Friday, July 14, 2006

Extra, Extra, Read It Here:
HTML and CSS Drive Mir Mad!

Well, I've been trying to figure out how to change templates, colors, etc, in Blogger for the Speculative Faith team blog we're forming.

(By "we," I mean wonderful peeps such as Beth G, Becky M, Rebecca G, Carol C., Shannon Mc., and the ever-darling Stuart S.)

Clearly, there must be a better, easier way to make template changes!

I've spent two days browsing the web for hours at a stretch in search of free images, backgrounds, tiles, and more. The stuff is out there.

WARNING: Some sites that promiese "Blogger ready, easy to install" templates are--and I say this with no twinge of regret--LYING!

After hours of trying to install according to the "so easy" method, and not having the result look as promised, I hollered for software programmer hubby to stop dressing for work and help me. He soon found missing code in one prominent supplier's template. That fixed one problem. After the-handsomest-engineer-in-the-universe drove off, I laboriously searched for solutions to the other problems. I found other code errors and omissions.(Trust me. I'm an html cretin. That means, if I found it, the person who made the code was just plain lazy to leave it out.) It took me a long time to get an ALMOST working new template. (The comments still don't work.)

So, now you know. There are some crap designers out there claiming they have "blogger ready" pretty templates, and what they really have is " blogger sorta-kinda-ready, be-prepared-to-hunt-and-fix-it-yourself" templates.

The reason this is of concern is cause these folks CHARGE TO DO THIS FOR A LIVING. Now, if they can't get a simple blogger template right--given how you can copy Blogger code for FREE--I'd worry that they could do a custom designed page properly.

Uh-huh. Not good business P.R. if your draw-them-in item is flawed in several spots.

You've been warned.

That said, there are lots of nice folks offering free tiles and backgrounds that work just fine. My advice: learn some html and CSS first. Don't be a jump-into-the-deep-end dolt like me. Yes, I know: I need to go back to the beginning. If it weren't for hubby, I wouldn't have known the code was whack. I'd have assumed I was whack. What I am is ignorant. Like code, that can be fixed with some hard work and time.

Hmmmm. I heard that snarky retort!

So, fine, I AM a little whack and a bit cranky.

BTW, why does Blogger have so few templates to choose from? Why not some easy way to change template colors and images?

Maybe they have it at a superpremium Blogger inner sanctum?


My carpal tunnel syndrome is up and flaring. And I think I sprained my brain.

I may need to rest a few days with anti-inflammatories and ice and, oh, a good book.


Anonymous said...

Templates are only skin deep baby, words go right to the bone. Focus on what matters. As a fellow software developer, my condolences to your soulmate.


Katie Hart said...

Just spent yesterday blogger template hunting myself. I was trying to go for a music theme, and ended up settling for a classical-looking page with a violin (a bit sad as I plan to blog about Christian rock!). I was able to spice it up a bit by replacing the icons with more relevant ones. Let me know what you think:

Rebecca said...

Oh. Yes. I feel your pain (including the carpal). No snarky retorts here - this is the reason we are writers and not web designers. HTML is so PICKY. One missing thing-a-ma-bob and it won't work, one slash-y out of place and no-go. Not like writing and not at all like writing poetry.

I have my theories about the sort of childhoods Code-freaks must have had, but none are fit to share here. ;-)

So aggravating, but there is that deep sense of satisfaction when it works, right?

Enjoy that ice, add a Coke, and have a great Friday!

Mirtika said...

Thanks for the commisseration! (Ooh, Coke. Oooh, Friday!)

Katie--ya need color! Music is color! Well, except maybe laments and Goth. Which, well, okay, very DARK colors. hahahah

Your comments section is off in the new blog. It refers back to the older blog.


Katie Hart said...

Thanks for letting me know, Mir. It seems to being working fine from my end - your comment's there and when I go to post a comment, it shows that it will post on the new site. I'll have to double-check on another computer.

You're right - it needs more color. I'll have to look for another template sometime soon, when I have time. I wasn't completely happy with it, which is why I didn't put many links up.

Thanks again!

Carmen Andres said...

heh, i've been toying with this same option, changing my template. sure glad i read this! btw, did you find any "reliable" template sites (ie, those that get the html right) to help out those of us still on the other side of the fence?

Mirtika said...

No, Carmen, sorry. I only tried the one.

Here's what I suggest: Look around find a template you like. Open a new blog to play with (which is what I did). NEVER PLAY WITH YOUR REAL BLOG, and have a back-up copy of your original template if you do plan to do that.

Then, experiment all you want, knowing you can just delete the blog if it looks like poop. :)

Good luck with that.

Carmen Andres said...

thanks for the tip -- will do!
blessings, carmen