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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rennovating this Blog: Seven Goals as I Re-look at my Blogging

About every year and a half, I give my blog a facelift. I've been working on it today but it is late and I'm not going to be done.

I will say that the new blogger template is so good, that I did get rid of the almost completely hand coded site. I still have a lot of custom html that I wrote in the side widgets, but blogger does now have "pages" which looks a bit like wordpress. And it has more templates and functions a little more like weebly on the back end.

Anyway, I haven't finished reinstalling the disqus comments and may just go back to blogger, although I had many times that people reported that the blogger comments didn't show. Right now the many disqus comments aren't showing, but I will figure out how to get them back up on here, I'm just too tired tonight.

Also doing some things to improve the speed and improve my statistics on the back end.  When I do this, I dissect many of my favorite blogs and emulate some of the tips and tricks "under the hood."  When I see if these things work for me, I'll be sure to clue you in.  For now, just wanted you to know I'm working on things and if you have any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions, I'm all ears!

Thank you to all of you who make this blog a joy.  It is always wonderful to blog because you all "blog right back at me" in the comments and teach me.  Thank you so much for making this such a great place to share.

This Year's Goals of My Blog Redo
For me, my primary goals are:
  1.  A cleaner, more updated look to the blog
  2. Faster load time by getting rid of the extra items in the sidebar
  3. Use of pages so information on subscriptions, me, and contact me is easier to find
  4. A cute "Twitter" type app on the homepage (I made with widgetbox.)
  5. Better statistics tracking so that I can respond to your tweets, links, etc. - Technorati just doesn't work any more, so I'm testing some new stat tracking services.
  6. Relooking at all of the code to make sure that it is all necessary.
  7. I'd like to use the categories and carve out feeds for different categories for those who may just want to pull out one primary topic here. This may take some time and probably won't happen until July.
When Will I Go to a Domain Name?
Every time I redo this, I have people tell me I need an "official" domain name.   I do own www.coolcatteacher.com and have my information posted there, however, from my days with search engine optimization - it is almost impossible to change a URL without losing links and traffic. It is just what happens. I know lots of great bloggers have done it, but I don't have the energy nor time right now to move, so I'm staying put here.

How about WordPress?
I know that wordpress has tons more features and most people think that is for serious bloggers. However, for me, I'm staying here and just doing some hand coding. It is not for everyone, but for me, it is working just fine.

Any other thoughts or suggestions that have worked for you?

Now, if I can just figure out how to add Tweet meme at the top of my post again, I'll be happy!

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