1/16/2012

Polishing My Blog

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I stopped blogging for a while and I blogged when Wordpress did not exist (and Blogger was still Blogspot). The balance between ease to use and detailed customization is hard to achieve. Wordpress chose the radical strategy to provide its source code, thus the (almost) ultimate customizability while supporting an extensive set of add-ons (similar to blogspot's): I think the opensource aspect arguably popularized Wordpress and made its extensions more successful.

My experience with Wordpress comes from the building of a few websites for my friends and organizations: Moneythink China (http://www.moneythink.cn/) and CSSLC (the site I built was closed and this is the new site: http://csslc-focus.com/). Overall, I had a positive experience: there are some issues with add-on compatibility but it is not hard to fix it with some PHP knowledge.

I have played around with the new gadgets and customization Blogger provides over the weekend to polish my blog a bit. I started with a ready-made template by Awesome, Inc. for better browser compatibility (the dynamic template does not run on iPad) and adjusted some Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) code, added my own title background image (I guess I will call it Beyond Limits: it is a wooden fence common in Texas in the foreground) that suits the color theme of the template, drew my own favicon (and that was fun), etc. One complaint I have for Blogger is the long load time which is probably due to the amount of redundancy in CSS code:
the page is rendered 2.41s after GET request: I think that is quite slow considering that I have very little static assets on the page.

A cleanup of redundant CSS code is recommended by Google Chrome Developer Tools.

I am not surprised by the redundancy since the add-on's come with their CSS and the template will try to override them and then there is user customization but if a user is allowed to go in and have more control over how a page is rendered: in case of Wordpress, you can edit (almost) everything!

The other complaint I have is the customizability for the mobile template: the default page is usually clean and slick but the way how customized items from the web version are used in the mobile version is outside of user control and that might mess things up.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions about the look of my blog.

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