Design Review: Blogging Bits

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Blogging BitsBlogging Bits is the blogging advice site run by Mohsin. What sets Blogging Bits apart from the hundreds of other meta blogs is the style he writes in.

You won’t find another site quite like it. If it suits your tastes, you may find his advice more interesting to read than some of the more dry alternatives.

The blog was redesigned not long ago, and his comments here have certainly earned him a review, so here goes.

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Why Post Images Should be on the Left

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lefty.jpgDepending on your blog’s topic, post images can encourage reading. But where do we place those images? On the left or the right?

A common response to this is to place the content on the left, because Westerners read from left to right. That is true, and it does play a role in the decision, but not always in the way you would expect.

The Left Logic

Images work because they draw attention. The visual interest draw the user’s eye towards the picture, and hence the post. However, once the eye has been drawn, where does it go from there?

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13 Tags to Delete From your Theme

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Snip the superflous. Free themes are designed to be as easy to install as possible. You simply upload your theme, activate it, and you’re done. It knows your blog’s name, description, feed URL and everything else.

In order to know all of this, the theme uses PHP tags to get the information. However, it has to use these tags every time a page is loaded.

As most of the information never changes, you can delete these tags from your theme, and replace them with normal text. That way, your server has less to process next time around.

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Design Review: Freelance Switch

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freelanceswitch.com design Freelance Switch is the blog that everyone wants to have. In just 6 months, Collis and his team have taken it from 0 to 15,000 subscribers. It began by giving advice to freelancers, but has quickly developed into a job board, a forum, a book, and more. It has become a one-stop shop for freelancers.

And what’s more? It has a stunning design! So naturally when it was redesigned this week, the candidate for the weekly blog review was obvious (Though it has added to that Year of the Redesign feeling!).

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5 Tips to Get the Best From Your Designer

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Communicate via phone. If you’re after the perfect theme for your blog, odds are that you’ll be hiring a custom theme designer. Unfortunately, footing the bill isn’t enough to get you that perfect dream. You need to be able to work well with the designer, or it’s all going to waste.

Getting the right information and goals to the designer is key to success. If the two of you aren’t on the same wavelength though, problems will arise. Fast. Who wants to fork out a good few hundred dollars and not get exactly what they needed in return?

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Convince Ad Blockers to Turn Your Ads Back On

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Ad block no ads. As bloggers, many of us rely on adverts for income. A new danger is shadowing that income though; the ad blockers. We have already asked whether ad blocking is moral or not, but regardless of the answer, people will continue to use it.

If you’re looking to protect your income, you need a solution to this problem. Blocking all FireFox users is not a good solution, and even blocking only those using the extension isn’t ideal either.

The Answer Is To Hide an Image

In the morality discussion, we came to the conclusion that whilst ad blocking may not be moral, and while it may damage the internet as a whole, it will continue to be used because it suits individuals. And therein lies the answer.

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Is Ad Blocking Immoral? Does it Matter?

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Adblock Plus Adblock Plus is an extension to the FireFox browser that let’s you selectively block adverts. It is a rather advanced plugin with many options, but is it moral to use? Or is it stealing from bloggers?

The New York Times have given some facts behind the extension. Between the details of what exactly ad blocking is, and how it relates to various business models on the internet, one quote in particular stands out, “300,000 to 400,000 new users each month.” Is that figure worrying or to be expected?

There are some strong opinions for both sides of the debate. For instance, one article says that ad blocking is not only moral, but needed, whilst another has replied back with the counter side.

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