueless. Kudos to you guys for taking the time to deal with it all! May it all go smoothly and can't wait to see what you come up with!

Zue Murphy said...

What is so special about wordpress? I was thinking of moving my blog to wordpress too but never get around it and was not sure if it is a good move. Mind sharing more information on this?

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Zue - moving to a hosted Wordpress.org site means:

1. We get our own domain name instead of *.blogspot.com

2. We have access to hundreds of theme designs and can easily switch between them.

3. Tons of plugins for added functionality that Blogger can't match.

4. Responding to commenters will be faster and easier.

5. Better spam protection.

6. Anyone else on WordPress care to add?

Single Guy Ben said...

Can't wait to see the new look, and what you do with your tomatoes!

Liza said...

I'm thrilled about the garden and the new blog. I signed up. :)

Maya said...

Great to hear about the garden and the blog expansion! Great job, you guys!

Zue Murphy said...

Nate-n-Annie, thanks for the info. Sounds like a good plan to move.

a friend said...

I would love the space to have those amazing raised beds. Enjoy this years bounty!

white on rice couple said...

Yeah for the garden! And most importantly, hooray! for the success of your growing blog.
Have fun on WordPress, we LOVE it. You'll see so much more success coming to your delicious blog.
-diane

Nate-n-Annie said...

@diane - thanks!