You may have noticed a few changes in the layout of An Sionnach Fionn today though hopefully they are not too dramatic. Why the changes? Simply a case of trying to meet reader demands. Since the start of the year the number of visitors to ASF has shot up with around 30% of those coming from outside of Ireland (and at least 50% of those having English as a second language). This has made it increasingly difficult to continue with the existing off-the-shelf WordPress “theme” I was using as the basis of the website. Frequent complaints communicated to me focused on load times, unresponsiveness, issues with language plugins for Chrome and Firefox browsers, cluttered layouts or options, etc.
While I ponder whether to move to a self-hosted website for ASF with a personalised design I have selected one of the cleaner pre-packaged WP themes and purchased an upgrade to allow me to rewrite the Cascading Style Sheets or CSS information that dictates how the website should look and respond (for those who are interested the WP theme is “Structure” by Organic Themes and I’ve changed the font styles and sizes, link attributes, the frontpage layout and a few other things initially using a private blog for testing). The cost of this and re-registering the ASF domain is €46.00 for the next twelve months which is admittedly expensive as such things go. Unfortunately the website has lost some of its bilingual settings which I will look to fix in the coming weeks. While the upgrade to editable CSS is good it is still limited by what WordPress will allow (and by my own unfamiliarity with CSS since I am more knowledgeable with HTML). So apologies for any issues you may encounter while I improve things. That includes updating my Media Library to more generic pictures since the “Structure” theme uses thumbnail images on the front page which are needlessly restricted by set sizes (annoying!).
Any comments or suggestions are welcome.