Sitestuff: Blue Zinfandel

I’ve tentatively chosen Blue Zinfandel 2.0 by Brian Gardner as the base theme for the blog. I had about a half-dozen themes selected as possibilities; Blue Zinfandel is the one Laura liked best. One thing Laura doesn’t like is the typesetting in the header and the general lack of color throughout. I can see what she means, but I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet.

A couple of days ago, I read an article over at The Thinking Blog about David Airey, a creative designer and blogger who updated his site design based on feedback from his readers. I’d like to do something similar here. Unfortunately, I’m not a graphic designer and my HTML/PHP/CSS skills are intermediate, at best. Nonetheless, if you’d like to provide feedback and suggestions, I’ll see what I can do to make things better.

6 thoughts on “Sitestuff: Blue Zinfandel”

  1. I’m a CSS geek. Changing the font or font size in the header is a breeze if that’s what you’re looking to do. Not sure what you’d have in mind for color – I actually like the primarily white background on this theme.

  2. Reminder to self: Edit comments file to turn quick-quoting and formatting buttons back on.

    Greg wrote:

    I’m a CSS geek. Changing the font or font size in the header is a breeze if that’s what you’re looking to do. Not sure what you’d have in mind for color – I actually like the primarily white background on this theme.

    The CSS is a snap (I’ve already tweaking this a bit); what I often struggle with is which styles and colors to use. Like Greg, I like the primarily white background (that’s one of the reasons I was using Tarski and, before that, PlainText). Still, I think selecting a pale blue or green for the background color of the navigation bar (Home, Forum, etc.) might be nice, and little splashes of color like that can go a long way toward making the design a bit nicer.

  3. Yeah, I like the very clean color scheme of the new theme. Sweet!

    Thanks, Mick. I do plan on keeping the color scheme clean, but hopefully I’ll find a way to jazz things up just a little to keep it interesting.

  4. My only critique; the content of the center column is mighty thin…

    I’m in Firefox (on a Linux machine), with the Bookmarks tab open in the sidebar. There’s still /acres/ of space on either side of the content bar to be filled. I’ll have to take a look at the main page and get an impression of the overall aesthetic.

    (I see no columns but the middle one, and I seem to remember you wanting three – maybe they’re on the front page. I read your blog using an RSS tag in FF, so I don’t click into kjtoo.com from the main page.)

    The colors; I’ll agree with Mick. Very clean and clear. High-spiff, we’d call that down here…

    Thanks for reading!

  5. My only critique; the content of the center column is mighty thin…

    I’m in Firefox (on a Linux machine), with the Bookmarks tab open in the sidebar. There’s still /acres/ of space on either side of the content bar to be filled. I’ll have to take a look at the main page and get an impression of the overall aesthetic.

    (I see no columns but the middle one, and I seem to remember you wanting three – maybe they’re on the front page. I read your blog using an RSS tag in FF, so I don’t click into kjtoo.com from the main page.)

    The colors; I’ll agree with Mick. Very clean and clear. High-spiff, we’d call that down here…

    Thanks for reading!

    I was playing around with hiding the sidebars on single-post pages in order to cut down on page load time, which is why you don’t see all three columns when you’re commenting or when you view anything other than the main page. Hiding the sidebars definitely cuts down on load time, but it does leave a lot of unused real estate.

    The main problem with load time is Twitter. The service has become very popular very quickly and I don’t think they’re quite equipped to handle the load. As a result, the Twitter widget is very slow to load, which slows down overall page load time.

    I don’t know if I’d rank the Squirl widget or the Board Game Geek widget the number two spot in terms of load time. I know the BGG widget desperately needs to be more customizable (not to mention it’s got some sloppy CSS built in that I can’t override), and I may have to force the image size to something smaller just to maintain a standard throughout the entire sidebar. Either that, or drop the widget altogether.

    I’m happy with the performance of the MyBlogLog widget, despite the fact that it’s got to load somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 images. But they’re small and they load quick, even when other things seem to be bogging down.

    Anyway, I’ll probably bring the sidebars back to non-home pages if I can figure out how to do so in such a way that doesn’t slow down the page load.

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