New Year, New Site

A photo from my trip to Buffalo over Labor Day weekend–the leaves outside this café/bookshop on Elmwood caught my eye and inspired my site’s logo.

I’m a teacher. In training. I’ve referenced my teaching job in a half-dozen posts on the blog before–in posts highlighting the stories of my schoolteacher ancestors or reflecting on the post-graduation period when I was trying to find the motivation to study for the Praxis–but I haven’t shared what I do exactly. Back in September, my school’s technology teacher moved away, and in the end, I was asked to fill the position. The conversation started like this:

“Hey, Ms. Gates. Are you good with technology?”

“I have a blog?”

“Well, that’s more than I can say.”

True story.

January’s Genealogy Blog Party theme is “Tune Up Your Blog,” and while this is a detour from Elizabeth’s ancestry-related prompts, it’s the perfect combination of genealogy and tech, the two parts of my life that take up most of my time. I’ve spent the work week teaching my students block coding and designing February’s HTML lessons for fifth grade; it’s only fitting that I spend the weekend re-coding my site’s design, optimizing my site’s SEO and analyzing my writing style. It’s a new year, and I thought it was about time I updated my site’s look.

And I’m thrilled with the edits I’ve made so far. The site feels more like me now–feels more reflective of my family’s story and the themes that I’ve tried to convey–and I’ve focused on highlighting family photos and creating categories for each line on my family tree (all in an effort to connect with more cousins). The design is also the best combination of Applegate Genealogy’s message, if you will: the front page features a photo of Buffalo c. 1908–often at the center of my ancestors’ stories–and better explains the work I conduct on my and others’ family trees. Changed my logo? Check. Chose new fonts and color schemes? Check. Signed up for Google Webmasters tools? Check. Deciphered my site’s SEO report card? Check.


My favorite tool that Elizabeth shared this month, though, is Typealyzer, a program that analyzes your writing style and suggests your Myers-Briggs type. According to the program, I’m an INTP, “the logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications…Their ability to grasp complexity may also lead them to provide overly-detailed explanations of simple ideas, and listeners may judge that the INTP makes things more difficult than they need to be.” Yeah, that sounds like me; rather, that admittedly sounds like this post. I’d better sign off.

Thanks to everyone who has commented on my site’s new look in the past few days, and as always, thank you for following along with my family’s story–your advice and support is incredibly humbling and truly doesn’t feel deserved most days (but I’m very grateful for it anyway). So, a combination of family history, blog tune-ups and accurate-yet-inaccurate Myers-Briggs types? Only here will you find a technology teacher and genealogy blogger who will attempt to connect all three. Well, probably. And with that, I’m out. 

26 thoughts on “New Year, New Site

  1. Your blog looks great – you are lucky to have the tech skills to make the changes you want. For those, like me, who know nothing about coding, custom updates don’t happen. However, we are lucky that WordPress makes it easy to blog happily away.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your blog was one of my inspirations, actually–and I’m not just saying that! I love the simplicity of your site’s front page and the way you’re able to feature certain posts and add them to a grid. It’s really easy to look back and find my favorite posts. Anyway, I really think it looks great–but go for that tune-up!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Looks great! Inspiration is everywhere. I love how you found yours. Now, I want to work on mine too 😁. I will give the typealyzer a try and see what it says about me. Looking forward to following yor journey and more great reads from you. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your new look! Especially the header, which perfectly fits the theme of most of your blog posts. (And I was actually very impressed with you finding and having a theme, as my theme seems to be ‘my research and my ancestors’, which is a bit broad ;))

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your blog is very attractive–obviously you have a very good idea for graphics! And I like the clean layout, which makes it easy on the eyes and welcoming to readers. Congratulations.

    Liked by 2 people

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