Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Website update: Implementing a new Blogger template

My first website from February 2002. Aww yeah.
If you read my "2011: The Year in Review" post, you know that I wanted to update my website. Because it's ugly. And I made it in 2002.

Yes, that's right, 10 years ago. It's a wee bit behind the times. (I had a website before that, but while it  used my favourite colour, it wasn't functional. That's it to the right.)

So I was sitting on the couch with my husband and my cat with my computer warming my lap and I thought I'd do some research. If you know me, that's always a bad sign. It never stops there.

The plan was to come up with a plan. In my impatience and excitement over getting started, I skipped over step one. Well, I did START the plan. And then I started researching so I could finish the plan. Which means playing around with my current CMS' settings and finding out what it can do (Blogger).

At one point I just pressed "publish" and that was that. A new blog template. (And by that I mean I made it similar to my existing website so as not to code or spend much time on changing the rest of my site - yes, my site doesn't use the same content management software my blog runs on. That's how old it is.)

What changed?

Stuff you can see:
  • It's centred - I didn't actually want that, but haven't changed it as it wasn't super evident.
  • Similar but different header: no image.
  • Apparently I can't make my navigation say "BLOG HOME" or even just "BLOG" in capitals. It won't let me.
  • My archive is no longer a single drop-down, it's a bunch of hierarchical links.
  • Search (it's at the bottom of the page, if you're looking).
  • Picasa photo feed (again, look at the bottom).
  • Twitter feed.
  • Displaying partial bits of each post on the homepage and you've gotta click through to read the full thing (jump links).
  • Displaying post tags.
  • You can view posts by tag (EG: All "home renovation" or "wedding" blogs).
  • Lots of sharing options at the bottom of a post.

Stuff you can't see:
  • I can change my design quite easily. Click, click, click and everything could be full of flying penises (as requested by my husband).
  • I changed from a custom-coded template to a here-you-go template.
What's next?

Well, I guess I should resume planning. Like: What I want it to do. What I want it to look like. What technology I want to use. How to preserve all the assets I've built up. How much time I want to spend on this.

Once I make those choices, I'll start implementing them.

I know: it's all very exciting. You may even have some suggestions for me. Cool, send em my way! But know this: it won't happen fast. I have about a hundred other things on my plate (who doesn't? I'd like to meet you). I just had one day to do some research. It came at the expense of 99 other things. (Except I did manage to make dinner too. So just 98 things, then.)

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