Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 2011 Site Update

At this point I've decided that I'm relatively happy with the three-column theme, but I'm still trying to work out how to get the screen a little bit wider. I'm thinking 990px rather than the current 900px, which would give me another 10% or so and still fit fine on 1024 x 768 screens. But that's kind of hard to do given that for this theme the frame backdrop is made up of images that are fixed width. I'm wondering now how easy it would be to set up the two sidebars and the body have backdrops and borders of the appropriate colors, which would eliminate the need for the background images.

Yesterday I was able to work out how to get Related Post links added to my articles. Up until now I had seen the feature on Wordpress but not on Blogger. The version I'm using still doesn't include thumbnails like with the Wordpress widget, but I'm hoping that it will nonetheless help keep some of my older posts more relevant and viewed. I've posted almost 500 articles on here at this point, and if I don't say so myself there's a lot of good stuff that you can find if you venture deeper into the site. Related Posts is a convenient way to do just that. I'm also in the process of refining the article tags to make this feature more targeted and useful.

Another new feature that Blogger has added is the ability to put breaks into articles, so that just the first portion is displayed on the main page along with a "Read More" link to access all of the text. I've added it to a couple of my longer posts so far, and my plan is to start using it a lot more aggressively. That way I don't have to display the entirety of articles like Planetary Magick, a sixteen-page presentation, on the main screen, and I can set the displayed portion of articles to something resembling a standard width.

I've so far been able to keep up my accelerated posting schedule that I started in March, and the traffic to the site has been increasing. That's great, and I hope I can continue to maintain my current pace for the foreseeable future. Just out of curiosity, is it still Saint Patricks Day or something? Because looking at the stats, over the last couple of weeks my First Vampires, Now Leprechauns? post has been getting a whole bunch of pageviews. As of this writing it's number five on the popular posts list and at this rate it may move up to number four shortly. It's a one-off, weird news article so I'm kind of surprised, especially since looking at the traffic sources I can't identify any one place that all the pageviews are coming from.

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