Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Building A Better Blog: Design Changes and Upgrades

I have been so busy messing with the blog itself for the last couple of weeks that I really haven't had to time to do any posts on the newest toys. I will try to make up for that in next few weeks, however Spring has sprung so my weekends are pretty busy with other things.

First of all the blog is now upgraded to work as it should with SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layers/Transport Layer Security) and now upgraded to the more secure HTTPS format! Pretty soon I believe most modern web browsers will depreciate support for unsecured web sites, so I thought I better get ahead of the game. To do this I had to turn on SSL for my main webserver as well... This caused some interesting unforseen problems which had to be quickly resolved! I uncovered some really old dusty code in the last few days for sure. It actually was fun to get back to coding though.

Related Posts Gallery for Blogger
After making sure all my JavaScript and PHP code would work with HTTPS, I had to figure out how to get my related posts widget to work. I had been using LinkWithin to do it, but there are a couple of problems with it. First and foremost, it doesn't use HTTPS, and also it redirects readers through LinkWithin to take them to the related post! This is bad for SEO, so I have been looking for a suitable replacement for it for a while anyway. With the upgrade I had to get cracking!

I finally found one at Code It Pretty. This code does everything that LinkWithin does plus it doesn't re-route readers through another site before taking them to a related post and it's completely self contained, which means I don't have to rely on some other site staying active for it to continue to work.

My next project was to create a more modern footer for the blog. It contains search and email subscription services plus social media links, a short bio for the me/the blog, and links to the policy pages. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see it in action.

As you scroll down take a look in the bottom right corner of you browser window and you will notice a floating icon with a up arrow in it. This is the new "return to top" button. Pressing it will immediately scroll you right back to the top of the page!

Finally the blog theme needed a bit of housecleaning... it probably isn't all that noticeable, but I changed the theme colors to something that I think looks and works a bit better. I also changed the font back to Arial and made it a tad smaller. I think, over all, it is more pleasing looking.

I would love to hear some feedback from those reading the blog because it is really for you, not me. Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Thanks!


  1. Hello.. hope you are well, good Sir

    1. I'm doing good. I hope things are going well for too, kind Sir.

  2. still using same settings we set-up 7 and 1/2 years ago at the "Crypt"

    1. I'm an old school web designer... I'm never completely satisfied with any project. I'm always messing about with the code. Thanks for the visit and comments.

  3. Take your time ;)I'll be busy myself with yard work soon enough.

    1. I'll be pretty busy most of the summer, but I want to try and keep up posting about toys... maybe cut back to every two weeks...


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