My life is boring so I can’t really write about what I’ve been up to. It would go something like this: “Work, school, cleaning, laundry, home work, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reading”. And there it is. My week. So let’s just leave that sad subject and move on. I’ve been thinking about what to blog about for days and just a minute ago I finally got an idea. I’ve been webdesigning for nine years and blogging for eight so I know some stuff about that. So here’s a tip blog.
The wonderful world of websites and blogs. Not a expert guide but still some kind of guide.
1. I know a lot of people use dreamweaver and similar programs but I don’t reccomend it. If you want to understand your code you should try to code it by hand. It’s not that hard to learn. I promise!
2. Validate your site. Take the time to check if your code is correct with a validator. There are several different browsers to choose from today. Some of them display uncorrectly coded sites correctly but others are more picky. Explorer tend to show the most terribly coded site correctly while Firefox and Opera wants you to actually use correct code. Why? Well why would you want to use correct spelling and grammar? Becuase a language has rules and so does HTML.
You can validate your HTML here and your CSS here.
3. Identify your target group and adjust your site according to it. If I for example were to write a really serious blog about art history I wouldn’t use this layout. I’d make a more toned down and “serious” layout. Not one featuring Emilie Atumn, crows and lots of hearts.
4. Make your site user-friendly. If you have a menu with links to other parts of your site make sure that menu is clearly visible. My site could definitely be more user-friendly. For example I have way too much stuff in my left menu making it look cluttered and I use a way too small font. I think it looks pretty. But it’s not user-friendly.
5. No background music! Of course you think your taste in music is just greeeat but not everyone will agree with you. It’s annoying visiting a site playing some nasty music you hate. Espescially if you’re listening to your own music in Winamp.
Getting your site online
Got no money? Try getting hosted. There are lots of people offering hosting for free. What I did was getting hosted for free and then buying a domain name. I “lived” at iskall.nu/~carnelian but I had my domain name www.whirlwind.nu which worked as a redirecting adress.
Make yourself known to the world! You can’t just sit around and wait for people to discover your blog. Visit other peoples sites and leave comments, do link exchanges, join rotations, join site rankings, join commenting communities. Let people know you’re out there!
Choosing a blog tool
If you have a personal site with a blog you might want people to be able to comment you. I’ve tried three different blog/commenting tools.
1. Haloscan. If you prefer to code your blog by yourself I reccomend Haloscan which is a commenting tool. With one line of code you place a link which opens a small pop-up window where people can leave you comments. My personal opinion on Haloscan is that it’s great if you want to do as much of your coding as possible by yourself. The pop-up is annoying though.
2. CuteNews. If you want more than a commenting tool you could try CuteNews. With cutenews you log into the cutenews site and blog from there. No manual blog coding and FTP:ing needed. And it has a categories feature. Cutenews is kind of a light version of WordPress. Less advanced but also with less functions. What’s great about it is that’s it easy to understand.
3. WordPress is a complete blog management tool. With it you can create archives, categories, tags, comments and lots more. You log into your WP control panel and blog from there. No manual blog coding or FTP:ing needed. The downside of WordPress is that it’s quite hard to grasp at first. You need quite good coding skills to use it. Or LOTS of time. Once it’s up and running it’s smooth and fast though. I have to admit that I hated it to begin with and still don’t really love it but I’m used to it now. I think it’s too automatized but if you like things easy (once it’s up and running) WordPress is the thing for you.
Visit my new affiliates Gel, Sophie and Nova!