Rennovating this Blog: Seven Goals as I Re-look at my Blogging

About every year and a half, I give my blog a facelift. I've been working on it today but it is late and I'm not going to be done.

I will say that the new blogger template is so good, that I did get rid of the almost completely hand coded site. I still have a lot of custom html that I wrote in the side widgets, but blogger does now have “pages” which looks a bit like wordpress. And it has more templates and functions a little more like weebly on the back end.

Anyway, I haven't finished reinstalling the disqus comments and may just go back to blogger, although I had many times that people reported that the blogger comments didn't show. Right now the many disqus comments aren't showing, but I will figure out how to get them back up on here, I'm just too tired tonight.

Also doing some things to improve the speed and improve my statistics on the back end.  When I do this, I dissect many of my favorite blogs and emulate some of the tips and tricks “under the hood.”  When I see if these things work for me, I'll be sure to clue you in.  For now, just wanted you to know I'm working on things and if you have any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions, I'm all ears!

Thank you to all of you who make this blog a joy.  It is always wonderful to blog because you all “blog right back at me” in the comments and teach me.  Thank you so much for making this such a great place to share.

This Year's Goals of My Blog Redo
For me, my primary goals are:

  1.  A cleaner, more updated look to the blog
  2. Faster load time by getting rid of the extra items in the sidebar
  3. Use of pages so information on subscriptions, me, and contact me is easier to find
  4. A cute “Twitter” type app on the homepage (I made with widgetbox.)
  5. Better statistics tracking so that I can respond to your tweets, links, etc. – Technorati just doesn't work any more, so I'm testing some new stat tracking services.
  6. Relooking at all of the code to make sure that it is all necessary.
  7. I'd like to use the categories and carve out feeds for different categories for those who may just want to pull out one primary topic here. This may take some time and probably won't happen until July.

When Will I Go to a Domain Name?
Every time I redo this, I have people tell me I need an “official” domain name.   I do own and have my information posted there, however, from my days with search engine optimization – it is almost impossible to change a URL without losing links and traffic. It is just what happens. I know lots of great bloggers have done it, but I don't have the energy nor time right now to move, so I'm staying put here.

How about WordPress?
I know that wordpress has tons more features and most people think that is for serious bloggers. However, for me, I'm staying here and just doing some hand coding. It is not for everyone, but for me, it is working just fine.

Any other thoughts or suggestions that have worked for you?

Now, if I can just figure out how to add Tweet meme at the top of my post again, I'll be happy!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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John Spencer June 20, 2010 - 3:24 am

I dig the new layout. It’s clean and reflects your blog’s personality. Simplifying is hard – a journey that I am trying to figure out on my own blog.

I wouldn’t worry about the domain name. Some of the most prolific bloggers have hosted domains (i.e. so it really comes down to the content.

Healigan June 20, 2010 - 4:52 am

Very easy to read, a real updated look. I am tryjng todevide if I should start a personal blog on tumblr for the stuff that does not fit either of my teacher blogs. Many of my students use it so I want to see why it works for them. I too think blogger is like a maytag– not alot of Bells & whistles, but then again, almost nothing can go wrong either.

Alan June 20, 2010 - 4:52 am

The new theme is looking beautiful! Much more modern, cleaner, and less cluttered.

If that’s an example of the new blogger templates and you can have pages, the differences from wordpress (though I am more biased to WP) are likely not significant for what you need.

Great work on the redesign.

Tips June 20, 2010 - 6:09 am


U have a good blog. i love reading this blog.
I have more article about domain. U can change you blog name to you name.
I you like you can read at here.

Melissa June 20, 2010 - 11:56 am

LOVE, love, love the new look already! Very clean and simple.

Cheryl Oakes June 20, 2010 - 11:56 am

I am liking the look. Thanks for being transparent as you make your changes.

Sherry Valenti June 20, 2010 - 5:21 pm

I am facilitating a class that teaches teachers how to blog and use it in their classrooms, and I found your post very helpful. I posted it to my blog to show them that a blog is a work-in-progress and shouldn’t be static.
As we start our blogging journey, it’s great to get “permission” to renovate our blogs, too!

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Mineral July 12, 2010 - 10:14 pm

Your blog is amazing. I am taking online classes through Drexel U and we have read a couple of your posts… and I started my own blogspot because as a future teacher, I feel that I need to use some of the stuff my kids will be expected to know and use. Thanks for all your amazing posts!

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