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Site Overhaul Complete

Posted 2013.07.24 14.26 in Computers/Internet/Technology

So, I think I’ve just about finished up with the site overhaul. For now, at least.

When I started, the theme was all dark with lots of heavy borders and all. I had created the theme based on radiograms being stuck to a bulletin-board. It was almost entirely monochrome, dark, and monospaced.

And there were 66 static pages, a carry-over from when this was more of a ‘site’ than a ‘blog’. That was a mess of pages when it came to any updates, and navigation was crazy. There were 4 layers of child-pages, in some cases. Categories, sub-categories, sub-sub-categories, and sub-sub-sub-categories.

Last look at the old site.

Last look at the old site.

Now, the new theme is a lot more light and airey, and there’s very few lines. What lines there are, are thin.

And I’ve managed to cut the static pages down to 19. It’s more than I wanted, and admittedly there’s no way to get to some of them without the Site Map page. But I felt I had to hang on to a few of them, at least for now.

The iPhone pages have to stay because I have a few entries in the App Store and need to have a place for people to go for ‘support’ etc. However, I’m looking to move my IOS apps and support to a different domain so they won’t be in my ‘personal’ stuff any more.

The Laser pages had to stay because they’re still so dang popular. Even so many years later, the diy DVD laser page is still getting a few dozen visitors a day. I wish the safety page was as popular.

The ham radio pages were pruned and consolidated a bit. Although I haven’t been an active ham for quite a while, I’m not ready to bump them off into the archives just yet.

The other static pages may continue to exist as-is, or might get archived at some point. As always, if you can’t find it, try the search box on the right.

Cheers!

Page Pruning

Posted 2013.07.22 10.51 in Computers/Internet/Technology

So I’m going to keep the lighter look here.

The darker theme was ok and had some clever tricks I was proud of, but considering I was already thinking of dumping it just 5 months after creating it, the two and a half years it had were quite enough.

There’s going to be some additional overhauls happening. I want to get the ‘pages’ stuff in order. I’ve already pulled down some of the really old, outdated, stuff (sorry Newton, Visor, HPLX). It’s not deleted, just disabled. I’m going to see if I can’t consolidate the older stuff, maybe put it off to the side somewhere.

Maybe convert some of the pages into posts, so they’re still searchable, but part of the ‘archives’ rather than the static pages. Especially for the older stuff, I can insert it into the history from when it was actually relevant.

Either way, I’m planning on pruning things down from the 60+ static pages that exist now, to a dozen or less. Half dozen? Handful?


Update – I’ve already started pruning. The Visor, Newton, and HPLX pages are now archived blog posts. Going to keep at it, actually.

Update 2 – Also the Artwork and Zipit pages have been archived into blob posts rather than pages, and the Lasers stuff has been streamlined (see the Site Map.)

I was worried about some crazy broken links but somehow, magically, it’s still working. I suspect WordPress is clever enough to redirect visitors to the moved pages and posts and whatnot. It only breaks when I move things twice, so I’ll try not to do that. Any more.

All that’s left to streamline is the ham radio stuff.

Lighter

Posted 2013.07.20 17.23 in Computers/Internet/Technology

I’m trying a lighter look for the site. Lighter, less busy, more simple? Light-and-plain seems to be the style these days. Not sure I like it.

I had my custom  radiogram-based ‘Missives’ theme up since  November 2010, and every now and then and then I’ve thought about replacing it.

Like the last one, this one is also home-brewed. As of this writing it’s also incomplete – no way to link to the static pages yet.

Give it a couple days and see where it goes. I’ll either finish it so it’s got all the bells and whistles it needs, or I’ll drop back to ‘Missive’ again.

In the mean time if anyone really needs to find the pages, either use the search box in the sidebar to find what you’re looking for, or try the Site Map.

Edit: I’ve added the top level page menu. Haven’t decided how to present the secondary and tertiary levels yet.

Cheers.

Theme Thoughts

Posted 2012.12.10 13.46 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Lately I’ve been feeling a little bit bored with the theme of this site.

I mean, I still think some bits are clever. And I like to think it’s easy to read… well not-difficult at least.

But it’s been around a while – a  year? Two? I don’t remember.

It’s all based around radio transmissions (the post format is inspired by formal radio traffic forms) but I haven’t been active in amateur radio for ages — in fact I wasn’t an active ham when I created this theme.

On the other hand, it works and I’m lazy, so odds are it’ll persist a while longer.

Or not. Maybe I’ll play around with it, or bits of it, here and there.

Colour? Or no colour.

I don’t know, as long as it loads fast – that’s the main thing.

I should also do some editing and pruning… I think there’s around 60+ static pages, most of which haven’t been updated in forever, discussing topics I’m no longer involved in.

Oh but if I move them around or purge stuff, that’ll break links and what-not… Maybe I’ll just add a banner warning that I’m no longer actively blah-blahing the blah.

Whatever… my train of thought derailed at the last bend and I’ve forgotten what

Blognative dissonance

Posted 2011.03.04 12.00 in Computers/Internet/Technology

I don’t like my blog any more. The theme, I mean. It’s too… something.

I’ve been looking at the themes available on wordpress.org but haven’t found anything that appeals. I don’t want to go back to my previous ‘pink’ blog. I wanted to stay with a dark theme because it matches my mood, but none of the dark ones look good to me.

I’d create something new, but I no longer have the energy or motivation to do much of anything, let alone create a brand new theme.

I’ve even toyed with falling back on the wordpress default theme, though it’s too bright for me.

Anyhow, something’s going to change, at some point. Just not sure what, or when.

Just an Aside…

Posted 2010.11.19 16.54 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Normally I think of updates to WordPress the same way I think of vitamins. That is, something you use because you’re probably slightly better off with them, than without them.

It’s not been as bad lately – at one point it seemed like every other week there was an update that WordPress was nagging me about.

This time, however, I’m actually looking forward to the next upgrade. There’s this new feature that I’ve read about, where you can have different ‘post types’ – like, normal posts, little quick ‘aside’-type posts, picture posts, video posts, et cetera.

There’s been lots of times I would have liked to post some quick little one- or two-liner, some short thing that seemed appropirate at the moment. But it always seemed not to fit – like, you have the title, category, tags, excerpt, et cetera, and you end up with the meta data being three times the size of the actual post. So I’d just skip it, and the world would suffer a tiny bit more because it was robbed the benefit of my wonderful tidbits of wisdom. 😉

But this new post-type thing sounds like just the thing. Of course the ‘aside’ type is what I’m thinking of, but photo-types would be handy too. One’s theme has to be able to take advantage of the post types, but that’s no problem. I’m already thinking about updating my new theme so it’s ready to use the new features as soon as they’re available.

This is supposed to come in WordPress 3.1 which is coming some time in December. I might even grab a beta and get a head start, if I’m not too busy.

The Theme has Landed

Posted 2010.11.17 8.37 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Well after a few more days of tinkering, I’m happy to say that the theme is finished!

First, I re-did the header graphics; they were rather hastily-done first time around and there were some minor quirks that were annoying me. The bigger job however was the page navigation buttons.

The style I had used before with drowdowns for secondary and tertiary pages just didn’t fit into the new look and feel. I toyed with a few different concepts but overall I wanted something that would fit with the ‘feel’ of the site, without sacrificing usability or taking up too much screen-space. That is, I already felt the header was as big as it should be, I didn’t want to make it even taller.

Settling on two rows of ‘buttons’ meant a slight compromise – you can’t get from the top level / home page to a tertiary page in one go. I could have added a third row of buttons but I thought that would look a bit too repetative; even the two rows looks a bit wierd I think.

Anyhow, it took a day or so of thinking, to figure out how to get the code to draw the buttons the way I wanted. An unexpected benefit though was I was able to delete another plugin! The old navigation buttons were driven by a plugin, and the new one is driven by some code in the header file. The fewer plugins, the better, I think.

The mobile version is also good to go – for use on phones, pdas et cetera. It’s not perfect but it’s as good as it was on the old theme.

There might still be the occasional tweak or change, but by and large I’m declaring the new theme done and complete.

Cheers!

Edited to add: I just had a look at the site via Internet Exploder on Windows, and… well all I can say is, if you’re still using that browser, you have my sympathies. Did you know, you can get Firefox for free? I’m tempted to add a blurb on the sidebar that says ‘This site looks best when viewed with a modern, standards-compliant browser. So, you know… not IE.