Well basically, I completely replaced the old "toytalks.weebly.com" website that I create about 3 years ago with a completely new brand and cleaned up structure. The old site was initially created with a strong branding and emphasis of it being a blogging site. Hence the name "ToyTALKS". But over the years it became clear that the site was more universal in servicing all the interests of Toysoldier Thor than just to be a blogging site. Also, the "ToyTalks" site name was only a subset of the "weebly.com" domain where it runs on. I didn't think this was helpful to the cause to better promote all of Toy's efforts.
So I decided a complete overhaul / refresh of the site structure was needed. More importantly, I decided to re-brand the site with an actual available domain name of "ToysoldierThor.com" so that it would be easier to promote and it would very strongly establish my TM (Trademark) to my avatar name that I felt was important to protect the art and content I create for SecondLife.
The RE-BRANDING to ToysoldierThor.com
The most important thing was to acquire the "TOYSOLDIERTHOR.COM" internet domain and begin the complex job of establishing a branding around this domain. Its obvious where the name came from - my avatar in SecondLife® that came into existence on January 23, 2008. That date of initial existence and my TM to that name is pretty rock solid for evidence. But I wanted its usage to be more of a branding name - not just an SL avatar.
As such, I created a set of common style logo's for the website banners as well as to be used elsewhere that uses the new TM'ed brand. I even placed the TM on the logo.
The BIGGEST PAIN when re-branding is to go back to all the countless places that you promoted / posted / displayed your old brand and replace it with the new brand. For me, that is EVERYWHERE !!! Even in places where I cant update - like the notecards inside all the artworks that I have sold in SL. This slow clean-up or all posted old brands to the new one will take some time. As such, I had to keep the old "toyTalks" website running, strip it, and then make it into a "redirection" site to my new site. I see this site will be up and running for a long time.
Re-Structuring the site
Since a new website was created for the new ToysoldierTor.com brand, I decided to update, clean up, and better align / structure the site to promote all my primary interests. This would be the Blog page, my Art activities, my Merchant activities, and a Bio or myself. The top menu structure reflects this new structure.
I also decided to clean up, update, and re-structure the content in these pages that were out-dating or missing data on the old site. I developed some alignment between the pages as well.
Finally, I also updated the weebly template that the old site was running on. By doing this, I was also able to leverage some of the newer features of the new weebly.com templates. A visible enhanced feature was the Social Media Icon links you see at the top of the site. This expanded list of icons take visitors directly to many of my other social site.
The New vs. OLD Blog Site - a Gotchya!
The overhaul could be without its roadblocks. I had one biggy. The Weebly.com website development software is pretty powerful and it let me COPY the entire old site to a new site. WITH ONE EXCEPTION... their system could not copy over any of the BLOG CONTENT. This was a major Grrrr! I had 3 years of blogs and they were not able to be copied to the new site.
After talking to the Weebly.com support staff, they suggested I leave the old site up and strip it down to its basics. I could also re-brand the old site to look like the new site. And then point all pages of the old site back to the new site with page re-directs.
I didn't re-brand the old site but I cleaned out all its old content and just put large "WE HAVE MOVED" redirect to any visitor that goes to the old site. I then 2-way linked my new and old blogs to each other.
I am very happy with the new structure. I am not finished with it yet as I am still making fine tuning adjustments to further enhance the site. But I now have a great new re-branded TOYSOLDIERTHOR.com domain and site to centralize all things related to my SL identity. I hope you all like the new stie. Please provide feedback if there are things you don't like or would like the site to have.