Friday, April 20, 2012

DIY: HTML, or: How-to: Get in Over Your Head

Two whole days have passed without a word from us on our blog and that gives me some serious heavy boots. Leslie and I have been spending the past couple of nights planning out a new design for our blog because we wanted a simpler look. If you've glanced at our page over the past 48 hours, you may have noticed that it changes every time you refresh it. I would make changes all day, then Leslie would go home at night and re-do some of them. Then I'd have to go back in and re-re-do them, and anyway, here we are, back from the abyss.

We started out by wanting to change two things: Leslie wasn't so hot on the colors, and I didn't like how the first post started half-way down the page and you had to scroll for a mile and a half to read all the way to the bottom. I was racking up a lot of mileage on my scroll wheel, and mouse-gas isn't cheap these days.

Of course, I say we just wanted to change a couple of things, but once we got rolling, we started looking at other stuff and going "hm, maybe there's a better way," or, "well, if I change this, then I have to change that," and that eventually turned into, "this part looks complicated, maybe I'll just leave that alone," and, "what kind of bonehead invented HTML, what the hell is a float." But, we got through it. One painful step at a time.

Here's a list of things we changed, because listing it all out makes me feel like we made some big accomplishment instead of just spending two days typing nonsense into the HTML editor:

  • New logo, made from a picture of our Alfred the Junkerbird
  • Banner redesigned
  • Social media link graphics created and re-positioned
  • Right side-bar gadgets cleaned up (blog roll, archives, and graphics)
  • Brick wall background torn down (not as hard as it sounds)
  • Page list redesigned
  • Blogger banner removed
  • Jump links added to posts (that's the "Continue Reading" links on the homepage)
  • Individual posts cleaned up and simplified 

I really like our new logo and banner, and I hope everyone appreciates the jump links, because (1) that was really hard to figure out, and (2) hopefully you can navigate a lot easier and spend less time scrolling and more time reading.

Here's how things looked around here before, in case you forgot:

And, I'd post an after picture, but I think it'd just be redundant.