Monday, September 27, 2010

New template! New template!

Yes, well, after more than six years of blogging and more than 1200 posts, I've finally summoned the nerve to fool around with Blogger's upgraded template designs and get a new look in place. There were many reasons I didn't do it earlier - the main one being that whenever I attempted a change, my manually updated sidebar either vanished or spread itself all over the page in terrifying patterns. People have been telling me for a long time that the old template looked staid or that the green was too bright or that the space utilisation was poor (the main text in each post covering only a relatively small section in the middle of the page), but I didn't much care: if you read the blog through email subscription or a feed-reader, the template doesn't matter. Plus there was the comfort zone, the fear of technology and the fact that my priority has always been the actual writing.

But I've made the jump now, and much to my own surprise it took only a couple of hours of fidgeting around nervously before I figured out how to transport old page elements (such as the Sitemeter icon and the "Subscribe by email" facility) to the new template. Also had to update the "books" and "films" posts on the sidebar, which took a lot of time, and there's more that has to be done. I'm still experimenting, and will make further changes over the next few days.

Hope you get used to the new look. Meanwhile, any suggestions (for page elements and additions, not for colour) are welcome.

24 comments:

  1. Me likey! Very refreshing change-
    A regular reader.

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  2. Overall nice.

    But I don't like the main text area. I dont remember the exact template you used earlier. But the text was white on black and it was very pleasant to read.

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  3. the text was white on black and it was very pleasant to read.

    Boundlessdreamz: black on white, you mean. I've just changed the background of the text to something closer to white. Does that make a difference?

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  4. nice! this green is more soothing, while maintaining continuity with the old one.

    also, you'll probably find that the sidebar could use pruning anyway and this is a good time to do it.

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  5. Good to see the change. I have a couple of suggestions for the Archives widget. A collapsible style (which takes up less space) instead of list will work better. You could also move Archives below the selected posts.

    Love your blog!

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  6. Shuchi: thanks. Will probably compress the Archives soon - it's too long in its current form.

    also, you'll probably find that the sidebar could use pruning anyway and this is a good time to do it.

    Space Bar: I think there's an option for creating separate pages containing the links of all the earlier book/movie posts. Will try that out.

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  7. Looks good to me!

    I agree that having a full list of posts in the right-hand column is unwieldy. Can you categorise posts and link to the categories? (So for example people can find all posts about films in one place.)

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  8. this is horrible, and you are an idiot for doing it. go back.

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  9. Hey, I don't think you would like me saying that i do not like the new template, but unfortunately i'll say exactly that.

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  10. Nice. Very soothing though not very fancy :-).

    Loved the earlier Jabberwocky quote though

    - Constant Reader

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  11. Ami: no problem. Hope you get used to it though (and to whatever other minor changes I make in the coming days) - if not, there's always the email-subscription/feed-reader option!

    Sid: oh, this is about as fancy as I'm willing to get at the moment - it took me enough time to steel myself up for any kind of change. But I will try to add a few widgets in the days ahead.

    Danny: with over 1200 posts, it's going to be difficult to begin categorising/labeling now, but will try to work it out. Personally I like the long list of book and film posts, but I see the practical problem.

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  12. Also, if anyone has a problem with the large font size, I'll probably be working on that as well. Am considering using a layout that has a small left sidebar as well as the right sidebar, in which case I'll have to reduce the font size for the posts.

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  13. Its always a big decision to change the blog template - especially with so many options out there. So congrats on taking the leap. The template is refreshing but the green is too bright. But I do like the post area.

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  14. Mr. Singh,

    Almost everything is fine in the new template. Just reduce the font size for a soothing reading experience.

    Thank you for doing this.

    -Avi

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  15. Just the font. It is rather large. Choose a font like Georgia or Times New Roman while writing the post. Select the font size as Small, preview the post. If it shows as too tiny, go with Normal. I use Georgia in Normal size.

    Lakshmi

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  16. You still don't think it's time you invested in a proper domain name for yourself? :P
    BTW, the new template is good. Much better than the previous one, at least.

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  17. Gagan: I'll be doing that soon - hopefully I'll be able to redirect the blog to the new URL with minimum screw-ups.

    Lakshmi: the "customise template" page has an option for changing fonts/font sizes, but it doesn't always seem to work. Will have to experiment while creating individual posts, I guess.

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  18. makes a great change Jai. No fuss and fiddle, soothing and easy to read. Only wish the text field was wider. Great :)

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  19. How about shifting to wordpress ? I hear they have some very nice templates .

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  20. Bala: ha, no chance! It took me six years to overcome my fear and upgrade to a new template within Blogger. Moving to a new host altogether is out of the question at this point.

    Besides, I've spent the last couple of days upgrading the sidebar/adding page elements. This template works fine for me right now.

    Only wish the text field was wider

    Anon: once I find a way to reduce the text size, the field will give the impression of being wider - more words in a line. Even now, it's definitely wider than in my old template.

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  21. Hey - did not get a chance to read all of the comments so am not sure if this got addressed - I love most of the changes, nice color. Text size is a smidgeon too big though...

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  22. Capital! Good to see the green motif made it to the new template too..and in a nice soothing shade.

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