Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Template @ PVD

I finally took the time this weekend to sit down and update the template on the blog. 

If you're reading this on a RSS reader, you shouldn't notice any difference.  If you're viewing individual post pages because you clicked on a link (on the feed, or from another site), the text should now occupy a wider portion of the screen (a long overdue improvement), and the list of labels has been sent to the footer.  If you go to the, the other difference is that I can now use a "read more" link to abridge lengthy posts.  This is useful so that I can post seven pages of character fiction from time to time without having that push everything else off the front page.

At the end of the day, I assume that most people are reading this blog for the new posts, not the appearance of the front page.  (The sorry state of the old template is pretty good evidence in support of this.)  I've considered moving to the more powerful Wordpress platform (I even registered the appropriate address just in case), and I've been using Feedburner since day one, but I don't know that I would be getting enough use out of the upgrade to justify the hassle of changing URL's. 

Anyway, let me know if anything looks broken, or if you have any other feedback on the layout. 


mbp said...

Nice clean style GA with the emphasis on the post text (where it should be).

I have very mixed feelings about feed readers. I use one because of the convenience factor but I hate how difficult it is to get to the real site behind the feed. All I really want from a feed reader is the headline and maybe the first couple of lines of a post. Once I have decided I want to read the full article I want to go to the original site with a single click please. Reading the full article in a feed reader window seems downright shoddy in my opinion. Don't even get me started about how difficult it is to post a comment when you are viewing paged with the "help" of a feed reader. We all have tabbed browsers now anyway so there is no excuse for the feeder being so possessive.

Klepsacovic said...

I like the wider format, but the grey seems too light.

Yeebo said...

I agree with Klep, a darker background would be nicer. Liked the black background of the old one.

Not seeing any glitches, though I do have to scroll right to see the right hand part of the blog on a decently wide screen.

Green Armadillo said...

@MBP: I actually don't really use a reader all that often either, but they have their uses. Notably, if I were to change domains some day, I can just update my Feedburner feed and many of my readers will probably get automatically redirected.

@Klep and Yeebo: I like the grey, but I darkened it slightly and lightened the white of the text, so that should improve the contrast a few notches.

Yeebo, what resolution are you viewing at? I ratcheted mine down to 1024x768 (the lowest resolution that any significant number of my readers are running, according to the analytics) to see what you're talking about and I did indeed get a scroll bar, but it didn't really appear to be cutting off any of the sidebar content, only the border on the far side. Is it clipping content on your screen?

Pangoria Fallstar said...

Not having any issues, just make sure that your total width is only 920 pixels so that it fits in most browsers without having horizontal scrolling issues.

That might help you out with your design. Otherwise, it looks great!

Pangoria Fallstar said...

I double checked your site, only about 70% of browsers would see your site without horizontal scrolling, 20% would have some (they'd be missing the right side of your site).
You'd recover 20% by losing 40 pixels in width or so.

Green Armadillo said...

@Pan: You're right, 40 pixels seems to be the sweet spot that gets all the actual content from the sidebar onto the screen for the 90%ile. Trimmed it by that much. If I could dynamically size the main content area, I would, but I'd rather not go any narrower than I have to because that setting affects everyone.

Yeebo said...

@Green Armadillo: it was my screen resolution. I forget that a bug in an MMO I play regularly downgrades the screen resolution on my system. I got so tired of resetting it by hand that I just leave it in the lower resolution.

It was just the very edge of the screen, the right hand side of a some items got cut off, but I could still see what was there and get to the clickies.

Yeebo said...

Oh yeah, and fixed now!

Longasc said...

it looks great.