Saturday, October 05, 2013

Kalyn's Kitchen Gets a Makeover (with a New Easier Way to Find Recipes for Every Kind of Diet)

I'm currently out of the country traveling in Turkey and Kenya, so replies to comments may be delayed until I return home. If you'd like to see my pictures from the trip, you can do that by following me on Instagram or Twitter.

past designs collage for Kalyn's Kitchen
Kalyn's Kitchen has changed a bit through the years, and repeat after me, "Change is Good!"

For a few months now I've been working with my brother Rand (the design guy) and the fabulous Jennette (web designer and coder extraordinaire) to create a new look for Kalyn's Kitchen. (Thanks guys!)  Rand and Jennette are two of the smartest and most talented people I know, and I'm excited to reveal the new design and explain how the new features can help you find the kind of recipes you're looking for on the site.

Why I Wanted a New Design
My commitment to sharing recipes suitable for the South Beach Diet is never going to change.  However, through the years I've realized that many people who read my blog are following other kinds of diets such as gluten-free, vegan, meatless, low carb, or Paleo, and that I have plenty of recipes suitable for those diets.  I also know my recipes can be helpful for people who need to eat a certain way for blood sugar issues.  With those things in mind, I decided to add features to make it easier for everyone to find the recipes they wanted.

Why I Switched to a Permanent Blog Header
Although it's been fun to have a header design that changed every month, for today's crowded internet I've been feeling the need for a look that's instantly recognizable and descriptive of the focus of my blog every time someone lands on the site. At the top of the page there's now a new permanent header that I hope achieves those goals (designed by the uber-talented Rand.)  The two of us worked hard to come up with a tagline to make it clear what this blog is about, and decided on Seasonal low-glycemic recipes for healthy eating, weight loss, and blood sugar control.  (And special thanks to my great friend Lydia for her advice on the tagline as well!)

Why I Think You'll Love the New Second Row of Tabs
The new second row of tabs will make it easier to find recipes that are suitable for a certain diet.  
--The first tab (Recipe Index) opens the current recipe index from the left sidebar in the center column.  (This is to make it easier to see on mobile devices and tablets.  Per your request on Facebook, I also kept the index in the sidebar, so people can use it in either place now.)
--All the rest of the tabs in the second row load a category of recipes that are tagged with the same label.  (I've spent months tagging recipes and I'm about 3/4 done.)  Clicking the tab loads 20 recipes at a time; you can scroll through them and click on a title if you want to open the recipe.  When you get to the bottom of each set of 20, clicking Older Posts at the bottom right will load the next twenty.  (Loading 20 posts at a time takes a few seconds, so be patient!)

These are the Categories in the New Row of Tabs
Favorites - my personal favorite recipes.
Meatless - vegetarian recipes (including Meatless Monday posts, which also have their own label.)
Vegan - recipes containing no animal products at all.
Can be Paleo - recipes I believe are suitable for the Paleo diet, or can easily be adapted to be Paleo.  (Definitions of Paleo are highly varied, but I did my best!)
Gluten-Free - recipes with no ingredients containing gluten.  (I'm assuming if you're gluten-free you  use products such as gluten-free soy sauce, etc.)
Low Carb - recipes that are very low in carbs, even eliminating some foods allowed on Phase One. 
Can Freeze - recipes I believe are suitable for freezing.  (Yaay!)
Phase One Fridays - the favorite Phase One Recipes I feature every Friday.

More New Categories and How to Find Them
There were a few other categories I thought would be useful, but I couldn't fit them in the new row, so I created an index page for all the Recipe Labels.  You can access this through the Recipe Index (still in the left sidebar, and now also in the new row of tabs.)  The other recipe categories you can find here include Easy to Cook, Kid Friendly, Meatless Monday, and Slow Cooker.

Whew, Anything Else That's New?
My goal was to improve things, but keep the feel of the blog essentially the same, and everything else is in exactly the same place as it always was!

That's All for Now!
I hope the new features are easy to use and useful for you.  Hopefully there won't be any glitches with the new design, but if anything seems weird, please let me know with a comment or an e-mail.  And thanks for your interest and the support if you've read clear to the end of this post!

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  1. Congratulations on a beautiful new look, and great features that make your blog even more useful for all. Kalyn's Kitchen sets the bar high for the rest of us!

  2. Thank you, Kalyn, Rand and Jennette, for all the hard work in making this site even more friendly. I use your recipes on a regular basis and love the idea of being able to access them in so many ways. This will make it even easier!

  3. Looks great! Congrats on the new design.. xx d

  4. Thanks Lydia, Bobbi, and David. I really appreciate the nice feedback!

  5. Loving the new layout and how easy it is to navigate! You and your team did a fantastic job!!!

  6. Yippee! Launch day. And note to all: Kalyn gives me WAY too much credit. Jennette does all the hard work!

  7. Great is so easy to navigate now. Keep on posting and I'll keep on cooking:)

  8. Thanks Melissa and Jane!

    Rand, I couldn't do what you do, no matter how hard I tried, and the same goes for what Jennette does. So you guys are both valuable to me!

  9. I love it, Kalyn. It looks and feels like you - warm, friendly and intelligent :-) xox

  10. Looks fabulous, Kalyn! And such a great, detailed "how-to." I should just camp out here for a few months and call it the Kalyn Diet. Then I'd look and feel fabulous when my sister visits in December!

  11. Thanks Kelly! (Or better yet, come and stay at my house and we can eat healthy together!)

  12. Always great to hear the reasons behind the design decisions. Hooray for all the hard work!

  13. Thanks Nate. It was a lot of work, but I'm happy!

  14. So I must tell you I am a fan of the "cutesy" header always changing ect.... BUT I just looked through every single tab and checked out every single new feature and it's SO easy to navigate and use your new improved site! That is far more important than having a header that changes all the time! Awesome job Uncle Rand & Jennette & Aunt Kalyn!

  15. Congratulations Kalyn, you've made your fabulous site even easier for people to find the recipes they want. Great!

  16. It looks great Kalyn!! I love the new header and the new features!

  17. Woohoo! This is awesome! So clean, fresh, crisp looking and soooo user-friendly. An awesome job and kudos to all 3 of you for the best recipe site ever!!!

  18. Thanks Becca. I did think long and hard about eliminating the rotating headers. But the internet is so crowded here that I felt it was important to have something in the header to immediately tell what the site is about. Glad you like the new features!

    Thanks Elise. And thanks for being such a great blogging role model through the years! xoxo

    Thanks Joanne, and thanks for all the supportive comments!

    Thanks Cindy (and you are too kind!)

  19. Love the new tagline and navigation capabilities Kalyn - you cover a lot of ground, so your new design makes it much easier to get straight to the heart of your blog no matter what special diets people are looking for.

  20. Thanks Jeanette! I was really hoping that would be what it would do.

  21. Kalyn, it's beautiful! Congratulations!

  22. Very impressive! Congratulations, Kalyn!

  23. It looks really good. I use your website so often, and have told lots of people about it, and now it's even better.


  24. I love it! The two-line menu is a great way to find recipes., and the static header is clean and easily recognizable. You and your team did a great job!

  25. Thanks Susan! I am so lucky to have Rand and Jennette. Needless to say, I would be lost without them.

  26. Thanks so much! I've been using your site for years, but this will really help, now that my dr. has put me on a paleo diet. THANKS!

  27. Congratulations, Kalyn! The new design looks fantastic. Your blog just keeps getting better and better - as do you! xoxo

  28. Great new makeover, Kalyn. Change or Transition is ALWAYS good and you have a winner here.
    Thanks for all the direction on navigating. It is so easy the way you explained it.
    Here's to the new look!

  29. Katherine, so glad it will be useful for you!

    Thanks Susan! xoxo

    Thanks Wanda. I was trying not to *over* explain, but I'm glad it was helpful!

  30. Congrats Kalyn! Love the new header and the extra navigation. Your readers are going to love it!

  31. Thanks Andrea. I hope people will like it, seems like it so far!

  32. Love it! What a relief to have it done. That is quite the project.

  33. Thanks Karen; I am SO happy with it!


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