How Not to Update Your Blog

Yes I screwed-up yet another theme for One Foot In Reality and had to start from scratch twice in the last 24 hours.  Which totally sucks.  This is an update from my post earlier in the day.

I was not happy with the load times of the blue theme that I have been using lately or to put it bluntly it was slower than molasses on a winter day and that was one of the major reasons that I tried out Blogger’s new Dynamic Views themes.  So I was looking around for similar themes that would load faster than that “speeding bullet” I had for a theme.

Last night while I was trying out some different themes and the new updated Blogger interface was being a lot wonky and wasn’t letting me upload different .xml files (themes) to my “dummy” blog.  Sometimes the old interface works for things when the new doesn’t, so I while I was in into my dummy theme blogger account, I switched to the old interface.  When I switched, what I didn’t realize – (yes it was late and I was tired) that it had switched me to One Foot In Reality’s live blog on the old interface and I just automatically went into the design tab.

Old style Blogger Interface

Then I went ahead and uploaded the theme that I wanted to try out, after a few minutes of looking at code, I looked at the blog – an saw One Foot In Reality in the header the and a totally screwed up sidebar.

I was just a little frustrated when I Tweeted:

Tweet about my screw-up

I had just loaded the experimental theme to my live blog, because I hadn’t paid attention when I switched from the updated Blogger interface to the old interface.  I thought no problem, I will just go and use the latest backup copy that I had been creating as I had been making back-ups of the changes to the code on the theme I had been using right along.

Big problem was that even though I thought I had been making new backup copies, for some reason all those changes didn’t save = FRUSTRATION!!!!! especially at almost 11:30 at night. I was tired and was getting ready to go to bed just before this happened.

That screw-up meant that I had a choice to either go back and fix all the stuff that I changed in my old theme that was slower than pounded pud or attempt to modify the new theme and see how that did.  I decided to go with the new theme and was up until 1:15 A.M to get it working (mostly) on my live blog – I couldn’t leave my blog looking the way it did – it was horrible.  Then this morning I did some more work on it.

I like the EcoMode theme, the colors and how everything goes together really well.  I was even able to get rid of the like me on Facebook in the sidebar – that is a different blog post about Facebook I am working on.

One Foot In Reality’s new Eco-Mode theme

However, I have two problems with this EcoMode that I just haven’t been able to figure out:

  • My pages bar – I can’t get it work in the horizontal bar where I want it to be and when I delete it off the code page, Blogger continues to tell me that I still have my Pages widget in use.   Arrrgggggghhhh.  I did a work-around for now by using the Links widget and calling it a Page widget, but that is not what I want as a permanent solution.  I want to have my Pages in the horizontal dark green line above the posts, where I think they belong.  This could be a deal breaker for this theme.
  • The second thing is putting a picture behind the header, whoever wrote the code has it so it should have a banner advertisement on the right hand side of the header, which I don’t use.  I just can’t seem to figure out how to make it a full size header, so I can use/change headers with the seasons.

The header thing I could probably live without fixing, but the pages bar just isn’t the way that I want it and would probably lead me to move to a different theme.  Once I get these two things figured out, I have a feeling that I will like this theme quite a bit, it loads much quicker than the blue theme and I like some of the modifications that I was able to figure out on my own.

Yes I was a BIG dummy last night, but I have a feeling that it might work out for the best, if I can get this these two issues worked through.  If anyone has any ideas that might help me on this I would appreciate your ideas or suggestions.

Lessons learned:

  1. When moving between the new and the old Blogger interfaces, make sure which blog I am actually on.
  2. Don’t look at possible changes to the blog after 10:00 P.M. – setting myself up for problems.
  3. Double-check to make sure that the back-ups that I am making are actually working – saves a hell of a lot of work.
  4. Someday, I swear that I am going to spring for a real premium theme and have someone that knows what they are doing build be a theme I will be happy with.

Oh well back to reality and playing with the code on the free themes, until I hit the lottery.

Update:  I decided that the I could not get by with the work-around that I had done for the EcoMode Theme and decided to go with the My Blogger Tricks – Church Theme.  I have been incorporating many of the widgets from My Blogger Tricks and liked the way that this theme looked and loaded on my blog.  I think I have it about 90% done after working on it since around noon time.

The only think I don’t really like is that is not a magazine style blog and have to manually break the pages for the landing page.  Other than that I am very happy with the results.

Take a peak over at My Blogger Tricks, it has a lot of great stuff for Blogger based bloggers.

How do you like it?


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