Kicking off Blaugust with Blog Template and Layout Updates

I decided to participate in Blaugust this year for the first time in a few years.  My intention is to write 1-2 posts per week.  I don't have the time in my day to day life for daily blogging at the moment, but I thought this might be a nice blogging jumpstart after being dormant since the end of last year.

Also, it really feels more important than ever to have your own little piece of the internet that you control.  With everything going on with social media lately, I thought it would be a good chance to look at this blog again with fresh eyes.

The first thing that immediately jumped out to me was that my blog's website theme isn't really up to modern standards.  It was still serving up a different specific mobile site, and that's just not how things are done anymore.  I decided it was time for a new theme.

For reference, I'm still using Google Blogger.  WordPress is actually the better toolset for owning and customizing your own blog-like site... but I used to be a professional WordPress developer and it just feels too much like work to me.  Google Blogger is extremely simple and still generally delivers decent results.  If I ever wanted to turn this site into a more fully featured SEO-driven revenue stream... I would migrate to WordPress.  But, honestly, this is just my little corner of the internet to jot down thoughts over time.  It's not meant to be a job or a source of income.

All of that to say, for the first ~14 years of my blog existing it used a customized variation of the "Simple" Blogger theme and looked like this:

You're now reading it on a much newer template.  This one is called Contempo Dark and looks more like this:

Not only does this template work and play well with all screen sizes including mobile, but I also rearranged the layout of the site to make the content front and center while pushing off other info and links into the sidebar.

If I were doing this in WordPress, or another more customizable system, I would keep tweaking and making changes.  There are a lot of improvements I see that I could make, but I'm limited by Blogger's customization options.  Just to reiterate, I see this as a feature and not a bug.  This prevents me from going too far down a rabbit hole and accidentally turning this into work.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to write about the rest of the month, but I feel like I have a good soft-reset of the site now so I'm ready for Blaugust.


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