Aim for my 'look'
What I wanted to achieve was a clean, uncluttered look with tabs which gives an 'about' and 'contact' page as recommended by Beth Kanter. The snag is that whilst Wordpress automatically provides this feature, Blogger does not. But rather than starting a new blog on a different blogging platform, I have chosen to go for template that has been developed by someone independent of Blogger.
Making changes to html
To personalise the template to suit my context, I have had to alter the html, essentially to change the tabs, and allow me to insert my own photo into the header. I am very grateful to Kate Foy, who is a very generous member of my personal learning network, for supporting me during this process. Kate answered my pleas for help on Twitter, and gave me advice as I hit various problems. It took a lot of experimenting, perseverance and patience, but I think I'm almost there.
The photos I have used are from different areas around Dunedin where I live, and can be found on my Flickr page.
Some tips for changing blog templates
If you are thinking of making similar changes to your 'Blogger' blog, here are a couple of tips:
- Make a blog that you can use to experiment on, rather than your proper blog. That way, if you make mistakes, you will not lose any important data.
- Don't be afraid to 'play' and experiment. It can frustrating if you have little knowledge of html, but it is only by having a go that you learn.
- Seek out a mentor who can advise and guide you along the way. You don't necessarily need to be told what to do, but rather supported as you find out for yourself.
- Save all your widgets because there is a good chance that you will lose them in the change.
- Make contact with the people who developed the original template for advice and support.
I am not 100% sure I like this new template but I will stick with it for the time being. And there are still a few things I need to do such as put up my blog roll and a 'best of posts' list, as well as sort out my 'about' and 'contact' pages. But for the time being, what do you think of my new look?
How do you find it as a reader? How easy is it to navigate and leave comments? What do you think about the look? What do you like, and what do you think could do with improving? How do you find the font size - is it too small? In view of the changes I am making to my life and work, how professional (or not) do you feel this blog looks?
Image: Yellow-eyed penguins, Dunedin, New Zealand http://www.flickr.com/photos/92632631@N00/2976093508/in/set-72157608393254012/