10 quick things you can do to your subtext blog

This is a quick stop gap as I am going to be carrying on my skinning articles. I was going to wait until the newer version of subtext was released but after all the emails I decided to just go for it. Previously I had all  articles written but due to a hardware failure I unfortunately lost all of them. I will be starting from scratch following my own article number 1. Watch this space.

I must iterate that doing any of the following can break your installation.  Always backup before making any changes

Add “nofollow” to your comments.

Open up the skins directory that your blog is using. Within the controls directory there is a “comments.ascx” control. We open this control and look for the following line:

<asp:hyperlink runat="server" id="NameLink" />

to the following:

<asp:hyperlink runat="server" id="NameLink" rel="NoFollow" />

here

Add a print friendly cascading style sheet

It’s not difficult and is surely needed if you write long articles.

Reduce the amount of cascading style sheets that your skin uses.

This all depends on the skin you’re using as I recon I could get my current skin down to 5 style sheets.

  1. Print friendly
  2. Component Sheet
  3. IE 6 Specific
  4. FF Specific
  5. System Style Sheet

If you look at the source of your site you will notice some “system” cascading style sheets.  My current skin has the following:

<link media="screen" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="/scripts/lightbox.css"></link>
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="/scripts/XFNHighlighter.css"></link>
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="/skins/_System/csharp.css"></link>
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="/skins/_System/commonstyle.css"></link>
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="/skins/_System/commonlayout.css"></link>

Now I could take time to look through these style sheets to see if I actually need any of the contents.  If the contents are needed then I could place them in either the “component” sheet I mentioned above or the “System” one, reducing 5 to 2, and removing any redundant classes.  Again this all depends on your css ability and the skin you’re using.  My advice is to get a local copy of your blog running locally and play about with the style sheets used in your blog.

Gzip and compress your Cascading style sheets

In this article Simone Chiaretta is challenged by Mads Kristensen to try and bet his Yslow score.  Simone implements a nice css handler, check out the article.

 

Check your design against a basic mistake list

Not a day goes by that I view a website in I.E. 6 (work) and the page is just a mess, this is only one of the many things worth checking out.

Add a Flickr block to your “sidebar”

I just realised that I haven’t put up an article for the source download/dll and an overview. I will do it.

Allow “cocomment” support

Using coComment, you can now keep track of all the comments and discussions your are participating in or observing on the web. When someone adds something to the comment stream or discussion, you’ll be notified. And, if you’re a blogger, you can display the comments you make elsewhere back on your own blog. http://www.cocomment.com

Enabling co-comment is very easy to do, however, I.E 6 seems to crash on my site if i enable this.  Not sure if it’s just my site of if there is a bug somewhere?

Within your subtext admin area -> options ->Comments ->Enable CoCommentSupport

cocommentadmin

For every post on my site a new box appears below the comment box.

Co Comment Support

 

I think the idea behind this is fantastic but right now I have disabled it due to my site crashing out on I.E 6. If anyone else has I.E 6 and does tests please let me know if the same happens to you.

Add some badges to your sidebar

site links As you can see I have additional link/images in my side bar.  I have added my funky podcasts, Image Galleries, technorati button and finally changed my rss button. If by default a link isn’t shown then following the will point you in the right direction.  I can’t recall what is shown by default.

Within the skins -> Your skin name -> Controls there is a MyLink.ascx usercontrol. This is the control we edit to add/hide/remove links.  I would recommend making a backup of this file and infact any other file you plan on changing incase things go wrong.

If you open this control you will see a div that has a class called links attached to it.  Within this div there is an unordered list.

<div class="links">
        <ul style="list-style-type:none;">
            <li>
                <asp:hyperlink cssclass="Home" runat="server" navigateurl="~/Default.aspx"text="Home" id="HomeLink" /></li>
            <li>
                <asp:hyperlink cssclass="archives" runat="server" navigateurl="~/Archives.aspx" text="Archives"    id="Archives"/>
            </li>
<li><a href="http://podcasts.siphilp.co.uK" title="My Funky house podcasts">My Funky Podcasts</a></li>
                      <li>
                <asp:hyperlink cssclass="Contact" runat="server" navigateurl="~/Contact.aspx"  text="Contact" id="ContactLink" /></li>
<li>
<a href="http://technorati.com/faves?sub=addfavbtn&amp;add=http://siphilp.co.uk"><img src="http://static.technorati.com/pix/fave/btn-fave2.png" alt="Add to Technorati Favorites" border="0" style="margin-top:2px;" /></a>
</li>
            <li>
                <asp:hyperlink cssclass="Syndication" runat="server"
                    id="Syndication"><img src=http://www.siphilp.co.uk/images/icons/rss_feed.gif alt="RSS Feed (www.siphilp.co.uk)" style="border:none;margin-top:2px;" /></asp:hyperlink>
            </li>
        </ul>
    </div>

This is a cut down version of my control, what we’re focusing on is each <li></li>. To add a link to the site We just need to find where we would like to put it, find the closing </li> of the previous item and add in our link. Simple.

 

Submit a sitemap to google

If you have a google account make sure to take advantage of the sitemap facility that can be found under

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/siteoverview

Just add your site map:

http://Yourdomain.com/sitemap.ashx

Add goggle analytics

Google analytics is free and can be used as a very powerful marketing tool.

https://www.google.com/analytics/home/?hl=en

Here you can create an account and through the wizard will result in a piece of javascript code that you place on your site.

Within the root of your website you will see a file called dtp.aspx.  If you open up this in a text editor and copy paste the javascript code just before the </body> tag.