Usually during the summer months there are some tweaks to LKL’s look. Sometimes it’s a major upgrade – a completely new theme for example. Three summers ago we upgraded from Scott Wallick’s Plaintxt templates to Thesis. Two summers ago we went down from two sidebars to one to simplify the look. Last summer we introduced the “Aside” micropost to segregate our tweet-like articles from the main content on our home page – a change which looked small but required a lot of research, as we don’t have a tame web designer.
Some changes stand the test of time, others get superseded or reversed as I make other changes or find I need to reduce the load on my server. There are plenty of other changes I’d like to make if I could find the right plugin or had a few months to spare learning how to code properly. As it is, all coding has to be fitted round generating content and of course my day job.
This year, we’ve tried to make navigation that little bit easier by bringing together in one place all the tags we use. Unpicking the Thesis coding framework to figure out how to do this, browsing the WordPress Codex to see what functions best list out the individual tags in the way I want, and researching the css necessary to style the lists in the LKL house style, has been in turns entertaining and frustrating. But as with all such projects, even though to the external eye the enhancement might be trivial, to the webmaster they are insanely satisfying.
Why have I made the change? Well, to assist in finding things, somewhere you need to list out all the keywords you use to tag your post. Given LKL’s wide remit across a range of Korean arts and culture, if we were to include all those keywords in the sidebar the front page would extend several yards below the bottom of your screen because there are 894 which I’m surfacing now, and there are plenty more under the bonnet. Further, having all the tags in the sidebar confuses search engines because they also see all those tags on every single page on the site and so can’t focus on the important part of the content.
So I’ve taken all the names of artists, musicians, writers, directors, celebs, and all the other keywords I flag posts with, and put them together on one massive Taxonomy Archive page which will be automatically updated as I add new keywords. It’s certainly a page I’ll be using a lot in order to find things.
For the moment I’ve left the post categories in that drop-down box in the sidebar, but one day I’ll have the category hierarchy and menu at the top of the page sorted to my liking and will be able to dispense with the drop-down box. But like many WordPress bloggers, there’s a bit of a geek in me and I’m always wanting to experiment.