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Hello from New York City!

It’s Alexandra Stafford here. I’m a full-time blogger living in upstate New York. Before devoting most of my time to writing, I used to work at a graphic design company, which specialized in WordPress sites.

I’ve learned a lot about WordPress since then — enough to allow me to make little tweaks and create some WordPress sites for my friends, such as and

This blog post by Alexandra Stafford is a part of our WordPress Customer Spotlight section, where DesignWall users come and share their beautiful projects as well as their valuable development experience.

When time permits I love to design stationery, art and also contribute to the food sites Baking Steel and Food52. My mother and I are working on a cookbook together as well.

Today I’d love to show you one of my web projects using DW Minion WordPress blog theme: Alexandra’s kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, always seasonal recipes.

My idea for Alexandra’s Kitchen

My mother spoiled me at an early age. I grew up eating homemade bread at nearly every meal, eating fresh salads tossed with homemade dressings and soups made with homemade stocks, celebrating family events with spanakopita and moussaka.

My love for cooking stems mostly from my mother. Seven years ago, I created the blog Alexandra’s kitchen to share favorite family recipes as well as tips and techniques I learned while working in restaurant kitchens while living in Philadelphia.

DW Minion theme – project by Alexandra
DW Minion theme – project by Alexandra

Looking back, I wish I had more clearly thought through the blog-naming process. I named the blog Alexandra’s Kitchen but couldn’t get the domain name, which led me to purchase This has caused some confusion over the years as to what is the title of my blog — Alexandra Cooks? Alexandra’s Kitchen? Recently I’ve been considering rebranding my logo to make this more clear.

The long search for a decent theme

The searching process took some time. Last fall, I started looking for a three-column, minimalist WordPress theme, and ended up installing one theme that I liked. I had been using it for about 6 months and was quite disappointed with its non-responsiveness. The theme performed terribly on mobile devices, which was really frustrating.

So a few months ago, I began my search again looking for a simple, three-column and most importantly, responsive-ready theme. This time, I googled “three-column, responsive, clean wordpress themes” and stumbled upon several blog posts such as 51 Best free WordPress Themes 2014 and 40 best free responsive wordpress themes. DW Minion theme was in each of the posts I looked through, and I instantly loved the clean layout and the fact that it was ready for mobiles and tablets.

My experience with DW Minion

DW Minion theme – project by Alexandra
DW Minion theme – project by Alexandra

The whole development process was fairly simple. I didn’t have to do any major tweaks to make the theme fit my site. Because DW Minion is already minimalist in design, all I had to change was the size of some of the title headings, the link colors, and the background colors of various elements. I want the photographs on my site be the main focus, so everything else can be understated.

I faced few obstacles during the site development, but the DW technical support has been amazing! Every question I asked was answered within a few hours, especially the one regarding my need to replace the default search function with something like Ajaxy Live Search. I had been struggling with it for a while but thankfully, Dominic helped me figure it out.

I think having a site that is mobile ready should be the main focus for almost every site owner. Many people are browsing websites on their phones/tablets while they are commuting to work, waiting in line at the grocery store or cooking in their kitchens. And they tend to expect a good user experience on any device they are using.

Consistency is important, too. You just need two or three colors and maybe two fonts on your site — more than this is overkill and will take away from the look and feel of your site.

If you have any question regarding my Alexandra’s kitchen blog or DW Minion theme, feel free to comment below or shoot me some tweets.

Enjoy the story from Alexandra Stafford? Want to share your own story? If you have a beautiful project and want to share your story with us, simply submit your WordPress site and we will get back to you for more discussion on delivering an interesting showcase like this. Feel free to submit multiple times should you have more than one website.
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Jin is Nanny at DesignWall, a leading WordPress development company which builds responsive WordPress themes and best WordPress plugins. She makes sure everyone is happy, every question is answered, every release is bug-free. She also blogs about our products and shares her WordPress knowledge with our readers. Jin is also a travel lover.