Bloggiesta Finish Line

Bloggiesta Finish Line

The Oaken Bookcase > Blog > Blogstuff > Bloggiesta Finish Line

The Bloggiesta weekend is over. It’s time for a look back over what was achieved and what is still left to do. You can see all the links to the wrap-up posts on Suey’s blog as they are added.

Firstly, thanks so much for the organisers of the event. What a great turn out! I’m sure the tips and tricks shared have made a lot of blogs just a bit (or a lot) more awesome this weekend! Make sure you check out the list of mini-challenges, there’s some brilliant information there.

Sadly, I didn’t get to spend much time at all on bloggy stuff over the weekend. Most of the time I did get was taken up with theme tweaking, but I did manage to get a quick look at some of the other things on my list, plus some surprise extras.

Goal 1: Choose a new theme and install it

Theme browsing is exhausting and generally soul-destroying. After looking at themes all week, I eventually settled on the free Responsive Twenty Ten, a child theme of the Twenty Ten theme. Responsive themes are supposed to make the site look good on any platform: computers, tablets, smartphones. Unfortunately, Oaken Bookcase was very broken when I looked at it on my mobile. I’ve fixed it for now with the WPTouch plugin, but I might look into a different responsive theme instead.

Generally speaking, I love the new theme. It has the wider post area that I was after and I can get my other requirements from plugins. There are a couple of things that are bugging me, though.

One is with images – I can’t resize them or centre them. I’m not sure why.Β The other is that to change the post background colour and menu bar colours, I’m going to have to make a copy of the style.css and fiddle with it. That’s not a huge problem, I can do that, it’s just… I don’t want to πŸ˜€

Overall I’m pretty happy with the way the site is looking now. I may fiddle with another couple of themes before I settle on one, but I know I can always come back to this one and be happy.

Here’s the before shot for comparison (click for bigger):

My other sub-goals were listed on my Five For Friday post:

Goal 2: Rethink what needs to be in the sidebar

Thanks to the mini-challenge at The Reading Fever, I took a good look at my sidebar and removed and moved a few things. I cleaned up my social media buttons and tried to think about what people use the sidebar to find. I hope I’ve improved it – it still needs a bit of work but it’s getting there.

Goal 3: Learn about Search Engine Optimisation

Good Books & Good Wine had a great mini-challenge on SEO. I learned a lot about what I need to include in my posts and meta information, but I have yet to actually implement it. This one goes back on my to-do pile.

Goal 4: Blogroll update

Totally didn’t get to this one, but I believe the plugin WP Social Blogroll might meet my needs (thanks, PhillipaΒ – incidentally, go and check out her new blog, Tea, Daydreams & Fairytales!).

Goal 5: Sort out my Goodreads shelves

I had a quick buzz through my Read shelf and shelved everything, plus re-arranged my to-read shelf a little. It still isn’t perfect but I’m going to call this one done for the moment!

Added bonus content:

  • Installed CommentLuv plugin, thanks to the plugins mini-challenge fromΒ Jenni Elyse (will probably add a few more this week)
  • Installed Star Rating for Reviews plugin, thanks to the mini-challenge at The Bluestocking SocietyΒ (I love the look of this blog!)
  • New blog background. Original image is from Beyond-Oddities at DeviantArt – thanks very much to Ellie for your help with finding it! She also found me some neat free wooden-look social media icons, but I will keep them tucked away until I can get a full set with Goodreads and Pinterest buttons too.

Further to-do items:

  • Fix theme mobile issue.
  • Re-create Reviews page, possibly as a gallery.
  • Create personalised images for IMM, WWW and Friday features (or fix existing).
  • Featured posts slider (work in progress).
  • Add things for SEO including meta information to existing reviews.
  • Tweak style.css (or find a theme that has easy colour tweak options).

All comments/criticisms/suggestions on what I’ve ended up with are most welcome!

I hope you had a fun Bloggiesta weekend and met all of your goals!

Feel free to link me your spiffed-up blog and show it off πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “Bloggiesta Finish Line

  1. Philippa says:

    Feel free to ditch the hideous Linky Followers widget and steal the cute little one that Cass did up for me! That type of thing is the bane of side bar clutter IMO!

    I might have a look at the SEO stuff – I already have a fairly good understanding of it as I work at a company that sells that type of thing but could always learn something new πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the shout out too xoxoxo
    Philippa recently posted..Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorMy Profile

    • Hannah says:

      I might get into the button thieving business too. I did take a Linky button instead of the widget for my blog but it’s still a bit of an eyesore. Same deal with Networked Blogs actually.
      Hannah recently posted..Sela Blog Tour: Lore from Leland By Jackie GamberMy Profile

    • Angelya says:

      I completely agree, really dislike the Linky followers script! The trouble with buttons is that I’m not sure Linky is common enough for people to recognise yet. I hesitated with putting the Pinterest button in there even, but I’m guessing most people can recognise the Pinterest logo by now. The Linky script is teh ugly though!

  2. Jessica says:

    Congratulations on such a productive Bloggiesta! I do like the new theme a lot. And I hope the stars work out for you. πŸ™‚
    Jessica recently posted..Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Five Ways to Spiff Up Your Book ReviewsMy Profile

  3. Hannah says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for the linking to the mini-challenges!!

    I totally missed out on this event because I was so busy working over the weekend but I’m DEFINITELY going to go through the challenges for this year and last year to sort out a few things and pick up some tips, and I have a list of things I know I need to do as well. Wish I could have joined in so so much but hey.

    Huzzah for improvements!
    Hannah recently posted..Sela Blog Tour: Lore from Leland By Jackie GamberMy Profile

    • Angelya says:

      There’s a LOT of information there and its all very well presented. I hope you find some good stuff for your blog πŸ™‚

  4. Suey says:

    It’s looking awesome around here! Way to go for getting so much done this weekend!

  5. […] at the start of April, I had just done some major blogscaping while taking part in the Bloggiesta event. That has continued during April with a new theme, new Reviews page and some general cleaning up […]

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