The Wordy Habitat went through a glow up.

I am so excited to FINALLY show y'all this site. I've been directly working on this for a week and indirectly for over a month.

This was technically supposed to be a secret excluding one or two people but I got excited and showed it to many friends haha. Now I can brag about it to everyone!! Can you tell that I'm excited?

If you're new to The Wordy Habitat, hi! Welcome! I'm Sumedha, the mayor* of this wordy place, giving a home to all things books, blogging, and lifestyle. Although those are the main spaces, this habitat continues to grow and make new areas such as Kdramas, productivity, general discussions, and more.

*There are going to be tons of puns and references to "habitat" in this post because I am fully embracing the blog name.

a quick recap

When I started blogging (January 2016!!), I never thought that I would get my own domain or self-host my blog. I was posting in order to dump my thoughts somewhere during a stressful time.

The last few years have been very prominent in terms of growth in my real life and because my blog is (almost) a reflection of me, it grew with me too.

We started with a very long and embarrassing nameβ€”that will never be uttered againβ€”and changed to "the wordy habitat" in late 2017. It took me weeks because I wanted a name that is not remotely used by anyone else.

After a while, I really wanted my own domain. My goal was to get it once I start earning. It didn't happen immediately, but I did get a domain in April 2020. And I was OVERJOYED.

Admittedly, it wasn't the domain I wanted because annoying WordPress didn't let me get .com as I'm in India. And I did not have the time or savings to spend on going self-hosted. I decided that I will give myself a year with .in and then decide.

Related post: My Blogging Journey // Experiences, Trials, & Regrets

open laptop on a desk with book and mug with coffee

the renovation, in slow motion

the planning

Back in November, I felt restricted with my .in blog. That put me into a content slump which lasted until.. well, now. In January, I remembered that my domain expires in March* which pushed me to really think about what I wanted to do. I went back to considering self-hosting because I wanted more freedom and WordPress plans SUCK.**

As I really let myself dream, a whole new space came into mind. I wanted a completely different look and vibe. For the first time, I considered maintaining an aesthetic and a brand. I wanted to create a space that meant something.

I spent a lot of time just considering it, and then making a roadmap of what I'd like the blog to look like, and what content it would have. It was honestly really fun to plan everything, from the colour scheme to graphics to posts. I've written an entire post on creating my blog aesthetic if you want to know more.

Huge thanks to Pinki for carving out the time to discuss with me multiple times, from start to finish, because I needed to talk out loud and give my idea some shape. And thank you Pinki and Nikhat for brainstorming new blog names with me for weeks even though I decided to not change at the end.

Also thanks to my real-life friends Ronj and Rahul for listening to me and constantly being available to help me make decisions. Every time I did a design change or needed an opinion, I'd spam Rahul, LOL.

the execution

After I finally spent a lot of money on a self-hosting plan, came my favourite part. I had so much fun building this site with a theme that I bought. Dealing with HTML, CSS and JavaScript is so fun and, no matter how much I complain, I actually love it.

My degree in computer science and experience from two projects where I built websites from scratch came in handy. My degree and passion for front-end are why I finished setting everything up in three days. I spent my entire weekend on this. It was so! much! fun! I already miss it.***

*My memory is trash, okay? Yes, it actually expires in April but it somehow stuck in my mind as March. Blame the pandemic and the time warp it induced.

**If you're considering getting the personal or premium plan on WordPress, don't. It gives you barely any freedom. Self-hosting gives much more at the same price. I should have gone for this sooner.

***If any friends need some front-end help, feel free to hit me up. I take great pleasure in fiddling with websites.

mug filled with tea. a small heart is printed on the mug.

my inspirations

Going self-hosted and taking my blog seriously would not be possible if I did not have people to look up to and ask for help. Especially writing the legal pages got me stumped.

Blogs I frequently visited for inspiration and reference during the transformation (a lot of your page views was me, so, sorry for skewing your insights?):

  • Chapters of May. Anika is a huge inspiration in terms of content quality and vibe. (The blog is gone now πŸ™ )
  • Reader Voracious. I referred Kal's self-hosting guide several times. It is so helpful.
  • Your Tita, Kate. I love her brand. Also Kate, thanks for putting up with my random "pls help" DMs. (She shutdown her blog πŸ™)
  • Shut up, Shealea. Shealea's blog is the quality I hope to attain.

the better wordy habitat

The blog looks like my ideal home now, which is fitting considering that it is the home for my thoughts and opinions. Its cosy, comfortable (with the brown shades), casual, and imperfect.

My blogging voice fits this brand as well because I type the way I talk, including grammar mistakes.*

During my slump, I also questioned who I was (as a person). My hobbies were just blogging and reading. Reading somehow comes under blogging too because I blog about books a lot.

And that really made me unsettled. I want to have more hobbies and skills. Blogging took over my spare time and, eventually, became all that I did. I tried YouTube and.. it was alright but it didn't make me excited. I may go back to it but it is not what I was looking for.

So I went back to art, in a new form. I tried digital art and LOVED IT. In order to make sure that blogging doesn't take over like before, I'm incorporating art into this blog. Instead of stock images, I'm going to draw illustrations** wherever I need images. That way, I will actually spend time on it.***

My art is pretty amateur since I just started but I'm hoping you can see the growth over time and that it'll be another fun thing about this blog. I've drawn enough to create an art gallery of my own, so check it out! It clearly shows how my illustrations have changed over time.

Another new thing is that I'm now open to monetization. And by that, I mean I'm open to receiving compensation for my work. Before, I was simply pouring into the blog without even a way to receive anything. You will find a "work with me" page on the main menu and my Ko-Fi and wishlists on the sidebar.

It's not something I'm actively pursuing at the moment but I'm open to it.

Also, I'm really excited to have a .com domain. .in was fine and all but .com gives that "I've made it" look.

*My sentence structure is like that of my mother tongue, Tamizh. Even after proofreading multiple times, some sentences look right to me when they're actually not, according to English rules. Grammarly is my only hope.

**Why illustrations instead of other art styles? Because I like its vibe and find it comforting. I like the illustration art style.

***Yes, I'm setting rules for myself, and trapping my future self into doing what I should. Yes, I'm a Capricorn.

an illustration drawing of a girl using her laptop

what you can expect

As citizens of this habitat, you will not notice much difference in the content (if you've been following me for a while). I've always posted about multiple topics anyway. It's a bit different for me because my attitude and vision are different.

I have decided to post lesser. Posting thrice a week was NOT healthy for me. Yes, I managed it for over a year but it took over my life. And I'm frankly ashamed of some of the content. Also, I'm not sure about sticking to a schedule yet because I still need to understand how long posts with illustrations will take.

There will be more in-depth content because they're my favourite to write and my old schedule did not allow it enough. By in-depth content, I mean longer posts which have more information. Examples: discussions, Kdrama reviews (all my reviews are super comprehensive), and guides.

There will also be some old content with a facelift. Although I am leaving my hundreds of posts and my entire SEO ranking behind*, there are some posts that I loved writing and are actually GOOD. I'm updating them and posting them again here.

I've already started on it so that you won't be spammed with reposts. If you look at the blog properly, you'll see many posts that are already up. I'm almost done, maybe one or two more only and those will be almost completely rewritten.

*I AM SO SAD ABOUT STARTING OVER WITH SEO. I had built up a great ranking and I'm back to zero now. But I didn't like the alternative which was having hundreds of subpar posts to deal with.

take a tour!

If you have a few minutes, take a tour of the new habitat with me and let me show you my favourite areas.

  • The blog looks great on phone but it looks amazing on a desktop. Do check it out on your laptop/PC when you're free!
  • If you're on your desktop computer, hover over the blog title on top. If you're on your phone, press and hold (don't tap). The text shrinks when it is in focus. It's a tiny and simple CSS thing, but it amuses me to no end.
  • Notice the links! I love how they are highlighted. I saw the style on Anika's blog and really wanted it too.
  • Now that I can finally add plugins, the first one I added was the accessibility plugin. Try it out! The greyscale feature is so convenient. I use it a lot myself because my eyes get strained too easily.* (My entire phone is set to greyscale, that's a different thing, lol)
  • I fiddled with the CSS and made everything as interactive as I could. Go around and hover on buttons, links, etc!
  • Currently, the books, blogging, and Kdrama spaces have content for you to peruse through!
  • I had some space left in the footer so it is now a designated blog recommendation spot. I'll be changing up the blogs listed there regularly.

*Another reason why I say brown shades are "comfortable". It is because they don't strain eyes as much and my eyes relax while looking at this blog. Yes, I have very sensitive eyes. No, being a software engineer and a blogger is not helping.

an illustration of a bullet journal with a sunflower drawing, and scrap paper and quote saying "live for today"

endnotes

If you have been following me for a while (hopefully you got automatically subscribed to this blog??), thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy my content.

For anyone who is new here, do take a tour of this habitat and I hope you find your space here.

If you subscribe to this blog, you become a citizen! Why did I choose "citizen"? Because this is a habitat and I didn't know what other term would fit.

And I'm the mayor. How does "mayor" fit? I chose this term because y'all are citizens and I like the term.

I know what you're thinking. "But Sumedha, why not something like queen or goddess or Kpop idol?" Because such terms make it seem like I'm on another level, and I'm not. I want to be your FRIEND (please). I'm just one who keeps things running here.

If you like this habitat, please share it so that I can reach more people with this new domain. If you have a few more minutes, do check out and engage with the posts that went up so far! I'm competing with my old blog for engagement (because I really want my SEO ranking back *sob*).

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talk to me!

I LOVE showing my work to other people and seeing them react. Now that I'm finally "launching" this blog, I want to know. What do you think of this new site? Of the new look? What's your favourite part of it?

If you've been following me for a while, what kind of content from me do you like the most? Is there any specific post you'd love to see reposted with improvements?

Also, HOW ARE YOU? Tell me about you! I've been trying to keep up with your blogs but I'm pretty sure I'm failing. Is there any post I missed which I should see? Tell me everything.

stay wordy, Sumedha
photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more βž”

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66 comments

  • vcreative says:

    Me happy to be a citizen here Mayor-nim ?????? this is so damn beautiful, my eyes are very pleased with this and this is always a treat

    Reply βž”
  • Ruby Rae Reads says:

    ah okay you already know that I adore and am obsessed with your new blog but I realized I hadn't actually commented over here. But hello yes I love the new look and it SO suits you and looks so wonderful. Self-hosting can be... hard sometimes but I honestly love it. And hope you do. SO so so excited for you <3<3<3

    Reply βž”
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, RUBY ? I won't ever tire of hearing compliments about this blog haha. And the fact that you think it suits me? Over the moon ? I'm excited to go on this new journey and try new things!

      Reply βž”
  • Merry says:

    Congrats on rebrand dear! I love your new theme here, I remembered that I visited your old blog last year. This one is so gorgeous πŸ™‚

    Reply βž”
  • Poulami @ Daydreaming Books says:

    Everything is sooo grogeous, I am crying!!! :””””)
    It is so aesthetic, ohmygoshhhh!!!

    Reply βž”
  • Monique says:

    I've had the same slump before starting my new blog! So I'm so happy that you found your new home! Your blog looks absolutely lovely!

    Reply βž”
  • Kal @ Reader Voracious says:

    AHHHHH, your blog is amazing and I love the space you carved out for yourself! And imagine my surprise to see my blog listed?!?! I CRY. You did a great job and I'm proud to be a new citizen.

    Reply βž”
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Thank you so much, Kal!! And of course, your blog is listed, your guide was so helpful! So glad to have you as a citizen ❀

      Reply βž”
  • lynnmumbingmejia says:

    I don't think I really got to know the old blog but I'm loving this! It's super easy to navigate and read. Those are big ones for me! I'm looking forward to seeing more from you this year! x

    http://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    Reply βž”
  • Joss @ maybeivereadit says:

    WOW. Okay so first of all your blog looks so incredibly stunning and YES to illustrations!! All this talk about HTML, CSS and JavaScript made me SO INTRIGUED and now I need to know more about this ?. Congrats on the relaunch!! I can't wait to read what you'll post next!

    Reply βž”