Monday, September 14, 2009

Blog Image & Design Test

So this is basically the new design. It will match up nicely to the updated site when it goes on-line later this week. As I mentioned, I wanted a more simple and cleaner look. A look that focused on the images and less on the design/layout of the site. It took a couple of hours to figure out and hack the code to get the layout just right.

First I had to increase the width of the blog and header. Then I played with  font/background colors, that was easy. The harder part was hacking the code to get the side bar from the right side to the left side of the page. There were other tweaks to the code, but those were the major ones. The biggest challenge was how to get larger images on the site. Blogger by default gives you 3 sizes. The largest being 400 pixels wide. I was hoping for a lot larger. After searching on ways to hack the code, it turns out there really isn't a way to do it natively in Blogger. The best scenario was to upload all images to Flickr or some other photo sharing site, Then embed/link to the image on Flickr. It's a bit more work, but it solves this issue and I think provides exactly what I wanted. Not to mention, I haven't been keeping up to date on my Flickr account and this kind of kills 2 birds with one stone. The image below is 700 pixels wide and it's a good size.

I also changed the default editor to the updated editor when making posts. I don't know why it's not the default, but it's much better. First of all, it allows you to post images where you've placed your cursor. The previous version always placed images at the top of the post, that was a pain in trying to rearrange images in the post. The other feature which I've been looking forward to, is the ability to make a page break. This allows me to keep the main page simpler and provide a teaser to the post and if a reader is interested, they can proceed to read the rest of the post. If not they can scroll down the page without having to see the whole post. This is a great feature when posts get long and I think you will agree.

Anyway, this is the new blog design. Let me know what you think and if there's anything on the design side that you think could use some more tweaking.

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