• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as current film releases with spiritual significance, and a few bits and pieces on the Bible.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Website Changes?

    I was away on holiday last week (hence the lack of posts over the last 7 days), and as always it gives me a time to do some thinking (although not so much since we had the kids). One of the things I've been mulling over for a while was to do with changes to my site, particularly as I'm nearing the 1000th post mark.

    There are various factors which are making me think about some changes. First and foremost is the fact that as the blog gets bigger and bigger it becomes harder and harder for people to navigate. Then there's the growing number of posts per label, making it harder still to find earlier posts for some of the more popular films. There's also the question of screen resolution. When I last changed my template (I'm still on a modified version of an original blogger template) the screen resolution on my laptop was only 800x600, now both of the PCs I use regularly are over 1250 pixels wide, meaning a lot of useful space is wasted. Lastly there are a few good reasons to have a dedicated domain name, Wikipedia could link to me for example, I'd have a simpler domain name and I could do certain feature pages that I could do whatever I want with, plus I could actually join the 21st century.

    But there are downsides as well: redesigning anything would be a lot of hard work; moving the site away from blogger would make me less visible on Google, and potentially lose me the labels; there's a small cost implication; any changes I made would need to be fairly future proof, not just cover all the bases now; and on top of that there's my general discomfort with changing something that, in general, works reasonably well, particularly as there's a frighteningly blank sheet-ish-ness to the possibilities a new site offers. It might be possible to marry blogger with an independent site, but what happens to all the links etc. etc..

    So I thought I open this up for ideas. I believe there are a few regular readers of this blog and I'd be interested to hear from them or anyone else who's just passing through. Do you have any useful experience I can draw on or any advice, feedback, ideas or suggestions. Which parts of my sidebars do you find most/least useful? How do you find navigating the site? Are there any other sites you're familiar with that might provide a good template? Any advice you offer would be most welcome.

    7 Comments:

    • At 10:25 pm, June 21, 2010, Anonymous Doug Chaplin said…

      To be honest, Matt, the change I'd most advocate is allowing at least a post summary to appear in your RSS feed. This is one of the few blogs I have to open in a browser to be sure what you're writing about.

      But in design terms wider columns all round would help.

       
    • At 1:33 am, June 22, 2010, Anonymous Randall Short said…

      I agree with Doug, except I'd suggest you go all the way and allow the entire text to appear in your RSS feed. I think that most people are probably going to visit the site anyway, and this way you don't run the risk of annoying some readers (in a tweet the other day, someone asked if they were the only who unsubscribes to RSS feeds that require readers to visit the site).

      Regarding the resolution, there's a lot of wasted space on my screen, and I would personally prefer to see it grow a little wider. But you've got to consider your stats. If you have an increasing number of people reading it on iPad, for instance, then this format may be best. It's a tough call.

       
    • At 8:53 am, June 22, 2010, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Thanks for these comments. I have to confess that I'm a total, total dunce when it comes to RSS feeds and the like. I've changed one of the settings to do "full" feeds rather than "short" ones, which is the only place I can see where I can make that change. I'm not sure whether that will work or not!

      Thanks

      Matt

       
    • At 10:09 pm, June 22, 2010, Anonymous Doug Chaplin said…

      It's certainly giving me the full feed in my reader, so thanks very much.

       
    • At 6:49 am, June 23, 2010, Anonymous Randall Short said…

      The RSS full feed worked for me, too. Thanks!

      You've got a great blog going here. I appreciate your desire to give your readers a more pleasant experience navigating the site and all, but I think you'll only continue to gain readers as long you keep doing what you're doing.

       
    • At 9:15 am, June 23, 2010, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Thanks for those, much appreciated.

      Anyone else?

      Matt

       
    • At 5:37 pm, June 25, 2010, Blogger Ranjit said…

      yow can get lots of film from our film archive

       

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