Making my blog suck less

While I’ve been blogging for a number of years, my theme and layout has never really had my full attention. This has resulted in a number of issues, poor experience and finding older content more difficult than it needed to be. As such, I’ve decided to give the site a face-lift. A lot of this has been inspired by Scott Hanselman and the tips he has given to improve his blog.

This post covers the initial changes I have made, why I’ve made them and some tips you could apply to your own site if you wished.

1) Added a notice bar

At the top of every page I have added a notice bar with links to various internal and external pages which I would like my readers to pay attention to and visit. These include various social sites such as GitHub and Twitter with the hope that by having them in the notice bar people will be able to more easily identify them. Of course, there still needs to be excellent content on those sites, but making it easier for readers to access should be a high priority.

2) Making my favourite personal posts easier to find

There are a number of posts which I’m proud of which new visitors might be interested in and as such I wanted to make it easier for people to find. The aim is to reduce the bounce rate of visits from search engines, but also ensure that this content can be accessible to anyone who might be interested in what I have written previously.

3) Clean HTML

One of my personal bug bears at the moment is having clean(ish) HTML and CSS. I used to let this slide, but over time I’ve come to realise just how important it is. Not only does it improve compatibility across different browsers, but it also improves the load-time as the HTML is more streamlined as well as allowing for a more consistent look across the blog. The added advantage being that the html is now in a maintainable state meaning I’m not scared of updating the template like before. The problem with this is that things might not look 100% correct – if you notice any problems with formatting, then please let me know.

If you visit my homepage, you hopefully will notice a number of other changes some of which I’ll cover in later posts. I’m hoping you will find some benefit in my new changes. If you think there is anything else I need to change, then please let me know.

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