Tools to Prevent you “Breaking” Your Blog’s Template

The majority of people unfortunately still insist on using Internet Explorer. There are better browsers out there you know. Different browsers “read” the page that it displays in a unique way. So a page can look totally different in a different browser. Especially where layout and images are concerned. I too rarely “test” my blog and make sure that it is being “read” correctly by each browser. //engtech has created a tool that will do it for you.

//engtec is lazy unmotivated  forgets that IE exists like the rest us us when it comes to testing his blog. He gives a good description as to what can happen to IE when you add images that are to wide, I’ll leave that for you to read. So he created a Greasemonkey script that does all the checking that you need and lets you know when you have done something that will “break” your blog in IE.

As can be expected from //engtech he has some detailed instructions about customizing it to your blog to be able to use the script. It even has pictures. A very useful tool. But you should really be making sure that images fit your space as well, even for Firefox. Re-size an image to fit. If you can not do that then link to a larger image on a separate tab. Or do it in two parts. Badly done images in blogs look cheap and half arsed. But at least we don’t have to worry about IE, nice work //engtech.

For those that do not know Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to manipulate the way that a web page is displayed using JavaScript. There are tons of different scripts and applications. Plus you can do what //engtech did and write your own.

I have just noticed that //engtech’s script has no name, does any one have any ideas? ImageAlert, TempAlert, IEisBusted, BlogBrokeGMS…

engtech Blog Screenshot


RSS Fixed: With No Help from LibSyn!

Well I got the best news today, the RSS feed for Global Geek Podcast is now fixed and I fixed it!

I went to the site today and saw that we had our first comment on the page, which was great so I clicked on the comment to see what was said. The sight I saw was awful, the side bar was all screwed up! Then Sebastian had the idea that it might be the template that was corrupted in my efforts at HTML (which I am crap at…). So I thought yeah distinct possibility, so we saved the HTML code and selected the same template to use without any additions from me and looked at it and fair enough the comments page was all screwy. Bingo! The template that we had chosen was a dud.

NvuSo after choosing another template I pasted in the HTML and found that the code was different because the style sheet was different! Back to square one. So tonight I have re-coded the page from scratch and I think it actually looks better. The other thing that I did was that I used a WYSIWYG editing program called Nvu; an open source HTML editor. Great stuff really helped. I spent ages by trial and error seeing what different headings and HTML coding worked with the style sheet, then I wrote all the settings down and put everything in that I wanted. So I was really pleased with what Nvu enabled me to do, so have a go of it and support the open source community.

I will say that in my opinion the template that we choose originally should be removed as an option on Libsyn’s site. It obviously has some major flaws and is problematic for new users. The other thing is that I sent an email regarding the RSS problem over five days ago and I am yet to hear a response, other then an auto responder. I know that it has been Easter and all but I thought I might have got a reply today at the latest! The other thing is that as soon as they hear RSS and look at the template they should know that it is a misbehaving template and give advice accordingly. My advice to users is that you need to get a little HTML savy and a try different things other than email first. This is one thing that I am hoping do with Podcast Periodical, give others this advice regarding issues that I have struggled with.

An admission from myself, the original RSS being invalid was due to the fact that I had omitted a full-stop from an email address, but the problem with the RSS not being detected in browsers was a direct result of the Template.

Regardless of how I got here, “here” is a happy place.