WordPress.com: Upgrades

I have two questions for you. I need to lead up to them…

Shortly after starting this blog at WordPress.com, I chose the Simpla theme, purchased the custom CSS upgrade, and customized the CSS. I also purchased the domain mapping upgrade.

That was almost a year ago. The theme-related posts (to which I linked above) have been steady sources of page views ever since.

My WordPress.com dashboard has started to remind me of the anniversary, and that I need to buy Automattic an anniversary present if want to continue the CSS upgrade for a further year. I’m inclined not to purchase it, since the custom CSS already in place will stay. What you purchase is editable CSS, rather than custom CSS; this was clarified in a support forum topic.

So the first of my questions is: are there any further changes to the CSS for this blog I should make before my upgrade runs out at the end of this month? In other words, CSS geeks, is there anything else I should change?

The second of my two questions is: why isn’t the dashboard reminding me of the fact that my domain mapping upgrade is about to run out? It expires at the same time as my CSS upgrade. It may be something to do with the fact that I buy the mapping, and not the domain itself, from Automattic.

5 thoughts on “WordPress.com: Upgrades”

  1. hello Andrew,

    hope it’s not too late.

    being based exclusively on preferences and an expirence of my own as a mere *reader* of the blogs which are using the Simpla theme (and in no case, not even pretending to be a CSS expert) I’d suggest to consider the following points:

    * first of all I’d give a little bit of a vertical breathing space between widgets:

    .widget {margin-bottom: 1.6em}

    * then it looks like either I’m getting blind or something is definitely wrong with type heights on the web in general. anyway, I noticed that all the other major browsers (Opera, Safari, Mozilla) render main body text using significantly smaller font size than MSIE7. so, the next point would be to enlarge font size at least a little bit:

    body {font-size: 85%}

    * and finally, since Simpla doesn’t use any header image (which would justify its fixed layout) to make it look good at any resolution other than 1024×768 in MSIE (i.e no  horizontal scrollbars at 800×600; no huge margins but narrow column at anything higher than 1024x), I’d suggest to convert its layout using more relative units such as percents (instead of em points), thus making it truly fluid (flexible) one:

    #wrap    { width: 94% }
    #content { width: 66% }
    #sidebar { width: 26% }

    for an instant visual cue, you can resize browser window width (it’s quicker than switch a monitor resolution) down to 800px/1024px/etc before and after this style is applied. also, play with that params above so that they suit your taste.

    hope this may help a bit.

  2. Options, many thanks for your thoughtful suggestions. I particularly appreciate your providing CSS code to make it easy to try them out. I will do so before the month (and my CSS upgrade) finishes.

  3. you’re welcome 😉

    for an easy trying of said values *live* (i.e. without tedious edit/save/view cycle routine), you might find it extremely useful the ‘Firebug’ (Mozilla FF extension); Mozilla family browsers could also be proud by another add-on: ‘Web Developer‘, yet another Swiss Army knife indispensable to a web-dev.

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