Design for this Blog

Published: | by Julian Knight Reading time ~5 min.
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This page holds some of the design ideas for the blog. Some I’ve implemented, some I will implement at some time and the rest are just ideas right now.

Basic Site Design for Much Ado About IT πŸ”—︎

This blog is a convenient place for me to dump thoughts, ideas, moans, etc. related to Information Technology (IT) and Information Management (IM, IMT) in general. It will also occasionally get postings about other subjects all, at least vaguely related to technology and information. These will include subjects such as censorship, so called “intellectual property”, patents, copyrights, etc.

The site is built using WordPress and will generally use the current default theme (e.g. TwentyEleven) with my own tweaks. The current theme is: “Twenty Sixteen“.

Changes to the basic theme πŸ”—︎

  • Massively reduce the white-space at the top of every page by overlapping the menu and titles with the image. These are semi-transparent on newer browsers (though not IE8).
  • Improve the footer, reducing the “powered by” statement and adding in design and content copyright links & a link to my contact information.
  • Put back the widgets on single & category/tag pages (lost with WordPress 3.2)
  • Always show descriptions (when defined) on Category/Tag pages
  • Only load l10n if actually in the admin interface (improves performance)
  • Add “updated” class to article template so that hEntry microformat correctly validates (See forum post) – by changing twentyeleven_posted_on() function in functions.php
  • Fix sidebars for pages, Tag & Category archives – all pages now have sidebars and widgets
  • Fix Google author attributation

Widgets & Configuration Changes πŸ”—︎

Enhancements via Plugins πŸ”—︎

  • Google Sitemap – now using BWP Google XML Sitemaps plugin
  • Page caching, js/css compression and other performance enhancements – now using W3 Total Cache plugin
  • Put sharing links/icons into single post & page templates Now using the Sociable plugin
  • Social comments – now using Disqus plugin *

Other Changes πŸ”—︎

— Still To Do — πŸ”—︎

General πŸ”—︎

Single Post Page πŸ”—︎

  • Show related posts & possibly other info similar to above on single post pages

Category/Tag Pages πŸ”—︎

  • Change Category title (on category pages) to be bigger and say “Topic: ….”
  • Get relavent feeds and related info on to Category/Tag pages _Especially my Shared Google Reader posts, twitter & Google+ posts, Diigo Keyword feed (RSS)

    • Google Custom Search Feed (RSS)_
  • Allow featured image for each category/tag

    – Either the hard way with a custom field on the category & tag edit pages

    – Or the easy way by changing the template page to look for an tagname.jpg file

  • Allow custom heading image for category & tag archive page (categoryhead.jpg)

    – and perhaps per category/tag as well (categoryhead-catname.jpg, etc.)

  • Improve the category and tag landing pages by ensuring: 

    • Each has it’s own description that is included visibly (template changed but need to write descriptions) – 100-150 words is OK
    • Incorporate RSS/Twitter/etc additional “news” relevant to the topic
    • *\*Plugin Idea** Add custom field to a category/tag that records additional, related keywords. These can be used in the keywords meta for SEO and to include additional news. Also auto-cross-link to these if they are other categories/tags on the site;;  Include links to sub-category pages
    • Ensure that these pages can then be indexed and followed to.

Other Pages πŸ”—︎

  • Add Published/Updated dates to pages
  • Improve Author pages _I’m using the /about page as I only have a single main author. Should add LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook & Google Reader posts & link to Google Profile (see here and here)_
  • Add a wide formatted page template _For when I want to show tabular, big images, etc.

    – No widgets, wider body._

Plugins πŸ”—︎

  • ** Plugin idea ** “breadcrumb” like list showing the last few pages accessed
  • ** Plugin idea ** auto-insert anchors and “goto previous heading” automatically for h2/h3/h4 in article text
  • Reduce number of plugins/db calls/etc.:
  • Sort out too many frameworks issues _Different plugins loading different frameworks: scriptaculous, etc.

    – Weed out rogue add-ins_

  • SHOULD add replacement configuration pages

  • Find Me On – Is always the same so should be built in to the theme

  • Add CC Licensing

SEO πŸ”—︎

  • Customise “More” links – adding keywords
  • Make sure that pagination on pages includes multiple page links not just next/previous
  • Link directly to related posts
  • Offer subscriptions to the SITE visible at the end of each post. Include daily, weekly, monthly email subscriptions too. Also add subscription offer after a comment post.
  • Stop the author link on post displays from linking to author page, instead link to Google profile
  • Check headings – structure – titles (blog name should be h1 on home page, no more than h3/4 on other pages (maybe just a span), title should be h1 on all other pages, no other h1’s), sub-titles (h2 on home, nothing on other pages);;  Why is Main Menu an H3? Not required – Same for Next/Prev menu

    – Blog title/strap-line no longer h1/h2 except on home page

  • Get rid of “Meta” widget. Hard code login link (with nofollow, noindex), comments RSS link from meta not needed with Disqus

    – Done

Backup πŸ”—︎

  • Reconfigure site backup & mysql backup

Test Sites πŸ”—︎

Plugins πŸ”—︎

Here are some of the plugins that I’m either currently using, I’m considering or I refuse to use (because of performance, security or other issues):

Custom Data Plugin Options (Custom Post Types, Custom Fields and Custom Taxonomies) πŸ”—︎

Another Google doc that compares the features of the various plugins for handling custom data in WordPress. []

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