Earlier this week a coworker complimented me on my website. Excellent! But realizing that people might actually be looking at this site, I decided I should put in a little more effort and improve some of the things that have been on the to-do list for a while. Here are the key improvements:
- Updated the layout to be flexible, not fixed width. It should work well on mobile devices, or at least better than it did before. There’s room for improvement here, but I consider it a major step forward.
- Created a custom WordPress theme to match the rest of my site. It matches very well and maintains the simple layout. The only visual clue you’re on a page served by the blog is the presence of a new sidebar off to the right. I was already employing a header-content-footer type of layout on my non-blog pages, so it was a fairly straightforward process to adopt this to WordPress.
On a related note, I’ll be taking another look at moving my hosting away from GoDaddy. The longest delay in making these changes were when my MySQL database server mysteriously went into “read-only” mode for about 24 hours (GoDaddy support responded 3 days later, not very helpful). The clincher though is just how much my blog has slowed down; I’m regularly getting load times greater than 15 seconds, which is a lifetime of wait. I had an issue like this back at the beginning of this year, and GoDaddy “fixed” it by switching me to a different type of hosting plan- though it is shared nonetheless.
To combat this, I’ll be working on moving my site over to Host Virtual. With affordable VPS hosting, I can avoid these shared hosting issues. Unfortunately, that means abandoning all of the newb-friendly controls, and learning Virtualmin/Webmin. Yikes!