Feedback Wanted: Changes to Blog?


Dear Readers,

It may be hard to tell, but I’ve made extensive changes to Cerulean Sanctum in the last two weeks. Much of this WordPress-based site has been rebuilt:

1. New or revised plugins

2. New SEO features and optimization

3. Rebuilt .htaccess server file

4. Revised caching schemes

5. And on and on…

If you notice any oddities in the blog now, please let me know. With so many different browsers out there today, the chance that something won’t render correctly goes up. Your feedback is critical.

Also, if something about this blog’s operation, accessibility, or look bugs you, please let me know. Content? Well, that’s another matter.  😉

And if you’re a Web whiz, any feedback you can provide on how to get Internet Explorer to properly render the shadow for the Cerulean Sanctum title in the clouds banner would be much appreciated. I’ve tried every CSS fix I can find online and nothing works. Firefox users definitely see the proper shadowing (not sure about Chrome or Opera, though I think they work), but IE users get just plain white text, which can get lost in the banner. Thanks!

Blog Post Printing Re-Enabled


At one point, individual posts here could be printed in their own print page, which included the full list of embedded links within a post.

That feature, which broke when I restyled the site last year, is now repaired.

You can’t print from the front page, but if you click on a link to an individual post, the print option is available near the end of the single post.

Sorry that the text is a bit bunched together. The CSS for the text indents works, but I can’t seem to get it to work right for line spacing between paragraphs (margin and padding CSS aren’t working, for some reason). But hey, it saves paper, right?  😉

The New Look—Your Thoughts Wanted


If you’ve followed Cerulean Sanctum for a while, you know that the blog got a facelift last week, with more tweaks having come this week.

One of the major new features is that I’ve gone with the typography I like, a combo of the Carolingia and Fontin Sans fonts. Those are not typical, Web-safe fonts, but you see them because of recent CSS protocol updates and newer browsers that interpret the @font-face command. The New Look of Cerulean SanctumThis allows remote loading of fonts that may not have been installed locally on the surfer’s computer. By caching them on the server and in the browser, they load quickly. As this is a recent capability of modern browsers, if you would like to know more—especially about the travails and gotchas with embedding fonts—leave a comment. (If the page you are seeing doesn’t resemble the image at right, let me know. I have not tested for Internet Explorer 6 or Google Chrome, which I have heard both have some issues with @font-face. As for IE 6, please dump that dog right away and at least go to IE 7, though 8 is available.)

Cerulean Sanctum now runs the Sophia child theme for Thematic, a modern theme framework. Highly search engine optimized, this theme should return better, higher-ranked results in Google and Bing. And trust me, I’ve been looking at themes for a few years now, so finally finding a theme that was simple yet powerful and with solid SEO was a chore.

More than anything else, I wanted to improve the loading times and readability of the blog. The text is larger than before and with better whitespace use. Speed boosts come from the more efficient theme, killing some sidebar stuff no one used, some tinkering by me on the back end, and switching from WP Super Cache to W3 Total Cache. Altering the future expires settings and some other .htaccess file tricks also help. (If you would like to know more about tweaking WordPress blogs, please leave your question in the comments below.)

If you have any feedback, please let me know! Especially if what you see looks bad or wrong. I already altered the header image because some folks were “blinded” by the graduated transition from white to blue, so I hope that helped.

A few minor tweaks are still in the works, but I’ve already spent considerable time on the upgrade and other duties call.

Thanks for being a reader.