Thursday, May 01, 2008

What I have been doing in my spare time

Hi, I'm still alive.

In my last post I told you I was looking for a new blog template. Well, that set me off on a loooonnnnggg adventure in blogland. I found hundreds of free blogger templates but none of them were exactly right. Too dark, too narrow, only two columns, etc. Somewhere along the way I came up with the brilliant (?) idea of writing my own template. My revised plan was to find a simple template with the basic structure I wanted and revise the code to add a custom header and change fonts and colors.

After much searching I found a simple template that had three columns and was easy to widen. All of the templates out there required some math to widen each element of the blog structure (i.e., outer-wrapper, header, content-wrapper, sidebar-wrapper, etc.) and the more I delved into it the more complicated things got with all attributes that needed adjusting. But this new simple template only required adjusting one attribute. The rest of the elements had widths in percentages thereby keeping everything correctly proportioned automatically. Okay, I won't bore you with more technical details.

Anyway with this new template, I can swap out the header whenever I get the urge for change (which is often) to overhaul the look of my blog without a completely new template. I also discovered something else.... I really enjoy coding. I found several very helpful websites on learning how to create and change template CSS and XML code. I confess, I'm a geek. I got my degree in computer science about 10 years ago and loved computer programming. But since I test software now I get no time to write code.

My only complaint about my new template is that the two sidebar columns are both on the right side of the main post column, but one website with blogging tips says that having your posts on the left makes your blog much more 'searchable' by search engine robots.

So I have the template mostly tweaked with a pretty header and I will publish tomorrow.

Blogger Update News:
Scheduled post publishing has now been implemented in Blogger. Woohoo! I have been using this feature through Blogger in draft and it's really cool. You can publish a post for a future date and it will be published when that date arrives. This is great if you want to post while you are on vacation or can't get access to a computer. You can get a bunch of posts completed and pick the date in the future that you want them published.

Wedding Update: Last Saturday was the bridal shower! Very fun. I have pictures that I haven't downloaded. Must go look for my camera. I helped Angie finish stuffing wedding invitations in envelopes and putting on stamps. We are already getting the RSVP cards back. I still have to finish the favors. Time is running out.

Reading now: I got an ARC for a hot new book and it's good so far. I know lots of you get ARCs all the time, but I rarely get them so I'm excited.


Marg said...

I love that Blogger scheduler, and I have been using it a lot, particularly in the group blog that I am in, so that on the odd occasions when we have more than one post ready to go they can be spread out a bit!

Looking forward to seeing the new layout!

CindyS said...

Holy Cow! I tried to create my own template with devastating results. I guess we can't be exactly the same ;)

Can't wait to see the new template and the wedding is coming up real fast if you have been getting the RSVPs back already!

And like you, ARCs are new. Sybil sent me an Anne Stuart ARC back in September and I was super pumped.

Can't wait to hear about what you are reading!


Ana said...

Love the new template!!

sybil said...

Love the new template! My god hon, you get bored I have a WHOLE mess of CSS you can come figure out ;)

I send you some ARCs for your trouble *g*.

ReneeW said...

Marg: I'm going to use the new scheduler for reviews. I can work on several at once and post them a day or two apart.

Cindy: The wedding is in July. She sent the invitations out very early but she needs a count for the caterer a month in advance. Getting the Anne Stuart ARC was so cool, you lucky girl.

Ana: Thanks!

Sybil: I'm a beginner at the CSS coding but given enough time I can usually figure it out. It's kinda fun. OOoooh, ARCs for CSS. Sounds like a fair trade.

Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...