Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Blog Makeover Challenge

Go for a makeover!  Who can resist that prospect!

Alex Daw of Family Tree Frog has invited bloggers to join her in a different challenge - to look at each other's blogs, give feedback and make suggestions.


I had been thinking recently: 
  • Does my blog look rather tired, jaded,  and,  dare I admit it,  boring?"  
  • Does it need a facelift?   
My 4th blog anniversary is next week, so this is just the time to go for a refreshing makeover!
 

I should add that I am not particularly IT savvy as regards procedures and terminology, so it was an achievement to have got where I have with it! 

I have been trying out different colour themes, but have ended up with virtually the same as before, as I do like the clean look of blue.  Some time ago, I followed advice and moved my blog favourites and blog awards to a tab - and feel this has worked well.  in de-cluttering the side bar.

 I do like a suggestion from Sharon to Wendy to set up a Search widget and must look into this.

 So do give me your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from fellow bloggers.  Susan.

23 comments:

  1. Hi Sue. Well this is tough ! It's tough because, despite your self-confessed lack of savvy with regards IT procedure and terminology, I think you've done a great job on your blog. You have ticked all the boxes in terms of what is required - an About Me page. I love what you've done with the Surnames. I would change the I Can Look Up tab to just Look Up though. If you keep coming back to Blue you should stick with it. But I do think on first sight the layout lacks something. Is it that there is too much writing? Perhaps a picture or a graphic is required in the header. Have you tried playing around with that?

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    1. Many thanks, Alex for your kind comments. I take what you say about the layout being rather bland. and will explore how to add an image as a banner header, as my blog description is really covered by the About Me tab anyway. I will also amend my Look Up tab and follow other blogger ideas on a separate Disclaimer/Copyright tab. .

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  2. Sue, the blue is "you". I like the tabs and the breakdown of the sidebar. I also like Alex's suggestion of a photo in the header if your theme permits...you have such great ones and it would add a "punch" to the blog image.

    In terms of the sidebar I'd move your profil

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  3. Sorry ipad blooper.

    I'd move the "about me" to the top above the "follow me". I don't know how useful archives are...in the end I took mine off. I think they have the option with the topics.

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  4. Stupid thing won't let me go back and edit, hence the three part saga. You know I have always really enjoyed your stories and photos so you're on a winner there! Only minor tweaks now. (I've been tweaking for days and have drawn the line now)

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    1. Many thanks, Pauleen for your triple comments and the suggestions on moving the About Me up the side bar. and adding a banner photograph to add punch - I do feel the blog would benefit from this. I intend to add a Search widget, so that could mean I do away with the Archives listing which I sometime use to trace back previous postings - especially if I forget to gindex the psot with a Label/Topic. So I better start tweeking! .

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    2. I think it looks great now with you "up front"! I always enjoy your blog and know who you are, but now others can see your happy face straight away :-) Alex also tipped me off with the "Look Up" page -may ask you for some help there in the future ;-)

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  5. Hi Sue, I have always found your blog inviting and easy to read (with great content that is enjoyable and interesting). Personally, I missed seeing your smiling face when I opened the page so, like Pauleen, I would prefer to see the "About me" higher on the page.
    Sharon

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    1. Glad to see your smiling face back again :)

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    2. Many thanks, Sharon - I have done the easy tweaking bits and now must puzzle out how to add a top banner image.

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  6. Hi Susan, I was looking at your blog yesterday while in the car and had plans on what to say when I got home and could type without interference from the motion of the car. I see one thing has already taken place: the addition of a picture in the header. However now I think you have a problem with the text over the picture. A simple fix is to change the color. My personal view though is it's just too much text. I would work those ideas into the About Me paragraph OR put it in a textbox to the right of the picture. Now, Blogger isn't going to stand for that, but you can do it if you make the photo and text into a single image. Thomas Macentee has some tutorials on that. If you are interested, I'll send you some links.

    I really like the red as an accent for titles. That was smart.

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    1. What happened? The picture is gone. Maybe I caught you practicing. HA!

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    2. Many thanks, Wendy, for your helpful comments. Yes - you must have caught me amidst trying out pictures - which I deleted, as it would not do what I wanted it to do. If I put the image at the top, I got the description below, but not the blog title - which seemed strange that this gets omitted. I now realize that my "About Me" tab repeats what I have to a large extent in the description so can easily edit that down as you suggested. I will work on your idea of a photo/text box image, but would welcome the link to Thomas's advice. . Watch this space!

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    3. http://fbbootcamp.blogspot.com/2009/01/creating-banner-image.html

      One of the best bits of info is how to upload the image to Blogger because it's confusing without Thomas's explanation.

      Thomas shows a bunch of pictures, but you can do one plus a text box. Or whatever else. You can also put a text box on top of your photo and simply click No Fill, No Outline. When you insert your picture you will also have the option to do THINGs to the picture like include a border or not, blur the edges, make it oval or round, etc.

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    4. https://www.facebook.com/download/790746197624595/Blog%20Banner%20Creator.pptx

      I hope this link works -- it's Thomas's blog banner creator -- you can use it as a starting point. I am doing that but I have only one big photo. But it's something to play with and you can practice inserting several pictures, one picture, changing the textbox size, etc.

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    5. OK, I just tested it -- and it worked for me. It downloaded right onto my computer.

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    6. Great support there Wendy. I'm sure others will find it helpful too.

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    7. Hi,Wendy - you are a star with all your helpful comments. I have had a look at the Powerpoint approach and it makes sense to me, but unfortunately I cannot open the link to Thomas's blog banner creator which i am keen to have a look at. as a starting point. - it says the page is not available. I think it will take me time to work all this out! Again many thanks.

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    8. Silly me -- I don't know why I didn't just send it through email. I'll do that.

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  7. I like the new look. I may 'borrow/steal' a couple of your ideas. I like the pages you have. I have a few but like the people and places one. I wish my Scottish ancestors lived in your lookup counties. Good job!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Brenda - and yes feel free to adopt any of my ideas. I am flattered!

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  8. I have to be really nitpicky to find something constructive to add after all your work. I think I'll pinch your Worldwide Genealogy link idea.

    I would like to see a subscribe or follow by email widget up near the top of your sidebar - to make it easy for people to follow you.

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    1. Thank you, Jill, for finding the time from your busy schedule to comment.

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