Keeping up Appearances

CSS Editor - Text OffsetA little introspection regarding the blog itself. A couple of faults have been niggling me the last few weeks. The “WordPress Like” button from Jetpack wasn’t working properly so I wasn’t using it. The “Custom CSS” plugin (also from Jetpack) was being messed up somehow – text was offset under the line numbers making editing effectively impossible. I have been using a Child Theme to work around the latter (and probably will continue to do so), but the problem was still annoying me.

I finally tracked down the causes of both problems – the Like button fault appeared to be due to a “Lightbox” plugin, the Custom CSS fault to a Flickr plugin. Diagnosing the problem turned out to be the easy part – the hard part was finding suitable alternative plugins. I did eventually, but I’m concerned whether they will be maintained in the long term. The one thing I haven’t managed so far is to get Flickr images using the new plugin to open in the same “Lightbox” as other images on the site. I’ll return to that problem another time. Update: Flickr images (except those included in posts) now link to the full image on the Flickr website for consistency. I’m also annoyed that the “Pagers” on the new Flickr pages and Lifesteam page are noticeably different so I need to fiddle around with those more. Update: These have now been styled to be as consistent as possible.

I’ve also made a few more changes intended to resident he visual clutter, especially where the content rarely changes. The widget has gone, replaced with a Connect widget with smaller icons. The About page has been knocked into shape though. I have also removed the 500px and Picasa widgets. I really liked the 500px site when I first joined, there are some fantastic photos there, but I rarely visit now so this widget would have been rarely updated. Picasa used to be my main cloud storage and sharing site for photos but its being slowly crushed under the Google+ heel and I’m finding sharing so cumbersome that I would rather concentrate on Flickr for that.

I’ve swapped Disqus for the Jetpack commenting system. Still not sure about that, but as there are no comments yet I won’t worry too much for the time being.

The Official sharing buttons for social networks won’t work properly in Chrome, and that one is really annoying me, but I can’t track down the cause. Update: Almost immediately after posting this I found the cause – the “Disconnect” extension for Chrome – when disabled the official buttons work fine – so that’s what I’m using now.

Finally, I’ve reduced the number of posts appearing on the home page and reordered the widgets in the sidebar to balance things up a bit. Ultimately I plan to change the theme when I can find one that works well with everything (such optimism).

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