Relaunch and Our 1st Contest

This is all very new to us and I must say we are trying our very best to get up to speed with the new lingo (blogosphere, blogroll, gravatar) as well as learning about WordPress, plug-ins, etc…  Adam is doing a better job than me at the moment, but I keep telling him, I will get there … just give me time.

With this in mind, we made the decision to officially relaunch our site after 3 months.  By no means does this mean we feel the site will be perfect, Adam and I both believe we will still be learning new and exciting things for years to come, but it is a start.  Over wine a few nights ago night, we sat down and wrote all the things we thought we could do to make Inspired Taste better, let me tell you, it was a long list!  After writing our “to-do list,” we picked out a few initial goals for our relaunch date:

  • A beautiful new logo and background.   We are lucky enough to have Heather over at Quite Like It design our very own logo and background.  Quite Like It did our wedding stationary and we could not have been happier so we knew they were the right choice for our logo.
  • A better site layout is on its way, making it easier to navigate, comment and subscribe
  • Post, Post, Post!  You want content, you will get it, our plan is to have at least 50 posts for you to browse through so you can see what we are all about


So when is this relaunch date?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The timer on the homepage is counting down the days!


Now of course, the site will not change all at once, we are only human, but instead between now and November you will slowly see changes, some may be huge, like our new logo while others will be subtle, but they will all be leading to what we hope will be an enticing place for you to browse through and most importantly enjoy.


Now for the contest …

One thing we have learned from some of the talented and established bloggers out there is that hype helps.  So, to create a little buzz, we are holding a contest.  It’s simple, all we want is feedback.  Of course, Adam and I both have visions of what things should look like or how posts should read, but that is just us, two people and two very biased people for that matter, so we need your help.


How to Enter

Leave us a comment on this post between now and 10 a.m. EST Monday, November 9, 2009.  Comment as many times as you wish, but each time please make sure you are leaving us feedback, preferably constructive.  We want to know what you think about our site, even if you don’t like something or think something could be done better.

Once the contest ends at 10 a.m. EST on November 9, 2009, Adam and I will enter the number of comments from this post and use RANDOM.ORG to randomly choose 3 winners.  Once the numbers are randomly chosen, we will notify the winners by email in order to get a shipping address to send the prizes.

NOTE:  When you comment, please make sure you enter a valid email address in the comment form (you do not need to enter it in the actual comment box), this way only Adam and I will see your email address and we will be able to contact you if you have won.  In the event that we do not hear back from a winner by 10 a.m. EST on Friday, November 13, we will choose another.

Once you have entered you are more than welcome to use our contest post image as a badge.

The Prize

What will the winners receive?  Each of the 3 winners will receive a hand-picked sampling some of our favorite things from Crate and Barrel.


We have one more tiny request, the internet is a big place and a little website like ours can easily get lost, so if you enjoyed our website or think someone you know might, let people know about it, we would truly appreciate it. We also have added a new page which will let you know of upcoming posts or updates.


Here is a little more insight to our lives before Inspired Taste…


A-little-more-about-us


Thanks, and we are looking forward to what you have to say 🙂

~Joanne and Adam


Since it would be unfair to post our own comments and then randomly win a prize, I thought we could respond to any questions you have here.

Wendi – a search box is a great idea, and is definitely part of our redesign.  Thanks for the compliments on the new logo, we love it too 🙂

Michael – I love the idea to add posts which discuss cooking techniques or tips in the kitchen (properly roasting and de-skin a pepper is a great one, I might use that one 😉  We do have a category for Tips & Techniques, but I think we only have one post to match (How to clean a leek) … this is definitely something we want to work on, thank you for the suggestion!

C – The idea to add a “related posts” feature is a great one and I think would move people around the site a bit more.  To be honest, it would also work well because we get into cooking moods, like the other week all I wanted to make were soups, so we had a burst of soup posts.  Thank you for your suggestions!!!

Camilla – Adding a “recent posts” feature is a great one and something we did not even consider until you mentioned it.  We just added it a few days ago and are really pleased!  Thanks!

Dhi – We totally agree!  We also think there is just too much in the sidebars.  We are struggling a bit with this one since most of what is there is important information.  We have a few ideas that we have not implemented yet, so we are hoping things will improve.  Thanks so much for the feedback.

Erin – We love you too!!!

Tracy – Thank you so much for commenting!  De-cluttering the sidebar is definitely a hot topic, we are really trying to make it work.  The recent posts idea is a great one too, we are also adding  “related posts” to each recipe to help move people around the site a bit.  Also, we are hoping the photo box at the top right side of the page would catch people’s interest too, when you click on that it will take you to a corresponding recipe.  This is all so helpful, thank you!!

Sheetal- You are too kind, thank you!!

James – Contests are great to create a little buzz, they are also fun and when done in this context (asking for feedback) Adam and I are learning so much.  It has been incredibly helpful!  Thank you!

Lisa – Awesome idea to have printable recipes!  We will get on that right away, thank you.

Megan – You brought up a great point.  After your comment, Adam and I took a look at some other sites and saw that we do have a larger window than most and decided we should make it a little smaller in width.  Thank you so much for the comment.

Sudeshna – What a lovely comment, thank you and you are so right, using the word “recipes” is not technically correct especially since we have a tips and techniques section in that list – categories makes more sense.


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20 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Kelsey November 15, 2009, 3:57 pm

    Wonderful site! While reading through the “About Us” tab, I noticed the comment that your’re not prefessionally trained but consistently try to pick up new techniques to add to your repertoire. I think a tutorial section would be brilliant! You could either describe the techniques and show with multiple still shots or imbed short video clips of you demonstrating the techniques.

    Reply
  • Sudeshna November 4, 2009, 4:06 pm

    The site looks great. I wish you all the luck with your blog and also with life. This is really a very different type of event, loved the idea.
    Had just one suggestion, at the right most column, there is one called “Recipes”, I think that should be “Categories” rather than “Recipes”.

    Reply
  • clb November 4, 2009, 10:53 am

    Found your site on Tastespotting. I love it. I also love your photography and looked but not sure it you mentioned what type of camera you use.

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste November 16, 2009, 10:23 am

      We use a Nikon D60 DSLR

      Reply
  • megan November 2, 2009, 4:10 pm

    The only suggestion I have is to make your blog a little less wide? I have a pretty standard sized screen (I think?), but I have to scroll over to view some of the things on the sidebar. I think your overall design is great though!

    Reply
  • Lisa November 2, 2009, 3:06 am

    I would love to see “printable recipes”

    Reply
  • James November 1, 2009, 1:22 pm

    You’re right about contests creating more hype – that’s how I’ve just found you. Looks like lots of tasty things to catch up with. Reminds me I should be doing the same renovation job with my blog really.

    Reply
  • sheetal October 30, 2009, 10:00 pm

    First time here. Love the food and the photos. Great job 🙂

    Reply
  • Tracy October 30, 2009, 5:26 pm

    Found your site via Tastespotting — very nice look and tone!

    Ditto on decluttering the sidebar and adding a list of links to recent recipes (rather than a single “previous post” link).

    But you’ll figure out what works for you as your site evolves. I think you’re off to a great start!

    Reply
  • Erin October 30, 2009, 12:08 pm

    Even though I don’t get to see you guys much, I’m loving reading this. It’s almost like hanging out with you. Also, my mom’s been reading it. She says she loves it!

    Love you guys!

    Erin

    Reply
  • Dhi October 23, 2009, 6:16 am

    Love the clean and simple look of the website. Altho I quite agree with another commentator above, that there’re too many texts on sidebar. Looks a bit confusing

    Reply
  • Camilla October 20, 2009, 4:11 am

    Hi Adam and Joanne,
    As beginner foodbloggers, we too agonize over all the little details of the site design =). We like your bright and cheerful photos (we live in China, and our apartment is about the size of my bedroom in Canada, so it’s difficult to get interesting and varied photographs =p).

    hmm constructive comments – I personally like having a “recent recipes” area to click through to recent posts. Especially when you’re trying to cook seasonal food, this kind of tool helps. I like seeing what you’ve cooked recently at a single glance.

    Hope that helps!

    Reply
  • C October 19, 2009, 10:14 pm

    I just discovered your blog today and I’ve been trying to catch up on as many posts as I can. This is such a fantastic blog! I love all the recipes and photographs! You two look like such an awesome couple too!

    I love the layout of your blog!

    Reply
  • Esme October 18, 2009, 1:06 am

    I like that you have a recipe search up on top. Not to say to be like others-but some blogs (not me) have at the bottom of the post other related posts you may like-I like that as if you posted about pineapple-it would pull up other pineapple posts.

    Reply
  • Michael October 3, 2009, 1:05 pm

    I’ve been doing some more brain storming for your site. Regarding the site layout, its solid. I definitely like the new design. The logo is great and the background is great. The only concern is that there is alot of text on the page with faint subdivisions between the content sections.

    Reply
  • Michael October 1, 2009, 10:07 pm

    Once you accumulate enough of the posts for “Cooking Techniques”, you could add a “tip of the day” box similar in size to your “About Us” box in the side bars. If could feature the topic name, a thumbnail, and a few lines describing it. All of this could be linked to the actual post (which is buried somewhere in blog-land). You could probably even have your blog cycle through your tagged items automatically each day and ensure that it doesn’t repeat until a full cycle is completed. (Not sure what kind of freedom Wordpress gives you in regard to the auto-cycling… it should be achievable with some PHP scripting and access to Wordpress’ database for your website).

    That “tip of the day” concept could definitely make the “cooking learning curve” less intimidating to people who are trying to get away from frozen dinners and get into cooking.

    It also wouldn’t necessarily have to be a cooking technique but maybe also terminology. Take the word “simmer” for example: when I started to learn how to cook in college, my Mom gave me a recipe which talked about simmering, and my reaction was “What the heck does simmer mean?” Sure a quick google search can answer those questions, but the concept of cooking terminology jives well with the first two paragraphs.

    Reply
  • Michael October 1, 2009, 12:57 pm

    A category you may want to consider adding to the site is a section for articles discussing cooking techniques. For example, “how to properly roast and de-skin a pepper” or “proper whisking technique” or “how to clean a chicken”, etc. .. Recipes are great, but technique certainly makes a difference. It could even be as simple as a “Tips” column for tips on cooking technique. Just an idea I thought I’d pass along to you!

    Reply
  • Jenni September 28, 2009, 7:59 pm

    I’m loving the photography – oh and the recipes 🙂

    Reply
  • Wendi September 28, 2009, 2:47 pm

    Love the new logo. Is a search box part of your redesign?

    Reply
  • Heather September 25, 2009, 10:53 am

    Looks great, guys!

    Reply

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