Welcome to the NEW BackpackerBanter.com!

Over the last few days I’ve been fuelled by surf and coffee as I’ve been geeking away behind the scenes tweaking the coding and theme of Backpacker Banter and I’m stoked to present to you the shiny, new look for the site!

 

Why Change?

I’ve been playing with the idea of updating the sites look and userbility for a while, but until I got to NZ I just didn’t have access to decent enough wifi and enough time to get it all done! This weke however I’ve been super productive and tweaked HEAPS…as you can probably see!

I’ve done it for a number of reasons. Firstly although I loved the simplicity of the old theme it had a few key issues that were bugging me, so the main aim of the revamp was to iron them out and make the site heaps more user friendly and allow you to access the information you needed quickly and easily.

 

Search

The first big thing you may notice is the search function is now sitting on the menu bar – BAM whack your query in and it produces everything on the site that’s relevant.

You guys brought this issue up a lot in my last 2 reader surveys so it was top priority and will allow you to find everything you need too quickly and easily!

YAY!

 

Menu

There’s been a huge revamp to the menu too – Reviews and Tips now have the recent and featured posts shown right there on the menu bar and the Destinations tab now makes it heaps easy to quickly get to the country posts you want.

 

Destinations

Along with the menu revamp of Destinations are the pages themselves. If you click on your country of choice not only will you have all the posts from that country displayed but I’ve also picked out the 5 most popular posts in the featured grid – allowing you to find the important stuff easily and discover some of the most popular blogs from that country.

 

Reviews

You’ll also notice some subtle but helpful tweaks to reviews too. Each review post now have a star system inserted into it, so if you dont want to read the whole article you can see the top positives, negatives and overview of the review in a quick format.

This star rating is displayed in the top right of the post summaries too (although not all as it’s still slightly work in progress!haha!) so you can quickly scan through and see what I think of each product.

 

Post Layout

Another thing you guys asked for was showcasing more images – so I’ve tweaked the blog post layout to really showcase the featured image loud and proud. The result is something heaps more visual – basically it looks prettier so I hope you like it!

 

Homepage

Although for you regular readers the homepage isn’t something you use too much I’ve also revamped this from scratch to help those who are just discovering the site. I’ve pulled out some of the sites most popular blogs, showcased the country I’m currently travelling, shown a sample of the most recent reviews and tips and even highlighted my most recent Instagram images.

Fingers crossed this entices even more readers and helps the site grow!

 

Coming Soon

The theme I’ve chosen also has some nifty behind the scenes features I’m currently working on rolling out and I’m stoked to see how they progress, but don’t worry I’ll keep you in the loop!

 

In the meantime though let me know what you think of the new design, any suggestion you have to tweak it or if you find anything broken/not working right so I can fix it!

 

I hope this fresh coat of paint allows you to enjoy the site even more and makes it even more helpful for your trip planning!

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6 Responses

  1. Claryn

    Absolutely loving your new layout – and you are right! The featured images are really amazing! :)

    Stumbled upon your blog as I researched about backpacking and gotta say, one of the easy to read blogs! :) Hope to bump into you on the road one day!

    Cheers.
    Claryn

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Claryn,
      Stoked you like the new layout and the site!
      Where are you heading next?

      Reply
  2. Shantal

    Hi, I’m just starting up a travel blog and finding a theme I am 100% happy with is driving me nuts. I must have changed it a hundred times already. Do you mind telling me if this is a free wordpress theme? And which one it is? I really like it :)

    Reply
    • Chris

      hahaha tell me about it Shantal – there’s so much choice! This theme is actually called Valenti which is a paid option. I use Theme Forest for all my site themes :)

      Reply
      • Shantal

        Thanks :) I’ll keep it in mind for the future. I think I’ll have to stick to my free theme at the moment. The 101st theme I installed has to be the perfect one right? I cannot change it again. I’ve spent way too long on the look of the site and not nearly enough time writing content. Ugh.

      • Chris

        Yeah focus on the content and you can always tweak the design again later on if you want! Looks really clean and crisp though, awesome work!

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