Project #4 - Web & Blog Updates (The 12 UFO projects of Christmas)

Sunday, December 15, 2013
This is the Fourth project in The 12 UFO projects of Christmas. An explanation of what I'm doing and a list of all projects can be found here.

Project #4 - Website and blog updates

Reason for UFO status: A website with a blog is a perpetual UFO. There is always something that needs to be updated, fixed or written.

It takes a fair amount of time to write web pages and blog posts. It takes even more time to solve coding problems with html, php or css. So here's a sampling of recent fixes and updates:

Blog updates:
  • Blogger "About Me" - Finally got around to deciding out what I wanted to say and then writing a few sentences for the About Me section of the blog. It's a succinct and accurate statement of my crafting philosophy.

    Blog fixes:
  • The Google search box widget on my blog wasn't working. Google widgets stop working periodically and normally I don't have to do anything because Google fixes them before I even know they're broken. This time I noticed because I regularly search my blog to find old posts that I want a link for - so I went looking for a solution. I found this resolution - Is Your Search Box Gadget Broken?, which works, but I prefer the way Google's search widget displayed results so I'm going to have to remember to check back and see if Google has solved the problem.

    Updates for mobile devices:
    I tested my website and blog on a couple of mobile devices and overall everything looks and functions well. However, I did find some issues that needed to be corrected:

  • Homepage - The homepage of my website wasn't centering on mobile devices so I had to research how to vertically center a div (a coding tag that defines a division or a section in an HTML document). I found this well written blog post about Vertical Centering with CSS which solved the problem.
  • Additionally, the drop down menu of my navigation bar wasn't working and it took awhile to track down why - it's because the touch interface of mobile devices doesn't support the :hover selector. On computers you use the mouse and "hover" to drop down new menu levels but phones and tablets use only "touch" so some of my site navigation didn't work right on a mobile device. I want my website to be viewable across multiple platforms and this problem had the potential to become a MAJOR code rework or even a site redesign. Luckily, I found an easy and quick fix here that appears to be working.

    Website update:
    Through the years I've participated in a number of art installations so I've highlighted this activity on my website with a new section.

    Final Thoughts: I wanted to complete a couple of updates to my blog and website but wound up fixing more things than I updated! That's par for the course though when it comes to computer/web work.