The past few months have seen a lot of changes here at ThePlanetD.
We crossed the finish line of the Mongol Rally along side our team mate Sherry Ott and returned home to focus and centre ourselves after a whirlwind two years of travel around the world.
The first order of business was a major overhaul of our website. Cosmetically, we have only made subtle changes but navigationally, user experience and organization, we have changed dramatically.
With a giant contribution from Warren Talbot of Married with Luggage who did wonders with coding issues for our website, transferring and helping with design, we have come up with a user friendly experience that will make your reading more enjoyable.
We are in the process of redesigning our logo and image so that has remained the same so far. However, the big change is you can subscribe to all our social media sites in one easy location at the top of the page. It is here that you can subscribe to our RSS feed as well and have our daily updates come into either your email or your favourite reader. This is a much better location than our previous social media buttons that were lost in the side bar.
Finally people can get back on ThePlanetD without an agonizing wait or error message. Warren has cleaned up all the hacks, problems with poor coding and deleted all of the plugins and problem areas that were giving us a hard time.
We have now left Blue Host and have moved to Media Temple where our site is on a Dedicated Virtual Server. We won’t see that nasty throttling anymore and we have added security. You’ll be able to click on pages without having to wait for it to load.
Adventures: We had been wanting to redesign our site for some time now. Not the look of it, but the navigation. We have gone through all of our categories and pages and have finally organized them into easy to use sections. Our Adventures Page puts the best of ThePlanetD in one place!
We are most proud of our Adventures Page. - We will be building on it as we break down trips into more adventures, but for now we have 13 Adventures that you can read about and follow along from start to finish.
Destinations: When you’ve been to 55 countries, it is difficult to break the blog down into post about each place that you’ve visited. We have made a destinations page where people can click on the icon to read about the destination of their choice. We have broken down our destinations into categories that are easy to navigate.
Travel Videos: We take a lot of videos on our travels and want to share them with you. We have developed a travel video page where you can browse our latest videos and then follow your way to our youtube channel to see more. Also at the bottom of the blog in the footer, we have a featured video section where we will change it up weekly to share some of our favourite travel memories.
Travel Photos: We will eventually be inserting a gallery into our Travel Photos section. We are looking into how to integrate Picture the Planet’s portfolio into our photo page. For now we have our favourite photo stories and snap shots for you to browse.
About Us: We want people to know who we are. They can relate to us better if they can see our faces so we added an about us page in the top right hand corner of the site. It has a quick introduction and then you can click through to read more about Dave and Deb. That is if you want to!
Subscribe Now: We are rebooting our newsletter again. We let it slide during the Mongol Rally but we are redesigning it as we speak and you can sign up for our monthly updates right underneath our about us page.
Subscribe RSS: We will be inserting a “RSS” button just below the newsletter sign up. This way you get a second chance to subscribe to our daily updates via RSS. This is where you can have our feed go either to your home page, favourite reader or even directly into your email.
There are many more ways for you to find posts on our home page now. We have categories broken down into:
Featured Content - We’ve replaces our oversized, cumbersome slider with a sleeker more streamlined image that you can browse our most interesting content.
Photo Stories - There is no doubt that Dave’s photography is the highlight of this blog and we feature his photo stories in the first section of the home page for everyone to take a look.
Advice - Before we started traveling so much, we wrote a lot about the advice of travel blogging. We have kept it up a little bit while on the road, but we are planning on writing a weekly feature involving tips to make your blogging career a more successful career.
Latest Posts - You have two ways to find our most recent posts, in the right sidebar where latest posts, popular posts and recent comments can be found or on the home page in the section directly below photostories and Advice.
Sub-Categories - We have a lot of categories and information to share so we now have 4 more sub-categories that we will be rotating regularly to feature different content. Right now you can find articles relating to General Travel Advice, Popular posts, Top 10 Lists, Responsible Travel
We used to have nothing in our footer. We are working on filling it up with more information as once people get to the bottom of a post, they may want to have a closer look at everything ThePlanetD has to offer.
We offer several different ways to partner with companies and we give potential partners two ways to find out how. At the top they can click on our media/advertise page and at the bottom they are reminded once again with our media package.
Besides linking to our Media Page and Appearances and to give information on how to partner with us, we have given the reader one more chance to connect with us via our Social Media Sites and RSS. We have never fully given this aspect of our blog the proper focus that it deserves, now our readers have several ways of following and subscribing to us!