New Skin

You may notice that I’ve changed the format of the blog around a little. I’ve been meaning to upgrade my “theme” to the new WordPress (new about a year ago, I think), and I’m finally just going to bite the bullet and do it. There are definitely some things I want to change like the Previous Entries link at the bottom that doesn’t work. Anywho, this is the place for your voice to be heard. If I changed something you liked, let me know. I can’t guarantee that I have the know-how to fix it, but I’ll do my best to placate you.

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22 thoughts on “New Skin

  1. Dick I use WordPress as well, do you know of a plugin that will allow edit of posts by posters? Or is there a feature I am not aware of?

    Like the changes.

    doco

  2. Dick –

    When you came out with your previous new skin, I suggested a wider, shorter textbox for typing comments. I’m glad you got a chance now to implement that fix. Overall it looks good.

  3. I’m also looking at preview, treeview, and editing for comments. I don’t think all those plug-ins work nice together, so I may have to make some trade offs. And I still need to get the

     

    tags to work in comments so people can post code. That one may be a challenge.

  4. Hi Dick,
    A few things stick out on the redesign, for me anyway
    1. The side bar overlaps the top bar, resulting in half of the word Home and part of About being covered. As I increase the font size – on size 1 there’s a gap, size 2 is ok and from size 3 upwards the overlap gets larger.
    2. The top banner looks a bit bare – maybe you need some sort of graphic / logo up there? (Not that I’m volunteering or anything)
    3. I have an add-blocker (Nothing personal :)) and it replaces the adds at the top with [BLOCKED ADS] – which looks a bit odd – maybe you could move the ads down below the first set of menu items?

    My browser is Maxthon which is an Internet Explorer “wrapper” if that makes any difference.

  5. TJM:

    1. I know that’s a problem, but I don’t know how to fix it. If I made the sidebar div position: relative, everything gets screwy. With position: absolute, it’s fine as long as the user doesn’t do anything. It seems that this was a problem with the old theme too, but now I can’t remember.

    2. The whole logo thing got pushed to the back burner. I just don’t have the skills to make what I want.

    3. I wanted to try those ads nearer the top to see if I made more money. I’m going to leave them up there for now and see how it goes, but move them down if there’s not an appreciable difference.

    Thanks for the comments.

  6. The top ad that I’m seeing right now is from eBay:

    “Microsoft Excel Macro. Huge selection of new & used. Check out the deals now!”

    I’m wondering, has anybody here ever bought any used macros from eBay (or Craigslist). If so, have they held up well for you, or do think it’s better to spring for new ones? Is there any service – equivalent to CarFax maybe – where I can find out if the macro has ever been in a wreck, how many owners it’s had, etc.?

  7. FWIW:
    I’m not a big fan of tree viwes, unless the number of replies are massive, like 50 plus, and all the time?
    Didnt you have some logo’s made for the header?

  8. The side bar is fairly wide and prominent now, especially the blue underlined titles of the sections. I find it distracting but maybe you want it prominent to make it easier to find items.

    I like the ability to move among posts on this comment page. Is it new or did I just never notice it before?

  9. REH: That’s good info on the sidebar links. I’ll look at toning those down a bit. The navigation links are new and were one of the driving factors for changing the theme. There’s a lot of behind the scenes reasons I changed that will make it easier to make changes too.

  10. Dick: A heads up on the edit plugin. For some reason since install of it it seems to lock up the browser when publishing new posts or editing old ones. The post actually gets published or updated but you would never know it as the browser gets stuck and grinds away. After closing the browser and going back to the site I see the post had been added/updated. Don’t know why. Using IE6.0

    doco

  11. I changed the color of the links in the sidebar to a more muted grey. I like it better than the dark blue. I also moved the sidebar html above the content so it will render properly when a different text size is used. Blind people are going to be pissed at me because their screen readers will have to read the whole sidebar before they get to a post. I need an html tag that alerts screen readers to skip certain parts or read certain parts last. I guess you can’t please everyone.

    I changed the recent comments links so they are easier to read and distinguish one from the other. I kept the commenters name the same size, but made the post name smaller. Then I removed all the little words and limited it to 33 characters. I like it better, but I’m interested in your opinion on it. Is it too confusing not having the post title match exactly?

    I made the links across the top look like buttons. It’s almost too much orange up there, but I didn’t like other colors I tried. I may still experiment with some different colors.

    I’ve never really liked the yellow background of the sidebar. I’ve tried some different colors, but I can’t find anything else I like. I want to make it visually distinguishable from the posts, but not distracting. I thought of using a washed-out orange, but that would definitely be too much orange.

  12. The new text buttons don’t have a consistent look to them: Home, About, and Suggestions have a thin yellow border which the others lack.

    The difference in font size in the recent comments list is a nice touch, but more pronounced than necessary. Why not apply the same multiple font size formatting in the recently commented list?

  13. Wow, that looks like crap in IE. I forgot to test it there. It doesn’t look as bad in Firefox. It’s as if all but those three are double height, thereby obscurring the top border.

    re recently commented: Good idea. One of the things I didn’t like about the comments list was the wrapping. I also don’t like that about commented, but I didn’t think hacking the post title up was appropriate there. What do you think that should look like? Is there info in there that doesn’t need to be?

  14. Aren’t 85% of your visitors still using IE? Don’t you check your workbooks in Excel 2000?

    I visited your site on my laptop yesterday, which has a narrower screen, and a couple of the pseudo buttons were wrapped to the next line, and partially obscured by or obscuring (don’t recall which) the line above. You should test in a smaller window. (Hmm, I can’t repro this one by shrinking the window.)

    My reason for my suggestion about Recently Commented was the lack of distinction between adjacent listings if the fonts were all the same size. I thought the way the Recent Comments font mismatch helped set the entries apart.

  15. Hi.

    I like the new style. The links at the top are working in IE again.

    A couple of things:

    1. There is a large gap between the comment box and the Name, Mail, Website boxes – this happens on new posts without many comments. The Comment box seems to start where the left-hand panel finishes.

    2. It’s difficult to read the Recent Comments section (of the left-hand panel). The PersonName and TopicName have such similar styles it’s hard to tell them apart. A Bullet Point would be great.

    A fine update overall.

    Cheers,
    Rob

  16. Re RVG’s post…

    1. I noticed this when my browser wasn’t maximized. When I maximized it, the window was wide enough to accommodate the comment box and the column of stuff on the left.

    2. The formatting seems to change each time I visit the blog. I’m using a couple different computers, which might make the difference, or else Dick’s tweaking it behind the scenes.

  17. 1. That’s strange. Clearly when the comments are long enough to push it below the sidebar, there’s no problem. But when there’s no comments, it’s fine event though the post length doesn’t push it below the sidebar.

    2. Good point on the bullets, I’ll see what that looks like. I often wonder who’s reading the blog while I’m making changes. They could see one thing on the main page, then go to the comments of a post and see some pretty whacky stuff because I just made a change and screwed it up. :)

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