From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Plain Vanilla Blog

Illusion is reality



UPDATE: Well, never mind, at least for now. I had so much email about changing to the plain white format that I've decided to go back to the old template with a smaller photo at top.

I've been worried that my blog loads much too slowly. I've removed some feeds, etc., but I don't want to remove anything else. (I like all that stuff that appears in the sidebar and at page bottom, and I often use parts of it myself.) I also enjoy posting photographs, even though they increase the loading time of the page.

To give the illusion that the blog loads faster, I've moved the posts to the left of the page and made the page a single color. The posts will load right after the header. Visitors should be able to read the post(s) fairly soon after they arrive, although the sidebar and page bottom may not finish loading if they read fast and leave.

Isaac looked at this page and said, "Oh, Mom, that's so plain," and I could only answer, "Yes, it is."

I'll leave it like this until I feel like changing it again. I'm going to install a fresh template next time I make a major revision. I've tinkered with the current template so many times that it's time for a new start.

On a related subject, Blogger (ordinary Blogger) is running all the sentences into one giant paragraph when I publish a post. I've tried and tried to fix it. (Delete the cookies, empty the cache, restart the computer. Go to Blogger and save the settings page again with the option clicked for converting two line breaks into a new paragraph. Repair the paragraphs in the post and publish it again. Check to see if the post is still a single paragraph. If so, repeat process.)

Blogger Draft was doing it also, but I fixed it using the above-described technique. Ordinary Blogger still refuses to cooperate. Thus, I guess I'm now a permanent Blogger Draft user.

7 comments:

alissasanderson said...

Switch to Wordpress :-) I was so much happier when I finally made the switch! And, over there, you can switch templates at the drop of a hat, and then switch them back if you don't like them!

Sarabeth said...

It's the content, not the fancy parts, that keep me coming to a blog. Since I read most posts in a reader, the design of the page isn't relevant most of the time. I do miss your pretty header, though.

Lesa said...

I miss your header too! The pictures always made me stop think of you!

Genevieve said...

I'm probably going to put a picture back in the header -- hopefully one that is not too many K in size. I just haven't located one yet that seems exactly right.

Lesa said...

Thanks for putting the picture back. It looks like home again! Some things should never change - that's one of them!

Genevieve said...

Well, I had an amazing amount of feedback on the subject, so I put it the old template back in place, more or less as it was. There are a few less scripts running in the background and the header is at least a third smaller in size, so maybe that will help a little for those who have slow connections. I'm also going to return to the small size of thumbnails for most photos I post.

Load time analyzers are what alarmed me about the size of the page. Also, I observed with my own eyes that it was loading pretty slow with basic satellite internet.

Genevieve said...

One of the load time analyzers (linked above) says that the page loads at 56K in 52.32 seconds today, and has this warning: "Warning!: Your loading time is much too high! Your chances of indexing this page in the major search engines is slim and, unless your viewers have a good reason to wait, most will move on before your page has finished loading."

The other load time analyzer (also linked above) says the page loads at 42.91 seconds at 56K today.

My concern is to keep the page small enough that dial-up users can comfortably visit, too -- or at least visit without too much pain.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.