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Everything Open Source

Thu, Jan 27, 2011

Personal & Hobbies | Author:

www.azhowto.com

azhowto.com is a blog on open source technologies. The site focuses on the php, hospital mysql, wordpress, linux, apache and so on. At a first glance, the site seems to be quite rich in content but looks boring to the layman. The wordpress backend makes the layout consistent across all the pages.


fig1?Targeted topics

The wordpress studiopress theme seems to work well with many blogs and this is true for azhowto.com as well. The main navigation consist of "home", "about us", and a "php calendar" that the author wants to promote in his site. The categories, tag cloud, archive, adverts and blog roll are on the right sidebar. The skyscraper and medium rectangle google ads look good in their position. There is nothing under the blog roll, why leave it there? The meta section also looks quite out of place.

I would also suggest the author to limit the number of months in the archive section on the sidebar as the archive can go on forever… The height of the sidebar looks a bit awkard for very short posts such as a recent post on parsing html


fig2?Some css problems

The author tends to put code into his blog posts as well and I would suggest that he re-check at the way they are being formatted. A plugin to handle the code might help. Fig 2 shows some text that goes beyond the width of the page. This happens quite often across all the pages in the site. Not a big problem but can be annoying for the reader.


fig3?CSS problems on the footer as well.

The previous entries and next page can be re-adjusted so that they are more centralised. The footer looks good except that the date needs to be updated to 2011 instead of 2007.

I believe the author also uses plugins to handle the social media link beneath each post. The links look ok except for the TwitThis link which links back to the homepage.

There is also a "Watch the latest video on Youtube.com" link at the bottom of each post. I am not sure whether there is a need for that or some misconfiguration with some plugin.

Conclusion

As mentioned before, azhowto.com looks really plain (this might be typical for a developer… I am sure a designer would be different?) but has a lot of references to php, linux, mysql, networking and so on. Web developers or open source professionals might find the website useful though. Even then, I would suggest the author to spice up the site a bit and this can be easily achieved by adding simple graphics or videos. If I am the owner of this blog, I would add a picture of myself under "about me".

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