I had mentioned in a blog post last week that I am going to revamp the theme for this blog, and I did. It was no easy task. I struggled for hours trying to widen the right side bar reliably and robustly. But that is nothing compared to the difficulty the US and British government had when they had to draw the border along the the 49th parallel in the mid 1800s. They had to draw a straight line on an “arc” that was not a great circle (a great circle’s center coincides with the center of the earth.) A circle along any latitude cannot be a great circle and hence is a continuous approximation. And it would take years to draw it.
No, my task was vastly easier. I just had to research and find a theme similar to what I wanted and then change some parameters in the CSS to adjust the settings to my hearts desire. Although I wish this was a simple solution, it was not as simple as I thought.
I did some research to see if free themes could be as good as premium themes. It looks like they can be. Some of the research seemed to suggest that paid themes had better performance. So I considered both. My first filter was the color and layout. I wanted only two columns and I wanted a white background. My top three choices were Twenty Eleven, Thesis and Graphene. After a bit of trial and error, I decided to use Graphene for the time being.
I tried to follow the tips on its support forum to widen the right bar, because I wanted to put a 250 by 250 adsense ad and other similar sized ads there. Not only was it not non-trivial, it was very confusing. So instead of wasting time, I settled with making the ads smaller to fit .
See the top of this page for the actual links. I will add more links this week. Especially linked in.
To encourage social proof I added the Slick Social Buttons plugin that seems to do an awesome job. Try it out. It is floating on your left.
Next I need to add links to the most popular posts. At this time they are the painting tips, photos on Mac tips, and iPhone tips. Finally I am going to get rid of the Facebook comments. While it has completely stopped any spam, it also does not seem to encourage any commenting. May be because the content is not comment provoking. But I don’t want it to be because people don’t want to use their fb profile to comment. I plan to use disqus. I find myself perfectly happy to comment logged in as twitter, so I guess others will like that too. And disqus allows it.
Thats for next week. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to comment