Spring cleaning

by DaniGirl on April 28, 2005 · 7 comments

in Uncategorized

What it is about spring that makes me so antsy? Gotta gotta clean up the yard, gotta loose some weight, gotta reinvent blog…

Okay, maybe not reinvent blog, but I’ve been thinking about making some changes. When I started blog, I wanted a simple style that was fairly minimalist. This template from Blogger was good enough to get me started, but after surfing around and seeing some other great designs, I think something more colourful might suit me better. Colourful, but not in-your-face colourful, and not too girlie-girl either.

I know just enough HTML to be able to tweak the colours and fonts on the templates, if I decide to do it myself. (This is a motif in my life: every time something needs to be done, whether it be shingling the roof or cleaning the toilets or buying pre-made Christmas ornaments, a voice in my head says, “You could do that yourself and save a tonne of cash. Plus, it will be FUN!” Then another voice in my head, which sounds remarkably like my mother, says, “Are you kidding me? For the love of god, just pay someone to do it and be done with it.”)

I stumbled across this blog design site, and I really think some of their stuff is fabulous. But, I honestly can’t justify $89US (I think that’s more than my annual salary) on blog wallpaper. Blogger has a new template called Jellyfish, which I might try. It’s free, after all.

And speaking of things that are free and not free, I am also toying with changing blog platforms. I am pleading here for some guidance from those of you who have some expertise in this matter. I have two itches that are not scratched by Blogger. First, I would like to archive by category. Second, I would like to be able to incorporate photos and other graphics into both the overall design and individual posts. Even something as simple as a personalized banner would be lovely. I think the second itch would be scratched if I hosted blog on my own server, which provides me with some-odd number of megs of space as part of my cable internet account. But that would cause me two further points of grief: I would lose my current blogspot URL, and I think I would be further complicating my already complicated life. (Narrator’s voiceover: Here, the specimen clearly demonstrates her deeply ingrained fear of change.)

So, faithful reader, do you have any advice? Thoughts? Tips and pointers? Since by virtue of being here you have a vested interest in blog, what are your thoughts on design and the things that blog lacks? (Isn’t it so nice of me to be considerate of you and not foist change on you while you weren’t looking?)

While you discuss, I’ll be off stalking Ann D…. tune in tomorrow for an update!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nancy April 28, 2005 at 1:30 pm

Well, don’t hate me, but being the simpletom I am, I prefer simple. I hav ebeen to other blog sites that are all facy-ass and some of them just way too overdone that I get frustrated trying to navigate myself around so I give up. YOUR blog, my friend, is just waaaay too good to be turning off any lame-ass lurker like me.
I love your moon cycle, simple little ‘few’ rainy day diversions, and where did that oh so important and life altering poll go??
Change the colours, add some pictures, but my very NON-blogedumacated brain says K.I.S.S. although in your case, the last S = sexy.
Just my very NON-blogger opinion. Just wait, perhaps one day I’ll be wondering the same thing, and when that happens you have permission to jump down my throat and call me bitch.
Going into hiding now….

2 Ella April 28, 2005 at 2:27 pm

I’ve been toying with Typepad which allows categories and easier incorporating of photos but it is expensive. I use Hello/Picasa with Blogger to get pictures into posts or photobucket if I want more than one picture per post, but there is a monthly bandwidth limit. I also use photobucket to get a banner on the top of my blog.
I’m quite good now with html but don’t really have the time to start from scratch hosting a site on my own server. It’s probably easier than it looks, but I too have a fear of change.
Also, I personally have no problem with the Blogger templates. They’re easy to read and easy to navigate. I tweaked my blogger template to put in some different colours but stopped there.

3 Andrea April 28, 2005 at 3:46 pm

I love having my own url. I mixed my bit of html with a bit of css and managed to put together somethign that works ok and looks presentable. (If you think it’s ugly, please don’t tell me; I’ll be crushed).
You can get good, cheap paid webhosts–I use blacksun.ca, and I’ve always found their service fabulous; for $10/m I get waaaay more space than I could ever use. Moveable Type has a free, personal-use version of the software that does Typepad–I use the paid-version of Moveable Type and I have not had any problems with it.
So if you want to do it, I think it’s very doable and it doesn’t have to be really hard or expensive.
If you’re ever looking for any very-non-expert techy help, let me know.

4 Jen April 29, 2005 at 1:09 am

Now I want a new template – that site you linked to had some great ones!
I use Typepad. I tried to use the Moveable Type software on my T.O. Mama url by am so not a techie and it only led to tears. I found it easier to use their site even though they charge a fee. You can archive by date and category but at the rate I am paying there is not a lot of cutomization options. The more you pay, the more you can customize (I’m cheap!)
Anyways, that’s my two cents!

5 Jen April 29, 2005 at 1:15 am

Oh, ya. My T.O. Mama host is Canaca and I find that easy to use (via frontpage, as I said the blogging software freaked me out). I pay $3.95 per mo for their cheapo, no tech support service (the fabulous Sharon from http://www.virtualworkforce.ca acts as my interpreter). (btw When I did a hard delete and FUBARed my entire site, Canaca did help me out even though they say NO SUPPORT)

6 twinmomplusone April 29, 2005 at 6:10 am

yikes, way over my head…
…ditto to what nancy said…hiding with her;)

7 Danigirl April 29, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Thanks you guys!!
Ella, I just saw your news – CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m going to check out that photobucket thing – it might be the perfect band-aid solution for now, until I can do a bit more research. Thanks, and HOORAY for you again!
Andrea and Jen, yours are two of the sites I must admit to coveting. I love love love the layout of your site, Andrea, with the colour blocks. I may take you up on your offer of assistance, but I’ll wait until you get yourself organized and back online at home. (By then, I’ll probably have forgotten all about this, as I am prone to do!)
Jen, doing a hard delete and removing everything sounds *exactly* like the kind of thing I am terrified of doing, and why idiot-proof (and free) Blogger is probably the best solution for me at this point. I like the fact that you have so many local links and useful resources on your site – I’ve been meaning to beef up that part of my site, too.
Nancy and 2+1Mom, as long as you guys promise to keep reading, I will be happy! And Nancy, I would *love* to see you blogging some day!!
xo Danigirl

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