Welcome To The New Site!


It's (finally) here!

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Welcome To The New Site! | A Practical Wedding

It’s here! It’s here! This brand-new site has been in the works (mentally) for more than a year and a half. It’s been in the works (physically) for nine months. For those of you doing the math at home that means, yes, I decided to rebuild my business from the ground up before my kid’s first birthday. And yes, that is crazy, and I am tired, and I now need to plan his birthday party STAT.

But, I’m so, so excited about what we dreamed up. Maddie and I worked really closely with Tim and Erin, the team at Cooper House, to build you a brand-new website. In the past, when I’ve relaunched the site, I’ve always gone to great lengths to make sure everyone knew that the content was “Same as it ever was!” This time around, I feel less pressure to say that, because not only is the content the same as it ever was, now you can actually FIND it. In the last days of working on the new site, I kept stumbling on posts from years ago, thinking, “Oh my god, I’d forgotten this post, and I didn’t even realize how much I’d missed it.” So before I let you wander off to find your own favorite posts you didn’t even know you’d been missing, a few pointers:

  • Real Weddings: We listened to all your feedback and created a drill-down search function, so you can find all those brides who wore glasses AND non-white wedding dresses.
  • APW <3′s: Beyond just the glitter gold heart, this part of the site holds some of my very favorite bits. I started APW to talk about things like At-Home WeddingsCity Hall Weddings, Elopements, and LGBTQ Weddings. Putting together these pages let me dig into some of the content I, do, in fact love the most. Hopefully it helps inspire goodness in your lives.
  • Marriage & More: While we still have a dedicated Reclaiming Wife section, we expanded the section, so we could better facilitate the wealth of conversations we were already having. And yes, we snuck a life category in there, finally giving us a gold-plated excuse to sneak in conversations not even vaguely related to weddings and marriage now and then.
  • Custom Sorting: I love this little tool. All over the site, you can now decide if you want to view things by thumbnail (my favorite when I’m browsing), in a more full content way (if I’m not sure what I’m looking for), or in a list form (if I know exactly what I’m looking for). And then there are the archives (which are not even done yet, more features to come). But right now, my favorite view is the pretty calendar view. Mmmm.
  • Beta: There is a lot of new here today, but we’re not done yet. This is just Beta. We’ll be rolling out new features over the next few weeks (soon the site will be responsive, for better reading on your cell phones and tablets), and working out bugs.

And now your whole APW staff is going to lie very quietly on the floor, and let you explore the site while we snooze (shhhhh).

A Quick Love Note….

But before I go nap along with everyone else, a personal note. Today is David’s and my nine-year (non-wedding) anniversary, which somehow seems fitting. Nine years ago, it was a rainy night in Brooklyn, and a longtime friendship was transforming into something new. This morning in Oakland, the Blogspot blog I started five and a half years ago to talk about weddings and relationships is transforming as well, into…a website, really. So as we take the leap, it seemed right to take a moment to pay my respects to what the site has been. Here it is, my little Blogspot blog, beloved to me forever, four months after I started it.

Welcome To The New Site! | A Practical Wedding

Cheers to you little blog. And now, here we are. A brand-new site. And this is just the Beta version. Here we go.

Photo: Allison Andres (APW Sponsor)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • One More Sara

    LOVE THE NEW SITE!!! I have to go pick up my son from school, but OMG the time I am going to waste when I get back… and look! I even took the time to officially register my comment name. Congrats Meg and the rest of team APW!! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store :) :)

  • Molly

    I love the new site! It took me a second to get over the shock but now that I’ve had a moment… love!!! Can’t wait till I get off work so I can browse!

  • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

    I have been anticipating this re-launch like crazy! It looks absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to explore the more functional side. Congrats Meg and all of APW! You guys are pretty kick-ass!

  • Kirsty | A Safe Mooring

    *sniffle*

    Also, GLITTER. Yes.

  • Amanda – Poppies and Ice Cream

    The site looks great!
    But… is it at all possible to have the old-style comment forms back?? I find Disqus very confusing, and I do not like the fact that it has to be associated with google, facebook, or twitter (as opposed to blogger or wordpress like before), or-else you have to create an account. It used to be a great way to find other people’s blogs…

    • Peabody_Bites

      Congrats guys – very shiny new site! I hope you are all napping today.

      Amanda – that was my initial reaction as well – but then I bit the bullet and created a Disqus account, which took all of two seconds. So maybe try that? I definitely agree on being able to find people’s blogs though.

      • Secret Name

        Okay, I’m trying to comment “anonymous”…

        • Secret Name – jk it’s Daniella

          it worked! haha but I did have to add in my email, but that is how it was before.

          • Alyssa

            Also, you are a sparkly diamond. That’s fun!

          • anon

            yes, but now, anytime you comment, it will be as secret-name. and every time you up-vote, it will record that secret-name up-voted this. Anyone who looks for your account on diqus will see every comment you have ever posted – including other sites with disqus. I don’t think there is a way to change your screen name without creating a new disqus account. At least not an obvious one…

          • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

            This is Lucy, posting as a “guest.” If you click the little gear icon at the top of the Disqus thread, you will be able to log out of your account and just put in a name and email, rather than signing up for an account. You can also use an anonymous name and email, in much the same way we used to have for our more nsfw open threads.

            So to recap – you can switch between an anonymous guest posting option or a Disqus account (or multiple Disqus accounts!) using the little gear at the top of the comment section.

          • dragonzflame

            This is another Lucy, also posting as a guess ;-) I almost never sign up to stuff if I can help it. Just check the box below the password field.

          • dragonzflame

            I meant, of course, *guest*. One thing I wish this had was an edit feature…

          • rys

            Ooh, that seemed to work, yay!

      • anon

        any chance of getting a random sort button for navigating the archives? I just want new (to me) content without actually knowing what I am looking for.

        Also, I’m not a fan of the third party commenting, I’d rather have an APW specific identity… but I get that that might be to big to change :( To me, APW is notable for its awesome conversations, so leaving the avenue for that conversation to a third party, is disappointing.

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      If you click on your user name and choose “Edit profile”, go to “profile” and you can add your blog link!

    • Jacky Speck

      I also don’t think there’s a way to be anonymous anymore, which has been really great in the past for certain open threads where people might prefer to ask questions anonymously. But other than that, I love the new look and functionality of the site!

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      I agree. I tend not to comment on sites that use a third party for comments. Having to sign-in to comment will definitely limit how often I do so.

      • Jess

        I really hope you don’t stop commenting as much. I don’t always have something to say, but I love reading your insight! And a lot of times you say what I mean, but can’t put into words.

    • Shotgun Shirley

      I was glad to hear that comments are in beta. That means improvements to come!

      The site itself is amazing… but change is hard, and I do miss the lace.

    • kyley

      I’m having trouble putting my finger on why, but the flow and appearance of these comments is not working for me in the way that I would have hoped. I read APW 80% because of the comments, and I know the content didn’t change, but I feel disconnected. Maybe it’s the simple fact that the old site color-coded comments by thread, so you could quickly find where a really hopping discussion was happening? Also, I really loved that Meg & the other editors were a different color.

      Anyway, people make changes to sites all the time, and most complaints during a transition is just “but but it’s different!” and I’m sure I’ll adjust. But if they are in fact beta, and there’s some wiggle room, my two cents is that the comments and threads–in appearance–just don’t feel as warm to me any more, and that makes me feel disconnected from the dialogue.

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        I agree on the color coding. I’m really visual, so I loved that.

  • Leila

    The site looks amazing. I do miss the lace though simply because in planning my wedding I spent a crazy amount of time on APW so the lace is burned into my brain. But I think this fresh modern look is perfect! And so far it looks like content is super easy to find. Great job guys!

  • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

    In a word, SHINY! Congratulations!

  • Kat91314

    Yay! So happy that all your hard work is paying off! Beautiful relaunch….can’t wait to get home tonight so I can explore everything :-)

  • MirandaVanZ

    The new site is awesome! I used that search function in real weddings and it took me all of two seconds to find two Canadian budget weddings. Can’t wait to explore more (and re-listen to some of my favorite APW playlists)

  • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

    It’s even more beautiful in the morning light! I love when you first click in to the site it says EMPIRE because Meg, and the amazing team working with you on this, who I repeatedly instagram stalked last night, are one kick ass EMPIRE!

    • Meg Keene

      HA. You mean the Heidi Klum stock photo taken at Empire Hotel? ;)

      • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

        Conscious or not, it’s a great choice! <3

  • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

    ps. I’m happy to see the photos do have roll overs on my computer. I
    was a little confused as to how I was supposed to navigate that last
    night, in bed from my iphone ;), but as you said “soon the site will be responsive, for better
    reading on your cell phones and tablets”.

    ps again. holy pink highlight!
    and glitter!

    • M.

      OMG PINK HIGHLIGHT. swoon. ETA: and pink text in the search bar. Gahhh.

  • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

    Squeee! I have to go be productive this morning, but I can.not.wait. to come back and explore.

    High fives, APW staff. Go take that nap. We’ll keep watch.

  • Emma Klues

    This is BEAUTIFUL! If we are finding tiny tweaks like broken links, etc here and there, how would you like them reported? I am so excited and I love QA’ing websites. *nerd alert*

  • frances kirk

    Wow! I love it. I can’t believe I shed a tear over a site redesign.

    I’m really looking forward to having an explore and catching up on the last three weeks of posts that I missed while on holiday/wading through work backlog!

    • frances kirk

      also great to see a snapshot of ye olde APW. I loved those little bride illustrations.

      • Meg Keene

        Thanks. They’re actually cartoons of me, by one of my oldest friends.

  • Anna

    Love everything about the new look! And that archived view of APW is just fabulous… you’ve come so far!

  • M.

    9 years later it’s a snowy morning in Brooklyn – happy anniversary and congrats on the growth and success of APW! We’re all proud and thankful :)

  • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

    Pretty . . . not sure how I feel about the new comment forms.

    • ItsyBit

      I think I read up above that they’re still in Beta, so we’ll see how it plays out I guess. But I agree it’s pretty!

  • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

    Love all the glitter and the new logo! This comment system will take some getting used to.

    • Meg Keene

      New comment forms are in Beta!

      • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

        I really like them so far — easier to distinguish commenting people. :)

  • Celesta Torok

    Love LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE the new site!!!!

  • Shiri

    Congrats, Meg and Team! It looks gorgeous, and I can’t wait to explore it completely. Also, of course, a little sniffle.

  • Winny the Elephant

    YAAAAYYY!!!! IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL! I’m about as happy as Agnes with a new unicorn! In my head I’m saying “ITS GOT GOLD GLITTER!!!” in my Oprah’s favourite things voice.

    One thing- while the other commenting section wasn’t ideal (every time you commented, the page refreshed and I lost my place in the sea of comments and had to scroll down), I hate sites where you have to sign in. I always forget my passwords! Plus I liked the *exactly!* button.

    • M.

      The Vote Up button isn’t quite as.. colloquial and fun as “Exactly!” but same function :)

      • Jacky Speck

        Agree, but on the other hand it’s a lot easier to avoid accidentally “reporting” comments when you’re trying to reply to them or “Exactly!” them.

      • Winny the Elephant

        Ya, I find that ‘exactly!’ really fit situations well though. I don’t want to ‘like’ someone talking about their personal tragedy but I also don’t always want to comment on it. I guess I can get used to the vote up but its not really feeling supportive enough.

    • Meg Keene

      We can safely say that the comment section is still in Beta. We wanted to vote up and down so comments could (eventually) be sorted by interest. So, less colloquial, more functional. Sign in is still a work in progress. For now, I can say that I’m signed in using Twitter, so no passwords for me. But all of this is VERY VERY BETA, so we’ll work on it :)

      • Meg Keene

        We’re hard at work on this, but for now, you can post as a guest. We’re taking all of your comment thoughts into account, and the comment section may well change in the coming weeks. We’ll make it work :)

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        For security reasons I log out of sites when I’m not actively using them. So it’s a password every time for me. It also keeps me from checking twitter, FB, etc. every five minutes because I would have to log in every time, theoretically making me more productive.

        • Peabody_Bites

          That is a GREAT productivity trick. I might try that.
          On the comment section structure, I find the voting up and down quite challenging, because its much harder to follow the thread of a narrative conversation, particularly as it is possible to vote people up and down the nested thread of comments as well. So much of the joys of APW are the comment section and it would be sad if it became more difficult to continue to have those detailed conversations.

          • Lindsay

            exactly on the comment structure issue…i’m having a hard time getting the feel of conversations b/c the order of comments is constantly changing…i read through thinking i’ve read all the old comments already since they’re at the top but then i run into a bunch hanging out in the middle that i haven’t seen yet! obviously not a big deal on this kind of post but i see it being a big issue with happy hours and all the other posts that inevitably lead to great in-depth discussions…one of my favorite things about APW is the community and i worry that the voting up/down will take away from that.

          • KC

            You can re-sort Disqus comments in the little bar at the top of the comments from “Best” (where they’re sorted by upvote/downvote, augh) to “Oldest” (where they’re sorted chronologically). I’d personally much rather have the default be “Oldest” and have people be able to choose “Best” rather than vice-versa, for the being-able-to-follow-the-conversation part of things. There’s a lot of “also”-ing in the comments at APW that sort of assumes that you’ve read the previous comments and hence that ground doesn’t need to be entirely re-trodden, but if one of those later “also” posts got slightly more upvotes than the comments it’s intending to augment, things could get kind of tangled.

            Actually, my personal ideal would probably be “Oldest” for the first part of a post’s life [however many hours/days until reply-commenting tapers significantly] and then swap to “Best” so that people revisiting an old post can see the top answers to a question, etc., more conveniently. But that’s probably not possible/sane. :-)

          • a single sarah

            Ah. KC already said it better than I did. But was hidden by the load more comments button.

            Not sure if it’s possible for discus to load the entire thread of comments at a time? Or generally load more comments at a time?

          • a single sarah

            It is possible to sort by oldest (instead of best). I think the computer even remembers my preference?

            Sad that my name has to be cut short though. Discus has character limit.

          • Lindsay

            ah, that’s so much better!!! thanks KC and a single sarah…you have rescued me from my comment despair :)

          • a single sarah

            Sooo much better. Though the in-thread ordering gets a bit confusing when they’re not visibly tabbed anymore. Because in this case the computer is smarter than I am and still knows who I replied to.

            Related, I’m sadface that the time stamps on comments aren’t visible. Less mess is good, but I’m gonna miss doing a cntrl+f to find comments left a day later. (THIS IS NOT WORTH MAKING A DEAL OF. I’ll adjust.)

  • M.

    I can’t even — the thumbnail pages are so pretty! Browsing the new site is billable, right? …Right?!

  • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com/ Addie

    Squeee!! I cannot wait to go exploring the new site! It looks great. Congrats Meg and the APW staff on your hard work. Now which one of you is going to write a note to my employees explaining how payroll isn’t going to get done today on account of my deep dive into the APW rabbit hole?

  • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

    Congratulations APW! It looks amazing!

  • Julie O’Leary Green

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! It is so awesome. SO AWESOME. I am now even prouder to be part of the sponsor pool here, y’all. LOVE IT.

    • Meg Keene

      <3 Says the girl with the first sponsored post out the gate!

      • Julie O’Leary Green

        Damn straight. I got lucky with that timing, methinks!

  • Kelly Benvenuto

    As someone who remembers the original site – congratulations! What a way APW has come!

  • emilyg25

    As we say in my family, “Holy fucking wow!”

    The new site is gooooooooorgeous. And the information is so accessible. You and your team have done a marvelous job!

  • Liz

    BEAUTIFUL. Love. Looking forward to poking around all the new features! You go, girls.

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    OMG OMG did we all make it?? Are we all here? Everyone on board??? AHhhh this is so exciting you guys! hello, I missed you over the long weekend. I feel so lucky to be a part of this community – must have had some good karma somewhere. This is so awesome!!!

  • mackenzie

    Yes yes yes! It is beautiful and I can’t wait to discover everything that’s been hiding in plain sight. Congrats!

  • BreckW

    Beautiful!

    Also, would you guys be willing to share how you make the awesome glitter letters? Or does anyone have a good resource for that?

  • Caroline

    It looks great. One more tag I would like to be able to search by is Jewish weddings. Not just synagogue weddings, but specifically Jewish weddings. I suspect other religious categories (like Hindu, Catholic, secular, etc) might be helpful to other brides.

  • Alyssa

    This is just amazing and I’m so proud of the team!!

    Also? LOOKIT THE CUTE OLD SITE! I just want to pinch its cheeks…

    • Meg Keene

      METOO.

  • Class of 1980

    Wow!!! Just by scrolling down the front page, it’s plain to see that you can find stuff much easier.

    I’m impressed.

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

    Loving the new site – it’s very bright and shiny :-)

  • http://onwingingit.wordpress.com/ elle

    I love the new site, but I’m devastated my work computer doesn’t suppose disqus. Not only does it not let me comment (it just doesn’t load, so I don’t even have an option), I can’t even see any comments. No more happy hour for me :( it’s too risky browsing and posting from my cell (like I’m doing now >_>). It’s so much easier to alt-tab out of an open window on my computer than it is to throw my cell out of my hand ;)

    • http://onwingingit.wordpress.com/ elle

      Seriously, SO sad comments don’t load for me on the work computer :(

      • KC

        Can you tell whether it is a work-firewall thing (like many workplaces block email sites, facebook, etc.) or a tech problem? (’cause working around a tech problem may be possible!)

        Ghostery (an anti-tracking plugin on Firefox) can turn off Disqus, as can various other privacy sorts of things, but you can usually feed them exceptions… :-) Work firewalls… not so much. Unless you can convince someone that a site vital to your work uses Disqus for something or other.

        • http://onwingingit.wordpress.com/ elle

          I’m not sure, but I’m going to guess it’s a work firewall thing. I don’t have access to Firefox or Chrome, only IE (/cringes I KNOW). I took a brief glance at our security settings, most of which I can change, and I listed APW as a trusted source, but a lot of the jargon is beyond me, and obviously I don’t want to change anything that puts my computer at risk.

          • KC

            Adding an exception for disqus.com and disquscdn.com might make it work (belated response, sorry!). Those are the two that I have to explicitly enable in my Javascript blocker (because, yeah, not having your computer at risk is a Good Thing!) for the comments here to show up.

    • Meg Keene

      I’m not totally sure that’s true. Things are still buggy, and disqus wasn’t working at all for me a few hours ago either. Anyway, keep us posted, as discussed lots of places, comments are very beta right now.

      • Eenie

        The comments don’t show up on my windows phone. Just won’t load at all. Which is fine, and I know the mobile site is not fully functional yet. This might be related to the not working on the work computer thing.

        I love the new site because I feel like it has growing room. I hope you don’t get offended by the complaints/comments. The site is in beta, so generally that means that users give feedback. I personally don’t have an issue with the comment process besides it not loading on my phone. I don’t HAVE to sign in with facebook, which is a huge plus.

        • Meg Keene

          I’m totally not offended!! Particularly with the comments, which are yours, not mine, and I want a lot of feedback to figure out what we need. I mean, I’m really not offended at all period, but the comment feedback is particularly helpful.

      • http://onwingingit.wordpress.com/ elle

        Sadly, still no luck. Who am I kidding, though? I’ll totally be sneaking peeks at Happy Hour on my cell >_>

    • http://fancystephanie.wordpress.com/ fancystephanie

      Can you try using Firefox? I have to do that on my work computer.

      • http://onwingingit.wordpress.com/ elle

        Sadly, no. We “leaders in technology” only have access to IE, and an outdated version at that. /sighs

  • Moe

    *click*
    *click*
    *click*
    ooooooooooooooh!
    *click*
    *click*
    *click*
    *click*
    ahhhhhhhhh!
    Job well done, it’s gorgeous!!!!!! Hooray for growth, progress and new ventures!

  • Emily

    It’s glorious. I’m still in my PJ’s. I’m so sleepy. Glorious, I tell you. (Zzzzzzzzzzz…..)

  • lady brett

    congrats, y’all!!

  • Manya

    I’m so proud of you, Ladies! Ignore EVERYTHING except the people saying WOW! SHINY!

  • KC

    Posting as a guest isn’t as obvious as it used to be (since it looks like you’ll be creating an account), but other than that (okay, I also don’t like the downvote count being visible; I liked the “yes and” style of Exactly!s), this looks great! (and sparkles! And oh, the old site is so cute!)

    • KC

      (also, under “toolkit”, my brain briefly interpreted “playlists” as “platypus”. And didn’t even blink. APW is awesome enough that I would totally not be surprised if it had a platypus.)

      • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

        That’s funny! :)

    • Meg Keene

      If we keep the upvote down vote (with eventual sorting), I think the downvote has to be invisible in a community like this. Hurting people’s feelings is not on my agenda :)

      • KC

        YAAAAAY!

        (I think the new site look is amazing, by the way, and I’m one of those “never change anything” creatures, so that’s really quite an accomplishment on your part.)

      • Alison O

        Just curious, not that I’ve ever used it in the past (intentionally…), but do you think you’ll have a Report feature for inappropriate comments, or might the down vote take its place (so like the down arrow would be visible, but the count of how many people who’d clicked it would not be)?

  • Guest

    HOT.

  • captivatingsince1989

    Holy redesign! It’s awesome I Iove it!

  • emilyg25

    Just wanted to let y’all know that I found a broken link. I click on the “STAFF” link in the footer and got an
    ERROR 404 – NOT FOUND.

    • Meg Keene

      Good to know! Thanks, I’ll fix it!

  • vegankitchendiaries

    I love it already!!!!

  • http://www.MichelleEdgemont.com Michelle Edgemont

    HOLY BANANAS. This is the most amazing relaunch of a brand and a website that I ever saw in my whole life. You guys rule. I’m not just saying that because I get to be in the photo on the first post on the new site. I really do love you.

    • pippinpearl

      Wow. I think I’ll just walk away and let this be the winning comment. :D

      • http://www.MichelleEdgemont.com Michelle Edgemont

        Girl, you did an amazing job. Mind blowing.

        • pippinpearl

          UPVOTE. :D

    • Meg Keene

      <3

      Thanks lady, that makes some of the tired worth it.

  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    HOT! Also, holy content, Batman!

  • Mel

    So glad that a site that has offered me wonderful advice and a loving community continues to grow and prosper. Cheers to all of you!

  • Tory

    The new site is really beautiful and streamlined. It loaded beautifully on my phone this morning. Congratulations and happy napping!

  • artfulword

    Fantastic! Love the new look

  • Kayjayoh

    Also not a huge fan of Disqus. I may get used to it, but I miss the old comments immediately.

    • Kayjayoh

      Further commment thread feedback:

      1. I suppose we can now no longer get an email ping for a comment unless we sign in?

      2. Is it possible to bring back the color block for comment threads? It was always a very nice way to get to new things, especially in open threads or Happy Hour posts. If something wasn’t relevant to you, you could scroll down the page until the color changed, and then it was easy to see when the change happened. You can still scroll, but now you have to go slower and take more care to see when a new conversation is starting.

      • Peabody_Bites

        Also, I liked it that the APW team had their own colours for commenting.

        • Meg Keene

          I’m not 100% sure I want to keep that. I was finding that it was drawing way too much attention to my commenting. When I’m writing a post, I’m writing with my EIC hat on. When I’m commenting, I like the ability to be a person. AKA, I can disagree with something someone else says (just like anyone else), but I don’t want that to read as somehow the meta voice of APW disagreeing with someone. So. While it had some advantages, I felt like the disadvantages were way more. Too much importance on what staffers were saying, basically.

  • Kayjayoh

    Question: is the front page still going to present new content chronologically? Which is to say, will I still be able to come to the page, easily find the newest content, and then be able to tell once I have run out of new content without searching? I’m assuming/hoping that will be the case, but I’ve site blog to website transitions where it got frustrating to find the newest stuff. Which would be ironic with the archives now being easier to search.

    • apwteam

      Yes! Below the main slider you’ll see that day’s posts as larger thumbnails with excerpts, and if you keep scrolling you’ll see the last week’s content moving chronologically backward.

      • Kayjayoh

        Yay!

      • a single sarah

        I love the way last week’s content has been incorporated into the front page! Such a pretty way to both break the wall of text and make it easy to check what’s new.

    • Meg Keene

      Yup! It still functions just like a blog (which is still/ always my favorite way to lay out a website). We’ve just removed the WALLOFTEXT problem, so you can actually find things.

  • Amy March

    Just testing this new comment system

  • Christen Moynihan

    Holy shit. This is amaze. Sure, there will be tweaks, but this looks gorgeous. High five and a good round of applause, Team APW.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Love the searching, the sorting, the thumbnails, the clean feel. But really don’t like the new comment system. Going back to old posts the gravatars, site links, exactlies, are all gone from the comments.

    • KC

      The loss of the old Exactly!s is sad for me, too, but I can understand it’d be next-to-impossible to port. I’m super-glad they managed to keep the old comments themselves, though! (since for some posts, like open threads, that’s where the massively useful stuff is!)

      (I’m pleased to see you’ve gotten in your sunflower, though. :-) )

    • Meg Keene

      We’re figuring it out. The third party comment system is one of the last things we did, and we’re going to give it a week or so to see how it shakes out, and what we want to do about it.

      The exactly!s COULD port (and did), that’s not the issue. I really wanted us to have a vote up vote down feature, so that when you got to the comments, you’d actually get the most interesting conversations first. We’re not there yet, with beta testing, but Disqus seemed like it might be a good way to do that. Or not! We’ll give it a few days. Don’t worry, all the information is still saved (and was actually on the site till about a day ago when we swapped out to try this system).

      • KC

        I’m really really impressed, technically speaking, that the exactly!s could port! Custom fields are generally the sort of thing where usually systems really aren’t willing to talk with each other, re: import and export. (says someone who used to wrangle database import/export and who is glad that those particular days are behind her) Although I guess “likes” are a common enough thing now that they might be expected for import/export. Apparently, I’m old. :-)

      • rys

        I may be in the minority, but I prefer going through comments in chronological order (oldest-newest, as previously done) rather than by popularity. It gives me more of a sense of a full-bodied conversation and lets me see everything unfiltered by other people’s preferences, since what most interests me may differ. But, again, I may be weird like this.

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          You can do both! Sort by newest, oldest, or most popular. Just change your preference at the top (I like to check each one to follow the conversation)

          • rys

            Cool!

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        I figure you still have the database with all of that information, Disqus just isn’t using it.

        It’s kind of like dating. You go out with different people and find qualities and such that you like and you keep dating till you find the person with all the qualities you want.

        In the tech world you try different apps and plugins with different features you like hoping to find one with all the qualities you like.

        But in the tech world you have more options than just settling for okay enough or finding perfect. You can also Frankenstein a bunch of apps and plugins together or you can create your very own from scratch (neither of those options works that great with actual people). While I would never settle with a person, I’ve settled or Frankensteined a lot for my own little blog (the fact that it is little and my main commenters are my husband and my mom makes a huge difference).

        So you’re dating around right now with different commenting systems, figuring out which qualities you really like. Eventually you’ll work out the one that’s perfect for you and has all the qualities you want.

        • Meg Keene

          Exactly. And to be fair, the comment system was something I felt comfortable working out with you guys after we launched. I mean, it’s more for you than for me anyway. So we’re trying this, and we’ll probably have some open threads (maybe over on FB) for everyone to share thoughts. But I’m going to wait a week or two till A) We’ve slept, and B) We’re not all just reacting.

          Because TBH, right now I’m also feeling like “THE COMMENT SYSTEM CHANGED SO I HATES IT.” I need to get to the point where me and everyone else is back to functioning with logic, so we can figure out what really needs to be solved.

          • a single sarah

            Because TBH, right now I’m also feeling like “THE COMMENT SYSTEM CHANGED
            SO I HATES IT.” I need to get to the point where me and everyone else
            is back to functioning with logic, so we can figure out what really
            needs to be solved.

            Exactly. Meg’s so smart.

      • MirandaVanZ

        I haven’t been able to exactly! using my work computer for three months now so I like the new comment system.

  • Paranoid Libra

    I need to adjust here on all of this. I am so thrown off from the new homepage look but that’s because I am a creature of habit and the homepage looks a lot different in terms of organization. One of those Time to go click around to see how this new baby works. Also my test on these whole new comments thing with guest as I don’t want to sign in with anything that or I apparently need to actually sign up for twitter or something to help keep up with not tying too much back to specific things about me.

    • Paranoid Libra

      And I just did not type right up there. It’s one of those times like if you redo your kitchen or bathroom and everything is re-organized and you go where the hell is half the stuff I used to be able to find??!?! Then you adjust love how everything is set up and say how much easier it is to get to stuff now. I will get there cuz well it’s pretty and Team Practical!

  • Pamela Tyll

    This is better then the deep fried cheddar cheese balls I had the State Fair of Texas last month. Looks great. Just sayin’.

  • Noelle Bakken

    It looks wonderful!! And I have to say – I still remember the 2008 Blogspot site, because that’s when I started reading. That header was like an oasis to me when I was planning my wedding.

  • Anon

    Browsing with Windows/Firefox and the width of the page isn’t auto-scaling for some reason. To look at the full site, I have to scroll horizontally. Otherwise, looks great!

    • M.

      Same with Chrome.

    • apwteam

      Responsiveness hasn’t been implemented yet. It’s coming!

  • Sarah

    LOVE the search functionality!

  • Anon

    The new comment system makes me sad :(

  • never.the.same

    One note: It would be nice to see the newest post at the top, not the flipping photos of recent posts. For a blog that updates at least twice a day it changes enough as is.

    • KC

      Maybe a skinny link to the latest post, then the rotating photos below that? Or a latest-post link on the side of the rotating photos or somewhere else that’s “easy”? (in other words, I think I agree; I’d rather not have to scroll quite as much to get to the latest content, since I’m almost always interested in the latest post – is it time for the new APW post yet? Is it? Are we there yet? etc. :-) )

      • MirandaVanZ

        Maybe having the first rotating photo be the newest post would work.

      • Meg Keene

        You guys are silly. It takes roughly .05555 seconds to scroll past the slider (which is not so much for you) to the section Dedicated to APWers Forever And Ever Amen. For us to make the first post the featured one and then remove it, however, would be a huge pain and mean someone would have to be tethered to their desk all morning, so that’s too much.

        You’ll be fine :) I swear! We built LOTS of things with you guys most particularly in mind.

        • KC

          I’m sure you’re right. I just know that with less-beloved blogs, I’ve gradually quit reading them after the “is there new content since the last time I visited” information moved below the “fold” (in my case, bottom-of-laptop-screen), because it apparently annoyed me that much to have to scroll down to see whether there’s anything to scroll down for. I’m okay with there only being a smidgen of the top part of the title or date or, really, any random little thing indicating when the newest post went up, but it bugs me to not get any info on that without scrolling down. Which is probably unreasonable. Also, less applicable in the case of APW than with “occasionally updated” blogs.

          I should probably swap to a feed, really. But I like seeing “real” sites, and content in its native habitat and all that!

          • Meg Keene

            You should.

            Also, there is content at 4:30PST, 9:30 PST, and 11:30PST, so there is no secret there :)

        • KC

          Also, obviously, I do not want anyone tethered to a desk more than necessary – I was assuming some sort of short, title-and-date auto-updating link (like many sites have an auto-populated “most recent posts” sidebar, except just the latest entry), not something that required desk-tethering or other forms of employee torture. :-)

  • Laura K

    The site looks great, and I love the new search functions! I already found some amazing posts in the archives that I’m so glad I was able to find and read!

  • Any Other Amy

    I love the new site, especially the new wedding search functionality :-)

    My only niggle is that I’m not sure what I think about the sparkly diamond pictures in the comments – it seems to me to be too much a WIC symbol, and seems to go against a lot of what APW stands for

    • Meg Keene

      It’s irony, is what it is :) It’s also Beta.

      • Guest

        Meg! Haven’t you learned? Irony and sarcasm don’t work on the internet! Ditch the sparkly diamonds! :)

  • Audrey

    Some nice looking things in the new site. Yay for easier to find things in the archives!

    Comments:

    - I miss exactly!
    - I miss having the most recent article on my screen when I load up the site. I know it’s not a huge deal to scroll down, but I have kind of a knee jerk reaction again the fancy auto-sliding picture at the top.

    • Sarah E

      I agree with your second point, there. Certainly there’s a point where features become a matter of personal taste rather than function, so if I’m on the personal taste side, feel free to ignore. The site looks super-spiffy and very clean lined. The slideshow header makes it feel like “welcome to our news site!” to me. With all the gorgeous pictures you’ve included, the words (both headings and content leaders) don’t stand out as much visually. I’m aware that could just be my own eyes, but one thing I loved about having the most recent essay right at the top is that APW felt more like a literary magazine (which, of course, its a website, not a magazine). Going with the magazine simile though, with the (pretty, glossy) header, it’s kind of like those first ten pages of most major mags you have to flip through before you get to the story you wanted to read.

      I’d also love to see the monthly theme more strongly outlined. I love the glitter (so fitting!) but the poor theme has to compete with all the bright, amazing sponsor ads below and it seems a little lost over there.

      I’m very grateful for all the hard work you ladies have put in! And just to be completely opposing in my taste, I do love the thumbnails for the week’s posts on the homepage- it makes it easier to scroll and find those afternoon posts I may have missed. Well done with everything, staff! Enjoy the awesome product of all your work!

  • BR

    Love this redesign! It’s so great to be able to find everything so easily. Clean and pretty. :) Not a fan of the 3rd party commenting system, though. :

  • bellylaugh

    love the new look. However, when sorting ‘real weddings’ by ‘location – East Coast’ it tells me there are 38 results but only shows me 12, and nothing before May 2013.

  • Chiara

    It looks LOVELY! For some reason, though, all the punctuation marks that aren’t commas or periods aren’t showing up on my browser. So no apostrophes, colons, semi-colons. I’m on a Mac and I’m using Chrome.

  • JenClaireM

    YAY! Congratulations you guys! It looks so sleek and bright and fabulous! And I love seeing the original blog. It made me feel all emotional to see how far the site has come – and just so impressed at how it’s grown. You guys are seriously bad-ass.

  • http://fancystephanie.wordpress.com/ fancystephanie

    I love this! And I actually prefer Disqus to the old comment system. Disqus emails you when you get a reply, so you don’t have to go back every day for a week and see if someone replied.

    • M.

      I like the My Disqus, which notifies you of replies even if you have the email function turned off (I do).

    • Alison O

      There was a checkbox you could click in the old system when commenting to make it so that you’d be notified of replies by email.

  • http://www.coliesplace.com/ Nicole

    I remember that little blogspot site from 2008. I found it right before we were engaged. So happy for you and the growth that this site has gone under. Cheers to every last one of you.

  • Moe

    FYI: The form for sending in a submission doesn’t appear. I get an error.

    • Meg Keene

      Gotta fix that!

  • Kate White

    I love it! It’s so clean and lovely! And can we talk about STICKY NAV BAR because hello, that’s awesome.

    • Meg Keene

      I KNOWZ. It’s new as of a few days ago, and it’s SO PRETTY.

      Did you notice that the logo is greyscale and then turns to color when it becomes sticky? OMG OMG OMG

      • a single sarah

        Now that you pointed it out I did ;)

        And then I figured out what sticky nav bar meant. <3

      • Kate White

        I might have just played with that by scrolling up and down over and over again for a time period we won’t discuss…

  • http://www.wayfaringwanderer.com/ Wayfaring Wanderer

    The new website is AWESOMAZING! I know how much sweat and tears are required when rebranding/redesigning a website—especially one as fabulous as this—because I just went through the process myself on my own!

    I am really looking forward to spending more time around here! Thank you for all of the hard work you put into this website! The best wedding blog EVAR! For serious.

  • kim113

    This is so much better! Amazing! Love it :)

  • Jen

    I love the new site design! It’s so clean and beautiful! The logo is perfect!

    But on mobile, if you click “view discussion,” it opens in another tab. Could it be changed so you stay on the page? I like to scroll up and re-read parts of the article sometimes. I know another site that uses Disqus that does this, so it is possible.

    Otherwise, love it!

    • Meg Keene

      We’re going to have a fully mobile (well, a reactive) site soon, so ALL kinds of things are going to be adressed.

  • Meaghan

    Maybe it’s just me, but there doesn’t seem to be a field on the submission page – just a long list of links of examples of good reclaiming wife or ask team practical pages. did that get lost?

    • Meg Keene

      Yeah. It’s missing and it’s probably my fault. Give me a day or two. Trust me, nothing is lost.

  • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

    Love. Just love. And I’m so happy to have been reading since the beginning!

    • Meg Keene

      Me too Sera!

  • Kelly

    Congratulations, APW!! Enjoy a well-deserved nap.

  • april

    LOVE IT. Well done, ladies!

  • http://theartofhintz.blogspot.com/ Jenniferjuniper

    shiny! I’m just getting a chance to poke around the new features… I like the disqus thing because for me it’s easier to follow up on replies to comments or particular discussions.

  • Em

    I’m sure that this is just because you folks are still making your way through the enormous task of getting everything up and running – but I’ve noticed that there seem to be a lot of posts that have been missed in the tagging process. For example – I searched backyard + restaurant weddings and nothing came up, but I know for a fact there’s at least one backyard ceremony/restaurant reception wedding on here (because I have it bookmarked :P). It’s something I’ve noticed quite a few times, and thought you might want to know (though it’s probably just that it’s in progress)

    Also – are you still taking requests for more search terms in the real weddings? Because I would LOVE to be able to filter results by reception type… full meal, tapas, dessert, etc.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    I’m disliking the comment system, because I have an established Disqus account that I use elsewhere, and I try to keep my comments here separate from the ones I make elsewhere (especially because I’m much more candid about my sex life at APW than I am on the rest of the internet). The idea of having to repeatedly check my login details and hope I’m actually logged out is… exhausting.

  • Erin

    A somewhat random suggestion: you might want to think about the formatting of the ‘also on APW’ at the bottom of the comments. I find them super relevant, but for some time I thought they were ads! The coloring and formatting looks a lot like google adsense ads with little to separate them. Some mild formatting could solve that problem.

  • Lindsay

    just wanted to say that APW looked fanTAStic on my android this morning :) keep up the awesome work, ladies!!!

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