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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How to Improve Blogger

As a good CATpitalist, I have selected Blogger as a free hosting platform, but I haven't taken what it's given me. It's an extremely limited system, with only a few basically identical templates (ugly) and just as few widgets. Wordpress seems much better, BUT their hosting service won't allow ads. So it was Blogger. But--

You have to stand out from the herd (of cats).

So I've started some improvements, having poked around the internet. First, I got a new template from Pam Blackstone's site "Random Bytes." It supports three-column layouts, which makes much better use of the screen space. Thanks, Pam!

Second, I simply and easily built a new logo in Photoshop Elements. That program came free with my digital camera-- that's Zooey in the header, on the hunt for money-- but you could just as easily use freeware or shareware editing programs like GIMPShop, Paint.NET (Windows), or ImageWell (Mac).

Installing the HTML for the new template-- I'm not a code head-- deleted all my custom widgets like text, Blogflux button, and GPS. So I've got a little work to do to put that stuff together, and you should be forewarned if you go to make similar changes.

This layout should allow for better integration of ads-- I didn't like the between-post style, and Blogger will make sidebar ads disappear in favor of the tweeners. Also, I can now put more stuff-- tag clouds, links, etc etc-- on the same screen. So, good stuff.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to do some restoration to my sidebars...

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