I Need Your Input!


I need your input!

Southern Plate is growing with every post and adding photographs of each recipe on the sidebar is beginning to make the page very long. Right now, I don’t even have the last ten photographs or so up! This is going to increase the time it takes for the page to load on folks computers as well as ……well its just making for a very long homepage.

Still, I think people like being able to come to the site and scroll down to see not only the tutorials but photographs of other available tutorials as well. I just don’t know the best way to do that with this much content.

I thought about having a slide show up, with the name of each recipe on the actual photograph itself but I wonder if folks would still get an accurate idea of what the site is about that way.

My goal is to come up with something that will enable first time readers to instantly get a good sampling of what Southern Plate is all about and to help them want to stick around and click through the tutorials a bit. Right now, we have over sixty tutorials up and MANY more on the way!

I’d really like your input and ideas here. Do you like the photos in the sidebar? If you were a first time visitor, what would make you want to browse around a bit and come back again? What is the best way to let folks know about all of the recipes offered on Southern Plate? Is a table of contents enough? What categories should I have in the table of contents (in addition to the categories I already have)? How can I let folks know the most about what recipes Southern Plate offers upon first glance?

While I’m asking questions, here are a few more! Are you happy with the frequency of posts on Southern Plate or do you think I am posting too often? What type of recipes do you personally want to see more of – One dish meals, crock pot meals, casseroles, breads, etc?

Of course you don’t have to answer all of these questions! I’m just letting you know some of the thoughts in my head and would love any input or ideas that you can give me.

I have some significant posts coming up. I hope to bring you some really neat things in the next two weeks!

Thank you so very much for your input and for taking the time out of your busy lives to read Southern Plate!




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  1. Lee says

    I love coming here and trying your recipes,as for input maybe post pics on the sidebar of each type of food for example a pic for biscuits and breads,one for entrees,one for desserts,one for breakfast foods etc…,then when you click on the pick it gives you the tutorials for those types of foods.Hope this helps you some.

  2. Stephanie says

    Personally, I love everything about Southern Plate! If anything, I’d love to see you post even more often!! :-)

    I like Lee’s idea – If you can figure out how to do it, have a link and a picture for each category. I like having the picture links up, but if you thinks there’s too many pictures, I like the category idea.

  3. Pam says

    To expand on the first 2 ideas – how about a slideshow link for each catagory? Not even sure that would work but it would be worth investigating. My friend Bonnie is a go-to person for Blogger help. I’ll ask her about it. If not a slideshow, an animated gif might work.

  4. BillGent says

    Lee said it well. I was thinking round about the same thing but with your favorite or most popular recipes pics.
    I do not in anyway think you post too much. I like seeing your comments but if it’s getting to be too much for YOU to keep up with then by all means cut back.

    Is there a way to have a table of contents on one side and a slide show on the other?

    Can Blogger be set up to where pictures of the dishes pop up when you roll over the names? That may be WAY too much work and it might slow the page down too.. I dunno I ain’t a puter person.

  5. Southern Plate says

    These are GREAT ideas, thank you SO MUCH for the feedback!!! I really love posting as often as I do and sometimes I get on a roll and post even more, I just read somewhere that readers might need a break from time to time and was a little worried that it might be too much SP for y’all!

    I also love the pics, I am thinking I will keep some of them up, just a few less than I have now. Maybe rotate which ones are up on the sidebars…but I still want to have more available for viewing. These ideas are GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!!!!!

    I am so glad I asked y’all!! I’m going to wait a day or so in case more folks chime in and then start looking into the possibilities you are all presenting.

  6. April in CT says

    Posting too much? Are you nuts?! hehe You can’t post too much, at least in my opinion. LOL

    Can you do a table of contents type page? Say you click on a category from the main page and instead of taking you to a page with all those posts it just gives you a list of a link for each recipe. Then you don’t have to scroll down through each post you can just see a list of recipe names and click what you’re looking for. I like the idea of leaving some pictures on the main page to pique someones interest. It’s like eye candy! But I can see where for some people it would be too much on a page to load.

    I finally got the crock pot like you have so of course I vote for anything crock pot related! Probably because it’s Fall and to me that screams crock pot time!

  7. Christie says

    I am pretty much a new comer to the site so I thought I could offer my advice as well.

    I think your posting frequency is great. Not too much so that when I visit I have to scroll through forever but not so much that I forget to stop by.

    As far as the side bar thing, I kind of like Lee’s idea. Before I read this idea, I had a thought that you could have the most popular recipes on the sidebar and have a way to search for the other recipes. I did have some trouble locating recipes that aren’t yet on the sidebar.

    As for what food to post, I know I am outnumbered here but I have a figure to watch and I love would love more recipes that are figure friendly or that can adapted to be figure friendly. But I think that you do a great job just the way you are doing now!

  8. J Baker says

    1. Love the photos in the sidebar, it adds an irreplaceable touch.
    2. If I were a first-timer, photos, photos, photos would make me browse around more.
    3. A table of contents is great. You could categorize the cake,candy, cold cakes,etc.under a master header like “sweets” or something.
    4. Give them photos on the sidebar representative of the categories. Your photos (of finished product) are fantastic.
    5. Your posting frequency is just fine the way it is. You really pay attention to Southern Plate and its readers.
    6. I want to see more postings of all categories.

    I know the photos are beginning to be a burden on the webpage, and can be a problem with loading multiples. I am not having any problems with your pages loading. You are being very considerate of your fans though, but I truly feel your photos of finished masterpieces and the step-by-step stuff is great. Your wise cracks in the tutorials keep me coming back for more.

  9. Joan says

    I agree with everyone! I have only been coming to your site for a couple of weeks and the first time I saw it I thought it was very appealing. The sidebar pics are awesome! There is not one thing you should change. I am not having any trouble downloading anything. Please please keep on posting. Its like talking to a friend. It is never too much. I talk about you to my friends like I know you personally! Ha!

  10. Anonymous says

    I love your blog – and your recipes! If you have too many pictures, slide shows, etc, it makes your site take longer to come up, and statistics show that if a site takes too long to appear, lots of people click away to something else. So a HUGE header, etc, make the site load slower. I think you have a nice variety of kinds of recipes, and I like that you have a different category each time and not 12 casseroles in a row. Having 1 small photo for each category, and a list of categories down the side works best for me. You could change the photo from time to time to have your most recent recipe for that category there. You have to have categories as you get more and more on your site, because you want to make it EASY for people to find things. Most people won’t look very hard! I don’t think you can post too often: for those who have time, they can read them all. Others can just click quickly through to find what they are looking for. You are doing a great job.


  11. mollys30 says

    I love your blog. This is my first time to post comments ANYWHERE if that tells you anything! If you need to take some photos off the sidebar then do, but don’t change much because your blog ROCKS! I tried the coke cake this past weekend and got RAVE reviews. You could never post too much. I come everyday excited to see something new! Bring it on!

  12. Southern Plate says

    If any of you read this in the next few minutes, cross your fingers, cross your toes, close your eyes and whisper three times “Katy, take a nap. Katy, take a nap. Katy, take a nap.”

    I need all the help I can get!

    I am so glad I posted this because this input has just been so wonderful for so many reasons. Firstly, it helps me to know that I am on the right track, that y’all like what I am doing so far and I really love having that validation.

    Secondly, the idea about the photo representing each category is brilliant as well as pretty efficient. I will still be able to have a sidebar populated by photos, too, which I love having and it seems you guys like it also!

    Were you thinking put the photo representing the category and then when you click on it, you go to a page that has a listing of all of the links in that category?

    I just want to clarify before I start working on it!

    I really appreciate your help!

    I hope you all know how THRILLED I am to have each and every one of you reading Southern Plate. This is just a dream come true for me and is becoming more so every day! I LOVE WHAT I AM DOING!!!!!


  13. Tracy Dee says

    I love Southern Plate! I have told all my co-workers,friends and family about all the great recipes! I like the pictures on the sidebar,it is easy to click on the recipe you want. Keep up the great work. I love reading cook books. My family loves all the new recipes I have been trying from your website. Thank you!

  14. Sarah says

    I like April in CT’s idea about being able to go to a another page with all the recipes on it.

    I would love to see some easy dinner recipes…one dish meals, slow cooker, or make ahead dishes.

    I love your blog…one day I’ll try making one of your dishes instead of just drooling over them! lol

  15. Southern Plate says

    Tracy Dee Thank you!!!! Every day when I see that folks are enjoying Southern Plate and heck, just still reading it, I can’t imagine how I got so lucky! I just love doing this so much and to have all of you here makes it a dream come true for me!

    Thank you so much for spreading the word! I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting new readers! This feels like Christmas, I swear!

    Connie Thank you so very much!! I am going to work on doing it like Lee suggested. I hope to make some headway this weekend but it may be a week or so before I have it set up that way. I still have to finish compiling all of the reader’s crock pot recipes into an ebook (which I am going to have available for download free for all of you!) and a few other things are on my to-do list for Southern Plate that are on a bit of a time crunch but the redesign is in the top ten! I wish I could do it today!! Right now I’m working on my canning tutorial. Almost done with it and might actually have it up by tonight!

    Sarah You sound like me! I LOVE one dish meals and slow cooker recipes. I will definitely try to make it a point to have more of those in the future. Now that fall is arriving, I also have a great selection of stews and such. I am glad you said “easy” recipes because sometimes I think about posting something and I think “that’s too easy, they’ll think I’m silly for posting that”. But then I remember how thrilled I was to discover it and how nice it is to have more ideas AND ones that are easy!

    I have several slated! I am also doing a series on cooking basics and another on cooking methods that will save you effort in the kitchen and money at the grocery store!

    Oh the ideas floating around in this frightening mind of mine!


  16. April in CT says

    Christy I thought of another suggestion if it’s not too hard to incorporate. What about a way to easily print the recipes? Maybe link to an easy to print version or if anyone has a better suggestion?

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