Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 14 March 2010

A Refreshed Blog

There's a new look to Veg Plotting today because I've been having a bit of a spring clean and a play with the new templates and designer available in Blogger Draft. What you see was very quick to implement (around 10 minutes) and the adjustments made (such as sidebar widths) have not required me to do any fiddling around with HTML. That's so different to when I set up my 3 column template originally :)

I've tried to replace the old format with a similar looking one from the new templates so you're not taken too much by surprise by the new look. There were a couple of glitches: each of my sidebar contents were swapped to the other side (so needed to be dragged and dropped back to their old positions) and the Link Within widget insisted on showing itself in the sidebar as well as giving you the usual 3 further posts to select from at the bottom of each post. I've not quite overcome the latter problem, so it's been moved to the bottom of the blog for the moment to hide it from peeping eyes.

I'll be making further adjustments as and when time permits. I need to check what the new format has done with posts where I've placed pictures alongside text for instance. I may not stay with this template either, but chose it because the text and background colours are amongst the easiest to read online.

I recently implemented some of the Pages I talked about, which you may not have noticed. They're in the right hand sidebar rather than tabs along the top of the page. This is simply because I can introduce them with some sidebar text and the extra space allows me to give them more meaningful titles. However, some of the new templates have better designed tabs, so I'll be having a play with them too with a view of possibly moving my pages to the more usual top of blog position.

Any feedback on my new look is most welcome!

Update: Anna's just commented on the new blog layout being easy on the eye, which reminds me to tell you that Verdana is the font to choose for reading online. Research has shown its simplicity makes it less tiring for our eyes. The new layout is also using a 14 point font size as default for most of the text, which I believe is larger than I had before. 12 point is meant to be adequate, but I thought it was too small when I had a play with the font size options.

20 comments:

  1. I like it. Most clean and fresh looking and the font is kind on my short sighted eye (the other is long sighted :)) I was playing about with Blogger draft last night but not brave enough to take the plunge yet. Need to work out whether I will be able to reinstall my cloud label which I am quite partial to but hopefully will have a new look soon for spring.

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  2. VP girl it does look good and easy to read .. I may switch my font to that as well : )
    Spring cleaning .. hum ? .. I guess I should be thinking "house Spring Cleaning TOO ? rats !!
    The New Dr. Who starts in April for us .. what do you think of him ?
    Joy

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  3. VP - I do like the new look - while similar in feel to the old - it has an elegant touch and, as Anna commentated - very easy on the eyes.
    Nice one!
    K

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  4. Here, here, it's more spacious - and Verdana is one of my favourite fonts - depending on context . . . it can sometimes look 'schooly', though I hasten to add it doesn't look in the least bit schooly here.

    I like the colours . . . but I'm not sure the rainbow goes well with them. Are the rainbow colours changeable to tone in or stand out differently?

    Lucy

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  5. nice layout! bright & easy to read.

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  6. Snap - I've been doing the same thing. In fact I believe we picked the same templete with just a slight variation on the layout.

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  7. Ditto, I've been playing around with the new design features in Blogger draft on a "sandbox blog" but haven't changed my main blog yet. I like what you've done with it her and thanks for the tip on Verdena font.

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  8. Gotta love spring cleaning. I haven't had time to fiddle much with my blog though since I've been busy cleaning the house. So far only a bunch of realtors have been here to look at it, but hopefully that will change soon.

    Spring cleaning for houses seems to be much less complicated than blog design though, sometimes they seem to have a mind of their own!

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  9. It is lovely and easy on the eyes, VP. Thanks for taking the time to spruce it up, and the Verdana tip. Now I need to go find the vacumn cleaner. :-)

    Frances

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  10. Looks good to me and I like the Verdena.

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  11. Oh, very good. It is easier to read and I like 3 column blogs - just can't work out how to make one without HTML

    Wish you'd come round and help me sometime!

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  12. the 14 font is definitely good for us older readers! :)

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  13. That's very interesting about Verdana font online. Reading printed things, serif fonts (like Times) are easier to read... I'm going to try to mess around with the new templates soon (ish).

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  14. I like the new look, it's fresh but not shocking. I'm going to look into the Verdana font, thanks for the info.

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  15. Very smart, VP, very smart indeed.

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  16. Hi everyone - glad you like the new look. Some new Blogger templates were sorely needed, so I won't be surprised if quite a few blogs will get a spring makeover this year!

    Joy - it looks like we're getting the new Dr Who at around the same time!

    Lucy - this is the closest 'raw template' I could quickly use which has the closest matching tones to my header photo. When I get time I'll be having a play with the colours to try and get a better fit.

    Monica - you're quite right about the serif fonts being better for printed text, but they're very tiring for online.

    Mark - you don't need to fiddle around with HTML anymore to get a 3-column blog, so it'll be easy peasy for you. I was concerned having by fiddling around with the HTML and having a 3-column blog already would cause some problems with the switchover, but apart from the sidebars being swapped around it was fine.

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  17. Yes - amazing how much easier it is to read 14 pt, instead of 12. Seems such a tiny difference, but it matters. Hope you can sort LinkWithin soon, as I often use that to pick up an older post I might have missed. Font, what about Arial? Serif fonts seem old-fashioned and formal/stuffy. I use Arial, because they say that is Helvetica but redesigned for reading here, not on paper.

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  18. Looks good, VP - colours are restful, font is nice and clear to read, and your pages are easy to find. I need to find time to have a play with my blog now!

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  19. EE - Arial is good, but Verdana is a later development which studies show is even easier to read online. My husband had to study this in depth at work because he had to find the font which was easiest to read for train control systems. Essential to know because they're a safety critical system.

    Juliet - glad you like it and I'll come over soon to see your new look :)

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