Cheers Years Launches New Site

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Happy Fall, Y'all! 

This is pretty cool, blogging in the new Cheers Years digs... If this is your first time to the Cheers Years blog, WELCOME and if you're a returning visitor to Cheers Years, a big ole' WELCOME BACK!

What have I been up to? 

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I'm SO excited to share my new website launch with you and start cranking out some yummy recipes and food blogging articles on here. It's ben a crazy busy few weeks since my last post. Instead of making recipes and blogging, I've been developing websites and planning events.  However, I'm delighted to share my passion project with you now that it's finally completed! 

In case you're wondering, my original website was created on Word Press and I made the switch to Squarespace. Why? Well, several reasons. 

1.     My primary reason for the change was because I wanted to redesign the website in order to increase the functionality of the pages. My website is home for my blog & blog posts, but that's not all I needed it to do. I needed to more clearly define my services and make it easier to get it touch with me.

2.     I knew that the website redesign was well above my skill level in Word Press and it could take a VERY long time to figure out how to put all the right plugins in place and make it look like I wanted. I was looking for a turnkey system that was customizable but still managed all the hard stuff on the back-end for me. After a lot of research and opening several trial accounts through different platforms, I was drawn back to Squarespace.

3.     The built-in analytics and customer support were a huge draw for me. I love having everything close by where I can easily navigate to my analytics and if I have an issue it feels great to know I have a support team on standby. 

4.     The clean templates and featured aligned perfectly with my style and how I wanted to layout my website. Plus, after enough playing around with it during my trial period, things got a lot easier. I created my landing “Blog” page exactly how I imagined it.  I could see myself using Squarespace for my blog and the promotion of my professional services long-term without getting frustrated by all the plugins.

It did take (what seemed like) forever for me to fully catch on to the user experience of Squarespace vs Word Press. Since I had been using Word Press from the beginning of my blog launch in January, it was really tough learning a whole new system. To be exact, it took me a week and a half to design the web pages like I wanted and to migrate all of my content over. When I moved my blog posts over, ALL the captions showed up in my Squarespace site and they were hidden in Word Press previously. That was a bummer because I had to manually go in and edit each and every post photo and choose "do not display caption". There might have been a way to avoid doing this no the front end, but I tried and was unsuccessful. I got it done, though, and was thrilled with how everything turned out I'm sure I'll still stumble on mistakes and things that didn't fully transfer over correctly or I've linked something incorrectly. If you happen upon anything that looks wonky, please let me know! I'm always hoping to keep my site accurate and up-to-date with correct links/info. :)

Strategic Planning, Professional Services, & the Culinary Creative Community

I love food & food blogging, but I'm also extremely passionate about bringing people together and creating unforgettable experiences. After all, the Cheers Years was inspired by the gathering of friends and memorable events with great food. You can read more about my philosophy and what the "Cheers Years" means to me HERE. :) 

If you didn’t know, a little bit of background about me is that I have a degree in Hospitality Management and am a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). I've always loved bringing people together and working with a team to produce a meaningful event that sparks ideas, conversation, and opportunity. That's why I've decided to offer services that utilize both my creative and logistical/practical sides of my brain. Since I've already been doing this, it's time to make it official! You can read all about my professional services offered HERE.

At the same time I launched the new Cheers Years website, I also launched another website and project I'm insanely excited about, Culinary Clicks. Culinary Clicks is a movement to gather the "culinary creatives", (any food blogger, photographer, or online foodie), offline. We participate in comment threads, give re-pins, and Instagram likes, but how often do we physically gather with our fellow foodies? I found a lack of opportunity and authentic conversation to share joys, give advice, and just get to know other food bloggers out there without the pressure of a reciprocating duty to comment/follow/like. We can see facial expressions, hear the tone in voices, and feel real hugs when we meet with others in-person. I wanted to create a space where food bloggers in the triangle area (for starters) can gather to network and grow. It's a fact that face-to-face gatherings lead to more collaborations and opportunities that otherwise would arise. That's what I was missing more of, and that's what I'm hoping to spark with Culinary Clicks. If you'd like to learn more, I’d love for you to check out the full site HERE!

The end of this week will wrap up another big event project I've been working on, but stay tuned for new recipes and posts coming soon to this new blog home! 

Feel free to kick off your shoes and click around the site awhile. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!