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New Year, New Look!

Posted by Malevica on January - 1 - 2012

Type “H” For Heals has a shiny new look for 2012!

I started this blog back in 2009 and in those early days when I was really still only dabbling with the whole “blogging” thing I picked the Suffusion theme. It was free, it looked good, and it was pretty easily customisable. It’s served me well to this point, but as is often the way I began to feel a nagging desire for a change.

And this is the result. The apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree – I still like dark, blue themes in general – but I think this one looks a bit more textured and modern than the old one.

The layout and graphics are based on the freely-available Firecrow theme, although I’ve spent a good deal of extra time rewriting the basic theme to better suit my needs. Some of that was fixing little quirks (on a dark theme, having the hover colour for links set to black is not smart…), but there were some more significant tweaks as well:

  • I added a second sidebar to the right-hand side so that I can keep more things visible above the fold.
  • I widened the theme in general, but stuck with a fixed width. I know that a fixed width doesn’t always play too nicely with small screens, although most small-screen devices have their own tricks for rendering wide pages these days. I just object, as someone with a desktop PC and 1680 pixels to play with, to viewing the web through an 600 pixel-wide window (I’m looking at you, WoW Insider…); at the same time, really wide text blocks still look slightly odd to me. I’ll accept that this is more or less a product of my own quirks, but then it is my blog, after all!
  • I moved the subscribe and contact buttons out of the sidebar and into the header, so they’re more prominent and don’t push sidebar content too far down.
  • I added sharing buttons at the bottom of each post. Oddly I ummed and ahhed over this one for quite a while. On the one hand having people think enough of a post I’ve written to want to share it on G+, Facebook, Twitter and their ilk is undoubtedly a good thing, and it’ll certainly help bring in more readers from different places; on the other hand there’s just something about putting in those buttons, even in miniature, that makes me feel like I’m being just a little bit… needy?
    Rationally though, they’re helpful to people and they don’t detract from the posts, so in the end up they went.
  • The new theme has a “Featured Posts” box; I’ve not had one before. Currently it’s set up simply to show the most recent 4 posts from my main on-topic categories, but I might experiment with setting specific posts to float to the top instead.
  • A consequence of this feature is that I’ve had to assign featured images to my posts. This is a good thing, because frankly I suck at using images in my posts, so anything that encourages me to use more of them can only be a good thing.
  • I removed the built-in WordPress nofollow attributes from external links on my posts. This way if you make a reasonable (non-spam) comment on a post, the link back to your blog counts for something with search engines as well as just people. As it should be.

Hope you like the new look!

P.S. Don’t be surprised to see further small changes as things settle in and I change my mind repeatedly about the little things, but also do yell if you spot something that looks a bit weird, because I might well have missed something.

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Categories: Blog Stuff

2 Responses so far.

  1. Evlyxx says:

    I like the new style very pleasing on the eye. Don’t feel ashamed of the sharing buttons, we all need the cross pollination that our readers can offer us.

  2. Kekkles says:

    This is quite a nice theme that you’re using now Malev, especially since then the “Type H for Heals” image at the top is clickable now!

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