Monday, May 07, 2007

The New Look

As I said in an earlier post, I've been getting complaints about a slow loading site for some time now. My template was getting to be about a year old, and it had grown quite bloated with all the little additions I had made during that time. I decided I needed to trim it down and speed it up, so I made a few tweaks to do just that. While doing that I blew it up.

So I decided to completely redo the whole thing. I had a few required traits for a template that must be met, beginning with the need to be "fluid". That means that regardless of the screen resolution you have set in your computer you will see my blog as a full screen display. In case you've ever wondered why most blogs, or most websites for that matter, show up as a narrow band on the left or center of your screen, it's because they are designed to be viewed at 800 by 600 resolution. But only 10% or less of you actually use that low resolution. I have never been one to reduce myself to the lowest common denominator, but I want everyone to be able to read this page without having to do a horizontal scroll. That's very easy if you limit your website to a single column, but I wanted three.

I couldn't find any templates available for Blogger that are both fluid and in a three column format. So, I started with a freely available Wordpress three column template and made it fluid. I then stripped out all the Wordpress gunk, and went to work in Wordpad and Firefox to create a new template. My old template was based entirely on tables, similar to Excel or any other spreadsheet program. I eliminated all tables in this new template, save two. And I'm working on a way to get rid of one of those. This new template is almost entirely CSS driven, yet it works well with the new Blogger.

I have a few issues I'm still not completely satisfied with, I don't like the way links are displayed for example, but I'll be working on those in the days to come. When I'm finished I'll offer a generic, easily customized version of this template to anyone who wants it.

No comments: