If you’re reading this, you will have noticed that my blog has a new look. And if you read on, you’ll find out how it came about, but I suspect only fellow blogger will have any interest in that. If you’re not one of them, just take the day off:-)
Of course I didn’t stop with the header. Looking through so many pictures, I had found some that would look nice on the About Me page, so that ended up completely redone, with a new story while I was at it. Which is when I realized those nifty new pictures fading into the background wouldn’t, well, fade into the background if there was an ugly frame around them, so off I went on a wild goose chase to figure out how to get rid of those and learned all about CSS sheets in the process.
My Google profile picture and story was next. Then it was on to my own domain name, something I had been thinking about for a while. The more you become entrenched with your blog, the more it becomes your trademark, and the thought of someone else snatching the name Joburg Expat for themselves was nagging at me. So I went and purchased the name. But of course purchasing is the easy part, but what the hell then? I entered precisely that into Google: “Purchased new domain name, and what the hell now?” and about half a day and many useless articles later I struck gold and was able to copy a bunch of what looked like random numbers into a form somewhere, and magically it worked. Amazing the people you trust when you go searching for solutions on the internet.
During all this I came across many Blogger help and tips sites, and of course I couldn’t just get past those, oh no. While they weren’t telling me how to fix the problem at hand, they WERE showing me all these other nifty tricks and gadgets, so I left them all open to get to later. At some point in time I had twenty-seven tabs open on Google Chrome. Wanting to align my Facebook and Twitter share buttons under the posts, I found a gadget that lets you float them on the side. Had to have it! From there it was on to a tabbed box to fit all that stuff I previously had in a long column down the side. Then the summarized snippets on the home page. What, the search box can be put in the header, saving space down the right? Bring it on! But in Blogger, you see, you can’t simply add these gadgets willy nilly, you often have to delve deep into the HTML code of your blog to make it work. Which is a whole intriguing world of its own, one that I admit immediately had me hooked.
I learned that you have to be very careful when you change that code, or all of a sudden something that worked previously no longer does. So now your Facebook and Twitter share buttons might be lined up perfectly, but the comments box has disappeared. Which then makes you realize you need an entire document with all the tips you’ve learned and the links to where you’ve learned them, because often you will have to go back there and do it again. That’s a whole new project of course. At this point I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to GreenLava at BloggerSentral. His posts on how to program Blogger gadgets, and his timely and diligent responses in his comments section, were of huge help to me. I hope he makes plenty of money from his blog, because it is simply the best out there. If you’re on Blogger, you should check it out. I no longer Google my Blogger questions, I simply head over to BloggerSentral directly.