Renovating... Responsively

Thursday, April 23, 2015

After blowing the digital dust off the blog last week (this post), I found myself contemplating its appearance. I found it very....Meh. Deciding it was time for a face lift, I did some poking around on the net to see what kind of changes had occurred during my absence, and found [unsurprisingly] a technological avalanche of TMI. Even though I had managed to post on the blog (albeit inconsistently) over the past couple of years, it was unbelievably tedious and time consuming. Trying to visit various sites to keep up with ever-changing technology with a connection that functioned at the speed of slug was nigh impossible (not enough hours in the day, and all that). I was so sad to see Google Friend Connect was gone. I tried all the tricks I could find to make it show up, to no avail. Grr. I'm guessing this is their way of *cough*cough* encouraging people to sign up for Google+. Hmph. The biggest most pressing change, however, was something called "Responsive Design". Now if, like yours truly, you've been hiding  living under a rock for the past couple of years you may be thinking: Responsive Design? Eh? What's that you say? Here's the gist: Because people are  now pulling up digital content using a wide variety of devices, something needed to be done for web pages and blogs to "look right" no matter what you are using to view it (e.g. desktop, laptop, tablet, cell phone, etc.). This newer coding meant that web pages and blogs could now automatically resize and reorient themselves to fit devices of all shapes and sizes. If you're interested, you can read a more detailed article here. Google is in the process of reindexing their search results - it's expected to be completed this month, if it hasn't been already - and they are heavily prioritizing responsive sites.

Obviously, if I were going to implement any changes to the blog, it would make sense to start by switching to a responsive template. Of course Blogger, which was bought out by Google around 2003, does not yet offer this feature. Pretty sure there's a whopping dose of irony hiding in there somewhere...
Anyhoo, ever a fan of the DIY project, I developed delusions of grandeur - having built my own computer "back in the day" - after reading several articles on the subject and mistakenly assumed (we all know how THAT word breaks down) I could probably figure it out on my own. Well, HaHaHa and Ha. Wasn't I just all kinds of wrong. A smart person would, of course, think to create a practice blog before implementing any kind of sweeping changes. Did I do this? Silly you. Of course not! The result? A NON-responsive blog that can be summed up in three little words:
Fruit                    Basket                    Turnover 
This, in turn, generated mutterings along the lines of "Wait. What in the world is that doing there? Oh, good gravy! Where in the heck did my -- go? Uh-oh. What on earth? ARRGH!" After banging my head on the desk until I thought I might break something (namely, the desk), it occurred to me that I might need to find someone a little smarter than me to bail me out help.

Enter our heroine, code name: Carrie (Bwahahahaha *AHEM* sorry) who runs an Etsy shop called TrueYouTemplates. I had looked around online a little to get some kind of idea what was out there in the way of ready-made responsive templates, but I really didn't feel comfortable sending money to an unseen individual on a random website. Call me paranoid, but this is code we're talking about here don'tcha know. The stuff of hackers. I was in mid-ponder when it hit me. Wait a minute! What about Etsy? There are some pretty tech-savvy ladies on there; I remembered buying a customized banner with matching avatar from one when I opened my first shop. After scrolling through all kinds of themes with names like, Lipstick (ugh), Glamour Template (blech), Urban Living (yawn), Neon (meh), Boss Babe (wow, really?), Pink Moon (cute, but no) and the like, I was getting rather discouraged. Now there were a number of custom templates listed, but they were a little too pricey for someone on a duct tape and band-aid kind of budget. I was just about to give up, when I came across a theme called "Shabby Chic Pub" by True You Templates. Truth be told, I totally missed the pub part; my attention was caught by the rustic looking wood in the background. AHA - now that's what I'm talkin' about!

I'll be honest here and admit that the fact that the shop had not yet had a sale gave me a moment's pause, but then again she'd only been open for a few months and I knew exactly how tough that very first Etsy sale could be (been there, done that, skipped the T-shirt). After looking through her listings, I was impressed with both the friendly tone she set and the thoroughness of her descriptions, so I decided to send her a convo and go from there. Carrie was very friendly and sent me a link to her travel blog along with her response, which made me feel a whole lot more comfortable as it made her less of a stranger. The end result? I bought one, of course, and I LOVE IT! Not only did I get a fabulous responsive template and rockin' customer service, I made a new friend :o) What more could you possibly ask for? I'm still getting things together here, but with Carrie's patient help, I've gotten a lot done already.
Look! Look! Look! I even pulled it up on my Android phone and it works like a charm. I also tried it on an iPhone, two desktops, three laptops and a netbook, and it always displayed perfectly. The template automatically (magically?) adjusted the header and body to fit neatly within the confines of the different screens; perfectly centered and everything. Awesome. *Doin' the happy dance here* WHOOP! How about it? Tell me what you pulled it up on - how'd it look? What do you think? Do you like it? I'd love to know.

As always, thank you so much for reading this far and have a blessed week!


  1. It kind of drives me nuts how they make changes all the time. It seems to me if it's not broke don't fix it but in the tech world that just don't apply.
    I like the look of the wood

  2. Ann: Me too! Blink and it's changed completely. Seemed like every time I was able to get online to do something, the "rules" had changed or the website was new and improved and looked completely different from the previous time. So it was grumble and gripe, learn it all over again, have another long online absence from our dysfunctional ISP and...
    Lather, rinse, repeat. *sigh*

  3. I can't keep up with all of the "improvements," so I don't even try unless I absolutely have to. Blogging is supposed to be fun, isn't it? It's turning into work with all of the updates.

  4. Lin: You've got that right! It's an awful lot to learn, that's for sure. Of course that's exactly why I "cheated" and bought Carrie's template (sure did make my life a whole lot easier :o)

  5. My home internet device is a faithful old Mac laptop.

    Love the new look.

Your comments really brighten my day!

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