New Look But a Few Teething Problems

I have been reworking an updated version of the Blog.txt theme I use for a few days, and have finally switched over, but there are a few teething problems I still have to work out.

Please bare with me with any disruption in service and reading enjoyment


Here is a rough idea of the changes

  • Upgraded to v3.0 from 1.2 of blog.txt theme
  • Create custom framework as this layout is not available as standard
  • Rearranged most page elements

The intention was to raise the headline for the first article further up the page
Retain prominent subscription options
More space for community items

The biggest change with community items was Technorati favorites. These are now included on the front page as an RSS feed, showing the latest 5 items from my favorites. This won’t give much benefit in link juice, as I have a lot of favorites, but will most likely be visible in linkage occasionally.

The plugin I used might have a couple more tricks up its sleeve to speed up loading time of the widgets, but I will save that for tomorrow.

If I can’t speed up the widgets, I will probably switch to excerpts on the front page.

I still have a few other things to tidy up – there is a much smaller gap between articles and the comment box.

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. Follow


  1. says

    Much better. You get to the comment section much more readily. I like the explination for the social bookmark buttons (might have to do likewise) and the big orange javascript dropdown XML button looks good even if the options do scroll clean off the bottom of the page. The link to me box looks a bit funny all long and no depth. A copy to clipboard JS link might do well… up to you though – it’s your blog. It is also a bit gappy down here arround the “no nofollow” bit.

  2. says

    If I may be so rude as to comment a second time I do have one tiny b*tch about your site. After I comment I end up on a very terse thank you screen and no link back to the article / main page.

  3. says

    You may want to adjust the white spaces. They make things look like they are out of control!

    I think you may already be fixing these things..

  4. says

    And one more thing that I forgot to write in my first comment: You may want to change the link color, though it depends on your wish. COLOURlovers might help in the color selection.

  5. says

    I already think it’s an improvement, Andy.

    You know, I’ve never come across a blog with a similar layout to yours. It’s more standardised now, but in a good way.

    In the previous version I was never too sure where an article began and ended.

    How about a re-design of your name in the header?

    Good luck with the tweaking.


  6. says

    I think the previous look felt a bit more spacious.. now most of the content seems to be bunched up on the left side of the screen which makes it kinda squeezy..

    It’s easier to get to the comments section though..

  7. says

    There are an insane amount of bugs you guys didn’t spot, so that is a good thing I suppose.

    Font colors: I am currently using 0000FF – I might stitch to 0000CC but those links are going to remain blue, it is just which blue.

    I want the overall prevailing color to be white, I have always found it works well, and this blog post gives even more reason,
    White Websites Convert

    There was only so much I could do on a development site before bringing it to this domain.

    There are real bugs than need addressing not just with the layout, but I will get to those today.

    It is interesting the idea that this site might be cramped slightly

    Time to compare websites

    Blogherald – has a smaller left margin, narrower body, headline appears slighly lower on the page. Maybe the difference is that my middle column has more than just adsense in it.

    Marketing Pilgrim has narrower columns, thus allowing the left margin to be slightly wider.

    David’s site is actually the opposite. Much wider columns, and yet it is still keeping to the idea of “white”. In some ways the wider columns give it more space.

    One thing to mention is that I haven’t included advertising yet.
    That will be at the top of the right column and might have some effect on the space.

    I haven’t actually tweaked styling too much from the original blog.txt template so far, but that will change.

    I did face major problems with v3.0 of the theme. The designer has gone overboard in optimizing the CSS and PHP to the extent that working out what is going on, and modifying it is hard work.
    Nothing is commented in the ocde anymore, and it is all bunched up.
    The sidebars were just a long chain of “if else” logic rather than individual logic for each item.

    I could understand using “if else” if the logic was being deeply nested, but it wasn’t.

    I have no idea if this will change performance, but the changes certainly help me move things around.

    Ok on with the tweaking

  8. says

    Matt I think the comment problem is a feature of Spam Karma unfortunately.

    If someone hasn’t commented much on a blog, it optionally has a captcha to “recover” a comment and give it a small boost in the allocation of “credibility”

    There are so many other factors involved, such as time on page etc.

    It can be slightly inconvenient, but I actually prefer it to a situation that a comment might get mixed up with lots of spam and never recovered. Even if a comment ends up at the top of the possible spam list, it is normally highlighted in green ready for approval.

    I also get emails every 8 hours with a list of possibles for inclusion.

  9. says

    I have to say that I like your full featured footer for each article. It’s a one stop shop for bookmarking, digging and linking. I think more and more we’ll see this sort of thing although I probably think that someone will make it all disappear in an ajax shelf that you can lower to get to it. With all the social bookmarking and Web 2.0 stuff these days it can overwhelm a page otherwise. I think that you’ve got a good balance of functionality though.

    Keep up the good work and the practical posts.

  10. says

    The footer is actually something I have been struggling with all morning on a test blog, it will all change.
    There use to be a lot more there, and I need to include it again, but in a specific manner