The "new" Finished Kitchens Blog - what do you like, what do you

starpoohOctober 11, 2012

I'm making a "wish list" for the newly-redesigned Finished Kitchens Blog. I've already completed many updates, and have a list of others that I want to implement. But I'd like to prioritize my wish list and would love your comments.

What do you like about the new FKB, and what do you dislike? What else would you like to see (within reason)?

Oh... fyi... be sure to also visit the redesigned Backsplash Blog and the new Before&After Blog.

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starpooh

ugh... title should read:

The "new" Finished Kitchens Blog - what do you like, what do you dislike?

How did I miss that?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:52PM
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home4all6

starpooh, I'm so excited that you are updating the FKB! I'll have to revisit it to remember changes I'd like to see. There are so many new kitchens that I hope to see added soon!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:09PM
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starpooh

Thanks home4all6, I'm excited, too! This new format makes it so easy for me to post new kitchens. I'm trying to add a new kitchen each day.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:21PM
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maggiebkit

I love the thumbnails. I can see the kitchen and decide if I want to click and see more. Thank you so much!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:52PM
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angel411

Hi Starpooh,
I really love the new FKB! I noticed that my kitchen is not in it, though. It used to be in the old one. Are you still adding kitchens? Was I supposed to do something to add it during the switch? Thank you so much for your time in creating this amazing resource!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 8:18AM
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DCJersey

It would be nice if there was a way to group the kitchens in some manner, preferably by color.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 8:53AM
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CEFreeman

Just more eye candy. That's all.
I get lost in your FKB and Houzz. Then there's some of the HGtV and BH&G and (stop me) all the others. I never get anything done. Really. For weeks.

Love it.
Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 9:52AM
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starpooh

maggiebkit - I love the thumbnails, too! I also love all the different ways the blogger template lets me view kitchens.

angel411 - I'm so sorry! I had neglected to move the list of "Coming Soon" kitchens from the original FKB into the new one. I have been adding "coming soon" kitchens to the new FKB but very slowly, giving priority to the newest kitchens. (The newest kitchens use the new checklist which makes it so easy for me to post them.)
Would you mind filling out the new checklist? If so I will send it to you and will get your kitchen added asap!
And thanks for the reminder about the "Coming Soon" kitchens. I added a link to them on the new FKB.

DCJersey - Have you tried using the categories? If you go to the Category List page you can find kitchens with specific cabinet colors:
~ all white cabinets
~ white cabinets and black islands
~ black cabinets and white islands
~ yellow cabinets and blue islands
Or you can lookup kitchens with non-painted cabinets by wood type and color:
~ dark cherry cabinets (could be either perimeter or island)
~ medium quartersawn oak cabinets (either perimeter or island)
Only the new kitchens are categorized so far, but I am categorizing the older kitchens whenever I have some free time.
Does that help?

CEFreeman - I know the feeling... I need to set a timer to remind myself not to stay up all night on the FKB and Houzz. :-)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 12:33PM
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angel411

Thanks! Yes, send me the checklist and I will be glad to fill it out. You are amazing!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 12:56PM
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ellendi

Star, thanks for answering these questions. I wasn't sure how to find the category list.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 12:58PM
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jerzeegirl

I love the Finished Kitchens Blog! I have spent hours looking at the slideshow of the finished kitchens on the old FKB.

Is there a way to do a slideshow on the New FKB? With the larger photographs? If there is, I haven't figured it out yet.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 2:35PM
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DCJersey

Thanks, I didnt notice the different category options. You might want to make that easier to find.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 2:46PM
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starpooh

ellendi and DCJersey - Thanks for the feedback. I'll make the categories easier to find on the main page.

jerzeegirl - You can use the Dynamic View "Sidebar" for a slideshow-type view. But this doesn't give you the large 640x480 photos.
Are you looking for a Kitchen Slideshow that's similar to the Backsplash Slideshow?
(As an fyi you can also simply view the Backsplash photos from the picasa photo album: https://picasaweb.google.com/starpooh/FinishedBacksplashesSlideshow. There are only a few backsplashes in there now but I will be adding all the legacy backsplashes soon.)

Angel411 - Wow... you are fast! I received your completed checklist last night and will have your kitchen posted within a few days. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:23PM
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rosie

Finding the categories--yes. That's my suggestion. To me a successful site has two characteristics: A good search function and really good content worth searching for. Everything else is secondary.

Right now, the casual visitor is likely to think you view the kitchens by opening a thumbnail, closing it, and opening another. Want a design for a wood stove hood? Settle in for a looong search, and with luck MAYBE something will be there to find.

I'd suggest that you explain right at the top of the home page, as succinctly as possible, that people searching for ideas for a specific feature need only do X to find a whole bunch of ideas. "Categories" isn't a commonly used word, and on top of that it's hidden under "Views", another uncommon term. There are so many things to find on the web, that a lot of people finding the FKB for the first time won't go on a site search, opening and closing various windows, to find out if it's possible to do a search by the feature in question--especially when they don't know yet if there's much of anything to be found.

Otherwise, I love the new thumbnails (wonderful!) and the rest of the new Finished Kitchens Blog. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 3:19PM
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starpooh

jerzeegirl - This new FKB is much more photo-oriented than the old FKB, so I decided to go for it and include the larger 640x480 images in each post (but only one, the main photo).
I've also added a slideshow using the larger images.

rosie - Thank you for your insights. I did not realize how difficult it was to find specific features in the FKB. It's easy for me to search because I know what to look for. :-)
So I added a Find-a-Kitchen section with various links for searching for a specific user or feature.
The Views section has been renamed to View Photos; this section contains links to several ways to view photos in blog posts.
I have also added a Slideshow section that contains links to a Kitchen Slideshow, Backsplash Slideshow and Before&After Slideshow. These slideshows display large images.
Does this make it easier to find what you are looking for?

Is there anything else that should be improved?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:16PM
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a2gemini

I hope to post soon!!!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 6:52AM
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AnnaA

Starpooh, I can't get over the amount of time you have put into this. I'm assuming this is volunteer time? Regardless, it is lots of work and much appreciated.

I will leave the recommendations to those who know more about web design. Just a question: is there a way to update pictures? I've never staged pics with a "real" camera, and would love to replace photos once I do. I'd hate to make you (or someone else) do the replacing too, but I'm also liking that you've embedded the person's name on the photo, and would be clueless on knowing how to do this.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:06AM
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wags848

Just clicked on the links and WOW...so much to look at! I didn't know these existed. How do you get to the links from the main page? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see the links in any drop-down menu. That is my one suggestion - make the links visible from the main home forum page. Thx!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:29PM
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starpooh

a2gemini - Great! Send me an email (starpooh at gmail dot com) when you're ready to post and I will give you the FKB Checklist.

AnnaA - Yes, it's all volunteer time (although, as with all bloggers, I make some money on ads from Google Adsense). But it's a very relaxing night-time ritual; my brain is tired from working on the computer all day. Sitting in a big easy chair while watching HGTV, posting photos and categorizing kitchens is actually fun! And it keeps me busy so I don't order things on amazon. :-)
I had tried to create a new FKB similar to Houzz where you could upload your own photos but it got to be too complicated and I was so busy working on the new site that I didn't add any new kitchens to the existing FKB. (Maybe in the future.) For now I'm the only person who can make updates. So just send me an email (starpooh at gmail dot com) with a link to your new photos and I will update them.
I use watermarking software to add the owner's name to each kitchen. It's easy once it's all setup.

wags848 - Are you viewing the FKB from a computer, tablet or smartphone? From a computer I see these links at the top right of the page: Home, Find-A-Kitchen, View Photos, Slideshows, Add My Kitchen, Articles, Links, About/Contact
Several of these have drop-down menus with additional links. Do you see them?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:00AM
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wags848

starpooh - I am normally viewing from a computer; sometimes an iPad. Here is a screenshot of what I see. I'm still not seeing the links you listed.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 4:31PM
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starpooh

wags848 - Are you sure you are looking at the Finished Kitchens Blog? The image you uploaded is the main page for Gardenweb.
The Finished Kitchens Blog is not part of Gardenweb. It's a separate site that I maintain.
This is an image of the main page of the FKB.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 4:54PM
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wags848

starpooh - Well that explains it!! LOL. I'm so sorry, but I just assumed the links were part of GardenWeb! No wonder I couldn't find them! :)

Anyway, I will bookmark your site and have a good look!

Thanks,
Wags

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:49PM
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