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 WordPress.org 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. 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
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, Phillipa - 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 from Jenni Elyse (will probably add a few more this week)
- Installed Star Rating for Reviews plugin, thanks to the mini-challenge at The Bluestocking Society (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