Posts Tagged ‘redesign’

Gaming

Twitterlettes removed

TwitterIf you happen to be a regular visitor of my site (you’re not, I know – just humour me, okay?) then you’ll probably have noticed that the swarm of white bars containing 140 chars or less of drivel have disappeared from the main section. Yep, all that is left is the regular posts – I’ve gotten rid of the special posts created from my Skoardy Twitter feed.

They were somewhat of an experiment and I guess it failed. I figured that since I don’t write that many posts, I could bolster the content of the site by adding in my tweets. 140 characters is a lot easier to generate than whole articles rambling aimlessly on about some topic or other, right? Well, yeah, and that was the problem. The site soon filled up with tweets and despite extending the article count for the page, it wasn’t long before there was very little ‘real’ (in my loose definition) content and any there was soon got pushed off the front page by the white bars.

Worst still, as a side-effect, instead of increasing the content on the site, I actually stopped tweeting. I didn’t want to make the situation worse on Skoardy.com so I’d restrict myself. That’s not what Twitter is about. You should be free to spew any random gibberish into the aether, all day long. If you can’t bang on about pointless matters and what you had for lunch, what good is Twitter for?

So I removed the special tweet posts and added my tweets as a sidebar widget (they’re hiding at the bottom, currently). I’m considering revamping the site to make the widget a touch more prominent but that’s probably a little way off. They’re good where they are for now. I also need to train myself to make more posts, even if they’re not ‘events’ full of screenshots, videos and post banners. It’s just a blog – a post can just be something simple… like this one, for instance.

General

Skoardy v4.0

TwitterYou might have noticed that something is slightly different about the site today. That is, if you’ve ever visited it before. If not, you’re probably wondering “What the hell kind of self-indulgent crap is this guy waffling on about and where is that goat-bondage porn Google promised me?!”. Wait. I’m losing my train of thought here… That’s it, change! All change.

I’ve just remade the Skoardy.com WordPress theme and it’s the ricketiest incarnation yet! A little while back, I wanted to integrate my twitterings into my site feed and even had all the tools to do it. Unfortunately, the theme I’d built before just wasn’t really up to the task and it turned into a bit of a mess. This time is different. It’ll still be a mess but now, it’s intentional! Part of the redesign was to place tweets into their own little post design – one that didn’t follow the regular layout and so, didn’t take up as much space.

They’ve also got their own category so if you feel the need to indulge in a bit of inanity overdosing, you can flick through a whole bunch of them in one sitting. The sidebar menu that contains a list of the last few posts has been tweaked to ignore tweets so that only features ‘real posts’ (much the same bullshit content of a tweet, just a lot longer).

As with all my hack/slash jobs, the remains¬† of the theme I butchered are in a sorry state. If the site collapses on you, you have my humble apologies. If it doesn’t work on your browser, again, sorry.

One problem the switch-over has highlighted is that I tend to tweet quite a bit more than I make website posts. Don’t be surprised to see the front page (and maybe a few pages after that) awash with nothing but tweets. Hopefully it’ll encourage me to post something a little more ‘meaty’ from time to time but then again, I wouldn’t count on it. We’ll see how it goes.

In summation, enjoy the new site design, it’s very, very orange.

General

PNG me?

Wordpress 2.7I mentioned updating my theme in my last post and while lack of time is a pretty big hurdle for building a new front-end for Skoardy.com, another problem is an iffy design choice I made when I first created the site.

Originally, I wanted the images I used in posts to blend smoothly with the background. GIFs give a simple level of transparency but it’s an on/off deal – hardly what I was looking for. PNGs are the other option but when the format first appeared they were barely supported and even when they became more widespread, a few dopey hold-outs still handled them badly. So I created images with the background colour blended into them. Looked good, nice small file… but an absolute pain in the chuff to re-do any time you moved to a theme with a different background colour.

Hopefully, these days, browsers have come a little further and the chance of encountering some backward, hill-billy software that can’t handle a simple PNG image correctly should be pretty slim. By converting images on the site over time to PNGs, I at least remove that stumbling block for when I do have some time for a proper shuffle.

The images will be bigger, unfortunately, but that’s okay, right? You’re all on beefy bandwidth connections, yeah? No? Oh well, sucks to be you.

General

Bleaurgh… IE

Pretty much just a follow-up to one of my earlier posts (‘Skoardy v3.0‘) where I unveiled/announced my revamp of the Skoardy.com theme. I was pretty happy with the results as I’d almost managed to achieve everything I set out to with the new look and also added some elements I’d overlooked the first time I switched everything over to WordPress.

Of course, I have little-to-no faith in my skills with CSS, hence the comments about not coughing. It’s a rickety set of stairs, the outer shell of Skoardy.com, and give it too much of a hammering and it’s likely to fall apart. But, it looked okay and everything was where it should be… or so I thought.

In comes Microsoft’s Internet Explorer with it’s size 9 clod-hoppers and its own unique take on what things should look like. Normally, I use Firefox as my default browser. It’s small, fast and best of all, with the right add-ons, you’ll never need to see another advert again. It looked fine on that. I even tried the site with Google’s Chrome – the new kid of the block that’s also small/fast. Also, looked fine. And with IE? Yeah…um, well, it was borked on IE.

I don’t usually like booting IE up. These days it seems there’s always some kind of new exploit being reported and death from within for anyone foolish enough to take it for a spin on the intahwebs. Eventually, I worked up the nerve to have a look. Things were misplaced, oddly positioned and some bizarre gaps were appearing. One by one, I managed correct the flaws, writing in more specific code so that even IE couldn’t get creative with my instructions. Everything was fixed, except for some gaps in the sidebar. I know IE users take up the market share of web tourists (seriously guys, switch to a new browser already!) so I wanted to fix it but nothing I tried could get rid.

So every few days I’d get a new idea and try it out with the hope that it’d fix the problem without breaking the site for other browsers. Every time, same result. Nada.

Tonight, however, the new fix worked and everything fell into place. Better still, it’s something that other browsers appear to care little about. Of course, this is just with version 7 of IE. If it’s broken on older versions, screw you. Upgrade… or better still, switch to a new browser already!

General

Skoardy v3.0

Don’t make a sound! Don’t cough. For heaven’s sake don’t sneeze, whatever you do! I’ve just rebuilt the website’s theme and the slightest jostle could bring it crashing down around your ears.

I thought it was about time for a change and doing so has allowed me to fix a couple of oversights I made when I first put the WordPress website together. The first thing that got sorted was being able to show more than one category at the same time. While I could define my posts as have multiple categories, my first theme couldn’t display them (it’d only show the first one). That’s sorted now. I can go category buck-wild… er… not that I plan to. But I could!

Second was a better integration of the tags. I’ve been adding them to the posts and had that chubby tag cloud in the old footer so it seemed daft not to list them in the posts. Well, there they are. The tag cloud itself has gone, replaced with a list of the top 30 tags over in the side bar.

I’ve binned the comments.¬† They weren’t getting used – though I never really expected them to. No, scratch that. They were getting used but there’s only so many hours in the day you can devote to marking bot-seeded porn site advert comments as spam.

And what have we learnt from doing another theme? Mostly that creating images for pretty much every post and blending them to the theme’s background colour is going to bite you in the ass somewhere down the line. Yeah, recreating all those was a mind-numbing excercise in tedium fun.

Anyway, enjoy. Mind what you touch, though. The paint is still wet in a few places.

General

Good to be back…

Ignoring the whole “You were gone?” and “Who are you, again?” issues for a moment, let me just say that it’s nice to have a site I can talk at again. I’ve missed it. That is to say, it’s been over a year since I last posted anything to Skoardy.com which really is quite inexcusable when you think about it. But don’t think about it because you’ll probably arrive at the same conclusion I did and that is that it doesn’t really matter, given no-one was reading what I wrote. As conclusions go, that one kinda sucks.

But hey, new site and everything! It’s actually a little leaner than the old one while still looking at lot like it. I’ve jumped on the old WordPress bandwagon and I suppose I can finally come to terms with it… I’m a blogger. *sigh*

I also resolve to post a whole lot more than I did previously. Not hard, you might think but when you’re catering to as many imaginary readers as I am, the task just seems too daunting at times. I believe I may have a solution to the problem though – Imaginary Staff! They can do all the grunt work behind the scenes and I’ll bask in the limelight, accepting the adoration for being the public face of Skoardy.com! It all evens out in the end.

Anyhoo, the last time we spoke I promised to talk about World of Warcraft‘s first expansion, The Burning Crusade (it’s top fun) and the Nintendo Wii (it also rocks hard, with ‘Super Mario Galaxy‘ being insanely brilliant). There you go.

There are a few ‘broken’ people who are rather down on WoW and the Wii (naming no names, they know who they are) but we ignore them.