Saturday, November 08, 2008

My blog changes

I have had this blog for a while, but this has been my first semi-serious attempt to make it interesting/cool/useful/attractive for anybody other than myself. I am happy to talk about any of the things I did or ideas I tried, and will share code if you are interested. Hopefully I can be a useful resource for setting up your own blog.

What I am a little hazy on is how to set up the actual blog on Blogger and the process for signing up for AdSense. I did both of those steps a long time ago. However, I remember them being very straightforward. Since Google makes money on their ads, they want you to be able to put them on your blog!

To see how I did the three-column layout, checkout my previous post.

There were several widgets I wanted to add into my site. Adding widgets is easy in blogger. You just go to the "Layout" tab and then click on "Add a Gadget." The easiest ones to add are the ones Google provides, but you can add almost anything through the "HTML/JavaScript" option. You just have to not be scared of a little code. I added these four widgets using "HTML/JavaScript": FriendFeed, Flickr, Goodreads, and Google Calendar. Each site has instructions for getting the code, and then you just add it to through the Blogger add gadget interface.

I wanted to add a favicon and found these instructions. They do not seem to work. I looked around a bit for some other instructions, but they did not work either. If you know how to do this, please share. If I take some time to figure it out, I'll blog it.

There were a few tricky things I wanted that Blogger did not provide and that weren't straightforward cuts and pastes into a single gadget. This site has 15 useful widgets and scripts for Blogger. The two I use are recent comments and label cloud. Both have good instructions and are not difficult. They are more involved than the gadget interface.

One problem with the way I initially set up my Blogger template is that on really short postings (such as this one) the two half-sidebars on the right would slide underneath the post instead of staying underneath the full sidebar. The correct way to fix this is CSS or div tags or something like that. My quick and dirty way to deal with it was to put everything into a two column table. However, this slowed everything down as the whole table would load at once. A little research told me how to fix it using a colgroup tag.

If you have any questions about how I set things up, please let me know and I will see if I can answer them. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send those along as well! Thanks!


Nathan said...

It looks like my favicon is working in firefox 3 at least.

Nathan said...

Er, make that Internet Explorer 6. Weird.