Category Archives: Weblogs

Design Refresh 2014

I thought I would start 2014 with a bit of a design refresh on this site and over on Blessings too.

This site has had the same design for some years now and I fancied a change.

The main reason for the change was a desire to go Responsive. Nearly 40% of visits to this site in January 2014 are from mobile devices (up from 10% in January 2013) and I wanted to make sure that I gave those visitors the best possible experience. The old theme was a bit clunky for different screen resolutions.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to change the way that I write posts. Within WordPress (which I use) the Featured Image is becoming increasingly important. As an example, it’s the Featured Image that gets defined within the Open Graph Metadata and hence it’s the one used by Facebook and others when the post is publicised there. I’ve deliberately chosen a theme that makes use of the Featured Image in the heading of a post too. Previously I have written posts with an image inside them to give a bit of graphical interest. Now that the featured image is in the header I don’t feel the need to do that and hopefully that will make the reading a bit clearer while maintaining the graphical interest, and there is consistency of imagery across the various access points.

Some of the Featured Images will appear quite grainy in the post header, on older posts, because they are up-scaling small images. I might go back and change the ones on popular posts but don’t have plans to update them all in the short-term.

The great thing about using WordPress is that I can, for the most part, simply switch on the new theme and everything changes.

There are still a few glitches, the main one being that I’m having to reformat each of the quote posts because the way that this theme and the last one handled them is different. This will take me a little time to fix, but I’m getting there. Also, these posts haven’t previously had a featured image so I’m using this as an opportunity to give them one. If you see anything else please leave me a comment to let me know.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

George Bernard Shaw

“If you never change your mind, why have one?”

Edward de Bono

I missed my blog birthday

It was my blog birthday back on 04/04. I have an excuse though, I was on holiday.
Jimmy lays claim to the sofa
Amazingly it’s been 8 years.

Like all polite people I started with a welcome a welcome that I still extend to all of you.

At 1,200 posts I’m never going to be the most prolific writer, but that’s not why I do it. I write because I enjoy it, I just hope that the experience isn’t too painful for these of you who get to read it.

(That’s Jimmy back in 2005, he doesn’t seem to have aged anything like as much as I have)

Back Online

I was offline for a while yesterday, but all should be good now.

Loch CreranOf course you wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t, so it’s a pretty pointless post.

What I am writing is clearly self-evident, but all the same I thought I would let you know

“Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Blog’s I didn’t write in 2012

Many of my blog posts are written in response to something that someone else has written. I read a lot of other people’s blogs and when I find something I find interesting I star it (in Google Reader speak). Preston Guild Torchlight ProcessionI’ll then go back and look at the stared items and write about them. Sometimes though I have more stared items than time to write, sometimes when I go back to the stared items I’m not sure what I should write. So the number of stared items grows over time.

Here’s a list of blog posts that I didn’t write based on articles that I sound interesting:

Potentially for Because it’s Friday’s

Potentially for Technical, Learning and Social Writings

How’s that for an eclectic mix of information?

I’m not saying that I won’t return to some of these in 2013, but as so much information gets published all of the time it’s unlikely. If there’s something you’d like to write about out of this list just leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

WordPress 3.5 Installed

WordPress 3.5 was released today. I’ve updated a couple of the sites that I look after and everything is looking great (apart from one thing, but I’ll get to that). Huge congratulations to the team, it looks like it’s another quick and easy upgrade.

Preston Guild Torchlight ProcessionI’m using a number of the common plug-ins and all seem to be OK so far. These are the ones I’m running across the sites that I’ve updated:

  • Akismet
  • All in One SEO Pack
  • Better WP Security
  • FD Feedburner Plugin
  • Google Analytics for WordPress
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • WordPress Firewall 2
  • WP Security Scan
  • WP Super Cache

I did have to reconnect JetPack to my Worpdress.com account, but that’s not really an issue.

The one thing that appears to be broken is the new Twenty Twelve theme installation. On both sites it’s reporting that it’s missing its stylesheet:

image

Actually, it’s not just the stylesheet that’s missing, the theme directory it’s completely empty. Fortunately the work-around is simple; delete the twentytwelve directory off the server and install the theme through the dashboard interface. Not sure I’m going to use it, but wanted to have a look all the same.