Thursday, March 18, 2010

See, now I feel like a jerk.

So I'm working on another web site. You see, the 400 monthly page-views I get here are just too much for this one site to handle. I need something to fork off my immense readership. A readership that could comfortably fit in my apartment. My apartment is quite small, for the record.

No, this other site is for a very specific purpose, contrasted with this site which exists as a hose from which I spew blather endlessly yet irregularly.

Regarding this other site, every week I think, "Next week, it'll go online." It's not being delayed because the site itself needs work, it's pretty much sitting there waiting for me to finish a completely different bit of work. Once this other bit of work is done, then the site will go up. When that will be, well, my best guess was Wednesday March 3rd, 2010. Weeks ago.

That's why I don't give specific promises, including dates, on this website.

Those delays are beside this particular point. The problem is, I think the other site looks a lot better than this one. I did a lot of work on this site's design months ago. Actually, what, a year ago? Something like that. The point is, I thought I was done with this site for a while. I should have remembered that web design, like life, is never finished. Until you die. Then the site sits in the Wayback Machine forever, a few minor tweaks away from being exactly like you wanted it. isn't in the Wayback Machine, by the way. That's a getting-kicked-while-one's-down sort of thing.

Tonight, as I was waiting for my day's work to backup, I decided to work on's theme (which is really Royale, a free theme I downloaded and tweaked a very, very little bit).

The other site's theme has a fixed width. In theory, having a re-flowing width makes more sense. It fits the space that's made available by the size of your screen. In reality it looks messy and can be a pain to read. Not to mention I'm playing with the idea of putting images at the top of my posts--without having a fixed width there's no way I can be sure how it's going to look on my reader's screens.

On my 1680x1050 monitor, this site is just a sea of text. Perhaps a little overwhelming? That's my excuse anyway. I've played with typesetting before, I know narrow columns are easier to read, I just ignored that knowledge because if I hadn't, I wouldn't had been able to mess this site up.

I have been aware of the whole sea-of-text thing for a while, that's why I've been trying to have only a few sentences before the "break," so the word-wall is broken up a bit. It's gone a ways to help things out, but I've still come around to the idea of a fixed-width site.

Another problem with the theme as it is now: The text on the header acts as a link that will bring you back to the "main" page. Clicking the little iceberg logo next to the text does not act as a link. I know as little about php and css (so little I don't know which I need to know in order to make the image a link) as I did when I set up that theme. My web searching skills must have gotten a lot better since then though because I found out the right way to do it while working on the other unnamed site.

This other unnamed site is also using a free theme, but it's simple and clean and I can't be bothered to care if it's not especially unique. I went for unique for my first ever theme and it looked like someone ate a bunch of sky blue markers and threw up.

Oh look! Wordpress still has a thumbnail of it!!! Look in horror!


Eew, gross. Right? Well at the very least we can all agree I've come a long way since then. Not in being better at color choice and general design, but in that I now know to find a nice template and not touch it in ways it wasn't intended to be touched. That came out wrong, and in the process actually helped get my point across exactly.

But wait, why do I feel like a jerk? Because I keep pushing back my other project's deadline? Well yes, but not right now.

Because most of my site templates have sucked, either a little or a lot? Again, yes, but not at this very moment.

Stop guessing, I'll just tell you: It's because I have a much better theme set up for this site, all ready to go, but I'm not going to activate it until this other site launches. They're the same theme, with minor color differences and different banners. It just seems appropriate to launch them both at the same time.

So every time I add a new post until the new site is up, I'm going to cringe a little bit more than I usually do. Every time my readership spikes a bit and then drops back down, I'm going to wonder if I would have kept those people had the theme been a little better.

And when the new site is up, I'm going to get all sorts of messages from friends saying, "Really? This is the big improvement you were talking about? Really?"

Well shut up, it looks good to me.

Till then,


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