I was excited to read that one of our assignments for this Collection would be to continue customizing our sites. Since I had transferred over my entire ONID blog for this course, it was already pretty “blinged out.” I suppose you could say I was attached to the old layout, but it was time for a change!
The first thing to change was the theme and overall layout. I discarded the old theme, “Flat,” for the more modern look of “Solon.” Along with the theme came a new landing page (most recent blog entries instead of the About Me page) and a new sidebar (complete with new Widgets).
Using Twitter’s handy-dandy timeline Widget configurator, I was able to embed a Twitter feed for #nousion in my sidebar. I also added a Widget for my most recent posts and links to my social media. I decided to keep my Blog Roll for quick access to my classmates’ work. Fun fact: the new theme came with a built in Widget for using icons to link to your social media by creating a Social Menu.
Most of my time spent was updating my navigation toolbar. Because I’m adding all of my ED654 work to my existing portfolio, my navigation was starting to get a little unorganized. For my own preferences, I got rid of almost all of my pages. Before, I was copying and pasting information from my blog post to a page to make it show up in navigation. In hindsight, that was a terrible idea.
Not only was it a lot of extra work for myself to duplicate everything and manually have to change the page if I made edits to the post, but it also made it difficult for anyone keeping track of comments using an RSS feed.
To remedy this, I spent a lot of quality time with my Menus. I knew I wanted to organize my portfolio by course, so I began by creating Categories. Now, if you click on one of the course codes in navigation bar, it will show you all blog posts listed under that code (the only catch is you have to remember to select a category when posting).
The most time-consuming part came next. Instead of using pages, I began building my menu by placing custom links under each category. The custom links in this case were the URLs for each individual blog posts. It was a tedious set up, yes, but now everything (the post and the comments) will be centralized in one area. Any edits I make will reflect whether you access the post by scrolling back in time through old entries or by going directly through the navigation bar. Bonus: I was also able to write Title Attributes (aka hover labels) that will help keep my site ADA accessible!
As long as I continue making edits to the menu for each post, I’ll easily be able to keep on top of everything. I’m sure there are easier ways to go about this, but it’s only an additional two minutes of my time to add sub-links to my navigation.
Overall, I’m happy with my newly blinged-out blog.