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What’s New at The Merchant Baker?

Hey kids! Have you noticed anything new around here? I’ve been working on redesigning my site for quite awhile now and I’m excited to finally go live! Cue the band!

Now, when I say “redesign,” I don’t mean that I’ve changed any of the branding elements, you know…the general look and feel of the site. Colors, logos, titles…all that remains pretty consistent. But, I’ve created new ways for you to engage with the site. Some features are completely new. Others simply make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, or perhaps, to inspire you to try something new.

Let me take you through the changes. We’ll start on the home page and review each of the sections.

Featured Posts- A merchant at heart, I wanted a space to “merchandise” recipes/posts that I’m thinking about that week or that month. In this section, I’ll highlight seasonal favorites or maybe a category or ingredient. It’s a place to focus on an idea that’s bigger than just one post. I like to think of it as my front fixture display in a store :)

Current Post- Right under the featured recipe section will be the most current post. Instead of just a featured photo of the recipe, there will be a slide show of photos giving you a visual preview of the post. It will be the biggest single photo on the screen and it will animated, so don’t worry, you’ll always be able to find it. (I won’t be making a slide show of this post, because, well, there’s no fun individual photos of food in this one. Stay tuned though, I’ve got a fun recipe coming up in the next day or two.)

Recipe Index- There are now TWO ways to access the recipe index. You’ll still have the tab in the top navigation bar, but now you’ll also have a quick visual index in the side bar that will take you right to the category that interests you. The top navigation bar will also list the categories, so it’s really your preference as to which you want to use. They’ll both take you to the same place.

Recent Posts- The new layout let’s you scroll through a greater quantity of recent posts faster, so you can find what you’re looking for or see what you’ve missed.

Instagram Gallery- This section will keep you up to date on what’s been happening over on Instagram and what I’ve been posting recently. Take a look. Be inspired. Follow me ;)

Pin Gallery- At the bottom of the page is a whole new section called “Pin it!” Looking for inspiration to pin? This section is an image gallery of the “long pins” I create for each post. You won’t see these pinable images in my actual posts, though they will pop up if you have the Pinterest extension in your tool bar and use that for pinning purposes. If you have that extension and use it to pin, the long pin will come up in your pin choices. If not, this gallery will provide a selection for you to review. (Of course, you can always find all of them on my Pinterest page.) From time to time, I’ll add to or subtract from the gallery to keep it fresh and updated. Don’t forget to use the arrow button all the way to the right to scroll through more pins.

When you click on the image, it will take you directly to that pinable image on Pinterest so you can pin it to your favorite board. If you want to see the actual post with the recipe, just type the recipe title into the search bar that I’ve conveniently located near these pins. (There’s still a search box at the top of the page. I’ve simply placed a second one in this section for easy access.) I’m excited about this new gallery and I’m anxious to see if it’s an area that you’ll enjoy using.

Navigation- I’ve added a few buttons to help all of us get from one place to another more easily.

  • There’s a new navigation bar in the footer for your convenience.
  • Or, if you want to jump back to the top of the page, you can use the bottom arrow to quickly get you there. This simple little function will save you (and me) lots of scrolling. (There’s also a “Back to Top” button at the bottom of each individual post, just below the recipe. (I don’t have that button pictured.)
  • On each individual post, there’s a new button, “Jump to Recipe.” So if you’re not a post reader (gasp!) or if you simply need to get to the recipe quickly because you’ve read the post before :) just click that button and you’ll be taken right to the recipe. Another time saver.

Recipe Categories- I finally have enough recipes to warrant some smaller sub categories. (Woo hoo!) Now, if you’re specifically looking for scone/biscuit recipes, I’ve got them grouped for you. You can click on that one category to see all of my posts on scones/biscuits. On the other hand, if you liked seeing all the breakfast recipes at once, you have that option too. Just click on “See all Breakfast Recipes.”

Baking and Beyond- This is a new tab in the top navigation. In this section you’ll find the posts that don’t fit cleanly into a recipe index. I have a couple “Favorites” posts as well as my “Flashback Fridays” and “Printables.” Most of these are still small categories and I hope to keep building on them. Now, at least you can find them :)

There you have it. Those are the highlights. I’ve been tweaking and changing for a few weeks and I’m likely to continue to do so as I see how this works. The new site’s been live since Monday afternoon and I’ve already lost some sleep during the transfer from the old site to the new one. There have been some strange link glitches that were found at midnight, after my trusty web guy was fast asleep :o  Those have since been fixed and we’re continuing to monitor and check to insure nothing else was affected during the transition process. It’s been quite a consuming process here behind the scenes. Huge thanks and appreciation to my husband for tooling through my long lists of requests to bring my vision of this new site to life #saint

I’m really excited about the new functionality and all the new spaces I have to inspire you. Go take a look! I’d love to hear what you think! #bekind :)

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Wednesday 8th of February 2017

Wow! I'm impressed! You did a beautiful job-your hard work and sleepless nights paid off! Well done!


Wednesday 8th of February 2017

Thanks Mary! I'm excited that it's finally up (and working!)

Cyndi B

Wednesday 8th of February 2017

Wow! Looks great. I love the new layout and ease of finding recipes. Great job!


Wednesday 8th of February 2017

Thanks Cyndi! Onward and upward!

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