7.31.2012

Mini Revamp of TheWackyDuo.com


The 'New' Header
Daddy was inspired by fellow parent blogger Ai when she blogged about the blog makeover.
He decided he should take a plunge and tweak our blog. As we host our blog in blogger, it does not comes with the bells and whistles of Wordpress templates. Nevertheless customisation is possible to give the blog a personal touch.


Daddy had been tweaking the blog since our relaunch in March. There were a few close shaves and the blog almost disappear due to wrong codes used. Daddy advised one to do backup before each changes to be on the safe side, otherwise one wrong code could wipe out all the hard work you do for the blog.


Our previous blogs were simply made with the standard template that blogger has. Since then, Daddy decided to start everything from scratch and build his own template for our sites. His base for template is the Simple Design from blogger. It was chosen for its simplicity and the ease to add customisation to the template. His aim is to create a magazine like layout suitable for a Family Lifestyle Blog.
The very first thing Daddy did was to give our header a fresh 'Vintage' look. Read on to see the list of changes he has made!

New Features

Slider
The slider was one of the hardest Daddy had to add. It involves changes to the html and not exactly for the faint hearted. Nevertheless, he is glad it was done as this slider allows him to feature certain posts on our blog.

You may want to try a simpler slider that is available here . It does not require you to amend the source codes and it is just as simple as adding a widget.



Vintage Social Buttons and old school fonts
As you may observe, Daddy added a tinge of vintage on our blog with courier fonts on title and vintage social buttons. The social buttons are also resized and repositioned for easy access.

Do click it to find us elsewhere on the Internet.
Vintage Social buttons
Tab Sidebar navigation
For easy navigation, Daddy added a sidebar tab for readers. Now you can see the popular posts, the recent post and archives in just one click on the button. No more messy sidebars!
Tab Sidebar

Recent Comments box
The recent comments in the blog are added to provide better interaction with the readers. Readers can at a glance see what others are talking on the blog. The recent comments section is named as 'Conversations' to reflect the two way interactions between us and our readers.




Pinterest Button
The latest social media on the Internet. We love sharing our stories through pictures. Now you can share it too at Pinterest with our Pinterest button located at the end of the post. For the moment Pinterest works properly on individual post to link to the post itself. When Pinterest is use on the homepage, you can only get a link back to the homepage. It has its limitations, but it is the best he can find that works(partially).

If you have other solutions, we are all ears...



Outbrain
Next he replaced his Linkwithin with outbrain. Outbrain follows a different algorithm to showcase posts that may interest readers compared to related posts. In addition, it has a tracking feature in-build to allow us to track the response. That way we would know what topics attract readers and would focus more on those that are appealing to you.

Outbrain

Index Tab
Lastly he added a index tab at the bottom of the blog to allow readers easy access between pages. Now you can read our blog like a novel and remember which page you stop at.

Daddy hopes all these changes would lead to a better experience for the readers. He would continue to improve the blog to bring in  fresher looks and ideas. He hopes to make each experience a different one for each visit.

Tips on revamping your blog
 1) Backup the blog template before any change. You can refer to the steps here

2) Test each Widget added before adding another. There are occasions that the widget does not work and may corrupt certain parts of the blog. We have experience mini crashes, disappearing dates, etc in the process of revamping. Always use the preview button to view before saving the changes.

3) Decide what you need to add. Sometimes too much widgets would lead to a clutter blog, making it difficult to read. In addition, more widgets will cause loading time issue. So choose the best widgets that fits your blog.

4) There are always alternatives widgets. If one does not fit, you can always find another.

5) Look for blog resources website. These websites will give you detailed instructions on how to install the widget as well as provide ready made ones. Daddy started with Blogger Helper. There are alot more you can find on Google.

Daddy's Perspective
It took me almost a week to read up and figure out how to change the blog. Patience is key!
In the process of revamping the blog, I realized the similarities with raising a child. Like a new blog, the child begins life anew. Its an empty canvas ready to be filled. At the start , you have a chance to develop and set the goals you wish to achieve. It is an everchanging journey as time passes. If you choose to be hands off and ignore the blog, you will never progress. Similarly, if one chooses not to participate in a child upbringing, the child may feel abandon and lost.

It is not the fancy design layout that makes the blog. It is the content. It is not the nice clothes the kids wear, or the newest toys, or the fancy school that makes a child's character. Rather it is the time spend with family, the lessons they learn from parents, the enrichment from activities that defines them.

The blog is beautify as per how a life is beautify : through experiences, trial and errors. A child cannot be perfect, but if you nurture him with love and care, you will love him for who he is regardless. As much as this blog seeks to be perfect, it is always the little idiosyncrasy that makes this blog unique.

Hope you enjoy the revamp. Do drop us a note if you have problem with the new feature or if you have a feature you would like us to explore.




2 comments:

  1. love the vintage buttons and the sidebar navigation tab is definitely a nice touch :) well done Daddy M!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ai. Got the motivation to redo the blog after seeing yours. Hope u don't mind the link to your blog :)

      Delete