Monday, January 23, 2006

Spicing Up My Blog

I have been a loyal Blogger fan for quite some time now (since 2003) but I would be lying if I said that I haven’t been tempted to get my own Wordpress powered blog (henceforth referred to as WPPB). Don’t get me wrong, Blogger is great but it lacks some of the bells and whistles that Wordpress and others provide.

However, I am too busy/lazy to go ahead. At the same time Blogger just gets better and better. This includes the ability to add adsense links directly into the template through a few clicks.

From time to time I found some great ways to spice up my blog. I think new bloggers might find this useful.

Lets take it from the start. I modified the generic template provided by Blogger. Some of my older friends complained that the previous font size and font colour was hard to read. So I increased the font size. I also increased the overall margin as I felt that too much space was left unused.

I was also really envious of the way that WPPB allows visitors (and the owners) to view the latest comments on their blogs. This problem was solved when I found out two great hacks – one for the Haloscan comments and another for comments on Blogger, which I promptly added to my blog template.

The problem of spam comments has reduced drastically ever since I implemented the word verification system provided by blogger

Adding and deleting links using the Blogger template was such a hassle and sometimes I would delete some links by mistake. This problem was finally solved when I signed up with Blogrolling. Now I can add (or delete) links with just a few clicks.

One particular feature of WPPB, which I really wanted was the ability to group posts into categories. One day I noticed that a blog using the feature provided by del.icio.us. And as they say, "the rest is history".

A blog comes alive with pictures. Looking around, I noticed that there were several sites where I could put up my pictures (for free) and link back from my blog.

I don’t believe in putting all my eggs in one basket. Therefore, I am using, Textamerica, Flickr, as well as Blogger itself. I really like the small Flash panel (on the right side column), which shows my most recent pictures posted up on Textamerica.

If you were a regular visitor to my blog, you would have realized that instead of the boring grey space on top, I now have a banner made up of my Flickr photostream. I noticed that some WPPB used a plugin, which allows them to display a Flickr badge of the latest pictures. I just modified this code and that’s what you see right up there.

Now, my Blog is fully powered up (well almost).

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8 comments:

Serene said...

hey thanks for the tips.
was looking for a way to categorize my postings.

Jee said...

Well Adam, a few nice tips for Blogger's users.

The textamerica feature looks interesting, will check it out, thanks :)

narrowband said...

yeap it's certainly fun to play around with the codes, finding out bout some new nifty stuff.

blogger is becoming more and more highly customizable. but of course, it won't surpass wordpress. as far as a free service is concerned, it's okay i suppose.

*lynne* (azlynne1972) said...

heyya Adam,

actually I've been eyeing your "categories" feature, and had followed the link to deli.cio.us before... haven't done anything beyond that yet, but will probably work on it once I'm back in KL. Thanx for the feature :-)

narrowband said...

Adam, you're right about putting all eggs in one basket. Photobucket is down at the moment. Practically my whole blog can't be loaded (my background, banner, images), except the texts and styling. Unless a computer has cached the images (firefox usually store them as cache), my blog's practically blank! *frustrated*

BabyPink said...

blogger is still number 1 for me! woohoo!!!:) well, not that i've tried using any other blog services anyway. hehehe:)

by the way, how do you do the blogrolling? my friend was asking me a few days ago, but i didn't know how.:)

cyber-red said...

been with blogspot 3 years ler.. too loyal

muahahah

gazard said...

I have the same feeling too. Blogger is doing well, although it is not great! Might consider to move on to Drupal or Wordpress.

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