welcome to the shiny new smitten kitchen 2.0 – smitten kitchen



welcome to the shiny new smitten kitchen 2.0

9.85 years ago, I decided that I was going to start a home cooking blog and that I would design the site myself, which is hilarious because my HTML and CSS skill level is equivalent to that thing you do when you don’t know which circuit on the panel blew so you just flip them all up and down until the right thing comes back on. I made the logo in Microsoft Paint — I’m not even a little bit kidding — with a font I downloaded from a free font website, and that was until an hour ago the same file being used today. I’d expected this food blog thing to last maybe six months and instead I’m still here (hooray!) and this site, aside from some server changes and software upgrades, was still “coded” the way it was that first day in 2006. It was the design equivalent of these outfits. Font: tiny and terrible. Paragraphs: justified. Mobile responsiveness? 2006 doesn’t even know what these words mean.

But today is at last a new day. Here are a few things we’ve a talented team of developers have changed or improved:

  • We didn’t dare touch the “Surprise Me!” button. It should be easier to find than ever.
  • The site looks awesome on a mobile or tablet. The site looks awesome on a mobile or tablet. The site looks awesome on a mobile or tablet. (Yes I wrote that three times. It brings me that much relief-tinged joy.)
  • The Recipe Index is so much better. You can still view recipes by category as a list, or by pressing that little grid icon up top, change it to by image.
  • Don’t want to read all of my blather up top? I am not offended, heh. Right below the title of each recipe, you can jump right to the recipe or the comments. Previous-next navigation arrows are ghosted into the top image so you can keep browsing if that recipe wasn’t your thing.
  • The number one complaint about the comments on this (and really every recipe site) is about ones that don’t tell us how the recipe went. Now, when you leave a comment you have the option to let us know whether your comment reflects your experience making the recipe or if it’s just a question and it will then sort itself under a tab where you can only read those comments. Want to read all the comments as you always have? Just go to the main thread, which is where comments that don’t fit the other two categories will go. [All comments are still, as always, welcome.] Threaded comments, i.e. being able to reply to specific comments? We’ve got that too.
  • There’s a contact form. Recipes print neatly from your browser (i.e. Cntrl-P, not just from a button). The logo got a little refresh by, like, a professional. Links are in a color you should hopefully be actually able to see. Into newsletters? This one is fun, full of a recipe ideas and I enjoy putting it together weekly. The field should be easy to find (but not a popup that you must close to read the site! I’d never do that to us.)
  • There were two rather buried side blogs on this site, one for Baby food (it was short-lived and this newer child mostly throws food so there’s been little opportunity to increase the recipe database) and a Tips blog; they’re now integrated. The latter is the one that I’m excited about because I have an avalanche of assorted bits of cooking advice I’ve been eager to send out into the world.
  • Finally, the site has now been migrated to a heftier publishing platform, WordPress VIP, the same used to publish sites like, uh, the New York Post and Fortune and ESPN so lord only knows what I’m doing there. In time, though, it will make adding new features even easier.

Note: There are things that have landed a little out of place — older posts where the photos aren’t yet resized, categories that need re-sorting, and the vast majority of recipes aren’t yet in this hellacious thing called “shortcode” which allows fancier formatting. We’re taking note and fixing them all as soon as possible; do leave comments as you find broken things and we will add them to “The List.” It will take a bit of time to get all 1000+ recipes and posts to date in tip-top shape. But I would never make you wait that long for caaaaaaake! That, my friends, is coming up next. I’m so happy to be back.

Updates: As you can hopefully read below, we (a bad tic of mine; it’s just me — Deb) are reading and logging concerns you have voiced. Many things went into the queue and have since been adjusted:

  • The ad is gone from the top of the page.
  • The print template is working in full.
  • Paragraph fonts have been tightened up and darkened a little.
  • A little bit of shadowing has been add to the white all-caps overlay fonts on images in the sidebar and recipe index.
  • I’m continuing to make adjustments to the Recipe Index — if you find a miscategorized recipe or a recipe missing from a category, please let me know. It’s usually a very quick fix. (And I manage these, not a help desk, hence the high number of errors!)
  • Do you miss having the recipes in the index list in alphabetical order? All fixed now. When read as a list (the default) this is how they’ll appear. See: Chocolate.
  • Comment formatting has been tightened up a lot so each comment takes up less space and it should hopefully require less scrolling to read through them.
  • More to come!

First published July 14, 2016 on smittenkitchen.com |
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