Thursday, February 16, 2006

New, improved

If you're a returning visitor to Orange Crate Art, you'll notice that I've given my blog yet another makeover. The dotted lines and little arrows of the Rounders template no longer pleased me, so I spent a fair amount of time this afternoon deconstructing the template, risking disaster at every moment (because I have very little idea what I'm doing!).

I like the clean lines, white columns, and dark background very much, and the signboard at the top gives Orange Crate Art more of that same great orange taste. Reader, I hope that you like it too.

comments: 4

Crritic! said...

Much better Michael. I'm jealous. I once tried to preconfigure one of the blogger templates all by myself and the whole thing crashed.

I'd ask how you did it but I'm not sure I really want to know.

Michael Leddy said...

The easy parts -- changing colors, changing the lines (by changing every "dotted" to "solid"), and getting rid of the rounded elements and arrows (by removing the urls, which bring in those bits).

The difficult parts -- getting everything to line up after the arrows were gone. I did that by trial and error, changing the numbers of pixels in the "padding" for various elements in the template. The Firefox extension ColorZilla turned out to be very helpful there; when you use its "eyedropper" to check colors, it shows the name of the part of the page the cursor is on. That helped me figure out where to go to change the padding on the "posted by" line, for instance. I'm sure that people who know how to do this sort of thing use a more appropriate tool.

Another difficult part -- the Blogger template doesn't show you what a post with comments looks like. To get the comments right, I saved a post with comments and looked at the page source and figured out how to change the "padding" so that the comments lined up with the text.

Clearing edits in Blogger is a helpful way to bail out of trouble, but doing so zaps all the changes you've made. A smart way to do this sort of work would be to save the original template as a text file, and then save revised versions under new names as you make progress. So if things really get messy, you can paste in an older version of the template. If I ever do this work again, that's how I'll do it, but I'm going to leave this design alone for a while.

Julie Carter said...

It looks good. I like the clean look and the color scheme.

Sounds like you do html like I do: trial and error, with an emphasis on the error. :)

shanna said...

another tip: copy and paste your entire template (before you start editing) into a text document. just in case. you can always copy your saved template back into blogger to restore things. :) this looks great (and i loved the mange typo in the bald guyz post).