If you noticed some annoying ads on my page this week, don't be alarmed. That was just me trying and failing to make some money. I signed up for a new ad network, opted out of all pop-ups and intrusive advertising, but for some infuriating reason, they still showed up on my site.
I believe it was mainly a problem with mobile, but it's hard to say, since everyone gets served different ads. I didn't see anything until a reader notified me about it yesterday afternoon. While I was in a cab. Stuck in traffic. With no computer. FUN TIMES!
Of course, I found out later that evening that my husband saw something wonky in the morning but (and I quote) "forgot to tell me".
Uh-huh. Last night it took everything I had to "forget to kill him in his sleep".
I have now disabled all the ads and am working with the network to find a solution. I promise, I do not want to navigate through a sea of Old Navy promotions or watch a commercial for FOX Television before I am allowed to read my blog anymore than you do.
Speaking of optimizing my site, it has become glaringly apparent that I need to move my blog to a new platform and build it back up from scratch.
I know. That sounds like a huge pain in the ass, but I don't really have a choice. (Cue heart palpitations.)
HERE'S WHERE YOU COME IN.
I've been debating how much I should change my blog with the move. My first instinct was to keep it exactly the same but then I realized there are probably some things that could make the site a little more user-friendly for those discovering it for the first time.
For instance, maybe I should have a way to access content according to age— baby, toddler, preschooler, etc. Maybe the middle column should be a bit wider. Maybe Harlow's photo should be in the top banner so she doesn't use that as an example of why she hates me in her future therapy sessions.
Can you guys please do me a favor and give me some feedback on what you would and wouldn't change? What do you like about the blog? What could be improved upon? What do you see on other blogs that you pray to god I do not do to mine?
Please don't say the writing sucks, you could be funnier, get some new kids, etc.
I'm asking more about design, functionality and site architecture. (I learned the term "site architecture" yesterday. Doesn't it make me sound all internet fancy?)
OH MY GOD THIS IS THE MOST BORING POST EVER.
Unicorns! Magic! Poop! Cats! Cats that poop on magical unicorns!
Ok, now I feel better.
Let's close out the week on something less excrutiating….
Look what Mazzy made for me this morning:
Suddenly, 24 hours of labor and delivery seems totally worth it.
Have a great weekend!
— Mommy Shorts
PS: I'm serious. Please give me your honest opionions about the blog in the comments.
PPS: The "I Pretzel NY" t-shirts and onesies are from Piccolini.
Definitely put Harlow in the photo banner! I also like the age specific categories but otherwise I love it all.
I think you have a brilliant design right now, though yes, it’d be nice to see Harlow in the header.
The main content could be wider? And I personally like it when there are no sidebars on the left. (Also, search engine spiders crawl from left to right, top to bottom, so you want them to ‘see’ the important stuff first, rather than ads etc.)
I think your categories etc are very well organized as it is.
Excited for your move!
For the mobile version I prefer to have the middle bar quite large so I don’t have to squint to read or enlarge it. I don’t like when other blogs have a ‘find by date’ feature…it takes up space and I think it’s only useful to the administrator.. keep the ‘similar posts’ at the end of each post.
I don’t really get a lot of the links on the right either. I want to clarify what I mean by that but I’m not really sure what I mean.helpful, I know…
I just found your blog about a month ago, and I would like to say that I think you are hilarious and might hove gone a little stalker status on here. I have a newborn and had some serious milk supply issues and went on a non stop pumpathon. I am sooo glad I found your blog, I have now read every entry and my suggestion would be to have a button to start reading from the beginning. I read the whole blog backwards, maybe I’m missing it but I didn’t see a way to go to page one. I think the layout is great, I have been on the hunt for another blog to occupy the time that I am now spending breastfeeding (yay milk success!) but I haven’t found anyone with as nice of a format and keeps me laughing. Also thank you for putting your life out there and contributing to the mild bit of sanity that I am holding onto right now.
I love the colors and design you use now. I have to say your blog is one of my faves/visually pleasing (with awesome content). I have to agree with the above comment- I have never looked at the the black column on the left and still haven’t . . . ok I just glanced at it. (however you may need that solid black color to create a visual effect?
your photos definitely have to be a main focus because they are always great (we have the same phone so why don’t my photos look as good!?. And your titles are always very catchy.
And yes Harlow needs to be in the banner/main page!
Also this might be facebook and/or my feed- but I find your posts don’t reflect in my FB feed for at least 5 plus hours and I will have already checked your website and had found the post much earlier (because I stalk your site . . . no big deal . . .) don’t change too much- love your blog!
Just keep up the solid colors/blacks- I find a lot of the other blogs lack in color overall (excluding photos).
And who on Earth would say you need better kids!?
now I am not really being helpful so I think I am done.
Harlow in the banner for sure!
I really like the link within options at the end of posts as it helped me find all sorts of interesting stuff when I started reading your blog, plus they are pretty relevant to what the current post is all about.
I guess the middle column could be bigger but I’m a mobile reader and it enlarges to fit my phone just fine so only a little thing. I do therefore tend to ignore the side columns.
Overall it is easy to read and not too chintzy which I like. And hilarious or miving which I love. And easy to post comments which means I do.
I thought Harlow WAS in the photo banner! I suck at IDing your babies apparently.
I really wouldn’t change a thing about how your blog looks. I think it’s easy to navigate and looks fine on my computer, but I don’t ever use my phone to look at it.
Hi! I love your blog, and the content is great so don’t change a thing about that!
Some suggestions would be definitely add Harlow to the banner, but otherwise, the style of the banner is quite fun so I don’t necessarily think you’d need to give it a complete overhaul. Also, I really like the category idea, but not just by age but also by Harlow/Mazzy. I remember when I first started reading, I really wanted to know how you came up with Mazzy’s name, but I couldn’t find it(it’s such a beautiful name). I think it would be nice to be able to capture their more personal blogs(birth stories/birthday/names) in groups like that.
Hope it helps 🙂 Good luck with the switchover
Your blog is awesome, which I’m sure everyone is going to tell you. I would definitely add some photos on Harlow in the banner. But don’t change the way your categories are set up. I love it! Seriously. I brag to my mom (designer of my blog) about it all the time. In fact, I brag about your blog all the time to everyone in general anyways.
I like the idea of dividing up the age groups.
And I totally recommend switching to WordPress. I’ve never heard anyone complain about it, I use it, and it has a gazillion plugins for anything you could think of. Good luck!
P.S. I think a picture of your daughters in the “I Pretzel NY” shirts would look great in your banner!
I love your blog. It is my favorite of all the blogs I read. I always read my blogs on my iPad before work, so the middle bar not being wide enough isn’t a problem bc I can double tap it and it zooms in perfect. But on days when there isn’t a new post until the afternoon, and I have to read it on my computer and I guess it’s a little small?
My favorite tab you have is your ‘Home Movies’, so please keep that (as I’ve said before) Mazzy, and now Harlow too even though there’s only like one ;), videos are my favorite. So it’s nice to not have to do major post stalking to have to find a certain video (ie ‘How to Sell Poop in a Box’ and ‘Shit Toddlers Say’)
The only other thing I would suggest is – and I don’t know if it’s possible – being able to read your blog from the original post to current a little easier. I started reading your blog about 6 months ago, but I was hooked around the first week, so I went back and read every post, and it was a bit difficult to read it backwards…..but that may just be blog stalker problems! Haha
Oh and Harlow deserves a picture at the top, as a fellow 2nd child (also a fellow November 15th baby) I have suffered, or maybe I should say my mom has suffered, since I question whether I was adopted at 10 – my seemingly first picture – or not, from lack of baby/toddler/child pictures ‘because I had two kids and didn’t have time to take a picture of your first solid food, or crawling, or first time in the pool, or being born for that matter’ compared to my sister who has pictures sitting doing nothing, like 5,000 times over. So it will be brought up later on in life, trust me 🙂
But otherwise your blog is perfect. And I know you said no content suggestions but coughmorehomevideoscough
I like your blog as it is, and I hate change. Too bad it is not ” All about me”, right? 😉 But really – I would change very little. I stopped following some blogs as they seemed to be trying to modernize/update, an instead just got all cluttery and confusing for me. Your site resembles The Bloggess site ( and hello, mimicing her is hardly a bad thing, lady has her shit together!) and Filing Jointly. Both sites are clutter free, well organized, easy to read the current topic, not advertising annoying. Easy enough to find and search archives while keepin in mind most viewers are there for “todays” topic. I would consider who reads the blog – I think tends to be primarily moms, either early in the morning before having first coffee has set in, or at work quickly on a break before second coffee has set in, or at home squeezed between entertaining small kids … so the easier the format for finding the relevant (i.e. current) story, the better. Too much time searching equals less time to read / comment. For commenting, I like when we can ” like” people’s comments, to show appreciation without having to write ” I like that” which just seems too much effort. Re: the top banner being All Mazzy All The Time, I noticed that too and cracked me up! But I have two girls who look similar, figured I would just photoshop the youngest into the oldests bday parties and pretend that it was fo her, you could try the same 😉 lol!
I really like the Archives since I am new to your post. I started reading your blogs starting at the oldest in the archives but I still think Im missing some?
I agree, put Harlow in the banner please.
Definitely add Harlow on top!
I am fairy new to your blog so I’ll tell you what I would like to see changed…
I love the tab about the most popular blogs. That’s what I first discovered because honestly I think you are so funny in the ways you view parenthood and your funny stories about Mazzy and Harlow having me laughing out loud at my desk every day.
So I think you should definitely have a section where you organize the most popular/funny/laugh-out-loud posts.
Also, organizing Mazzy and Harlow posts separately so if someone wants to read exclusively about Mazzy or Harlow they can.
I agree that you should have tabs that will lead you to different age stories. Newborn, infants, toddler, pre-school, etc. (I’m hoping you never stop writing this blog so one day you will have college stories about Mazzy!)
Other than making navigating your site easier for people who want to read your funny posts, I wouldn’t change much! I really think it’s perfect the way it is – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!!
Separating by age group is definitely a nice perk from other blogs I have read. Then, when I am in that stage, I can read what is relevant to me at that point. GREAT BLOG!! New reader and REALLY enjoying it.
I love this suggestion! When I first started reading the blog it took me a while to navigate to the beginning and I like to be up-to-date without missing any prior funnies (:
Here’s my two cents…
Make the middle column a bit wider.
Maybe consolidate some of your categories on the left side and across the top.
I like the idea of organizing by age.
Keep ALL your links from one post to another. When I first discovered your site, that’s how I found all the best posts and what really got me hooked.
Also definitely keep a list of your favorites and reader favorites. That’s always one of the first places I go when I’m discovering a new blog.
And finally, update the “About me.” Pretty sure Harlow isn’t 3 months old anymore 😉 Maybe you could say the month/year she was born instead of an age?
I wasn’t much into blog reading until by accident I found yours, so I have nothing much to compare it too but as a graphic designer myself I do appreciate the good and attractive use of color scheme and type. More classifications are always welcomed, when I catch up with recent entries, I just lurk around old posts in the suggestions below. Hell I can’t think of anything!! I love the way it is!! Although as everyone says, Harlow must definitely be somewhere in the top banner with Mazzy.
First, that picture of Mazzy and Harlow is adorable! And I think you’re hilarious, which is why I keep coming back. I would make the middle column wider and get rid of the turquoise border on the sides (or make it much smaller). And yes to adding Harlow to the banner!
I wish all blogs had the start from the beginning button! I love when other bloggers are like, “Hey check out this awesome writer”, and I get hooked and then have to read everything in reverse.
Also, please keep the comment formatting the same, not captcha business. those are awful!
And Harlow up top. Even though you may be the only one to tell them apart. They are little clones. Well a clone with epic hair of course!
I do think the middle column could stand to be wider, I am not lazy to scroll…..Also, if you could put the comment box that you can type in at the top or have just a few comments show up before the box and then have the option to maximize that would be nice, sometimes I just like to get to the box. Your content is fab! Don’t change a thing with that!
Categorizing entries by age group (and not by date) is brilliant! As the mother of a 7 month old, I love reading your infant insights. They make me feel much better about all those little day-to-day adventures that I’m not so sure would win me “mother of the year” status. So, it would be nice to navigate based on age group.
Also, I love your attention to grammatical detail- THANK YOU for realizing that yes, your blogs are read by numerous people and deserve an extra read-through before posting, something that many many other (mom) bloggers don’t always do, which is annoying, so thanks. Keep up the amazing work!
Don’t change your writing because I love it 🙂
I would love to be able to look at categories individually as you suggested. Age groups would be great, but also, baby gear (aka recommendations), stuff you tried but hated, etc. I remember you talking about your favorite iPhone apps, but I can’t seem to find it….a search bar would be super helpful. Good luck!
In a previous post you had mentioned that your original intention for this blog was to make something personal that you could show to your daughters when they are a bit older but that you have gotten away from that and gone more in the direction of entertaining your audience (how’s THAT for a run-on sentence?!). How about adding a section that’s just dedicated to your daughters? You take such amazing photos that it could even just be a photo journal (sort of like the Blinkbuggy site that you plugged a while back) of the little things that make you smile in your day to day interactions with them. That way they can see what a great sense of humor and writing their mom has & how entertaining she is to all her readers while being able to see their life from your perspective (or camera lens, if you will).
I also agree that a “start from the beginning” button would be great for those of us who are slightly obsessed with this blog but haven’t necessarily been reading from the beginning.
I started reading your blog about 2 months ago, and I like it 🙂 It would have been easier if there was a more user friendly archive function. Maybe with a drop down menu instead of just the last 12 months. I wanted to see what happened early on, and had to keep clicking on the left bar then going to the right month. Also, for any given month the posts are viewed not in chronological order, but in reverse (starts with Jan 30 then goes to jan 1). I understand why (it is how it is written) but hard to catch up on (there is no jump to feature). Though now I’m caught up, it doesn’t matter as much. Might be helpful for new people. Other than that, make that left column smaller, and the middle one bigger. Great job!
I love, love, love everything the way it is but yes, definitely add Harlow at the top. And maybe put some new pics of Mazzy on top too so people don’t get confused.
as others have suggested, I would love to have a section that just has consolidated links to all of your blogs so that I can go back and read from the beginning. you could even maybe organize by topic and/ or age. otherwise I love love love your blog. it’s just a pain to get to the old stuff
Reading at work so I haven’t had the time to read other comments. Sorry if I duplicate. Of course add Harlow to the header. That is a given, right?
The only other suggestion I have is to widen the content area. I lean toward two column designs with content being on the right. This just works for my eyes and my taste. BUT… and this is a REALLY big but…I am not your typical Mommy Shorts reader. My kiddos are 23 and 26. I read because I like your writing style, your stories and your contests. That said, I have what I call “old lady eyes”. Tired eyes that struggle to navigate a lot of detail. Less is more for me.
Finally, as if this comment isn’t already long enough, I need to share that your blog was mentioned at a blog conference I recently attended…for great design!!! The presenters sang your praises. That could be all you really need to know! 🙂
Regardless of changes made, I’m certain all will be AWESOME!
Love your “Might also like” at the end of the posts. Recently I have really appreciated blogs that have a button that says “back to top” so you can shoot right back to the top of the page for whatever you are looking for next. One of the reasons I love your blog is how well organized it is but also agree that a section showing posts by age of the girls would be pretty cool- especially for new moms.
You could make the right side with all of your social media links and awards more narrow to make the middle section bigger. Also, it would be nice if it formatted better for mobile devices. Definitely add Harlow to the banner, age categories would be a great addition.
I like the idea of having info / blogs posts by age. Perhaps also have some more regular info from Dr. B when she resurfaces:)
Some pics of Harlow on the top would be cute on the top.
Other than that, keep up the writing, helps me keep sane.
I love your blog. Please don’t change the content, or I might have to cry a little!
I agree with the suggestions to have a “start from the beginning” button and to put Harlow in the header. The middle column could also stand to be wider.
My main suggestion, however, is that you should make you “subscribe by email” button easier to find! I love getting your emails, and have suggested friends should get them too, and they always tell me they can’t find the box to enter their email in.
Whatever you do I’m sure it’ll still be as awesome as ever!
I definitely like the idea of having both Mazzy and Harlow in the banner. One thing you could do is have a drop down menu for posts based on when you wrote them– TheLifeOfDad has something like that on his blog, if you are unsure of what I’m talking about. That way new users could find all your entries, and the readers you already have can go back and look at favorite entries easily.
I love your blog – its my favorite mommy blog, so don’t change much! Harlow needs to go in the banner. The width seems fine to me and I alternate between reading on my phone and my laptop. I think the organization on the right is helpful and sufficient.
How would you separate out posts by age if post-Harlow posts (sorry, that is confusing) have both an infant and a toddler in them? Would you do those as 2-child posts?
I agree with the ladies saying that they would have liked a way to start at the beginning.
I would love a way to “like” a comment without having to reply to it.
I feel like I’m calling into a radio show, ‘long time listener, first time caller.’ (I’ve been reading your blog for just over a year and it’s now a staple of my morning routine. so thanks for being so funny and awesome!)
Anyways. My only addition to the commments above would be that I love your general aesthetic so please do not change your colors/design toooo much. So many of the ‘mom’/’lifestyle’ blogs are overly similar. It’s all pastels and chevron and calligraphy. I love that your blog is bold and fun rather than whimsical and twee.
I LOVE your blog layout. I really like that it has the “Next post/previous post” links at the top and suggested posts at the bottom. I agree with some other posters that it would be nice to have a “first blog” or start at the beginning link. I, too, read it from end to beginning when I first found you after my daughter was born. The other feature that I like is the search option. It’s useful, for instance, when I want to find Mike’s chicken noodle soup recipe again (made it last winter and loved it! Of course, didn’t copy it down so it’ll handy to be able to search for it).
The only thing I can think of that I’m not crazy about is the one ad on the right side titled “Is a Lazy Summer Really so Bad.” I read your blog everyday and could at least use a change of topic on that one! Not sure if you have any control over which ads appear though…
Thanks for the opportunity to comment! I’ll be continuing to read everyday regardless of how you redesign.
I agree with lots of these comments. A wider bar in the middle for easier reading would be helpful. And a way to start reading from the beginning! I just found your blog recently and I want to be able to logically go back and see what I’ve missed!
I’d like to be able to read the whole blog post (at least the newest one) from your home page. On mobile, it’s annoying to have to let the page load and then wait for the link to load to see the whole post.
I’ve been reading almost since day one and really believe you have one of THE BEST blog designs! Love your layouts, colors, graphics, content organization,etc. The only hiccup I have is with loading your page. Whether it’s on my phone, iPad, or desktop – for some reason it always takes longer than expected. Often mid-load, I will refresh for a quicker load. Other than that issue, the only change I suggest is adding Harlow to the banner. I’d have one of Mazzy or age x, the Harlow at age x, then Mazzy at age y, then Harlow at age y…
I doubt you’ll see this but as a relatively “new reader” (only a year under my belt), I remember that I couldn’t find posts very easily. I don’t know if it was user error or if the organizing is too confusing.
Personally, I was probably someone who wanted to read from day one forward (chronologically) when I was first nursing because I was in bed for hours at a time and your site was amazing to come across for entertainment. I blame you for not allowing me to ever finish a book because I’d rather read humor blogs. Moving on.
Definitely have been thinking for a while that you should have Harlow with Mazzy up top. Maybe the two pictures where they look identical and then one of them together?
I agree! Being able to start at the beginning would be nice.
Oh my goodness, I did the same thing of reading backwards, but it was while I was breastfeeding! Reading on my phone is the only thing that’s kept me awake for those middle of the night feedings. Having a way to start from the beginning would be very handy.
My son eats every 2 hrs even in the middle of the night. I dont know what I would do if I couldn’t read blogs on my phone!
New photos for sure.
I appreciate that the ads are running down the sides of the content, rather than in a banner horizontally before it. I’ve read other blogs with banner ads that span the width of the site and take up a good vertical chunk of the space and it interrupts my enjoyment of the content.
The “you might also like” is always different when returning to the previous page after linking to one of them, but I WANTED TO READ THEM ALL. If I were a smarter browser, I would open in a new page but I never remember to and miss out on a suggested post that looked fun.
I also love that you post frequently. I hope you are able to keep it coming!
Love your blog, it’s the first one I go to every day. And my grandkids are older than your kids….
That being said, I never read the column on the left, black background, tiny, colored writing, it’s really hard for me to read clearly. I do like the larger fonts but I never even read that side of the blog lol. I would love to see the middle column a little wider and of course, Harlow up top just so she doesn’t sue you for her therapy costs in the future 🙂 .
Otherwise, I love your blog and your colors and it seems organised well.
Get some new kids!
I would enjoy the middle column being a bit wider. Otherwise, I’m happy. Oh, don’t take away the “if you like this post, you’ll like that post” bit at the bottom. I love that.
I have been reading over a year. I have a 4 yr old and 2.9 yr old so I can definitly relate! No real comments on the site but I thought I’d just say my favorite posts that stick out. I love the picture of you and the girls next to the one your mom and sister. I also like the fake bugaboo story. Love the post about your dad on father’s day. I would like to hear your thoughts about age gap btw kids and what is ideal. I would also like to hear how you met Mike and how he propsed. What are your thoughts on raising kids in the city vs burbs.
Great blog! Thanks!
-Leah (39,San Francisco)
I also loved the fake Bugaboo post and the Father Day post for your dad. Your birth stories are also awesome. Poor husband just needed some coffee!
Yes, making the middle section wider would be nice. New, updated photos of the kids in the banner, including Harlow, would be great. I like the format of your comment section. I have so enjoyed this glimpse into your family life in NYC.
Here is a super helpful suggestion for you…bring a puppy or kitten into the mix for endless new blog fodder and super cute photo opportunities.