Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ch-ch-changes

I changed my blog template over the weekend and I got a couple of compliments already. So far there, has only been one dissenter. Marc from Comics Roast blog liked the all-blue style better. I changed to the “old” template back in August of last year as I talked about here. I still see that style on a lot of blogs, like Stuck In The 80s. If Thisaway(blue) is good enough for a big corporation like the St Pete Times, it should be good enough for anybody.

I really wanted a new layout that was a little more discrete looking. The blue is a little garish. One option was to open the wallet and get a professional design from the many people that do them, like BabyJaneBlogs that did such a great job on Mooselets redesign. But one of my rationalizations for having a blog was that I believe in the Learn By Doing school of thought. A blog would be a good way for me to teach myself some HTML and CSS and image editing. So, getting a third party to maintain my blog would be defeating that purpose. Instead, I looked for a template that I could edit to my heart’s content so I can keep the blog a DIY tool.

The new template come from Thur’s Templates. Thur is from the Netherlands and his blog has Blogger templates as well as very helpful tips. I like the clean crisp look of this template. I also wanted a two column layout with the sidebar on the left. This is fairly uncommon, but it lets me resize the window to just see my blogroll. Three column blogs (yours in particular, trusty) look awful on my work computer which runs Windows 98 at 800x600. This blog is variable width so it can be stretched as wide as necessary for people with super high resolution screens. I imagine that may cause some interesting juxtapositions on some of my picture heavy posts. I may start doing more images centered and inline than wrapped if there is a chance of them butting together.

My one misgiving is that the header needs a little more pizzazz. My Photoshop skilz (or in my case PhotoStudio, since that came free with one of my cameras) are pretty lame. I can crop, resize and recolor, but that’s about it. I would like to add a few Vonnegut-style “ass-terisks” to the header as an inside joke. I did manage to sprinkle my sidebar with a few. I’d also like to make the header a hotlink back to the homepage. Right now I have a microscopic text that links back, but that’s such a kludge.

I think half the effect of a new template is novelty, I see this blog every day, and sometimes you just can’t help rearranging the furniture a little.

BlatantCommentWhoring™: What do you like about your template and why did you pick it?

20 comments:

Adouble said...

You should use gimp rather than PhotoStudio. Gimp is great.

Harmonica Man said...

How thoughtful of you - providing us a reason to say what we like about our own blogs. Who could resist!

First of all, let me say I like that you picked a similar color scheme as mine. Not because I think it was intentional on your part, but because it shows that you probably agree with my reasoning.

In my blog I picked a white background because I like the airy bright cheerieness and cleanliness of it.

I chose royal blue post headings because it's my favorite color and adds a bright and pleasant contrast, and my midnight blue on black lettering provides easy-to-read text.

I've also incorporated drop-down boxes where appropriate to minimize the clutter in my sidebar.

In my case I traded "artsy" for "functional" and went with an easy-to-read, no nonsense "get the job done" type of template.

Gypsy said...

I LOVE my new blog design. Kelly did it over at Nello Design: http://nellodesign.com/

I like the white background she gave me because it seems clean and crisp. And I really like the three column layout. I know very little HTML, but the way she has it set up it's easy for me to go in and change fonts or colors or add links to the template.

Impetua said...

My blog is so boring. I just picked the one I liked the best from the ready-made (i.e. free) ones they had at Blogger. I like a somewhat darker background because white pages hurt my eyes a little. I am so not a blog geek.

But, I have an adorable daughter, so that makes up for my lameness.

yellojkt said...

impetua,

The theme for your Liz and Deb page is the same one I use for my Vietnam blog. It just looked tropical.

And your daughter IS adorable.

mg said...

change is always good. I liked the old template just fine. Your comic content was enough to add color and zest.

I chose my template because I could hack the snot out of it and make it my own~ so many cookie-cutter "personalized" templates out there. The pic that I used really lends a lot of insight as to what kind of woman I am.

;)

mg

trusty getto said...

I very much like the new template, and I actually tried that one, too. I do like the double sidebar approach, and I'm terribly sorry it looks bad on your computer. I'm not sure that's the template, it's probably just my writing that makes it look bad . . . .

Not to be a snob, but get a Mac with OS 10.4 with a huge monitor, and it'll look just fine ;)

Marc said...

Thanks for the linkage!

This style is way more "professional" Good job!

Thumper said...

*I* like it. It's simple yet attractive and draws my eye to the content.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh! I wanna make a something for your header. Can I? Can I Please? Give me some ideas and let me try it mkay?

used*to*be*me* said...

My god. That was me up there begging.

yellojkt said...

Trusty,

Your blog looks great at resolutions 1024 or wider. At work (strictly during lunch or before the office opens), any post with a picture wider that about 300 pixels causes the picture and the text for that post to bleed over into the right sidebar.

Don't change anything on my account. I just have to wait to get home to read your blog. Besides thats where I have to listen to your daughters vocal stylings.

yellojkt said...

keb,

Knock yourself out. Here's my dream header:

The word "Foma*" in the middle of a string of cat's cradle. Underneath it would be the "*harmless untruths" like I have now. The color scheme should be blue, black and gray.

In a lighter shade in the background would be asterisks scattered around in various sizes (like the one in the picture). These are all Kurt Vonnegut allusions.

You can just right click and save the logo I have if you want to use that as a starting point.

This would be so cool.

Claude said...

I like it...it's a nice, clean look and change of pace for you.

You know my blog's look...I'm goofing around with the colors all the time. Last time out it was because of Orioles Opening Day, hence the orange. It's about time for me to change again, though. I need something a little more "summertime".

Marc said...

I really like that idea yellojkt! It will make the blog come to life!

Mooselet said...

Hey, thanks for the shoutout!! I'll get to what I like about mine in a sec...

I've got to give you credit for attempting to do the whole thing yourself. I'm HTML/CSS etc illiterate and have a tendancy to screw up my basic coding attempts, so no way was I going to touch it for a template. More power to you, yello!

As to my own - Ginger over at BabyJane was great to work with. I wanted something that was more expressive of me and how my life is. The green and gold represent the Aussie colours, and the American flag inside the outline of Australia is, well, me! It's bright, I admit, and I've had some who don't care for it. The only thing I would like to change is to expand the main column - it's looking too narrow. Or maybe I'm jealous because it's thinner than me.

yellojkt said...

mg,

Your template is really one of the sexiest I have ever seen. It intrigues but leaves a lot to the imagination. I like the new profile photo too.

mg said...

*blush*

thanks ;)

trusty getto said...

Ditto waht YJ said from me, too :)

lisa said...

I like the new blog look.

I don't remember why I choose the template I have at lam(b), when I started it I knew sooo little about blogging that I was just happy something showed up on the screen.

maybe you'll inspire me to try a new one ... maybe.