Welcome to The New DIY Playbook Website


Things may look a little different around here today and that’s because we have a new DIY Playbook website! This has been in the works for months and we finally launched it over the past week. I wanted to dedicate today’s post to giving you a tour of the new website and talk about how far this blog has come since it first launched in 2013…

Way Back When…

My best friend, Bridget, and I started The DIY Playbook back in 2013. (She left the blog in 2019 and I continued on with it solo.) Neither of us was techy (still aren’t), but we figured out a way to buy the domain name and get everything set up, using the Blogger platform.

The DIY Playbook in 2013

The DIY playbook blog header in 2013

This is what our header looked like when we first launched on Blogger back in March of 2013. I remember using a free program to work on that header and we were so proud of it! We had no idea what the heck we were doing, but we Googled along the way and figured it out as we went. We didn’t have a team or web developer. When things broke, we googled how the heck to fix it ourselves.

Eventually, as the blog grew and we realized that we actually wanted to keep this thing going, we pinched our pennies and hired a web team to move us from Blogger to WordPress and give us a custom design…

The DIY Playbook in 2014

Our blog back in 2014

In 2014, we launched a brand new site on WordPress with a sporty theme (as a play on the word “Playbook”) and an official logo. It was actually super adorable with the cutest sports puns and graphics, which is ironic since neither of us is sporty at all! That site served us well for three years, but we eventually outgrew the navy/turquoise color scheme and all of those sports puns!

The DIY Playbook in 2017

The new website in 2017

At last, we made it to the Playbook website that you’ve seen here for the past five years. Honestly, I loved the site so much. That’s why I haven’t updated it in so long – the black and white color palette, the bright clear photos, and the ease of navigation. It was a wonderful and beautiful site.

However, I knew it was time for a change earlier this year…

The New Website

On my phone

So why change things up? Well, I certainly didn’t want to refresh it just for the sake of a refresh. What really needed to happen was a behind-the-scenes tech overhaul. WordPress has changed dramatically over the last five years and my site was getting slower and more bogged down with each post that I published.

Once again, I went to the team who did my previous website (Roundhouse Designs) and had them walk me through the steps for a new DIY Playbook website. We needed to add more storage, upgrade the server, switch to a WordPress block template, and improve the backend functionality. I also figured it would be a good time for a small site refresh in terms of the overall look and aesthetic.

New Things to Discover

Straight lines on the armchairs

While I liked the black and white look of my last site, I’m drawn to a warmer color palette as evidenced by my current home style. The colors of the new site are the same paint colors you’ll find in my home…warm white, sage green, and navy. I love the overall feel and aesthetic of the new site. It feels a bit more like me.

The Homepage

new diyplaybook website

The homepage is where you’ll find the biggest changes. I now have a full-screen homepage with landing pages on the top, categories across, and then the newest blog post right at the very top of the page.

Meet Casey on homepage

Personally, I like having the newest blog post at the top whenever I visit a blog and I think some of the newer sites can be a little tricky to navigate. You’ll find the daily blog post up top, a link to learn more about me, followed by four more blog posts below it, in chronological order.

Below that, you can tour my home, see some of my favorite blog posts, search the blog (again), and then subscribe to my email list. If you ever need to get back to the homepage, just click The DIY Playbook logo.

Hit That “Blog” Button

Click the blog button

Now, if you’re a hardcore blog reader you’re probably like, “Casey, I just want to have all of the blog posts in a row so I can make sure I’m all caught up.” Girl, I get it. Just hit that “BLOG” button on the very top of the page and you’ll go to a page with all of my blog posts in chronological order. Hit that “NEWER” or “OLDER” button to navigate and make sure you’re all caught up with anything you’ve missed.

That “BLOG” button will always, always, always be at the top of the page even if you’re not on the homepage. So click that if you ever need it.

Improved Navigation

Okay, onto more of the “meat” of the site. I spent a long time redoing all of my categories, since I now cover a wide range of topics from family, to blog tips, DIY, and more.

new do it in a day category

There are a few new categories and sub-categories. Under “Do-It-Yourself” you’ll find the sub-categories “Do It In A Day”, “Renovations”, and “Room Reveals.” Do It In A Day contains projects that I think are quick wins that you can accomplish in a day. From a craft to recaulking your bathtub, these are all smaller DIY projects that anyone can do.

renovation category on the new diy playbook website

The Renovations sub-category includes more advanced projects like demoing a bathroom, tiling a floor, or building your own built-ins.

Rooms page on the new diy playbook website

Another category I’m excited about is “Rooms.” Here, I have the main rooms of a home and you’ll find corresponding blog posts about those particular areas. Just click “Rooms” and you’ll go to a page like the image above with all of the various rooms to choose from. Or you can navigate with the drop-down category menu under “Rooms”.

For example, if you’re doing a kitchen renovation you might want to scope out the “Kitchen” sub-category to learn more about my own kitchen process, other kitchens I’ve featured, and general design tips for a kitchen space.

Search Still a Priority

Search the blog area

While the categories are great, personally, I navigate my own website using the search function. You’ll find it in the upper left area and it will always be up there, no matter where you are on the website. I also included it at the bottom too, just in case!

I use the search function several times a day to answer your DMs over on Instagram. Have a question about buying a rug? I type “rug” in the search bar and can quickly send you the blog posts I’ve written about that topic. If you’re ever searching for a past topic, I highly recommend starting there first!

Our Family Timeline

My new timeline on the about page

A fun new area is on my “About” page. Here, I included new tidbits about myself and a Finn family timeline. From meeting Finn back in 2004, to getting married, starting the blog, having children, etc. It gives you a bit more background about us and how we’ve gotten to this point!

Dates Are Back!

dates back in blog posts

When I asked for your feedback on what you wanted to see for the new site, many of you chimed in saying you wanted dates back on posts. Your wish has been granted! You’ll find dates near the title on every single blog post.

Shop Page Is Updated

shop my home

The Shop Page also got an overhaul. At the very top header, you’ll find “Shop My Home.” That will bring you to a page with a link to my Amazon storefront, a link to every single room, and then a link to shop all of my favorite products. If you click on one of the rooms, you’ll be taken to a page like this…

shop my kitchen

Each room includes the main details, like the paint colors, cabinet colors, and a link to the room reveal blog post. Below that, you’ll find all of the products from the room that you can easily shop.

shop page beauty

You’ll find a link to my regular shop in the sidebar and footer entitled “Shop.” Here, you can use the navigation on the left side to filter what you want to see. Looking for a makeup or beauty product I’ve mentioned? Click the “Beauty” button and it will filter out all of the beauty products. I have lots of categories here, from Finn’s faves, to kid stuff, and even a tab for everything I mention in my monthly Break Room post. I’ll be updating The Shop regularly, if you ever need to find a product.

Backend Improvements

While the new look and navigation are fine and dandy, the real update is that things will be faster and better, overall. Photos should be crisper, load time should drop, and more. So many tech things, that are way over my head, are much improved with the new Playbook website and I’m here for it!

Thank You!

New DIY Playbook website

Whether you remember that first website back in 2013 or are new here today, I want to thank you for being a part of The DIY Playbook community. You’re the reason I keep going with this blog and I’m so grateful for your endless encouragement.

Casey

P.S. There may be a few kinks to work out over the next week. Please bear with me as we get things up and running around here!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.