Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Ten-Cent Tour

As you've probably noticed [if you're at least a semi-regular visitor], I've remodeled the look of the site yet again [three times in just over two months! Do you think I've got it right yet?]. This redesign came from a desire to make the site look more like my new EntreCard:

and THAT [the new EC] came from a sense that my other card [made from EC default design] was boring, and didn't stand out. I got the design from someone who made a series of 125x125 images freely available [I've honestly forgotten which site I got it from; if it was yours, please comment here, so I know whom to thank]. I liked the idea of using a photo-style card. But how to put the title and slogan on the picture? Here's where I need to thank Romelo []. On one of his recent posts, he introduced me to Splashup [], a free online site that offers features similar to Photoshop. (Romelo says it's only a beta site, but the last entry on its blog was made in November of last year; this may be as good as it gets)

You can register, or not, as you wish. When you're ready, jump to "Jump Right In". Upload your image [there is an expand/contract option for images, but the slider control is not very accurate; you may want to re size your picture elsewhere, then upload it]. Look for the "A" in the left-hand column. This accesses the "text" options.Several type faces and sizes are available from drop-down boxes at the top of the page. Type in the message you wish, then save your work. As you can see from above, the type and image remain clear throughout the procedure.

As noted, I wanted the blog to resemble the card. I found a Blogger template {Thisaway Blue] that had the right color scheme. When it came time to customize the template's look, I decided to simulate the card design on the header. I found a similar, slightly larger version of the "splash" photo, and uploaded it to Splashup. Once I typed the message on the photo, I used the expand/contract option to enlarge the image to the right size [again, not as accurately as I would have liked, but fortunately the sizing issues were not as critical as when making an enforced 125x125 image], uploaded it to Blogger, than used it as a header "photo" illustration, checking the "use instead of title" option. The result is what you see here [well, UP THERE, actually, but you should figure that out for yourself]. I like the overall look of the site, and hope you find it attractive, too.

So there you are. I've posted about the "You Drop-I Link" widget in my previous post. The other items are carried over from the previous incarnations of this blog, except for using a different clock [It's probably silly to use a clock, when so many viewers of the site are in different time zones, but I've always liked the look of a clock. Mouse over the clock to find out how to get one of your very own]. Once I made a few errors, putting the new look together was pretty easy. Believe me, if I can do it, it's an almost sure bet you can, too. Just remember to save your current template before starting on the new one. That way, if your "artistic vision" doesn't pan out, you can always go back to your original one. If you would, please leave any comments, suggestions, etc on how to make this an even better-looking blog.

-Mike Riley


Laura said...

It does look better, more professional, as a template.

Mike Riley said...