"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bloggiesta Update Day 3

Bloggiesta topic of the day: blog layout and presentation

My goal: to make my blog as user-friendly as possible.

I revamped my blog a year ago or so and thought I was doing pretty well but now know I need to continue to clean things up. Here are some of the highlights from today's Twitter chat on the topic.


  • Have an About Me page...I linked my Google+ page to my blog. I hopped over to take a look and was surprised to see that it is pulling my photos from Facebook or the cloud or something because I had 1600+ photos on there, many aren't even of me or my family. Ha!  Guess I'd better figure out how to fix that.
  • Have a Review Policy...I decided long ago to not accept books in exchange for reviews, but I don't have a sentence that says that. Good idea and easy fix.
  • Rating Scale...I am so jealous of all the cute rating scales out there. I need to find something that fits my personality and use it.  A few years back I abandoned using a rating scale because my opinion of the books I was reviewing seemed to change over time and I didn't really want to have to justify myself for an opinion I had in the past.  But, that said, I enjoy looking at the star ratings on other blogs so I will reinstate one on mine.
  • On the DON"T HAVE column it said to not have moving things on the blog.  Question: Does my scrolling marquis bother you? I've always thought it was clever and funny.
  • Sidebars...admittedly mine is a bit junky with lots of stuff I probably don't need but the interesting thing about the blog is that it has to be useful to me, too. I can take things off my sidebar easily enough, and will remove some things, but many of the things on the sidebar are links I use or pay attention to. It frustrates me when I visit a blog and I can't figure out how to remove my name from Google Connect Friends, for example, because they have cleaned up their blog and removed the button.  So there is a good and a bad to having too much verses too little side bar stuff.
Question : Which do you prefer? Blog posts where the whole body of the post is available to see (like my currently format) or do you prefer it when only a small portion is viewable unless you click the view more link? I am thinking of changing my format to the second option but if everyone hates it, I won't.  Ha!


13 comments:

  1. Hi Anne, It looks like you've been addressing a lot of things already and you're quite happy with your blog! I personally dislike anything moving online since it makes me nauseous, but that's just me :)

    I have a thing for my sidebars too - I personally find them useful for finding things! I drastically reduced my sidebar by using drop downs for all my labels/tags as well as my archives and it has shortened the length. If you're interested in that, here's the code I used: http://www.blogs911.com/2013/08/HowtoMakeaDropdownMenuforLabelsinBloggerBlogs.html

    Hoping this comment help you some ... :)

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    1. Wow. That is really helpful. I will look into it. I noticed that you had drop downs and wondered how you did it. Thank you.

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    2. I was a little nervous about changing the labels to a drop down bar, but the above tutorial link was great. Although I wasn't sure if the code provided could be used for the archives as well?

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  2. Hi Anne! Your scrolling text isn't horribly distracting, but it may bother some people. As for the excerpt vs. full post question, I vote excerpt. One thing I dislike is having to scroll through full posts on a blog's home page. It's much easier (and cleaner looking) when the excerpt style is used.

    Good luck with the rest of Bloggiesta! Hope this helps :)

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    1. I am going to experiment with breaking up my posts using the excerpt button to see if I notice any difference in numbers and comments. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    2. The only problem I find with excerpts is that I often don't open up the whole link to read it all, whereas if the whole post is in front of me, I will probably read it all.

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  3. Hi Anne! I think your blog is looking great! I like the 'read more' when a post is very large because sometimes a blog is too heavy and it takes forever to find other posts. And the scrolling text isn't so distracting but maybe an image with the quote would be better...but you know, it gives personality to your blog ;)

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  4. Hey! Here's my blog layout feedback: I agree about the scrolling quote, not a big fan. I love the quote and you could still have it but not moving! Your background is a little busy, even if you could lighten it a bit, that would work. I LOVE your header!

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    1. If there is a way to lighten the background I can't figure it out. When I visit the template backgrounds available on blogger most are even busier. Thank you for the feedback on my HEADER. I took the picture of my daughter laying on the grass in the yard with books literally under her hair. It turned out well.

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  5. Stopping by to give feedback! I like the Groucho Marx quote, but the scrolling is a little distracting for me. I like your background because it's a nice splash of color, but your posts are still easy to read. I tend to prefer full posts over excerpts, but seem to be in the minority. And awesome header!

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

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    1. My daughter thinks I should make the marquis quote longer. Sigh. Can't decide what to do.

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  6. Hey Anne, I'm here to give you feedback on your blog :) I love your header graphic and how personalized it is--but I don't love the black background around it. I think the marquee with the quotes are fine if you really want to keep it--but they're a little too fast for me, and I would change the background color to coordinate more with your site. Honestly, I would remove that part all together. BUT This is your blog and you should have what you want on there!

    Like everyone else, I vote for excerpt rather than full post. You have a great blog, keep up the good work!

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  7. Blog design is such a personal thing and all I can do is offer my thoughts on what I like. It's up to you to work out what is important stylistically to you.
    I like a minimalist look & prefer small, 'quiet' headers. One suggestion could be to use the lovely pic of your daugther as your blog button rather than its header.

    I agree that finding 'quiet' blogger templates can be challenging. You can google "free blogger templates" to see if there are any others you like (most sites provide the code and how to insert it free of charge).
    But I really like the colours on this current one (the green and beige pattern). They colour coordinate with your header very nicely.

    I've enjoyed our Bloggiesta chats - thanks :-)

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