Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I think...

That this template and all Blogger.com templates, really, look like crap. It de-motivates me from writing. Unlike the blog of my soon-to-be-ex-boss who will soon be more like a colleague which looks great. But what to do? Where to switch? Suggestions?

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13 comments:

Kimm said...

If you like the basic functionality (including the fact that it's free), stay with Blogger and look for a new template made by someone else - or hire someone to create on for you.

Even if you end up paying for the template, it's probably cheaper than some of the alternatives.

One of those alternatives would be to consider paying for a TypePad account. I don't feel like paying for one myself (yet) but am doing the technical work on another project where we decided to go with TypePad and I really like using it AND it looks pretty nice (I think - you can see for yourself at Telluride Inside).

Scott Chicken said...

Dang, Kimm beat me to it. Blogger lets you load your own template, I believe, which would let you keep the URL, saving me the trouble of memorizing a new one. And it's free and whatnot.

No doubt Joe Chicken could hook you up with a guy who knows a guy who can design something on the cheap...

Suz @ Alive in Wonderland said...

It is motivating when you feel like your site design reflects your writing style and content.
I agree with Scott and Kimm. Stay with Blogger. Changing your URL now would make it harder for people to find you.
You can hire someone to design your site at a reasonable cost.
But, if you must, I suggest Typepad. I have been happy with it. I just had my site redesigned and it has been motivating.
Good luck.

Matt Rigby said...

His site is running on wordpress, which if a free download (i think it costs mola if you want to have a blog on wordpress.com, but you can grab the architecture for free.) It runs on a MySQL database, very easy to set up, my www.43photos.net is powered by it, very customizable and relatively solid provided the whole internet doesn't hit you at once.

Jason said...

I'm in agreement with y'all. Stick with Blogger. Customize.

I'd take it a step further and say read a couple articles on CSS and do the customization yourself. Rocket science it ain't.

Ben A said...

Thanks for the link (and the props)!

Matt is right -- mine is running on wordpress, but I'm hosting it myself. So, it's a free download but the hosting services costs $5/month.

I looked around when I wanted to start my blog and found wordpress (and the free templates there) to be the least ugly, which is basically why I went with it. The benefits of hosting it myself (as opposed to having wordpress host it, like blogger hosts yours) is that I can customize it more and make even less ugly -- I'm actually pretty happy with the way it's turning out.

Hosting yourself is kind of a hassle though. You can pay someone to design it for you too, but to be honest, it's not all THAT tough. Not nearly as tough as generating good content, for example.

Ben A said...

PS: I'm already your ex-boss, which is why we're allowed to be friends on Facebook!

Emily said...

weeeelllll... i agree that customizing a blogger template isn't rocket science, but it is a bit of a pain in the ass if you don't enjoy repeatedly testing/troubleshooting and trying to figure out why nothing works anymore after you changed one stupid line of code.

the only two things ben's design has that yours doesn't have is a good color scheme and a custom banner. both of those things are super simple to change and don't require a bit of coding.

first make yourself a banner. that can be as simple as cropping a pretty picture to fit the dimensions (730 pixels wide). click on "layout" from the dashboard. click where it says "edit" in the header box, and upload your image.

now click on the link that says "fonts and colors" and mess around until you find something that looks nice with the picture you chose.

voila! the whole process should take 1/2 an hour.

Bruce Harrington said...

I've been a little frustrated with Blogger, esp. with loading multiple pictures. Anyway, the Wordpress sites seem to be pretty uniformly better looking.

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

I was lucky enough to join blogger when there were just 3 or 4 template options OR the pure html option, which at times is a bit frustrating - but also educational- when it comes to making changes, not to mention that there are just tons of truly DIY options if you go that route... maybe the templates are just as good, not sure- but can you re-choose that html only option or are you locked into the chosen template for good?
There is always the temptation of converting to Wordpress... but honestly, blogger has me too well-connected since flickr, gmail, etc are all integrated, grr. good- but still: "grr."

Scott Chicken said...

Ah, the multiple photos issue...Bruce, the easy solution to that (or the solution I decided to use) was to load the pictures to my Picasa account, then link to the files directly from there (Picasa gives you the code to embed the picture).

It's easiest to get the pictures in the document if you compose in HTML, then you can shift to the "compose" view to do your formatting.

It's still a bit cumbersome, but not hugely so.

Mike said...

When I used Blogger I liked the templates on these websites. It's fairly easy to overwrite Blogger's default template with one of them.

Gecko&Fly

BloggerTemplates.org

Blogger Templates

Mashable Blogger Templates (link wasn't working for me)

Good luck.

Mike said...

Sorry, this should have been the first link:

Gecko&Fly