Welcome to Just Frances… again

Since I began this blog more than 10 years ago, it has undergone a handful of significant upgrades. Indeed, I have just finished* an upgrade that has resulted in the reorganisation of the cross-linking system (categories and tags). My hope is that this is the last major overhaul of this kind. (Fingers crossed!)

The biggest change is probably the most noticeable: I have moved back to a WordPress.org platform. This move means that Just Frances has more of a “blog” look again with more blog content right on the front page. It also means that I have site that I am more comfortable updating as and when I need or want. That means that I will be able to make minor changes to update the look and feel with (relative) ease.

Importantly, the “new” site still has all of the “old” content. However, I have changed the organisation of posts. Posts are now categorised into broad topics in the first instance and are then given keywords or “tags” to help drill down the content a bit more. For example, one of the broad topics is “Fitness & Exercise” which is where you’ll find posts about running, walking, or other fitness and exercise stuff. And individual post might then have keywords such as “running”, “the parentals”, and “training”. This is the case with “The homeland half” which is a story about running a half marathon with my parents cheering me on as part of my training for a full marathon.

This new organisation might not be noticed by regular readers, especially those who read new posts as they’re added but who don’t trawl through the archives. But it will hopefully help the casual reader who finds Just Frances through a Google search for a specific topic, as they will be able to navigate to the topics that are of interest to them, without getting side-tracked by posts about nothing and everything. (For example, a lot of people find my blog when searching for information about ITP, PKD, broken ankles, or widowhood.)

Other changes you might be interested in:

Subscriptions are back (for now!): You can subscribe or unsubscribe as you wish. If you subscribe, you will get automatic emails to let you know when there is a new post. If you decided you don’t want to be a subscriber, you can click unsubscribe at the end of any email you receive. (Sometimes I write from my heart in a way that I feel is too raw to “shout” that there’s a new post. In which case I will turn off notifications for posts on occasion. I make no apologies for that, but I do thank you for understanding.)

Photo galleries: The new gallery tool allows you to comment on photos. It also displays photo captions (I’m still adding captions, but that should be done by the end of October.) I hope that this will lead me to using more descriptive and fun/funny captions for images.

Larger primary photos: The main story images are now much larger and are located at the top of each posts. (My Mum likes this, which is a bonus for me!) The new set-up makes it easier to add in-post images, too. This means that posts moving forward might have extra images in the main body of a post.

More posts (with more details) from the main page: You can now access the latest 20 posts from the main page. Posts will show in chronological order (newest first) and include the category that the post falls under, the first 2-4 lines from the post, and a teaser of the main image. You will have this same view for results when you click on a keyword or a category, or when you use the search function. I hope this helps people to find what they’re looking for.

Thank you, Dear Reader, for your continued support of me and this silly little blog. As I have said before, this blog is first and foremost for my own personal outlet and as a way to record (and later remember!) some of my life. But I also want it to be a place where others feel that they can join in – either by following my adventures as they read posts and look at photos, or by commenting or interacting with the content. And, as always, you are welcome to reach out to me privately if you want to have a chat.

And! And! Here are a couple of teasers for posts to look out for in the coming weeks: (1) I will be doing a tree survey to count and assess trees that were planted 30 years ago to “reclaim” land from an old mine; (2) I am days away from the 7-month mark of my (sort of) COVID isolation; and (3) I am working on some fun public engagement activities for work. So stick around and see what I have to say about these things later!

* “Finished” as in all the big structural changes are done, but there are a couple of things left to do. But, hopefully, those things won’t impact your enjoyment of the site.

Join the conversation!