Monday, 9 October 2017

#276 Some basic Blogger customisation

When I first started blogging, I had no awareness of the multitude of tools available to help with the process.

My fonts were ordinary. The size of my title image was restricted by default parameters and even if a reader liked my posts, there was no way of sharing them without manually copying and pasting their addresses.

This post lists some ways in which I've since customised the blog.

I'm still noobish at web stuff. To find a video I've made, you'd have to search hard and you could count on your fingers the number of times I've tweeted.

Fortunately that means I can cover many of the steps I've taken without taking up too much space.

1) Share buttons
I used this site to get the HTML code and then stuck it into one of Blogger's sidebar gadgets. I like these buttons as they're unintrusive. The plus sign opens up a larger menu of platforms for sharing.

2) Image size
Blogger is notoriously restrictive but it's nothing a little tinkering can't solve. Unfortunately, I have no recollection of how I edited the HTML to make the title image larger than the default setting. I'll have used code from a site like this or this. I have a feeling I couldn't find where to put it and tried out several different places before saving it.

When editing HTML it's advisable to remember or record any changes made, so they can be reversed if they go wrong.

3) Image borders
This page contains code to remove the grey border that Blogger puts on every image. The page also explains how to insert the code.

4) Font
The font in the title image was found on but there are tons of free sites, where you can download a font and save it in your Fonts folder. From the "New Post" page in Blogger, only seven fonts are available. Finding more involves going to Theme>Customise and "Advanced".

5) Pageviews
Blogger's stats page contains a link called "Manage the tracking of your own pageviews" from where it should be possible to disable the counting of your own views. However, it doesn't work. My solution was to use javascript to set a cookie. This site contains the script and the instructions for what to do.

6) Headlines
I don't normally use this tool as I like to write my own headlines but CoSchedule's headline analyser can be used to settle disputes over whether a title is too long, or too boring.

7) Images
I rely on this site more for Medium than blogging. The Stocks is not one but a whole collection of free stock photo sites all in one.

8) Links
Google's link shortener comes in handy when sharing posts on Twitter. As does Twitter's allowance of up to ten people that can be tagged in images. That many names would've maxed out the character limit in the tweet itself.

9) Archive
Blogger expands the first couple of drill-downs of a blog's archive by default. That is unless the code from a site like this is used. When testing this solution, I found some of the drop-down triangles faced the wrong way. I corrected that by finding the following line of code: <b:if cond='data:interval.expclass == &quot;expanded&quot;'> and replacing expanded with rtl.

10) Favicon
A favicon is the little icon that appears on the favourites bar, when a site is added to it. This site explains how to customise a favicon, which can be created using any drawing software, including my favourite, MS Paint. I saw articles warning that Microsoft would kill off their basic paint software in the next Windows 10 update. The latest I heard was that MS Paint would still be available to download from the Windows Store.

So there you have it. A more or less complete list of the amateurish steps I've taken to personalise my blog.


Running on empty said...

I don't think you're noobish. What you are is a good man. Thankyou.

Running on empty said...

I disable the tracking of my own views every time I go to my blog and that works for a couple of views then reverts. Acerules doesn't, when she loads a new post (we discovered we had to load each one twice, or half the people couldn't see it.) when I count views, I take that into account.

Dan Copping said...

A part of me feels bad for removing the nav bar as I think that was how you found my blog and it's useful for readers if they want to browse through others. However, I love how clean the page feels without it.

Running on empty said...

Yes, I found you that way.