Building The Ergonomic Guitar Blog Version 2.0

With guitar build #1 almost complete and the new Blogger functionality out of beta, the time is right to make a number of changes and improvements to the blog format. I have Blogcrowds to thank for the base template I’ve now heavily modified.

The most obvious change is the new look of the blog. In keeping with the blog’s focus on ergonomics, it was time to switch the color scheme to a friendlier format than the previous white text on black background afforded. Older eyes, my own included, will be happier. Also, I’ve stripped back the blog to a two column format in order to increase the focus on the content and improve organization. This was in part facilitated by the new Blogger labeling feature.

I’ve been anxious to implement the new Blogger labeling feature as it provides readers an easy way to see all the content associated with a particular label. Simply clicking on a label will bring up all posts associated with that label on a single page. I think this is far nicer than having a bunch of lists (such as the old Guitar Milestones list of entries) in a sidebar. One place where you will see labeling used is at the end of each post following the text “Read More”. The other place you’ll see labeling implemented is in the navigation menu up top. I’ll be making use of this in order to give the reader an easy way to access featured labels such as “Guitar Build #1” and the new “Top Posts”. Once I begin the second guitar build, it too will take a place in the navigation menu for easy access to those posts. These new navigation buttons will become available as soon as I’m done labeling all my previous posts.

Another new Blogger feature I think you’ll enjoy is the availability of navigation links at the end of each page that point to “Newer Post”, “Home” and “Old Post”. You can now “surf” the blog if you like.

Please note that I tested the blog on Windows, the MacOS and Ubuntu Linux to attempt achieving maximum compatibility. Generally, my tests were successful with current browser versions. In Windows, Firefox looks great, Internet Explorer 6 and 7 look fine and Opera looks good as well. On the MacOS, Firefox looks great. However, Safari breaks and the outdated version of Internet Explorer under MacOS also breaks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a solution for the Safari issue although I will continue to research it. Internet Explorer under the MacOS is a lost cause though. It is an outdated version and there isn’t much I can do about it. Fortunately, most MacOS users only use Internet Explorer under duress. Finally, Firefox looks great under Ubuntu. Firefox, btw, is a great browser with excellent security and functionality. If you’d like to try it, click on the Firefox banner at the bottom of the page and follow the links.

Overall, I hope you like the changes and I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

5 Responses to “Building The Ergonomic Guitar Blog Version 2.0”

  1. Pretty clean template Robert! I like the basic web page look with the menu buttons across the top.

    I’m getting ready to create a basic site map by simply placing the links for my features directory posts into a new post titled “Site Map…” then placing the link to that in a prominent location around the top.

    Still haven’t migrated to new blogger. Paranoid…ht

    1. Thanks JP. I have Blogcrowds to thank for the base template.

      As far as the migration, it went fairly smoothly but then again I spent an inordinate amount of time in modifying the template and planning the move. A test site is a good thing.

  2. I haven’t seen anything that looks odd in Safari, but iCab does show a lot of HTML errors. This small “Post a Comment” page has 62 errors:

    You can pull-up some of the regular pages in the W3C’s validator at: to see what errors might be in the templates.

    1. Thanks Ray. Safari had been dropping the sidebar to the bottom of the page. I’ll go back and perform some additional testing.

  3. Gotta like to see not only the luthier side of things on a guitar site/blog, but also the ergonomics thrown into the mix. So much out there is about aesthetics/design without any attention given to the form of function and evolution of pure playability.
    Nice site!