Since I’m reviving the blog, I decided to give it a good going-over, in terms of theme, plugins and other aesthetics / tools I’m using.
The most notable change: I’ve switched from Fluid Blue to F2, both by SriniG. I really like the straightforward, clean appearance of Srini’s templates; when it comes to Web design, I am decidedly minimalist.
I’m inclined to agree with Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, authors of Trust Agents, when they strongly suggest having a personalized blog template. Experience certainly tells me that packaging and logo is vital to building any brand.
Truth be told, I can’t make anything anywhere near as nice as F2, and I’m too cheap to hire someone who could. Maybe, someday, I’ll trade a Web designer, programming for design. If you’re interested, let me know. Anyway, I like the new look, which I’ve hacked a bit, mostly by keeping all the fonts sans-serif.
I’ve also turned off several plugins. As previously noted, WP-PostRatings was not very popular. AskApache Google 404 did not deliver the SEO optimization I expected, and is a bit too ugly out of the box for my taste; I didn’t want to invest the time it would take to make it look pretty.
Global Translator is really just some buttons to use various online translation services. It does provide a local caching mechanism, which is why I installed it in the first place: I wanted to have the search engines index my posts in multiple languages.
But I couldn’t get the cache to work properly, which caused all kinds of 404 errors (which, again, AskApache Google 404 didn’t really help to fix). To top it off, the translation services were translating my code blocks, rendering them useless. Again, I could hack these problems myself, but since visitors can use the same services Global Translator uses, I decided to simply scrap it.