Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 1 December 2008

Upcoming template changes for "Bill's Comment Page"

Over the next week, visitors to this blog will notice some major changes to how the blog looks; eventually the basic theme will end up looking similar to what is here now, but there may be some interim stages when it looks very decidedly different, whilst I get the layout 'tweaked'. However the basic blog content articles won't be changing in any way.

I am in the process of changing the blog 'template' by converting it from a 'classic' Blogger mainly HTML format to a more modern 'layout' template, heavily reliant on CSS. This should dramatically increase the speed with which my page loads. If you have been trying to visit my blog over the past few weeks you will undoubtedly have noticed that it has become VERY, VERY SLOW to load and I think the basic problem is that Blogger (i.e. Google) must have made some changes to its database structure for blogs recently which means that 'classic' templates are no longer so fully supported by their systems.

In any case, I realised about a week and a half ago that something was seriously wrong and since then I have been working on a parallel test blog to work out some of the technical issues with doing the conversion here. I am now at the stage when I will probably begin to roll-out the new template in the next week, but it is possible there may be some rather curious initial side-effects (based on my experience with my Spanish blog, which has just today been converted to a similar updated template to the one I propose to use here); please bear with me during this phase. The pay-off will be a dramatic improvement in page-load times.

PS/ One important change when the template changes is that my 'comments' provider will change from the externally-provided Haloscan to the Google/Blogger equivalent; as a result, any comments made prior to the switch-over will be lost. I am sorry about this, but I have been thinking about making the switch for quite some time and rather than running the two 'comment' scripts in parallel for a while think it is better to make a clean break. In many ways I much prefer Haloscan, but as with any externally-sourced code can cause its own problems from time to time, specially during website down-times or software upgrades; nevertheless I shall be sorry to say 'goodbye' to Haloscan.

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