Tuesday, July 8, 2008

If you're not getting better ...

... you're getting worse. At least that's what they say. In trying to make productive use of the July lull, I have been tweaking my template. That's not as dirty as it sounds. I started OC Domer with a standard template and it has worked very well for the most part. Fairly early on I figured out how to modify the code to make the color scheme at OC Domer look more Domer-ish, and I was pretty happy with myself for not crashing the site while doing so.

One thing that has bugged me for a long time about the standard template was the default width of the two available columns. The sidebar width was fine, but the main column was just way too narrow. The result was that for blog posts of any length, readers risked serious neck injuries whipping their heads back and forth over the short lines while they scrolled endlessly down the page looking for the end of the article. The narrow columns also limited the size of pictures that could be included in posts, and really played havoc when trying to insert a chart or a diagram. So for a while I have half-heartedly been wishing the folks at Blogger would fix my problem for me and save me having to monkey with my template. It's a good thing I wasn't holding my breath.

Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and did some research and found some articles that convinced me my problem was readily fixable. After some trial and error, I think I have fixed my narrow-column problem and I'm pretty pleased with myself. A couple of notes on the new layout. First, in order to change the width of the main column (and the header), I had to ditch the very appealing rounded corners that used to be featured around each "box" on the page. The rounded corners were actually images, each featuring a pair of corners (left and right), with a fixed image length. Once I changed column width, the rounded corners no longer fit. So they had to go. This is mildly amusing since the template I use is now a modified version of Blogger's "rounders" template, with all the actual roundness removed.

The next side-effect of the change is that the news headline widget at the top of the main column is now wider and therefore readers can see more of the Notre Dame headlines as they scroll. Before, headlines were cut off way too short.

I hear you saying to yourself: "Okay OC, wider columns. Very nice. Pour yourself a cold one to celebrate. But why pester us with a long, boring post about columns that are 695 pixels wide instead of 485 pixels wide?" Fair question. I'm glad you asked. I need some feedback from you to make sure I haven't screwed the whole thing up from your end. I tested the new layout on my Firefox browser, and on Internet Explorer. But I don't know if my monitor settings, etc... are typical or not for other computer users.

So, I would very much appreciate it if you could drop me a comment on the new look, especially if it doesn't work for you or is causing you problems. (How great is that? "Please write a comment if you can't read this post"). Of course, if you really like the new layout, I'd love to hear that too. But otherwise I'll assume that no news is good news.

My next blog-tweak will probably be some spiffing-up of the top banner with a cool picture, so I can keep up with the likes of Subway Domer and Domer Sports Report. But I'm not making any promises.


Granger Irish said...

Hey OC, thanks for the kind words at the end of your post (Domer Sports Report). You have an excellent site. Keep up the great work for the Irish fans out here!

SubwayDomer26 said...

Good for you OC. I blew SD up twice trying to upgrade it last year. (That sentence sounds AWFUL)I love the "Blogs on Probation" sidebar. I must be a hanging judge, because I just axed a few myself.

If you need help with a banner, ask Ryan at NDLNA. He helped with mine because I am an idiot.

Looks good. When the hell is this season supposed to start anyways?

Face Mask said...

Looks good OC.