Tweaking Site Layouts Demands Compromises

Hopefully you've found something that you like about my new site layout. There are several things I like about, though I'll have to admit that I'm also ambivalent about a lot of the changes

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The most obvious of those changes is whether to go with the light or dark theme that comes standard with the Twenty Eleven Theme. I prefer the dark theme with the black background when an entry features photographs because it does a good job of setting them off. On the other hand, I definitely prefer the light theme when an entry consists mainly of words because I don't like reading white letters on a black background. Overall, I think I'm favoring the light theme. Let me know if you have a definite preference.

I prefer the new way of listing categories, though I'm rather embarrassed by how many entries are "uncategorized." In my defense, early programs I used to blog did not provide any means of categorizing entries. As a result, any of the entries from the first three years are so are "uncategorized." Of course, procrastination and sheer laziness have also played a part in my failure to categorize effectively. As time allows, I'm going through some old entries and trying to categorize them and make them more accessible. I suppose I really ought to try to move into the present and use "tags," but I wouldn't count on that happening instantaneously.

I also prefer the new way of archiving, though I've noticed that all these JavaScript also slow down the loading of my page. Still, if the reader is actually interested in exploring my archives, the hierarchical approach makes that much easier, though it also makes it obvious that better titles would make my content more accessible.

I wish I'd found the new Blog list plugin that I'm using before I went through the list the other day looking for blogs that were no longer being updated. When I originally installed the plugin it listed the blogs in the order they had been updated (which I prefer), but installing two other plugins afterwards somehow disabled that feature and I haven't been able to get it turned back on. Even before that, it was flawed as some sites would not show up as being updated even when I knew that they had been because I'd read them on my RSS feed. I suspect that it must have something to do with the way Google reads, or doesn't read the sites, because the plugin depend on a Google API key. Needless to say, there was no way I was ever going to resolve these issues.

Behind the scenes I'm quite fond of the editor built into Jetpack, though I've just gone back and deleted the option to check for passive voice. I forgot how annoying I used to find that when using Microsoft Word. However, in the process of adding categories from some old entries, I've discovered a number of silly typos, the kind that are easily caught by an editor, and easily overlooked by a writer, that have managed to slip by me for a long time.

7 thoughts on “Tweaking Site Layouts Demands Compromises

  1. I like this layout!

    It’s hard to come up with a good page design. Sometimes I get a wild hare and want to change up mine with something snazzier, but I don’t want a layout so busy that it’s distracting. I like the way yours is fancy at the top, plain in the body; I think it will work well for you.

  2. I think it all looks great, Loren. A pleasure to read and look at. But it’s loading very, very slowly, even on my superfast work internet connection – slowly enough that this will lose you readers, I think, in our universe of sadly shortening attention spans.

    • Thanks for confirming that for me, Jean. I’d noticed that on my home computer, too.

      Probably running too many javascripts. Wonder if I can figure out how to move some of these to another page and just link them here.

What do you think?