Saturday, 26 January 2013

A new look

You might have noticed that I've been messing around with the blog's appearance a bit the last weeks. Perhaps you have even been reading with sunglasses on to not be blinded by changing colours every reload, in which case I apologize in advance: I might still change some colours, but only slightly. Most of it should be done by now, though.

Blogger vs Wordpress

I've been unhappy about Ravalation's design for a few months. I was jealous at those Wordpress blogs, who somehow always seem to look professional. I even went as far as to try out Wordpress, but the limitations of their skins were larger than I thought. For instance, I wasn't able to change any colours without paying for it, and I'm way too picky to just stick with a pre-cooked one. There were none that worked exactly like I wanted, so Wordpress isn't for me.

My conclusion is that Blogger might offer less awesome-looking pre-made designs, but it has far more (free) options for customization. So I decided to stick with Blogger after all, studied some html, and the result is here!

Ravalation's transformation

In about a week, I went from
 the old well-known

to the slick, but slightly too formal

to the 'final':

I hope you like it, because I certainly hope not to see any more html the coming weeks!

Circles and stuff

Although I'm not really sure what's all about it, I linked my blog to my Google+ account. I'm new to Google+, though, and I feel really lonely with only a couple of people in my circle. If you like this blog, please consider to add me to your circles and I will follow you back!

What I like:

  • Colours! I really liked the look of 2), but it didn't have enough colour to keep me happy. I think I might suffer from a turquoise addiction.
  • I learned a lot about html so I'll be able to change most stuff whenever I feel like it. Special thanks to my friend Chris for the parts I couldn't solve myself!
  • White background for articles: I think this is easier to the eyes than white letters on a turquoise background. Please let me know if I'm wrong.
  • The banner: I love how it shows a new one each time the page gets reloaded, and I keep thinking of new ones to add to the collection.

What I don't like:

  • Tab bar bug: there's something wrong with the About me and Blogging button. I can't click either of them, and the Blogging button shows as if it's selected. I tried deleting the pages and creating new ones, but nothing works. If anyone has an idea, please let me know!

Finally: I sometimes have a tip or notice a small mistake on someone else's blog and don't feel positive about jumping in there and just throwing it around. In case anyone is having the same thing about this blog: here is the place to nag me about it. Since you are the one actually reading the stuff,

Let me know what you think!


  1. You know it's actually 3 choices, right? In addition to Blogger & there's also

    Wordpress (like Linux, Firefox, Drupal, Apache web server, etc) is open source software. If you and I were coder geeks instead of gamer geeks, we could actually work on Wordpress Core... or we could take the source code and make our own flavor or fork of it, like "Lotropress" or "Wordspice" or whatever we wanted to call it. "We," or at least *I* don't have those kinds of skills, but the Wordpress software is always free to download and install anywhere you like, like your university computer or the server farm in your backyard or on any of the popular hosting services like Dreamhost etc.

    There's a for-profit company called Automattic that uses the wordpress code to offer a freemium service called As you've already described, you can have a vanilla site there for free forever - pretty cool. And then if you want to do various things they have "upcharges."

    But you can also just install your own wordpress anywhere you want, with no upcharges for anything. There are zillions of free "themes," and also lots of premium ones. With a wordpress.ORG install there's probably 3 costs: Web Hosting, Premium Theme if you want one, and your own Domain Name if you want one. And none of the restrictions, you can go nuts with colors, fonts, themes, widgets, you can get real Google Analytics etc.

    So, iRez already has hosting. And we also probably own about a dozen premium themes by now. (and it is legal to install those themes on more than one site (usually))

    So, why don't you let us set up a site for you on the space we already have. No charge for the space and no charge for any of the themes we've got or of course any of the free ones. You/we can import all your stuff from Blogger (some post-import tweaking likely required) And you can always export from this site if at some future time you wanted to go to a different or or back to Blogger or somewhere else.

    Anyway, it's not a big deal and it won't cost us anything we're not already covering and I'd love to do this for you.

    1. Awww Van... that is so nice of you!! I would really like to give that a go. Not the whole importing stuff just yet, but seeing if I can fix something to my liking. Those coding designers over at WP are the best, I can't beat that with my homemade amateur coding.

      Nevertheless, Google offers infinite free blog space, traffic and possibilities for coding and it's all linked to your Google+ account. I must say I like the company a bit better than WP.

      So after all the hard coding work (for Rav-measurements) I've done the past week, I have the urge to sit back and enjoy looking at my blog for a bit, without jumping into a new adventure right away. I would really love to mess around with the available (old) iRez skins, though, and see what's possible, when I've caught my breath. Thanks so much for the offer!

    2. kk, just shout if / when you want to give it a shot. As you say, you don't have to import right away, or ever. On the other hand, there's no "fee" for importing - unlike early photographic subjects who feared that the mysterious box stole their soul, importing your content somewhere doesn't take it away from your other site, and it does't make the imported site your "prime" site. Your *Site* is always where you say it is, and/or where you point your URL. Sometimes it is nice to import since some of the fancier themes need a dozen posts or so in order to actually set them up with all their areas. Yes there are less complex themes and yes you could just make a few quick "Hello World" posts if you wanted.

      Blogger was good when I used it 3 years ago, and since then it's gotten even better. And for sure, whether it's MMORPG blogs or MMO-4-Girls (haha, a friend of mine once called Tumblr "4Chan 4Girls" so I guess I'm calling SL MMO4Girls now, not to marginalize or dis the many, many, awesome gamer grrls out there, but just to poke a little fun at my much loved but worst rep on the grid "fake" MMO! :P

      Did I just digress? Nah! Impossible! Anyway, be it "real" MMORPG or MMO4G, Blogger is huge in these worlds. But obviously I do love wordpress. And weirdly, given that Google owns Blogger, when iRez moved from Blogger to Wordpress, our traffic, Technorati ranking, etc, all mysteriously went way up.

      I actually switched only because Ze Moo kept bugging me to put my blog where my Free Culture / Open Source mouth was, not even knowing that I'd wind up liking better than Blogger, or that I'd later like better than

      Probably more important than all this self-indulgent rambling however, is that the new Ravalation.Blogspot Looks Great! Yay!!!

  2. I, too, was dismayed to discover the limitations of Wordpress(.com) after having started on Blogger. Others find the opposite to be the case, preferring WP. When I looked into WP, "I Have Touched the Sky" had an orange and black theme, which I could not replicate on WP without paying (I can't change colors? Really?), so I quickly returned to Blogger. I've tweaked the layout and colors several times since, incorporating suggestions from others, most recently this month. I like the ease of use and the ties to my Google+ account. While I liked your old look, this one is just fine, nice and clean.

    1. The same road I took, then! Happy to hear Ravalation's new look is Rowan-proof! :D

  3. You could have put it in orange with brown lettering and I still would have been a fan. :D ...however, I do like the new one better. As you say, white lettering is not as easy to see.

    Your site was already one of my favorites, and you just keep making it better.

    If I did that right, I have now "circled" you also in Google+ (whatever that means, I'm still not quite sure).

    1. Hmm, orange and brown... Any specific blog in mind? :P (j/k)

      I'm happy you like the white better and yay for circles - much nicer than squares, or something!


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