Messing up my blog layout to fix it

I figured out that I really wanted my blog to not look like a blog. Does that make sense? I did not want a really, really long page with posts, but I also didn’t want to manually create a page, a snippet preview post, and a link for that post. My instructor said that he thought there were themes that would do what I was looking for.

I began looking. After much research I discovered that I needed:

  1. A theme that looked good
  2. A theme that supports other page templates than the “default” template
  3. A theme that supported the gallery posting option
  4. A theme that supported a custom header menu
  5. basically for the stars to align 🙂

What does all that mean? I found it all in the “Duster” template.

It looks very nice and clean

You can create a new page with a template other than the standard. (I’ll talk about that in a sec)

Different themes support different posting options. The standard options that I’ve seen are the “standard”, gallery, aside, and link.  The Gallery posting option automatically creates a snippet with a “continue reading link.”

Most themes have a “menu” option that you can create a custom menu, but most only allow you to use that menu as another widget. Duster allows you to replace the default menu with your custom menu. The custom menu can be made up of posting categories. (See where I’m going with this?)

Step by step

  1. Make the front page a static page so there won’t be a long page of posts when the user first comes on the blog.
    1. Follow the instructions here
  2. Now edit your existing posts. You need to change them to “gallery” post
    Choose Gallery Posting Format
  3. Also when you are editing your posts, put them into categories
    1. The categories will be how your posts will be divided up so make sure that you only have a few categories. My picture shows that I have many different categories because some were for testing purposes and others were misspelled, but notice that I only have 1 category checked for this post. This will place this post on the discussions page. If I had assignments checked it would be placed on the assignments page.
      Give your post a category
  4. The last thing I did was create my custom menu. This menu will display only the things that I define, which in this case will be my category titles.
    1. Click on Themes
    2. Click on Menus
    3. Create a custom menu from the list of your posts’ categories
  5. Thats all. If you’ve done it correctly, then you should have a blog that has:
    1. A static front page (one that doesn’t have a long list of blog posts)
    2. Your posts automatically sorted out into pages based upon their categories
    3. Your posts on those pages are short blurbs that have “continue reading” so the user can click to see the whole thing

If you have any problems or if you see that I’ve made a mistake up above or have a better idea, please leave a comment!

This entry was posted in Random and tagged , , , , by Michael T.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael T.

I'm a student in the Instructional Technology and Design Ph.D. program at Southern Miss. I'm also working as a multimedia developer at the Learning Enhancement Center on campus at Southern Miss. I'm married and have a 3 year old daughter. I enjoy all kinds of technology, but especially graphic design, interactive web (flash), and high quality multimedia (audio and video) technologies.

One thought on “Messing up my blog layout to fix it

  1. This is so awesome Michael and thank you for sharing how you did this. I love the navigation structure of your Blogfolio. Great Job.

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