As you may have noticed, things look different around here! Turns out, there’ve been some advancements in web design in the nine years since I started Frugalwoods. No one will be surprised to hear that the old website was looking a bit, well, old. And so, I hired an incredible designer who created a brand new look for good old Frugalwoods! I also hired a–GASP–professional photographer to come to my house and take my picture since, unsurprisingly, I too have changed quite a bit in the intervening nine years. Nothing worse than a headshot that looks like it was taken nine years ago… I’m very happy to have new photos that actually look like what I look like now, at age 39. Words you never want to hear “you look NOTHING like your headshot.” Ahem. Moving on…

While the site looks a lot different, the core elements remain unchanged:

  • The blog is still here–its just not the sole focus of the home page anymore
  • The blog archive is also still here–all 734 posts dating back to blog post #1 written on April 9, 2014
  • There’s a new section about my Financial Consulting business, which makes it a lot easier (I hope) to hire me
  • I have BUTTONS now, like this one:

This transition to the new site is also why I didn’t post much in the last month. Fear not, I haven’t abandoned you, I’ve just been quite wrapped up in wrapping up this extensive redesign project. Regular posting should resume shortly! This is (obviously) my first post on the new site and I’m still getting used to my new backend structure. I am not, and will never claim to be, a tech maven, so I may have a bit of a learning curve ahead.

Your Job: Kick The Tires

I’m delighted to unveil this new look and can’t wait to hear what you think! Feel free to poke around the site and leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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  1. Always nice to have a refresh! I really don’t like the giant slideshow on the blog page; I want to get straight to the newest blog entry! Don’t know if the slideshow can be minimized or eliminated? Thanks for letting us give you feedback.

    1. As soon as you scroll past the slideshow (one scroll for me), all the posts there, in order. Newest one is first.
      The site looks great! Love how crisp it is. Feels like a fresh start!

    2. Thank you for letting me know! The slideshow isn’t populating correctly right now–it should be showing newer articles, so that’s something I need to fix :). And, Angela is correct–if you scroll below the slideshow, all of the blog articles are there with the most recent first.

        1. When I scroll through the blog pages they’re all the same! I only went through the firs 4 or 5, but quick jump to page 62 doesn’t show anything different

  2. I really like the new look! The only thing I am missing a lot is the number of comments left for each blog post. In the past. I usually would read a blog post and comments and then, at a later time, go back to see if any new comments were left. Your previous website had the number of comments listed, which was updated as additional comments were left. Now the only way to tell if additional comments are left is to scroll through the entire blog post.

  3. Love the new design! And really excited about the ability to filter reader case studies. Looks like that’s still being populated a bit but I’ll definitely be a power user once it’s up!

    1. Yes, I am still working on applying all of those filters! But, I’m so excited for how easy it will be to search through them once I’m done!

  4. It looks great, but I am no longer getting email alerts for new posts. I even resigned up for the email list just in case but still nothing.

    1. Just to check, Maggie, did you receive an email for this post? There hasn’t been a post since August 11th, so if you got one then but it just feels like it’s been a while, you haven’t missed anything. (I got an email for this post, Liz, just for more user data.)

      I am noticing that on this comment, my ‘post comment’ button has no padding on the bottom (it’s sitting right on top of the next commenter’s name). I am on mobile (android).

      1. Kaitlin is right–today was the first email in a long time! Thank you for the note on the comment button. I will take a look!

  5. The math of the four 90 minute calls (6 hours) is listed as 1 hour and 30 minutes on the 2 higher tier consultations. Am i missing something?

    Complete Financial Consultation
    1 hour 30 minutes @ $3,500.00
    -Written financial plan addressing all aspects of your finances, including custom retirement projections made with modeling software
    -Access to custom financial organization workbooks
    -Four 90-minute calls with Liz

    1. Thank you for asking! It’s four 90-minute calls, but you only schedule your first call when you initially register. Each subsequent call is scheduled as you move through the consultation process. So, it looks like it’s only one 90-minute call, but it is in fact four total. Let me know if I can answer any other questions!

    1. also curious about offering financial planning services without either of these designations. (Starting an RIA isn’t actually that hard a lot of my friends have done it!)

    2. I had the same question. I ran across the new website a few days ago and it now looks much more like an add for the consulting business than the blog and community it was previously.
      Liz – I tried to access the “legal policies” tab as I assumed that would be where you might clarify that you are or are not a certified financial planner or licensed financial advisor, but nothing happened when I clicked on that button. I know you have been clear in your prior communications that you are not, but (at least at a quick review) I can’t find that information easily. Without that, it feels a little sneaky – which I know is not your intention as you are a very forthright person.
      Update – I just went back to the website to look for something else and noticed that the legal policies page did finally come up and that is where you state that you are not a financial planner. In the process of trying to go back to the “About” page to see if you state it there too, I got a “Bad Gateway” error. I received that error as well when I originally clicked on the link in the e-mail. Also received and “Error establishing a database connection” error. (Seems like there are a few gremlins in the system.)
      I’m feeling like the fact that you are not a certified financial planner needs to be more up front. It feels a bit hidden and a little disingenuous.
      Personally, while I love the refresh to updated pictures, etc., I don’t love the new emphasis on the financial planning business stuff. I know the blog and reader case studies are all still accessible, but since I’m not interested in paying for financial counseling it doesn’t appeal to me as much. I enjoyed hearing about your personal experiences and life on the homestead and that no longer seems to be the focus. You are obviously free to focus on any aspect of your work that you like, just providing feedback from a long-time reader.
      Best of luck as you work out the kinks.

      1. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Catherine–you are right, I have no intention of being disingenuous, which is why the second sentence in my legal disclaimer reads: “I am not a licensed financial advisor, certified public accountant or investment adviser.” This is also made clear on my consulting page and in the contract that all of my clients sign before they work with me. As I mentioned, the blog will indeed continue and is still available in its entirety on the website. Additionally, as to the “error” and “bad gateway” notices you received–as soon as I sent the email this morning, the entire site crashed! Seems to all be back up now, whew!

        1. Hi,
          I haven’t been to your site in years.

          I wanted to “start at the beginning” of the blog, which wasn’t clear to find. When I selected 2014 it populated with December, which I don’t think is the beginning. Am I missing something? A better sort or search would be great.

          I was surprised to see your short hair and since the consulting bit came up first, I thought maybe you had a major life change and was doing your own thing!

  6. Nice refresh! Can you change the messaging on the bottom of your blog to be more inclusive of multiple genders? It just says men and women. Otherwise the site looks really pretty.

      1. Thank you so much for this input! It’s amazing what I don’t see that so obviously needs to be changed! I really appreciate it.

    1. Yes–the site crashed right after I sent out the email. YIKES :)! It’s back up now so hopefully that link’ll work.

  7. Looks great! I’m getting a bad gateway error when I click on the Frugalwoods logo from the “About” page. Also from this page. May want to check on the logo!

  8. I am missing something! I see nothing but an intro to Liz’ financial service, no slideshow, one suggestion to kick the tires. That’s it. Should I have seen more?
    Ann lee S

  9. Wow! I don’t like this at all. Clicking the blog link leads to a post from November 2022. Is that the last blog post you wrote? Doesn’t seem like that long ago, but perhaps I’m mistaken. Also don’t like the moving pix when I click the blog link. The whole focus seems to now be advancing your business, and of course that’s your perfect right, but for me that removes all credibility and interest. I have my finances pretty well in hand but always read your blog posts for your voice and to learn what I might not otherwise have thought of. I love the stories of your life. I realize you need to pay for your life, but this is WAY too far in the marketing direction for me. I thought you had the balance very right before. Now? Not so much. Pretty disappointed.

  10. I don’t love change. Change is hard. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though. It seems much more like a business advertisement than a blog. And maybe that is the direction you are trying to go. As a long time reader, it’ll take some getting used to.

  11. The new site is fine in my opinion. I also don’t love the slideshow at the top of the blog page but maybe it’s there for a reason that I’m missing. It makes sense to me to advertise your consulting business first and foremost. Clicking to the blog is easy enough, so if that’s what people are interested in then the new homepage shouldn’t be a deterrent.

  12. This looks great! Congratulations Liz. I think you should have a link to the case studies under the menu bar, I’m not sure about reader stats but I feel like you get a lot of engagement on those posts.

  13. Very nice website, clear layout design. It will take a little practice to find exactly what I’m looking for amongst all the choices but I really don’t see how it could be improved on. Not tooooo commercial in my opinion. If I’m not interested in that aspect it is easy to ignore, I don’t mind one tiny little bit that you might make a few pennies from recommendations – I want you to stay healthy and I trust that the stack of pennies will not change your reviews, and all the material I enjoyed is still present. Good job! Oh, and I like the up arrow button that is always available. For people who don’t really want to poke around maybe a website map would help them. Some have that, I’ve only ever used them for the fun of it but see how it could help.

  14. First of all, one tiny typo to fix: “The blog is still here–its just not the sole focus of the home page anymore” should be “it’s” as it’s a contraction of “it is”. I also object to the “anymore”, preferring “any more”, but that’s a Canadian thing. LOL

    I like the new look. However, I feel that the blog should be more prominently placed. There is a very practical reason for this: the blog is how people get to know you and become interested in your services. The blog showcases your warm and approachable style, and it is your best sales approach, since (and I say this respectfully) you don’t have official credentials.

    Thank you for all your great content, Liz. 🙂

  15. I’ve really enjoyed following along on your journey and it’s your blog to do with as you will! I read on an ipad and the print is now smaller which makes it more difficult for me to read but it’s happened on other blogs as well. I don’t know if there’s a way to keep all the text on the page and make the print larger?

    1. Have you tried Reader View in safari (the Aa icon in the search bar)? It’s a game changer for large print that I learned from another blog!

  16. Your new portraits are excellent and are very thoughtfully placed throughout the website. They do a great job of capturing your homestead life and your family. The website design looks great, too. Well done!

  17. I just want to add a voice to counter the criticism of you presenting your site as a business with a blog (as opposed to a blog with an offering). I don’t think the site is audaciously advertise-y or off-putting; it’s professional. This format makes the most sense as you enter into this chapter of your life and business. I work in content marketing so am very dedicated to using thought leadership as a way to bring in leads. People will get used to it; they can just bookmark the /blog url or click into the blog posts you publish in the newsletter. Once you fix how the blogs are being pulled in the header, that page will be seamless.

    Speaking of – I LOVE the new case studies page, though I’m only seeing filter options for one case study. As you get that geared up with data from all of them, I would personally appreciate a way to filter by those that have updates!! Updates are the best and sometimes they’re sneaky. Just a thought, it could also be cool (and SEO-friendly) to publish any updates as separate follow-ups that link to/from the original case study, kinda like Ask A Manager does. Free content, no waiting!

    Congratulations on this next step! As someone who is a few years younger and has been looking up to you since December 2014, I feel (maybe strangely?) rather proud and misty for you forging further into intentional entrepreneurship.

    1. Agreed about wanting to see the updated case studies more easily! It seems that page didn’t have all of the case studies that had been updated in the list.

      1. I’m so excited that you’re excited! I need to go in and manually categorize all of the case studies so that they show up in the filtering system, which I hope to do this week. Regarding the case study updates, I really need a better way of highlighting those–ideas welcome :)!

    2. You are so kind, Kaitlin! Thank you! I like your idea of publishing the updates separately–that’s totally what I should do… THANK YOU!

  18. I loved the blog. This is not a blog anymore, it’s a business advertisement. Which, good for you and I wish you all the best :). I will probably be moving on to other frugal minded blogs. Thanks for years of interesting posts.

  19. Is there a way to go directly to all of the reader case studies? Sorry to bring this up if I missed some obvious button!

    1. I’m a long time follower and have loved your blog from day one. Every post was thoughtful, entertaining, and informative and delivered with your very unique writer’s “voice.” I came for info on frugality and stayed for your family’s interesting lifestyle story. However, I agree with the previous comments re: this mainly turning into a business advertisement for your consulting business. I understand that this is a natural transition to the next step in your career and that your time is valuable. However, $500+ per hour is more than I would pay for an accredited lawyer to manage my affairs. I also second other’s comments re: the SEC concerns. I sincerely wish you and your family the very best of luck but I’ll be unsubscribing to your site and focusing on others which better align with my financial goals.

  20. Good news, I found the orange button at bottom of the landing page. That’s a lot of scrolling when using a phone. Could a “Reader Case Studies” button be added to the drop-down menu (on the upper right side)?
    Also, I couldn’t filter the studies. None of the filters were hyperlinked. I’m using an iPhone SE (iOS 16.6).

    1. Ah yes, the filters are not populated yet! I need to go in and manually categorize each Case Study, which I hope to do this week. Sorry about that!

  21. I think the new website is great. Everything is still there, and the options that you offer are much clearer. The photography is beautiful. Kudos to you, your family (for their cooperation) and the photographer. It’s not too commercial at all.

  22. I wish you the very best with what you are trying to accomplish with your financial advisory business. You deserve to make money off of your knowledge, and I appreciate that you are sharing a view that is different than what folks might find with a traditional certified financial planner. It has made me nervous since you started this though, that you might be violating SEC rules. The SEC takes a very broad view of what consists of “financial advice” and much of what you offer seems like it would be within the bounds of that view. I hope that you have sought legal advice to ensure you are covered, even with the disclaimers that you have on your site and your consulting agreement. It’s one thing to try to be transparent with your clients and it’s quite another when the SEC is the body that gets to decide what exactly you are doing.

  23. Looks like my comment from the other day didn’t go through, but I wanted to say that I think the site looks great. I love that you have clear links to the blog and the uber frugal month challenge at the top for people to bookmark. And it only makes sense to advertise your consulting services on the home page.

    As for those who are concerned about giving financial advice without a license, they might not know that the SEC rules only apply to those who have $100 million under management. Don’t know what the laws are like in Vermont, but investment advisors typically have to be licensed because they are selling specific products or being paid on commission. Doesn’t sound like that is the case here.

    Best wishes!

  24. I appreciate your updated website, it’s very attractive.
    However I have my finances well organized and am not interested in your consulting service. Actually I was quite surprised at the cost of the fees.
    I have always enjoyed your content related to frugality, family and homestyled content- whether it be about your MA or VT costs/purchases/maintaince. That content I am able to consider with perspective to my own life.
    Seems you have moved on to a more business model and less of what the original focus of your blog was about. I miss the original style of content.

  25. Liz asked for feedback on the website and it seems many readers are offering opinions about her work, her prices and the direction of her career overall. The layout of the website is very professional looking! I hope you attract more readers through these changes. I have no doubt that your insights, humor, encouragement and anecdotes on your family’s frugal homesteading lifestyle – things that drew many of us to you – will continue to shine through in this next phase.
    P.s. I didn’t realize that there are updates to reader case studies! I’ve always wanted to know how people we’re doing on their journeys! If that exists, I can’t find that on the website.

      1. If possible, please include the date the update was published (not just the date the original case study was published). This would make it much easier for me to know if I have already read the update.

  26. I always read the case studies only because I like the stories of people trying to work out their finances. I do not need financial services. But I’m perfectly willing to find the articles and read them and (in non-hostile) way ignore the rest. Good luck with this website.

  27. I was waiting for the opportunity to comment! I came across the new look a couple of weeks ago, during I guess your “soft open”, but there wasn’t a way to comment. I love the new look, and I love that you are owning the business end of this! Everything that brought me here is still here, just in a different format. Some of it’s even easier to find now, which is great.

  28. I’m not trying to be snarky, but I feel like the blog has been moving in a different direction for a while now and it makes me sad. I consider myself a frugal person—I did not even buy your book—I use my local library! I also think that for a person in financial difficulty your consulting rates are expensive, and as you say, you are not a financial advisor. Good luck in your business and I will be moving on.

  29. Just wanted to mention that the light gray font for the Reply button and the Comment/Name/Email text is very hard to read or see due to lack of contrast with the background. I’m guessing it doesn’t meet accessibility but even for readers without accessibility concerns, it would be helpful to have a darker font.

    The message on the reply options asks if we want to save website for future comments, but there is no ability to provide a website.

    I’m really glad you removed the slideshow!

    Another suggestion, could you make the tables in your posts scrollable horizontally? The only way I’m able to read all columns on my phone is to rotate the view.

    You fixed the footer of the homepage to include non-binary folks. But you still reference “Financial Consulting for Women” throughout, which I do find a bit odd since you do offer your services regardless of gender.

    Overall, the site looks beautiful! Congratulations.

  30. I like the new website design. I miss seeing your latest “What we spend”, I always found it to be very informative. I would also like an update on the status of the garage.

  31. I miss your blog posts. None in October and now almost to end of November and none. Have you totally given up blogging and are now just doing your finance business. It was so fun to follow along with the blogs posts. Hope your garage was built before winter. I know that not having one when it’s snowy is no fun. Anyway, you were my favorite blogger. Hope you’re not totally done with it, but I get it that over time it probably just gets old having to write regular new content. Have a great Thanksgiving and all the best to you and your family.

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