"TBR" News

I decided I would separate these onto their own page, rather than cluttering up the review feed with random news that break up the "flow" for those that are just looking to browse through our award-winning critiques. So here is where you will find announcements on site changes, read info on upcoming "The Budget Reviews" live radio broadcasts, and anything else that I feel is worth sharing.

BIG CHANGE(S) A-COMING! (1/17/22)

After mulling over the idea for so long that my wife finally got annoyed and just told me to take the plunge, this blog will be migrating to WordPress soon! It's a terrifying notion, considering I know virtually nothing about how to operate the platform, but hey, can't learn unless you give it a shot. I've currently got most of the data transferred over to the new WP site, but have to iron out a new design, and test it thoroughly to make sure it's up to speed.

I'm looking to keep everything as similar as possible to this site, although I may overhaul its appearance quite a bit (with ample help from my beautiful wife!) Although I "updated" it last year, the Blogger platform is very limited in terms of themes, so it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. It will still be fairly minimalistic, with the idea that performance (speed, reliability, etc.) should be the top priority.

In the meantime, this blog will continue to be functional, however, there might be a slowdown in posts for the next month or so while I focus on perfecting the new blog. The domain (thebudgetreviews.com) will also be transferred over, so for anyone who has bookmarked this site (anyone?) you shouldn't need to update anything. I'm sure there will be some hiccups as I try to learn something new, but it will certainly be worth it in the long run.

I'll keep you abreast of updates as we head toward the big switch! As always, thanks for stopping by, and thank you also for your support.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (1/2/22)

As usual, I'm a little late to the party, but I hope everyone's transition into 2022 has been smooth. Here's to hoping for a much better year!

I normally like to take January and February off, but I'm going to be posting some long-term reviews of (mostly) GPT sites occasionally throughout the first two months of the year, just to keep things rolling. (Sadly, my review for Pei, which I completed two weeks ago, is now irrelevant now that the site has shut down.) I also plan on (finally!) updating all the products I promised updated reviews for, with some dating back to 2019 (as you can tell, I'm terrible about following through). 

As with everything in life, this is subject to change...I might go back to a normal schedule before March. It all depends on how I feel, and clearly I'm unpredictable.

Speaking of unpredictability, we deleted our Twitter page due to inconsistencies in posting. I'm hoping to fire that back up at some point this year, but once again, that's subject to commitment, which I seem to be very afraid of. 

RADIO SHOW UPDATE (1/2/22)

As yet another example of my inability to focus and live up to my own personally-imposed deadlines, our planned podcast (which will be "airing" on Anchor.fm) has been DOA since June. We definitely plan to pick this back up with some sort of regular schedule, although it will probably only be once or twice a month. Still, we're looking forward to hitting the studio (aka, our living room) and bringing you some live takes on bizarre products that no one is clamoring for. 

More details, including links, will be provided as we start to plan episodes.

Furthermore, links to our old episodes (on the now-defunct Capiche.fm) will be taken down temporarily as that site has been out of service for a few months now (oops!). I'm hoping to upload them to YouTube so that they will still be available, but there's no ETA for this. Who knows, maybe this is the year I finally get organized and keep my promises!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES OVERHAUL (6/10/21)

Well with the visual change more or less complete (for now, anyway), we recently turned our attention to another area that took a hit from ten years of neglect: labels. I always thought labels were used by Google to help people find pages...as it turns out, that's a complete fallacy (something I could have quickly learned if I bothered to even spend five seconds searching for this information at any prior point in the past). So, I started going through each and every one of our nearly 600 posts and consolidated them down into meaningful categories.

The system isn't perfect now, but it's more functional than it was, with each review labeled with the store it was purchased from, its score, and any applicable categories it belongs to. That means clicking on an "Aldi" label will kick back all reviews of items purchased from Aldi. Clicking on a score rating will return all reviews that match that score. It's an easier way to browse our ever-growing collection of reviews, should you want to kill a few minutes. I'll be going through at some point to fine-tune it, and to add additional categories as necessary, but it should work well enough for now. (And if not, there's always a search function on the left sidebar that can also help you track down what you're looking for.)

Our next task: we will be taking product photos, where possible, of all the reviews containing stock photos, or poorly-lit images. This will be an ongoing project, but the idea is to have at least a somewhat uniform look to the pictures on the site, rather than having a plethora of clearly rushed photos. I don't want the damn thing to look professional, but I do kind of want it to be a little more presentable. We are also looking into adding multiple photos per post, where applicable, to break things up and to give you even more visual information about the products reviewed. 

VISUAL CHANGE UPDATE (5/21/21)

Well it's been five days...hopefully by now you have noticed a little change around here. It's not a great look (I'm terrible at design) but this is more or less how it's going to look for a little while (hopefully not the next ten years). I'm still noodling around with some minor details, so things may change slightly for you from visit to visit over the next week, but you get the basics.

The only big issue standing in my way is how to present the blog archive...presenting over 500 posts is pretty taxing for many mobile devices, so I'm looking at the best way to make it happen. I have a couple workable options, but they may prove to be too problematic for those on older connections, so we'll just have to see what comes of it. As of now, it's in the navigational header, which cuts back system resources by not requiring it to load on every single page (as it did when it was in the sidebar). That's a start, but it's still kind of a large file...maybe I'll figure out a way to break it down to make it more bite-sized for people on older devices.

At any rate, I hope you like it, and if you have any suggestions or comments on the new look, feel free to comment below!

FOLLOW THIS BLOG! (4/17/21)

Wow am I terrible at basic blog functionality...I don't believe there was an easy way to follow this blog. Since most of my traffic comes organically from Google searches, I was always fine with that, as I get a mostly consistent number of daily users. However, I thought maybe, just maybe, there are people out there that might be interested in keeping up with the latest reviews. After all, you might just find a product you never knew existed, or one you were thinking about trying that I might be able to help you make a final decision on!

Now you can follow us through Feedburner, or whatever blog reader you use. It's in the right-hand column, at the top of the main page, for easy accessbility on desktop. For mobile, you'll have to scroll down to the very bottom of the main page, though I'm going to figure out how to get it closer to the top. You can also subscribe to comments, and be notified by email whenever new content is posted, which is usually once every three days.

Of course, the option to follow by email is being discontinued by Google, three days after I was going to implement it. But subscribing through a feed still makes it easy to add email notifications if you so choose.

As always, thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed your stay here!

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