The Lope: Site Changes

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Site Changes

I did some site maintenance these past few days. In response to reader requests, I added a search bar. I had periodically tried using the Blogger search bar but it never worked, so I added a google one.

This pointed out another flaw: labels. Labels seemed like such a good idea when Blogger introduced them. Attaching them to all posts of a certain category seemed very user-friendly, and it would have been if the Blogger label system produced a menu of all posts under a label, but instead it simply produced all posts under a given label in reverse order.

This caused a slow-down in publishing, as a post would have to publish under its own name, its monthly archive (I may get rid of those, too), and whatever labels it was also under. For some reason, blogger wants to republish every single post, including the labels, when I post anything. In a few cases, I would try to publish an update on an issue (i.e. El Vado) as I travelled, only to see publishing fail over and over again due largely to this bulk.

The last straw was that search engines would often latch onto the contents of a post under one of its label identities. This meant that if google chose to index an older post under a label I used often, a viewer would have to swim thorough all of the more recent posts to see it. This became darn near impossible with some of the more inclusive labels (i.e "Kansas"), even for users with fast computers and great connections.

So, I eliminated all labels last night. This will create a problem for awhile as some of the other websites and discussion boards linked to some of the label categories; as did search engines. The search engines should re-index in a few days.

I already see a couple flaws in the search bar system, namely that it latches onto the "previous posts" titles. It's too bad you can't fine-tune the way a search engine works on your site...hmm.


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