Hey now, looks a little different around here!

For years now, readers would send me e mails. “Hey Bella, I don’t know how to subscribe to your blog! Where’s the icon?” Or, “Bella, I love your site and am trying to find an old post but your archives are like whoa!

I didn’t know how to respond to those e mails, because as a blogger my skills extend but so far. It’s shameful. I know I’ve got a voice and opinions and writing skills galore, but technical abilities…not so much. And although my husband is a computer whiz, he’s also got a job of his own and as he’s reminded me a million times, IT is not the same as web design, not even close.

I felt constrained by the limitations of my tech skills but had no solution. Until a year ago, when I met Luvvie Ajayi.

From the minute I met her, she has lived up to the name of her blog – Awesomely Luvvie. She’s hilarious and intelligent, super fun to hang out with and all around awesome. We met almost exactly a year ago at Blogging While Brown here in Chicago. And now a year later she’s responsible for the whole new look I’ve got here, and this week we’re about to embark on an epic Amtrak journey from Chicago to Washington for the third Blogging While Brown, where we’re both featured speakers on different panels! What a difference a day made!

We’re celebrating our friendaversary on the road. And in Washington DC you can party with us at the Red Pump Project’s Say Red DC event!

I thought it only appropriate to post an interview with Luvvie, to kick off the new look. And to share with you the everything that is AweLuv Inc!

Me : What would you describe your design aesthetic as, Luvvie?

Luvvie: Hmm… I like clean designs that still have a bit of personality. Very little clutter but also not minimalist.

Me : How would you describe what you do? Are you a web designer? An online guru?

Luvvie: I’m not a web designer because it’s not the only thing I do. I just think there are so many awesome writers/bloggers/people out there whose web spaces do them no justice. Am I an online guru? I’m an addict who knows a lot about the web. Does that count as a guru?

Me: IDK. How would you describe what you do then? I don’t know what terminology to use.

Luvvie: Hmm… I like to think i make folks’ eLives awesome. Since I’m a Jill of all eTrades, my business card (well, 1 of them) says “Social Media Consultant.” Guru does sound cooler though.

Me: That it does. When you were redesigning my site, what was your goal?

Luvvie: To create a site for you that’s as awesome as you are. If content is king, well you’re one of the rulers of the blogosphere. I wanted people to come to Afrobella.com and feel like they just stepped into an eHome. I wanted it to be warm, interactive and just pleasant.

I think she’s done all that and then some. We worked hard to keep the vibe Afrobella has visually had since 2006, but hopefully now you’ll find the features you need more easily. Please share your opinion in the comments! I hope you like the new look of Afrobella as much as we do!

Afrobella.com before the redesign

Luvvie’s note: Still making some tweaks here and there. So bear with us as I vacuum the place of any dust left over. πŸ˜‰ If you come across any errors or bugs, let us know.


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EssenseVibez says:
June 14, 2010, 7:21 am
love the new look!!!!---plus i love your blog and its contents---very inspiring---remain blessed my sistah' friend!
Peajai says:
June 14, 2010, 7:34 am
Looks great!! Congrats!
Wise Diva says:
June 14, 2010, 7:52 am
I totally love it! Great job ladies, you make a great team!
Andrea Plaid says:
June 14, 2010, 7:55 am
Congrats, ladies! The site looks gorgeous!
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 7:56 am
Thanks!! So excited about the new features!
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 7:57 am
Thanks Peajai!! I know you've been reading for a while now! thanks for the kind words!
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 8:04 am
I agree!! Luvvie is amazing and she taught me so much about how to make this site better. SO excited for the future now!
E-Fresh says:
June 14, 2010, 8:05 am
I really like the new design. I think it's great and long overdue. I've been poking around a little. The search function is not working btw.
iolastar says:
June 14, 2010, 8:08 am
I always loved afrobella.com. This new site compliments afrobella quite well. Everything is clean and accesible. I totally feel you on being a great writer, but limited technical skills you're preaching to the choir. Great job on the site Awesomely Luvvie.
E-Fresh says:
June 14, 2010, 8:11 am
Also noticed that you have an image on the right side. That's new right?
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 8:13 am
thanks Andrea!!! SO proud!
Lyssa says:
June 14, 2010, 8:16 am
Looking good! I love it.
BK says:
June 14, 2010, 8:24 am
I LOVE IT!!!! OMG very clean & easier to find things.... great job Luvvie!!!
Dasheen Magazine says:
June 14, 2010, 8:30 am
So sleek and streamlined but still ultimately Afrobella. Props also to the designer--Luvvie It's really a pleasure to be on this journey with you Bella, even the stylistic ones. Happy Monday!
darlene says:
June 14, 2010, 9:01 am
nicely done!
Moni says:
June 14, 2010, 9:03 am
Love it! : )
Nikia says:
June 14, 2010, 9:05 am
Great job! Testing it out now :-)
Stylin' & Profilin' says:
June 14, 2010, 9:09 am
Congrats, lady! The redesign is awesome. The site looks very clean and is super easy to navigate. Gooooo bella ;)
Chai says:
June 14, 2010, 9:11 am
LOVE.IT.ALL!! Looks a ton easier to navigate!
dgh says:
June 14, 2010, 9:23 am
What a nice surprise...this redesign. You've definitely managed to take things to the next level. Very well done!
Dee Dee says:
June 14, 2010, 9:42 am
The new site looks ah-mazing!! Fantastic job!! Love you both :)
Kat says:
June 14, 2010, 9:48 am
I love the new design...wonderful! I think this would be Afrobella 3.0! One thing about your images banner on your landing page...it seems to be pulling close-ups from the images associated with your latest blog entries. The images are zoomed in versions, but they don't make sense. The banner image from your "Monday Manicure" shows the texture of the background fabric, but not the manicure. The "American Apparel" image focuses on a sign hook on the building. My wish would be for you to select thumbnails that are descriptive of the article. "NaturallyCurly.com" does a great job of that on their landing page.
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 9:56 am
Thanks for this, Kat! This is one of the tweaks I'm working on making. Hopefully, it'll be much better by tonight.
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 10:03 am
Hey Kat!! Yes the photos need tweaking - for some reason some of them pulled the close ups. Luvvie's on it! Please let us know of any other changes you see that we need to address!
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 10:03 am
Love you TOO and YAY for friends who are supportive and loving and awesome - like you!!
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 10:04 am
thanks!! I am so happy with these changes. Bigger and better things are in the pipeline!
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 10:05 am
Thanks Lyssa!! And what a wonderful full circle moment - you left me my first ever comment!! Four years ago, can you believe it?
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 10:06 am
am image of me? It's an ad for my Zazzle store! SUPER glad you like it, you know I respect your opinion so much!
E-Fresh says:
June 14, 2010, 10:20 am
No no, not that image. The one within the post. My memory might be off, but I seem to remember images within posts only being left aligned before.
Cheekie says:
June 14, 2010, 10:20 am
Aww, this place looks terrific, Afrobella! Good luck, Luvvie. Ya'll betta work! And I totally co-sign on Luvvie's description here: "I wanted people to come to Afrobella.com and feel like they just stepped into an eHome. I wanted it to be warm, interactive and just pleasant." Because when I first saw it, I thought "This looks and feels so comfy and warm!". Again, terrific job and I'm so happy for you, Afrobella and how far your site has come.
warrior11209 says:
June 14, 2010, 10:25 am
The new design is awesome ! Continued much success to you and to your web designer
curlybean says:
June 14, 2010, 10:30 am
Great site updates! I love the clean lines, and the ease of viewing past posts. I especially love that I can click on a picture and see it bigger...great for my aging bella eyes! I visit your site almost daily, minus some weekends so I was pleasantly surprised this morning! But the first thing I noticed were the ads. On my computer they are almost half the screen, probably can't do much...they pay the bills I am sure but fyi. Congrat's
bella says:
June 14, 2010, 10:32 am
Curlybean, oh if only you knew...there was not much I could do about that and it was a struggle. I am currently with the Glam Network and those are the conditions of my contract. So we did our best to make the network happy, while still making the site as beautiful as possible. Thanks for the feedback!
ebonys says:
June 14, 2010, 10:38 am
Hey Afrobella, congrats on the new look. I like the slide show and the fact that the preview space of articles all seem to be a standard size, so I can see several posts (new & older) all at once. Great job by Luvvie.
Gigi (BeautyXchangeGirl) says:
June 14, 2010, 11:09 am
I love the new design! Everything is so well balanced. Luvvie did an excellent job!
Kemi says:
June 14, 2010, 11:13 am
I love the redesign! Everything looks awesome!
Mzpastrychef says:
June 14, 2010, 11:13 am
Really loving the new site!! It's more appealing to the eye and It's so easy for me to find old posts & etc. Great Job Luvvie & Afrobella.. Now I just have to pull myself away from the site so I can get some work done!
Renisha says:
June 14, 2010, 11:34 am
WOW!!!! I love it! I wouldn't expect anything other than greatness from Luvvie. She truly is awesome! I'm so proud of you ladies! :)
lmjd says:
June 14, 2010, 12:22 pm
Congratulations Afrobella on the new look. It is clean and beautiful. I am glad that there is a home button now. By the way, I love your icon.
Phyrra says:
June 14, 2010, 12:34 pm
The new site looks fantastic! I love it!
Resha says:
June 14, 2010, 1:31 pm
It's so fresh n clean! Nice job, Luvvie ;)
Suzette Martin-Clarke says:
June 14, 2010, 3:07 pm
Great job. Love how crisp and professional it looks.
Myne Whitman says:
June 14, 2010, 3:59 pm
You did great, the new look is so cool. All the best with your trip!
SoFrolushes says:
June 14, 2010, 5:00 pm
I always love the re-designs - If only I could truly get to grips with HTML and Cnames I could get creative.
shay-d-lady says:
June 14, 2010, 5:11 pm
Great Job! I love it. its still the afrobella i love but better!!!
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:35 pm
Thanks Resha!!! :-D
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:35 pm
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:36 pm
Truly appreciate the kind words!
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:36 pm
Thanks BK! :-D
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:37 pm
Love ya, Dee Dee!!!
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:37 pm
Yes Cheekie! Take off your coat and stay awhile.
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:38 pm
I appreciate it, Gigi.
Luvvie says:
June 14, 2010, 5:38 pm
Thanks Renisha! *beams*
Sabrina says:
June 14, 2010, 7:19 pm
I likes, I likes....good job Luvvie and Afrobella!
Chic Chocolate says:
June 14, 2010, 8:19 pm
Great job! The site looks wonderful!
The Curvy Fashionista says:
June 14, 2010, 8:46 pm
Fabulous darlin! Simply Fabulous!
Jasmine says:
June 14, 2010, 11:06 pm
Awesome New look:)
Black Honey says:
June 15, 2010, 12:00 am
Love the new look.
Calming says:
June 15, 2010, 4:40 am
I love the new look, you are truly amazing. Have a great time @ the conference. I was planning to go but work demands have me here in the D. Excited to read your coverage and mucho congrats. Be blessed, CC
Linda says:
June 15, 2010, 2:53 pm
Love the look...but what happened to your Blogroll??
Kat says:
June 15, 2010, 5:05 pm
Glad to help! And, just in case I didn't emphasize this...I LOVE THE NEW LOOK!!! I think it's very complementary for your content, and it makes me want to come back more often than I already do.
Tara Melissa says:
June 16, 2010, 8:19 am
Gorgeous! Congratulations on the lovely redesign.
shine says:
June 17, 2010, 12:48 pm
I love your new site! The colour scheme is gorgeous! I'm even more excited to visit!
teachermrw says:
June 18, 2010, 12:22 pm
On and off lurker of your former site. Really like the look of your site's new layout. :)
Ife says:
July 3, 2010, 12:43 pm
LOVE this new look. I want to be like you when I grow up. By the way, eons ago I read your post about Clarisonic and now I have one. It has helped my skin so much. Thanks for the great work you do!


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