Revamped my Homepage

I decided it was time to change the homepage of my website. It wasn’t very functional with all the various blog post aggregating onto a very long, long snippet of post. Sure, perhaps it is good at catching the long tail keywords but I don’t find in my analytics very good incoming traffic from my frontpage anyway. May as well try to do something different to it.

I decided to use the simplepie newsblock demo template and hack my way to something that I could use. Wasn’t easy since I don’t have very good skill in HTML/CSS/PHP. Trying to make sense of the code and then later customizing it to what I want will take some time. Took me the better part of a day to make it the way I want it.

In addition I have no idea why the relative URL doesn’t work with my web hosting company. Tried it on another web hosting company of mine and it worked flawlessly. Just this one only. Very strange. That took me a long time to sort out, eventually decided to use the full absolute URL rather than relative URL. Turn out to work just fine this way and I could get going with customizing the newsblock template.

New Homepage Layout

I decided to make my content into patchwork style in the news block template and at the same time add in the navigator bar on the left. Now that really took a while to sort through the CSS to figure out which code refer to what. Eventually I could more or less understand what they were trying to do, and from there start to experiment with it to start customizing it.

What I did was, I had to narrow down the news block width and expand the overall page width, but not too much as not everybody got a widescreen monitor. At 1,200 pixels, most of the new PC owner would have no problem viewing my web site on their monitors. While those whose monitor that has less than 1280 pixels will need to use the window horizontal slide bar to view the left to right content.

Anyway it is just for one page only, the rest of my web site is in fluid state and most monitor from 800 pixels up should have no problem viewing most of my content. Just the main homepage will not fit in well.

I also need to try out some new PHP code that I found and also experimented on Chitika alternate ad feature. Chitika ads only show up for selected countries only so in order to avoid a little blank space (usually I just collapse the ad and other stuff will just fill in the void, but not in this homepage of mine unfortunately), I enabled the alternate ad feature. Seems that other JavaScript base ads will not work, so have to use basic HTML with affiliate link instead. At least something to fill in the gap.

Also did away with MyBlogLog and a few other sidebar thingy. They still show up on my blog though, just didn’t want to show them on the frontpage.

I have many ads on it including the poor paying Advertlets and Nuffnang. I have them because they have very catchy flash graphics; nice for decorating up the very plain newsblock template. Gave up on Bidvertiser though, I doubt it will be a good earner. And of course following the T&Cs of Kontera, no Infolinks code, just Kontera in-text ads only.

Finally add in the analytics code and do some further tweaking and admiring my final handiwork. Satisfaction indeed!

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