Saturday, October 31, 2015

My New Look

Before I talk about NaNoWriMo, I suppose I should comment on my website's new look. A couple of years ago--heck, it might have been three or four years ago--I decided I wanted a more "mysterious" look here. Something darker, edgier, something in line with the kind of mysteries I was writing. In looking through the Blogger templates (yes, this is a Blogger site), I found the one that I'd used up until this week: dark red with light text. At the time, the red "popped" at me compared to all the other sites I'd been looking at.

Recently, I'd been thinking the website needed some clean-up. Over the years, I'd added more widgets, many of the links to blogs I follow pointed to now-dormant sites, and I'm changing the focus of the mysteries I write from edgy Christian fiction to... something else. And, ironically, I've always hated light text on a dark background. It's hard to read and somehow my posts were all in a small font, making reading even more difficult.

I've spent a lot of hours over the past couple of months reviewing my options. Everyone said a self-hosted Wordpress site was the way to go. There are reasons for this, most of which I won't go into. Since my experience with Wordpress was minimal, I looked at tutorials and books and YouTube videos trying to learn what I needed to learn to change over. I posted questions in writers' groups. I mocked up a free Wordpress site and fiddled with changing themes and customizing them until my brain hurt.

Fortunately, I set myself a deadline to finish the redesign of my website. I knew I wanted it done before NaNoWriMo started. Once NaNo starts, my writing day is pretty much filled up. So two days ago, I looked at what hosting would cost me. It's not a ton of money, but it is an additional expense. In my fiddling, I discovered that, while some customization of Wordpress themes is possible, to do a lot of it, including getting the colors to be something I didn't hate, requires paying more money for Premium.

So I came back to Blogger and started looking at theme alternatives. I picked a few that I thought would work and tried them out. I discovered that Blogger offered me more options--for free--to customize the look of a theme. Besides, I already know my way around Blogger quite well. I weighed the supposed advantages of Wordpress--most of which I am not ready to use--against the cost in both time and money to convert my site and decided to stick with Blogger.

I've gotten rid of the dead wood, picked lighter colors and black text on a white background, and updated my fiction page to multiple pages. I hope you like it as much as I do.

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