Guest Author - Winsome Tapper
Blogs are the new cool thing to have; but why? Well what is now called a blog emerged from the term web log, a textual website where entries were written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order. A blog typically provides news, commentary on a particular subject with links to other blogs, and web pages and resources related to the blog.
Web logs have become more than just pages of commentary and links, webs logs are used by businesses to keep in touch with customers, as a newsletter, where readers may or may not be able to post comments. Other blogs serve as personal diaries and still others serve as a way to keep in touch with family and friends through pictures, videos and even music.
Blogs have become important features of many businesses especially since they are indexed by the major search engines, providing the same search engine exposure and ranking as a regular website. Thus, instead of having limited email newsletter exposure, companies and individuals have blogs that can be found by other customers in need of goods, services and shared experiences.
There are many different Blogs sites to host a blog. Some of the more popular ones are Blogger, Movable Type, and a company that recently went live, Soaplogs. I created a simple free website using Soaplogs that took me a day or two to complete MiOolala . Soaplogs is a blogging host that targets the handmade crafts market. I found Soaplogs easy to navigate and setup using their templates.
Eventhough the interface was reasonably easy to setup using templates on Soaplogs my only criticism of the site was that I found it lacking in detailed help if one needed to change the code for the blog. Despite this small detractor, I think it still is an easy setup once one understands how to further change the code for a more customized appearance. To this end, I have created brief instructions on how to edit your blog on Soaplogs.
How to edit Soaplogs
First one has to pick a template. This is relatively easy to do. On the welcome page are various links to the different editing areas of the blog which gives options to pick the layout, background graphic and template style of the blog. If you intend to edit the code of the blog then colors and background graphics can be changed afterwards. At the end of any changes, do remember to follow the directions to save the changes.
ONCE LOGGED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT
To edit AUTHOR information
Author information is kept in the sidebar usually to the extreme left or right top of the blog below the banner. It features a small graphic which is just a placeholder to show you where your own graphic for AUTHOR information would be placed. This is a good spot for a little welcome message or a blurb to your audience about the site.
Add your information to the box. You may change the font color by clicking on the tiny palette above the form box. I had to first select the text to be changed, and then click on the palette box to change the text color. Next, change the default blank graphic in the author information panel. Make sure the graphic replaced is no larger than 120 x 160 pixels.
To add a banner - after logging into account GOTO---INFORMATION---LOGO browse to locate the image on your computer, then upload. The typical size for a banner is between 700-800 pixels width and 150 pixels high. Play with the graphic and the space to find the exact size. If the size of the logo is different from the table space of the website, the table size maybe changed so that the two are uniform.
To Directly Edit the Code
To customize colors and table sizes and fonts, THE CODE HAS TO BE CHANGED. I would caution anyone who is not an expert to first copy the existing code and place it in a Notepad document for safekeeping. The rationale for this is that if you make a mistake with your coding or you need to change back to the original design at least you can replace the messed-up code with the correct one on file.
GOTO-----SETTINGS-----DESIGN-----(scroll to bottom of the page)---CLICK HERE TO EDIT THE CODE OF YOUR BLOG.
COPY the code and PASTE it in a Microsft Office Notepad document and save as a regular text file. So, this is your back-up copy just in case the changes are not to your liking you can always revert to the original file. Right clicking is disabled so place the cursor in the code box and goto your browser toolbar and click on EDIT--SELECT ALL---COPY, then paste copied code in a Notepad document.
The first thing I did before editing the code was to figure out what the actual hexadecimal color values were for the different tables, backgrounds and fonts so that I could freely edit the pages of the blog updating what I needed to change and keeping what I did not. I had no idea what the different colors were so I downloaded a little tool called the Color Picker so I could sample the colors from the website and look in the code and see where those colors were so I could change them. This is an option if you need to make changes to font colors, background colors and table colors. After changing some of the values, remember to save the page.
Create your free blog on Soaplogs.
For more information on how to edit your blog visit CSS (cascading Style Sheets) tutorials at W3 Schools CSS Tutorials and HTML help W3Schools.