Finally, I have completed a pretty tricky exercise that I had started about a couple of weeks back. It wasn’t tricky because I wanted to move my website to a different platform. It was tricky because I wanted to do it cleanly. I wanted to retain as many things that worked well for me as I could. I didn’t want to break much that was core.
So, after days of experiments and trial runs, and notes and list of reviewed to-dos, I’ve managed to switch to WordPress. I will note down why someday – one short, but big reason though is editing. I am tired of working custom solutions with Blot — it’s a great service, no doubt. But you need to love your files a lot. I am currently not in that phase.
Anyway, as intended, the core is retained. The links are (hopefully 🤞) not broken. #IndieWeb support was a must, have stitched that in. The option to switch to a dark theme was a must. A simple reading experience was a must. I’ve managed to get good writing experience too. So, times now to sit back and relax.
Do let me know if see anything that’s not working well. I won’t mind if you also let me know if everything’s working fine.
I am toying with an idea to enable another option for the readers to comment on posts. I have always been very wary of enabling a commenting system of any form on my blog. So the only option I have kept till now was webmentions. Most of the responses I get on my posts are via micro.blog and I get webmentions for all these replies. However, I think there’s just no easy way to redirect people to write a response if that is the only option available.
To provide with such an option and at the same time not make it extremely easy for someone to spam the space, I am enabling GitHub issues based commenting system of utterances. It’s lightweight, needs a valid account and I believe sits well with the readers that are not already on micro.blog.
I will keep this on for some time. It sits well with my current setup, doesn’t look out of place. I may rethink again sometime in future. For now, this commenting system stays on.
I am going to consolidate all my online posts at single place. I currently have posts spread across Hugo and Blot. I want to simplify this — and am extremely comfortable currently with posting to Blot. So I will eventually migrate all my posts there and make that my main and the only web presence. It will also help me get rid of all the sub-domain mess that I currently have spewed across.
This will, for sure, break a few stuff. But I am ok to live with that. I do not think I want to get into this mess ever again. All the posts need to stay in a single place. I do not want to divide them based on their types.
I know the biggest problem in the whole plan is my curious mind. Next time a new platform comes around, am sure I will get on board and sign-up for another experiment. This time, I will try to not bring it onto my domain and let it stay offline.
Anyway, no point thinking about the future. I know what I want to achieve now. And that’s the goal for this weekend.
I have been planning to refresh the look of my blog for quite some time now. I, finally, managed to get the things changed a bit today.
The biggest change was the addition of the theme switcher — if you don’t want to read with a light background, you can change the whole theme with a toggle at the top-right corner. I haven’t made it any fancier than it needs to be, it is a plain simple round button.
I was a bit hesitant for a long time to put a manual theme switcher on the home page. I thought anyone can already change the way they read the content with the reader mode of the browser. However, what’s the fun in that. Plus I never found that one perfect mode I liked across the devices and browsers. So I decided to include one that at least I would enjoy reading right here.
I have also added the support for
prefers-color-scheme media query to future proof it against the upcoming system-wide (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows) dark mode preference – no manual toggle for you if you are on a dark mode on your system. I haven’t tested this thoroughly yet though. I will continue to experiment with this further.
I am very picky with the fonts and the colors I choose across the site. So I did not want to touch the existing setup till I was sure I had enough time to get this done properly.
I always wanted to add my tweets to my blog, to pen in the sudden and randomly generated vibes in me. I use to do that at twitter. But i wanted to pull in the thoughts at one place. As i owned the place now, i thought of a dedicated section for the purpose and hence came into existence the “Blabber Land”.
If you follow the link, you can find the live demonstration of twitter in blog under the first section named “Abrupt Blabberings”. The procedure is pretty not-so-complex sorts. And with a simple but informative article like this your work is greatly reduced. Thanks Remy …
But still it would need a bit of a scripting and customizing on your part, for better results that is. Few points to remember (basically the ones i didn’t :P)
- Make sure you add the <div id=”twitter”> section at a proper place. Before pulling the tweets, book the place holder and test the looks with the dummy data. Customize the div section.
- Add the pre-fetch message at the blog. Let user know something is about to happen in the section. A progress indicator would be a plus.
- Now add the scipt that fills in the place holder booked earier i.e. the <div> section. Make sure you rename the tweet in getTwitters(‘tweet’, to the id you have mentioned in the <div> section above. So in this case, it should be renamed as “getTwitters(’twitter’,”
- Adding the script section towards the </body> tag of your page would always be favorable. The simple reason being the browsers don’t start any parallel downloads i.e. of images etc as long as they don’t download the scripts. It is always recommended that scripts, wherever possible, should always come right at the end, after most of the page is completely loaded.
Finally i succeed. I have been working on this site for around a month now. I, though, had finalized my contents quite a long time back. But it was because of my random vibes, i could never really convince my mind for a dedicated hosted weblog. But finally… Though am not sure is it a simple blog or a ‘blogsite’?
Anyways this the first draft of the site i had in my mind for myself. I will note few points which, according to me, really heighten the user experience levels. It was all as a result of hours of skiing along the web and the constant feedback to myself of my experience as a user. So let me begin ..
- More space for the actual content on the page
- Clear separators between two posts
- Easy on eyes font family and sizes
- Non-disturbing ads
- At hand list of recent post and comments
- No bulky colors
- Easily accessible links and catchy titles
- A consistency in the overall site
I have thrived to please most of my expectations. Anyways i will, for now, not talk about my real journey right from ‘Blogger’, where it all started, to ‘WordPress.com’, where it all beautified, to ‘WordPress.org’, but just the final phase. The final shift, for me, was never a real pain in … uhh… head. And it shouldn’t be for anyone either. Only thing it requires is more of interest for designing and blogging.
So it all started, once on a frustrated day, with research on the preprocess. Had to earn my domain name ‘elatedamit‘ which i did. Bought the domain at rediff. Few pitfalls, never ever search for the domain you are planning to buy. Especially never on GoDaddy. The reason being various sites internally use GoDaddy for booking domains and, due to some random problem with their coding i guess, they are under impression you bought the domain even if you haven’t. Best example, Google Apps.
Moved to the host part. This was the most reasearched topic by me. I compared rates, providings, user experiences, expert comments and even overall look and speed of the hosting site itself. I really could not single out the best hosting site. Various people said, it depends on requirement. I feel the only thing it depends on is your luck. Choose, depending on how much you can spend, the best appearing host and leave it to luck. Hope that you won’t face any problem.
Roamed and jumped from Dreamhost to Bluehost to eWebGuru. But finally i stumbled upon Lunarpages based on the cost to feature analysis. I have hosted my blog with lunarpages for around a month now. I haven’t faced any issues of downtimes or slow responses yet. One valuable and important suggestion. Never complete the process right at the first time. Let them know you are interested. A guareented bargaining is about to happen.
Once your domain and hosts are connected, what remains to do is limitless. Remove your age-old thinking cap. Upsurge your creativity buds and dive in the vast sea of designing ‘blogsites’. There is lots to learn and bit to earn too.
PS: Do let me know your views on the overall experience of the site. Let me confirm if i am normal or has randomness caught my mind too 🙂