I wanted to talk just a little bit about the new site and some of the decisions I made with regards to what you’ll find on the new site.
Smileys are Back!
I remember the outcry when the smileys in comments disappeared with the last incarnation of this site. Well, they are back. They are not the same or as varied as the ones that Enetation (who, incidentally, seems to be dead in the water – those of you who use them might want to switch to Blogger’s in-house commenting system – Jackie, Kate, Carrie, etc.) . Here is a list of smileys that appear in WordPress comments, for those of you who are interested. By the way, this was initially the last item in this post, and I realized that it is probably the most important to some of you. I moved it up top. I made this deal with you, my readers (nice of me to tell you ahead of time, I know). I moved the smiley text up providing you read the RSS paragraph below. Then you may cease reading the rest of this post unless you’re interested in some of the technical bits behind the site.
Use the feeds. Seriously, it makes life so much easier when you’re blog-surfing. I’ll do a whole post (again) on this later, but I couldn’t live without my RSS Reader. Subscribing to the comments feed is probably overkill, but if you follow a multiple blogs such as this one, subscribing to their main feeds is a must. With the new site I’ve tried to make the subscription links prominent.
The seven pics in the header are our most recent flickr photos. Sadly, I haven’t yet found a way to make our private photo thumbnails appear here, so pictures of Simon will never show up. If you’re a flickr contact already, you can always visit my photostream for the latest Simon cuteness. If you’re not, let me know and I’ll add you as a “friend”. Unless you’re creepy. Then you can forget it.
The “Links” area to the right are not textual ads, but rather an area for me to post quick links to other content on the Web. Posts where I just want to quickly link to something when I don’t really have much to say about it will appear here. These link posts do appear in the site’s main RSS feed, so if you use a feed reader, they will appear there as they are posted. There are some bugs I have to work out with how the link posts display in feed readers, but it’s a minor annoyance at this point. It’s on the list.
For this incarnation of the site, I decided to move away from Blogger. Although I’ve generally been pretty happy with them, I wanted a bit more flexibility in some of the things I wanted to do with the site. I made the decision to move to WordPress, and I’ve been pretty happy with the results so far. The interface isn’t as slick as Moveable Type, which I also considered. But setup was a snap, and I’ve been pretty happy with the features so far.
My old hosting company, MyHosting.com pissed me off when they randomly raised the price of my hosting plan, so I decided to change that up, as well. I ended up going with DreamHost. They’ve been pretty good so far, as well. As long as they don’t go randomly raising their prices, I’ll probably stick with them for a while.
All pictures (if they’re taken by me or Kate) are currently taken using our Canon Powershot S3IS. If anybody has a DSLR that they’re itching to get rid of, I’d be glad to take it off your hands. Until then, the S3IS suits most of our needs well.
The following is a list of outstanding issues that I need to resolve. Most of them are minor, and should be completed sometime over the next couple of months, as time permits:
- Fix the pagination on tag archive pages to be more attractive. This actually goes for all of the archives.
- Style the pop-up comments. Right now they’re kind of pathetic looking.
- Work on programming the date archives to behave the way I’d like.
- Revisit old posts and add relevant tags (not looking forward to this one).