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Restoring the old Pages from Sages layout

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A First Attempt for the Layout

I have been playing with the licensed version of Elementor a bit. One of the best features which the license gives is the ability to create templates. It is this feature that I need to recreate the old Pages from Sages template.

2020-05-26-PfS-Test-Site-Layout

Problems to Overcome

There are of course a couple of problems which have to be overcome. So far I have identified three of them:

  1. The widgets on the right side of the page (see the above picture) is a default WordPress setting. From what I have learnt I cannot change it’s template as I was able to with the header. I still have to try though and knowing myself I am pretty sure to come up with a solution 😉
  2. 2020-05-26-PfS-Test-Site-Scroll-TopThe other problem I found is resizing the browser screen. At a certain point the knobs of the scrolls face out of alignment with the paper holder itself. Resizing it even further will reset the scroll to it’s normal appearance. This problem comes from the way I have setup the page itself (it is not a template❗) and I have to see if I can lock the width of the knobs. If that’s not the case I need to try to make the top and bottom of the scroll a template – perhaps I should try that first 🤔
  3. Last but not least there’s the problem of exporting everything from the test site to the life site. The main one is that I am only able to export the templates and not the pages. For this reason I should make all content pages a template as written above. But still then, having done so there are still pages which have to be exported 🙁

Masonry or Cards?

Representation of the landing page is extremely important. Remember the old layout where a couple (5 iirc) of full post were shown (I was too lazy to write an excerpt in PHP 😳). This made you navigate through the posts with the ‘Recent Posts’ and the ‘Categories’ options on the right (widget) site. There was no search option (which reminds me that I forgot it on the test site) as well as no archive and/or calendar (I made a start coding the last one).

WordPress gives the feature to show the posts excerpts and Elementor makes it even better! This certainly makes the blog more accessible than the old one ever was. Add to that the enhanced searching options WordPress gives and the blog will be better than ever!

2020-05-26-PfS-Test-Site-Masonry

There are some choices though to make for the landing page. The excerpts on it give me the choice between masonry (as shown to the right) or cards which are all the same size. For me both are okay(ish) though I think masonry is a bit messy, while cards make the site feel more static. This both comes from the number of words used as excerpt. Right now it is set to 35 (you can can them if you want to 😜), which I think is a good number. Using fewer words might allow me 3 more posts and making it an even number. This will make the site look a bit better on mobile devices as well.

Couple of Writing Style Changes

You might have noticed a couple of changes in both the way I write this as well as those weird green headers. This is because I am using a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) engine. It shows me things which wrong to my posts and how to better them. Where all the old posts were as badly optimized for search engines, this one is a lot better already (oddly enough, most of the hints the SEO gives I was already using on my About Alexa blog). This doesn’t mean that I will change the overall tone of my posts. Feeling a lot better than I did in the past they will certainly be way more positive!

When Will it be Life?

Yes, that is the €100.000 question for sure. Being busy with both the conversion of the blog and recreating the layout I cannot set a date yet. Obviously I want it to be life as soon as possible and have that old look & feel again, but there are just so few hours that I can work on both and I need to divide the time I have available. Spending too much time on the blog will certainly burn me out, which in turn causes depressions and in turn a massive delay. Easy going is key here!

That’s it for now about the template update. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comment section below. As long as I am working on it, it is a lot easier to implement your suggestions than when the new layout is already up & running.

As always, with love Alexa 💋😘

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