Please do not change your browser settings.
The GSD blog has been redesigned.
For some reason, in a fit of summer boredom and bravery I decided it was time for a redo. Maybe it was the recent redo of the NPR website. Maybe it was the Chron.com redo (or Dwight’s TechBlog ) . I’m not sure. Anyway I decided it was time for change.
And yes…your eyes don’t deceive you. That indeed is a recent image of Lavie and I snuggling away in our real-life vectorized skins. No need to imagine our mugs any longer.
I spent a few hours (honestly) poring over the Blogger Templates at btemplates. There were lots and lots of really great templates. Only problem I kept coming back to is that many of them looked way too commercial or polished for the tone of the GSD blog. In addition, I just didn’t like having to depend on images or banner-images hosted off-site.
So I reviewed the default ones on Blogger and ended up really liking “Sand Dollar”. It was a two-column template which was a bit hard to adopt from my previous three-column style. However, I really liked the way the post-body section auto-resized (floated). And the font worked quite well.
I did use this tip BP Web News and Tips: Template MakeOver - Procedure 3 to swap the body and sidebar columns. I was just so used to having the body-text on the left that I had to get it back that way with the sidebar on the right. This worked perfectly.
I did break the tag-cloud horribly with the new template. However, I did find that the code I previously used by phydeaux3 was updated and refined a bit more since: New Blogger Tag Cloud / Label Cloud. I think it looks smashing!
I did drop the “Links from Japan” as though I still RSS feed a number of Japan-centric blogs, I really didn’t find the length of the sidebar items pleasing going from a double-sidebar to a single one. So it got cut.
I finally hard-coded the HTML code for the “apostrophe” character in “Claus’s Toolbox” so that darned “quote” character previously in it as “Claus”s Toolbox” is now fixed.
I also tweaked the colors (Blogger now has added a nice WYSIWYG Fonts and Colors editor) with Lavie’s help providing a critical eye Simple borders were added to better separate the body from sidebar. Padding and font sizings were manually adjusted as well.
I’ve still got some additional fine-tuning to do. I’d like to separate the posts a bit more as they seem to run together just a bit. And with the new-found extra room I might be changing some of the other graphics on the side-bar just a touch.
I’ve checked it in Firefox, Chrome(ium), and IE8. I’ve not jumped over to my Vista (dual-booting) OS yet so I haven’t seen it yet in Opera or Safari. I imagine it is rendering fine there. I really hope this particular template design fixes the annoying habit of long-lines breaking the previous three-column template in IE. Specific HTML code I found in the template seems to address that issue.
Of course, I had to remember to update (refresh) my theme in Windows Live Writer so it now correctly formats according to the revised template.
All things said, I think the changes are pretty refreshing and makes a much more eye-friendly blog.
What say you?