How my site works

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will have noticed a recent change in the layout. Being intelligent and blog-savvy people, I’ll not bore you with too many instructions, but here are some tips which you may not know.

My new theme allows me to display three “featured posts” in the area where you would normally find a header image. For the time being, my featured posts will be the last three posts published. The one currently “in focus” being the latest post. You have to click on the other two on the right to bring them into focus.

The top (black menu) has a new menu item called “Series”. This provides a quick link to the post archives for a particular post series i.e. where I have written more than one post about a specific topic or event. I have done a similar thing with the “Guest Bloggers” menu item, so that you can quickly find any posts written by a particular guest blogger.

Underneath the featured posts you will find the “Spotlight” area. Here I’ll put (usually older) posts that I think deserve some longer exposure. At this stage they are mainly posts which I wrote before I had many readers, but which I think may be of interest. I will be changing the content here about once a week, so if you’re on the homepage, please take a quick look to see if there is post you may have previously missed.

Below the Spotlight area, is the “Latest News”. A bit of a misleading title, because it is actually not the latest news, but the fourth latest post and older. If you find the whole featured posts thing too confusing, look at the tabs in the right-hand widget area. The “latest” tab shows the last eight posts in reverse date order.

That’s it – simple right?

I would be grateful for any feedback, particularly if you come across something which is not working as it should. You can leave a comment on this post, or email me here.

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I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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25 Comments on “How my site works”

  1. July 4, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I really like it- I’m so unsavvy with this…

    • July 5, 2011 at 6:28 am #

      Thanks, I was wondering whether to do this post or not. Didn’t want to tell people things they might already know.

  2. July 4, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Nice one! Liking the upgrade. It does make it look a little more like a news site, but it also gives easy access to a lot of the latest content.

    • July 5, 2011 at 6:32 am #

      Thanks, the reason I changed to this theme is because it allows people to scan the available content more easily i.e. readers don’t have to wade through whole posts they have already read (or don’t want to read?! :-o)

  3. July 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    I’m afraid I’m with our friend, Emily! I may be borderline intelligent, but I am so, so far from blog- savvy! But being an ignorant blogging buddy from Kentucky, I still think it looks great, Lisa, though nothing for me is out of focus that I can tell, but that may be because I’m not on your home page. Hope you had a good weekend!

    • July 5, 2011 at 6:34 am #

      Well, you seem to be doing pretty well at organizing your own blog, so I think you have some definite blog-skills! Hope you and Sara had a good 4th of July weekend.

  4. July 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Wow, I clicked over to your home-page, and it truly is impressive!

    • July 5, 2011 at 6:35 am #

      Thank you! The new theme makes it much easier to organize the content and put in lots of photos.

  5. July 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    I noticed the changes a few days ago, I’ve been meaning to say it looks fantastic.

    • July 5, 2011 at 6:36 am #

      Thank you! I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but I appreciate them anyway! 🙂

  6. jacquelincangro
    July 5, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    The site looks great! I might have to change my theme again. I like the drop down down menus.
    I didn’t notice the spotlight section though. It’s supposed to be just under the most recent post? I’ll poke around some more.

    • July 5, 2011 at 6:41 am #

      Thank you! I think you can do the drop-down menu thing on your theme too.

      You can only see the spotlight section when you’re on the home page.

  7. July 6, 2011 at 2:28 am #

    I think I may have mentioned before that I like it because it has an e-Magazine feel to it. Also, none of the other bloggers I follow have anything quite like this. Different is good! At first I was a bit confused (because I resist change sometimes) but got used to it really quickly.

    • July 6, 2011 at 8:39 am #

      Thanks, it took me a while to get used to the new layout too. Kept forgetting to put in the right tags to get the new posts into the “featured” area.

      One of the reasons that I got this theme, is that I’m seriously contemplating combining my two blogs (this one and the photoblog). I just find it so difficult to keep the photoblog going during periods when I’m not taking/getting a lot of new photos. Have you got any thoughts on this?

      • July 12, 2011 at 2:19 am #

        Do you have a flickr account? That would allow you to just have one blog and link over to flickr if you have more photos you’d like people to view.

      • July 12, 2011 at 7:02 am #

        Yes, I do have a Flickr account. That is a good idea!

  8. Lu
    July 7, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Ok, so you know already how much I admire this theme – especially the home page! My only resistance to it comes from the fact that I like a header/feature image at the top of each post. Perhaps I am too picky – as otherwise everything is super clean, clear, utterly readable and as I have said in a previous comment on a different post – that it showcases your articles perfectly!

    • July 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      One can actually put a banner/header image in at the top of the theme, and also have the featured image at the top of each individual post, but I felt given how many photographs I usually put in my posts, it might be a little too much. I’ll still play around and see what works and looks best. I don’t think this theme is for everyone – if you don’t have colourful photographs, it looks very bland.

      The reason that there are so many different WordPress themes out there is that people have different tastes which they want to express in their blogs. My (soon to be completed, I hope! 🙂 ) post on WP themes is more about the functionality I believe should be in all themes – whether you decide to use those functions or not.

  9. July 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    I like it, I´ve been looking for a new “look” too but I haven´t had the time (lot going on in my life right now).
    I clicked on some links but then I don´t know how to return to this main page …

    • July 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      To get back to the main page, you can click on “Home” on the menu, or on the blog title i.e. “Notes from Africa” at the top left.

  10. thetravelingbird
    July 22, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I really like how you set this up! Very smart to have the Spotlight section, I have posts from back in the day that I love, but know that readers are never going to find. Looks like I’ll have to fiddle with my theme and see if I can get something similar set up.

    • July 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂 I chose this theme because it did have a features and spotlight section. It is very useful to be able to display older posts which readers might have missed.

  11. December 31, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Hi Lisa! I’m planning on visiting Africa this year (not sure which countries yet) and wanted to know if you have any good advice for where to look for elephant refuges. Do you know of any? Ideally, I would like to volunteer for one of them for a month or so.

    • January 1, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Hi Jacqueline! I don’t know of any elephant refuges which accept volunteers. Maybe the best thing would be to get in touch with an organization like The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ( I see that some wildlife organizations (like this one in Namibia – also have volunteer projects.

      Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading about your African adventure.

      • January 2, 2013 at 9:05 am #

        Thanks so much for your help and suggestions, Lisa! 🙂

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