Sunday, February 12, 2006

Your blog needs fresh designs

Your blog needs to go shopping for new clothes, blogger!

Your blog's outfit, garment, dress, I mean it's DESIGN can become tiring to your readers after a year, or 6 months. It can even become dysfunctional, as I have been experiencing. I load up my sidebar with rich, constantly changing content.

I'm a Body and Sidebar Blogger. We are not many. Only a very few of us bloggers fuss with the Sidebar as an updateable content sector.

We all update our blogs whenever we publish a new post entry, right?

Well, no. Only part of it. When you publish a new post entry, you only update the TEXT of your blog. Or IMAGE, or whatever you add to the BODY CONTENT ("main content") of your blog.

You also have a Sidebar and a Blog Design Template, accessible from your Control Panel or Dashboard.

You, as a blogger, are a WebMaster, like it or not.

You, blogger, are a writer, reporter, editor, publisher, designer, and webmaster of your blog.

Are you reading classic literature? Quality popular fiction? Ancient Greek poetry? Philosophy texts? Sacred works?

What are you reading that will improve your thinking and writing skills, your debating skills? Socrates/Plato is good for improving blogocombat skills, for example.

Now, how about your webmaster skills? What have you done recently to learn a little web design, HTML, CSS? Anything at all? You can't squeeze a little time out of your television, shopping, or game playing time?

If you say you're not geeky enough to fiddle with your blog, you're afraid to tamper with the template, then you might want to look at what you're saying. You need not fear anything.

Your love for your readers, let that love inspire you to buy web design books and work on your blog. Why be satisfied with a standard template? Your readers may get bored with the look of your blog, so it's nice to give it a new wardrobe now and then, just like you do with clothes for your body.

Copy your template, and Paste it into a NotePad, WordPad, MSWord, or other text editor, you can always Open the File, labeled with blog name, "template", and date of template version.

Like, in my case: "Vaspers template [date]", like "Vaspers template Jan.3, 2006" and "Vaspers template Jan.27, 2006" etc., and Copy and Paste it back into your Template Settings again.

Then, with the original, or latest version, of your blog template Saved, you have no worries. You may now fiddle with, tweak, adjust, change, edit your blog design template under the Change Settings function from your blog's Control Panel/Dashboard.

Know what you want to change by consulting some guide to HTML and CSS. HTML governs the what, CSS governs the how presented. Change a color, using a hexidecimal web color chart. #000000 is black, #FFFFFF is white, #8B0000 is dark red, ##F0FFF0 is honeydew, the color of this blog's background as of Feb. 13, 2006.

Change something, then click-select Preview. Look at what changed when you tampered with the code. Don't like it? Close out Preview screen, then do more work on it, or click-select Remove Edits to erase what you did, to revert to pre-condition.

It may seem freaky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you may get addicted to fine-tuning your blog's appearance. That's okay, too.

I'm more forgiving nowadays about blog look. It can take some time and effort to get your blog to look "just right, really me, what I want to convey about myself".

For example, this blog may change in a flash of an eyelash.

Be careful about importing blog templates from weird or amateur web sites. Often, the HTML and CSS code is poorly written, bad nesting, bad syntax, etc.

I'm having trouble with H2 and H3, left margin (body text seems shoved to left, instead of more toward the middle, which is where I want it.), and the sidebar. I think I have to change the "Absolute Position" of the "Menu" (sidebar). See? I'm still learning, just like all of us are.

Have fun giving your blog a fresh look. Later, someday, I'll explain how to find, select, and import a whole new template into your blog.

[signed] steven e. streight aka vaspers the grate


1 comment:

Zafufilia said...

I like this format. It was getting pretty hard to read the last one, with the huge font size. Thanks for the improvements.