I’m not a perfectionist. Ask my wife. Ask any of my former bosses. Oh, I have a strong work ethic, and I like to think I do a good job; but, I don’t usually stress over the little things. And yet, let something get stuck in my “craw“, and I can’t let it go.
Such has been the case with this blog. Ever since I re-opened the blog last year, I haven’t been happy with it. Even though I spent months re-building it, even though I was so excited to finally be publishing blog entries again, even though I had made great improvements to the overall look; I still felt like something was missing. Actually, I felt like a lot of things were missing.
Some nights, I would log on to write a new entry and just stare at the page, because I couldn’t get the things that were bugging me out of my head. So, this past week, I decided to do something about it. I channeled the spirit of George Lucas(I know, he’s still alive) and I decided to make “On The Road With Dave–The Director’s Cut”. (In this version, Han Solo still shoots first)
Today’s blog entry will be extra long, as any good Director’s Cut always is. I want to explain why I felt all these changes were necessary and what I did to hopefully improve the website and blog.
When software updates, the developers issue a changelog that logs all the changes and tweaks the developers make during the upgrade phase. I’ll try to describe what was bugging me and what I did about it.
First, since moving the blog and website to WordPress, there has been a duplicate site of OTRWD floating out there on the internet. Because of the way WordPress was loaded on the server and the URL addresses of each individual entry, when a person did a search for the blog, he was sometimes served the images of the “old site”.
And when clicking on the links, he was greeted with the dreaded 404 Error Page. And after finding these “ugly” pages still existing online; I knew I had to changed that. I downloaded a plugin from EggPlant Studios for WordPress and went through all my “old” archives and re-directed 639 old pages to their new home. With these new “redirects”, readers will never see the old pages and will automatically land on the new design pages. I also did this for all the old Archives that existed out there in the ether.
Second; many blog entries from the past did not include appropriate photos or images with each post. Looking back at these entries, they did not look “right” in retrospect. Part of this is because the availability of images in 2005 was just not what it is in 2016. For some of these entries, I re-edited and added in new images that improved the entry.
Third; and speaking of images– WordPress allows for a variety of headers and banners for your blog. Because of this, I now rotate a variety of banners at the top of my blog. But, on the past entries, I wanted to do something more. Now, on past entries regarding specific holidays and events; a custom banner appears for those entries. Christmas, New Years, 4th of July, etc. now all have specific headers to go with the blog entry. Even today’s entry has a custom banner related to a ‘director’s cut” and movie-going.
Fourth; I have included “extra scenes” in the blog. From March, 2006 through August 2007; I was a guest-blogger at The Quixtar Blog. I have added those blog entries back into the “OTRWD” timeline for that period, as “The Quixtar Blog” no longer exists.
FINALLY; when the blog closed back in 2010; it ended with an entry that explained that the blog and the website would be migrating to a new blogging platform and would return in the coming weeks. The migration never took place and the blog sat stagnant until May, 2015 when all of a sudden it was “On The Road Once Again!”
So, I went back and “re-cut” the blog to add another scene. Now, between the closing blog entry and the opening blog entry is a new entry that “signs off” the blog. I found a YouTube video that works perfectly and auto-starts when you arrive on the page. I realize that moment has come and gone for all those readers back then, BUT, like I said before, it has always bugged me.
That completes the “Director’s Cut”. I’m not saying I won’t continue to make little changes here and there, but I do think I have most of what was bugging me out of my system.
What does this all mean to my 4 regular readers? Probably, not much. If you have the desire to go exploring the archives looking for the changes, or you find an error or something that just doesn’t look right or work right; please let me know in a comment or drop me an email. I do hope that your overall visit to “On The Road With Dave” is an enjoyable one and that you keep visiting, linking to my site and telling your friends.
I’ve put together a little slideshow highlighting some added photos that I have discussed. Enjoy the show!