Well, after a number of Internet years, I thought Fridays needed a new online face lift. I hope you like the new TGIF wildlife adventure view. All I can say is TGI Fridays today.
So, after searching the Internet high and low, north and south, east and west, leaving no online stone unturned (well, maybe a few) I came upon a cool Web graphic from Final Sense that I thought would work in a new blog website. I really like some of the images that Final Sense uses on their free Blogger templates. They provide cool templates for Classic Blogger (Blogspot) and also the new XML Blogger templates. Final Sense had this beautiful kick back and relax, old-fashion classic Duma adventure yarn wildlife view, that I thought would be perfect for the new Fridays. However, I was looking for a little bit of a wider template to use, and since I could not find one already pre-made for Blogger Classic, I decided to customize an open source website template to be able to use it for Blogger.
By-the-way, I do like the new XML Blogger Templates, but Blogger Classic is still a really cool way to go if you are using your own website domain and hosting the website on your own server. You can use .html, .htm, .php, .asp, and other file types when publishing to your own server through FTP. Yes, I know there are other blogging platforms such as WordPress, which I also use at our Creative Marketing website, but as I have said in the past, one size does not fit all, and there are some pretty cool things you can do with Blogger and hosting a website yourself. Actually both Blogger and WordPress are powerful marketing platforms, fun to use, and are fully customizable. There are pros and cons to both WordPress and Blogger which have been well documented by others, so don’t take me to the woodshed today… Ok?
Getting back to my TGI Fridays wildlife story, since I loved the Duma graphic so much, I also took the liberty of customizing the original artwork from Final Sense, expanding the landscape and sizing the graphic image to be able to use it for the header section of this template (see above). First off, here is where you can see and download the original Duma Blogger Classic version with the graphic image used in their template. Note, sometimes Final Sense website seems to get a lot of online traffic and you might have a difficult time getting there at times.
Now, for the website template strategy. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t at first succeed, try and try again” is certainly the truth when it comes to website ideas and working on new creations. I tried a couple of different website templates to begin with, and finally settled on the perfect one. However, settling on the perfect template was just the start, it still required more customization.
As consumers and businesses are using the Web in greater numbers and have made new computer purchases in recent months and years, it has become apparent that many of the old CRT monitors are being thrown out for more energy efficient LCD monitors. Screen sizes have become wider as a norm for most people today. And, with that being said, I wanted to expand the landscape for our new TGI Fridays website template. OK folks, here is the scoop. You can try to reinvent the wheel or customize a wheel that already exists. If you want to create a wheel from scratch, you can spend a lot of time and creative energy that could be better utilized in other areas. So, I took a visit to the open source template areas online. Click the link to read more about some of the open source website designs. I found the Orange Sunset by decarter design, to be quite beautiful and easy to customize it every way that was required.
What I did with the website design is made it wider. That required adjusting some of the website graphics to stretch them out from a 780 pixel width to have the images work in a 1024 pixel width website template instead. It also required extensive modifications of all the division sizes and tweaking time. Yes, for lack of a better word, there is a fair amount of tweaking time that goes into all website creations. No one gets it perfect the first time through.
Now that I had the template graphics customized to size, and the cascading style sheets (CSS) of the template customized for DIV sizes, colors, and added features, and the header image customized, the blog template now required adding the Blogger Code to certain areas of the website template. Note, any website template can be made into a blog; it just takes a little time and a good understanding of how the Classic Blogger Template Tags are laid out. Once these tags were included in the website design, it magically then became a blog design. With the key template tags added, the Blogger software now knows where to place the postings, comments, and various other sections such as archives, previous postings, and Blogger identity profiles.
Once that was done, then it was time to republish the whole blog. I should point out that I used a test blog before doing anything live on Fridays. Anyone can create a test blog on Blogger for this purpose quickly and easily. That way, if you make a mistake in the test blog area, you will not harm your precious main blog site. Believe me when I tell you it is precious. You get attached to what you have done. It is better to be safe than sorry. Sorry for all the cliches, but trust me on this main point.
Please don’t send us emails asking us if we found a cell phone behind the counter, or found a wallet on the floor at the local T.G.I. Friday’s® Restaurant in your community. If you have great reviews for T.G.I. Fridays, please go to their website to contact them directly. I think it is very apparent that we are not associated in any way with T.G.I. Friday’s Worldwide Restaurant Chain. So, once again everyone is on notice to read carefully, open your eyes, listen to the music, search your soul, explore your mind, and ask yourself the question is this really T.G.I Friday’s Restaurant. Do you see a menu? Yes, I see a menu. Ok, do you see a food menu?