Expat Magazine

We Made Some Big Changes

By Tielandtothailand @tielandthailand
We Made Some Big Changes

Feast your eyes on our redesigned website! Can you believe we started this project six months ago? We spent our free time choosing a new theme, crafting a new layout, and implementing smoother navigation. We are still doing some final touches here and there, tweaking and ironing out bugs as we come across them, but it's a great feeling to make this monster go live!

We'd like to say thank you to all of our regular readers for your patience as we wrestled with this huge project.

And just in case you came here through a link, here's a snapshot of our new homepage:

We Made Some Big Changes


We had several reasons for redesigning our blog. We wanted a more attractive and user-friendly site that WOWed anyone who came across it. Plus, we wanted to make it easier to browse our content all while loading in a snap.

01 Sleek, Professional Look with a Responsive Theme

It was time our blog received a virtual makeover. Since first slapping a basic design on it nearly three years ago, it was time we upgraded to a premium WordPress theme. Sure, our site has tons of information but it bothered us that it didn't have a quality look. We opted for a sleek landing page, a wider layout to showcase our pictures (we had so much wasted space on the sides!) and a responsive theme that looks great whether you're viewing our site on a PC, tablet, or a smart phone.

02 Streamlined Navigation

While we believed that portions of our site were easy to navigate, there were other parts that were severely neglected. We wanted to make sure that our readers, whether dedicated followers or new, were able to find exactly what they were looking for intuitively. We merged some of the older categories together (ones that had only a few articles each) while the other overly saturated categories were expanded out.

03 Speedy Load Time

We noticed our old blog lagged in load time. As in over 10 seconds to load at one point not too long ago. How embarrassing! We, too, are guilty of clicking off pages that don't load within a few seconds, so we knew we were losing readers. Our new theme loads in a snap, so you'll have near immediate access to our content anytime you visit.


We're proud of our new look and hope you like it, too. Here is a summary of the major changes:


    Our old blog design never had a true homepage. Readers were simply plopped off at a list of our five latest posts. And though many people find us through individual posts and may visit our homepage only every once in a while, an attractive homepage or landing page can really make a lasting impression. Plus, it's functional and helps guide our readers to where they need to go right from the start.


    One of our most visited pages is the Our Story page and we decided that it was time to freshen up our pictures. We also want to develop a relationship with our readers across several mediums so we included links to our growing social media platforms. If you love our blog, you can also follow our live updates on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and now YouTube and Periscope!


    One of the biggest changes to the blog was overhauling the old Travel tab. On our new site, any post that is destination specific (including transportation guides and accommodation reviews) is included in this category. On our old site, we had all of our Thailand related travels lumped together but had separate tabs for travel around other countries. Now the destinations are split into five major regions of Thailand plus a section that is exclusively about our travels in other Southeast Asian countries.

We Made Some Big Changes

Once you land on a region specific page, we further break down the region into the major cities or provinces we've traveled to.

We Made Some Big Changes


    Generally speaking, posts that are not destination specific go under Lifestyle. We reduced the categories from thirteen to nine, which include topics such as life as an expat, Thai food, teaching in Thailand, and information about visas. We also re-categorized our articles so that most of them now fit into a single category and not two (or even three categories, yeesh) as we had before. When we tested it out, we actually enjoyed looking through past posts. It's now an easy walk down memory lane and we no longer feel lost or turned around as we once did.


    We've added a Resources page. This directs readers to our Thailand Coaching Sessions, Self Guided Thailand Itineraries, and our favorite Travel and Blogging Tools.

    Although we share tons of tips and experiences on our blog, we understand that some people need more personalized attention to make their visit or move to Thailand as stress free as possible. Our coaching sessions are perfect for anyone who wants to pick our brains about living in Thailand, or more specifically, Chiang Mai. Our self guided tours are meant for anyone looking for our recommendations on things to do, places to eat, and hotels to stay at during their vacation in Thailand.

    Readers who want to know what tools we use when we travel throughout Thailand are just a click away to the same programs and websites we find helpful. And although we don't write posts about "how to blog," we do get questions from time to time about what tools we use, so we included a handful of programs we used to create our site.

    Membership Site

    Another huge change still in the works is expanding our blog to include a paid premium membership site. We have tons of information to share about Thailand but there's content we considered to be exclusive, too. We're excited to be able to monetize this part of the blog and give even more details to our dedicated readers. This is another huge project in the making and will launch in Spring 2016.


There you have it! A quick look at our blog overhaul.

We are still ironing out some of the rough spots and doing small reformatting tasks but the site should be bug free over the course of next month. We're relieved this massive project is over so that we can now focus on creating regular content again and the material for our Membership Site.

What do you think about our site's new look? What is your favorite part? And if you find anything that was seriously screwy or any broken links, please let us know!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: This article contains affiliate links that may earn us a small commission if you make a purchase through them. Don't worry, you don't pay any more if you use our links but if you do, you get an awesome product or service while allowing us to continue providing you with quality content.

We Made Some Big Changes

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