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how {not} to build a blog

Friday, July 26, 2013

If you are reading this from my site (as opposed to a feed) you can see that my blog's a mess right now. I have tabs that don't apply (stock?  As in, chicken?) and buttons that lead nowhere and the whole thing is too busy and don't even try to find the date on individual posts, because friends, they just don't exist.

You have my husband to thank for my mess.

The thing is, I've been doing some writing on the side.  And I hope to be able to do something with that writing - even if it's just a little something - mostly because I feel a deep need to look outside of my own four walls every now and then.  I need to feel as though I too am throwing a penny into the fountain of life.  Not that I'm wasting my days at home, but that my day also includes contributing to something bigger than what's for dinner.  Anyway, so I'm writing, and pitching ideas, and hoping for the best.  Which means I need a little better blog layout than what I've been using.

This week my husband and I looked at budgets and designers and prices, and the verdict is ... that's probably not going to happen right now.  My budget is 85$.  Want to know what 85$ can buy you in the world of blog design?  Not much.  Also - and I don't mean this nearly as snarky as it will sound - but all of the designs that fell into my price range were just so ... cute.  My husband said, "We've landed in the smocked and frocked corner of the internet."  Indeed.  I love your smocked blogs, you guys, every bit as much as I love your smocked children.  It is just not me, you know?  Instead all of the blog layouts that appealed to me were usually gaming blogs, which is especially funny since I was not even cool enough to own Mario Kart in the 7th grade.  I'm not sure what that says about me, but there you have it.

After perusing the 568th pink and white polka dotted blog design, my husband looks up and says, "Why don't you just do your own?  You could do this."  He was obviously blinded by his undying love, and forgot he is talking to the woman who can hardly even scrape up the will to organize the top shelf of a closet, and that I only have approximately one hour of daylight to devote to my little blogging habit anyway.  And because I am a crazy, crazy person, I thought, why not?  So I have been attempting to use a free template, and customize it myself (I did not create the template - let's be clear that I have absolutely no ability to decipher and write code, unless you are talking about my five-year-old's handwriting, in which case I'm your man).  The result has been me staring at a screen waaaay past my allotted blogging hour, saying things out loud like, "How the hell do you unzip a file?"  At one point this afternoon (I wish I was exaggerating, but this actually happened) I looked up to find my daughter sitting on the baby's head, while my middle son was walking along the top of the couch and singing the My Little Pony theme song.  And I said maniacally, "SURE!  I'LL JUST CUSTOMIZE MY OWN BLOG!"

All of that to say, my site is a mess, but it's got nothing on my house right now.  Nevertheless, I remain hopeful.  I can nurse a baby while pushing a stroller, wipe a heiney while talking on the phone, and vacuum an entire house without eating a single Lego.  What's a little HTML?

But if you see my children sitting on top of the van, crowded around a jar of peanut butter, it may be time to intervene.


* * PS Two hours later, I found the perfect template - it's easy, it's clean, it's yellow and gray.  And the tutorial is written in Portugese.  * *

1 comment:

  1. It's not a mess from here. Looks clean and simple.

    When I sell a book, I plan to hire my friend Sarah. She and her hubby do amazing design work. Until then, I go with free. It's the content that matters most. But I too drool over gorgeous blogs and am not a fan of the polka dotted smocked look. Somehow, I doubt this surprises you.

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