Dec 8, 2012

Online favorites: Pugly Pixels

An accessible introduction to optimizing website design from a programming perspective.

{ Pugly Pixel's revised "Lemon Meringue" blogger template }

These last days I've been thinking about how to make The Continentalist more attractive and less...blog-like. (Because it's not like I have a million Christmas gifts left to organize and coursework piling up.) I want to manage and implement all the changes myself, so I've been looking up programming and development tutorials to find out how I can get the most out of Blogger through HTML and CSS modifications.

So I was really happy when I came across the website Pugly Pixel, because it was just was I was looking for. In the words of founder Katrina:

"Though my posts verge on cute and girly, they’re informative, and that’s just right for my audience of fashion bloggers, artists, crafters, and designers who want a gentle introduction to the technical side of blogging (i.e. HTML, CSS, and Photoshop)."

My favorite tutorial is How to create a static website. It really helped me see what can be stripped away from the blog and thus improve the design.

Katrina's templates - available on sister site Powered by Pastries - also look good. I'm actually tempted to download and modify the above-mentioned Lemon Meringue...but then again I do like the thought of doing it all myself. All in all, Pugly Pixel is well-written and fun - it's definitely worth checking out.

Thinking about redesigning the blog also convinced me that I definitely want to stay with Blogger over Wordpress. Wordpress did seem tempting for a while, but individualizing it seems disproportionately expensive to me. H uses it for his IT blog, but he has no desire to modify the template so it's well-suited for him. Pulse maintains comparison charts which outline the differences and relative advantages of the different platforms pretty succintly.

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