I started my blog a year ago and when in November, I restyled for the first time, I decided I was not going to take on such a painful effort again before the end of the first year. Now that the end is near, I took it upon me to leave the standard templates Google offers with Blogspot and choose one from the - allegedly - better templates on the web. It is good I have set up a development environment, because with all the rewriting and rebuilding I had to do, I have come to appreciate the standard templates a lot more. Not because they are especially good, but because they work and they merge into the customizations done in the previous template.
Nevertheless, the advantage of having a development environment and the advantage of having started in time (a month ahead of the migration), has allowed me to get acquainted with what templates looked fit and adapt them to the requirements I have. Now I really believe I am heading to a design that looks much more professional and will be much easier to use - for you. So take a look.
This was the first template I liked and for a long time, I felt it was my favorite. It has stopped being the favorite because of a number of problems, some of which you can witness yourself. For one, the right hand side of the page will disappear with a combination of FireFox 1.5 and a small screen. With a large screen, on the other hand, the blog title will not outline along the text block, but rather, way to the left. What you do not see, is that I struggled with very unexpected behavior upon editing. Whole sections would go lost, with totally unrelated changes in the code. So this style is probably going to be discarded.
Another template I liked from the start was this colorful lay-out. Just as with the previous one, the code turns out to be not very robust and the behavior is unpredictable in some browsers (for example: the about sections turns invisible in some IE configurations). Over time, the bright colors began to put me off. The attention is drawn to the bright red middle of the screen and not to the content (either the text or the relevant items in the sidebars).
I don't recall why I started developing this template at all. I wanted a 3 column look in the first place and a search button and this one had neither. Somehow the fresh simplicity made me keep it and by now I have figured a way to add a search and have also come to understand the disadvantages of three columns, basically this has turned from the worst to the best candidate for the final design since it turned out to be easily changeable as well.
The last design appealed to me for its professional look. Though I had to thoroughly strip it from advertisements. Once that was done,what remained is a very good look. If I can repair the scripting errors and easily adapt colors and such, it is the best competitor for blog 3.
As I see it, the work is now down to resizing and recoloring. Wherever the resizing works out best and is easiest to be done;that is the template that will remain.
Please let me know what you think. Especially if you run into some issues viewing the blogs - I must know what to fix. Comment on this post or write me a mail (Anne Frid de Vries -in one word- at yahoo dot co dot uk). Thanks in advance.