The other day I made some changes to my website/blog

I know this isn’t major news but seeing as I’m a key stakeholder for myself I’m going to write about it here.

The motivation for this was Twitter’s recent, controversial new profile layout. The profile images I’d used for this were actually a version of the header art that I’d used for this website. Changing the one prompted me to change the other.

So, I’ve switched back to a default Simple layout from Blogger, removing any html hacks I’d previously used. This time, all the edits I’ve made have been via the Blogger in Draft options, through which I’ve adjusted some colours, font types (I’ve gone for some more subtle but unusual ones for the header area, but that should degrade gracefully when they fail). I’ve also made the layout wider, as I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with the narrowness of my older template, especially now everyone has, in the most part, widescreen monitors.

The only code edit I’ve made was to make the website title clickable to return to the homepage. For some reason the image will only do this if it is used instead of text or with the text below. I could do some sort of image mapping to fix this, but my quick hack to get the title doing it is enough for me.

I also cleared out all the widgets I had in the sidebar. In doing so I went back to the official Blogger profile, on the assumption, possibly erroneous, that this would be easier for search robots to crawl and seem a bit more official. Or something. I also cleared out the contact/social network links: for these I’d used official buttons but these were slow to load, prone to breaking, and did not blend. I’ve gone with a simple bullet point list instead, which I think is a bit more inoffensive. 

I also tweaked the follow footer, adding the follow by email widget and adding the RSS images to make them stand out a bit more.

Finally I changed the favicon. Previously I’d just used a squiggle. Now I went a bit ambitious and designed my own:
It’s meant to be a fragment of samian ware, the distinctive red slip pottery of the Roman empire. I don’t think I did too bad a job but it’s a little indistinct on the tab bar so I might tweak it another day. It used to be on Blogger that you had to hack some code into an invisible text box on the template to do this, but I was thankful to find out now it’s a supported feature. Uploading is easy; as long as the image is square and >100kb then it’ll scale itself. However, there was a workaround I had to use to get the favicon working as it didn’t initially update on the live blog.

Here’s a gaudy image to showcase the change!


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